painting, past, future, reinvention

Divided Attention

Divided Attention

This weekend I made a room divider/privacy screen for my kids. On a regular day, they may get on each other’s nerves. Now that they are home most of the time – doing school on zoom sessions and are in each other’s faces 24/7, they get on each other’s nerves a lot. So … a room divider. Now, when they sit at their desks, their classmates can’t see their sibling in another class… doing other things…following a different schedule.

Use What You Have

I did not want to buy a privacy screen. Call me crazy, but some things are worth the expenditure. Some things need to be worked out in a more fiduciary responsible way. I thought I remembered seeing some old sliding doors thrown in the loft of the garage, so I pulled up my sleeves and began scrounging around. I was soon bringing two extremely dusty, dirty wooded bi-fold doors down the ladder and into the light of day.

Worth A Look

After cleaning away the cobwebs and some spiders – sorry guys – I set to cleaning them. After cleaning, I spray painted the dingy wood to a semi-gloss white and attached a few hinges in the center to connect them. While scrounging for supplies, I noticed several old paint cans and the stencils I had made many moons ago for our girls’ room in the old apartment. The stencils were flowers, the paints were bright and lovely and nearly 11 years old. There was no way those rusty cans had anything usable inside them, I assured myself; but, my eyes kept returning their tired gaze with curiosity.

Unable to shake the feeling that it would be a waste not to make sure, I pried open the tops to take a look. Gross. Separated muddy looking “water” sat on top of a thick, sticky paint platform.

Junk.

Maybe…

I reasoned that a little stir wouldn’t hurt – just to see if it was totally solidified. I stuck in the mixing stick and commenced stirring. It was hard to move and came up in chunks – that would probably dissuade most, but it gave me hope. It was, after all, at least storable. I stirred ‘till my arms started to get tired and lo and behold – it became fine, usable paint again! I did the same with the remaining four cans – a fifth was truly unworkable, but the rest were fantastic.

Old Becomes New – The Art Of Reinvention

Grabbing the stencils, I began outlining their forms in pencil on one side of the screen, and then – I set to painting. Determined to give my kids a bit of nostalgia – a throwback to a simpler, happier time, I spent hours outlining and filling in the flowering details. My youngest daughter woke up and came outside. I told her what I was doing as she was coming toward me. Intent on keeping my lines smooth, I had my head down when I asked if she liked the blast from the past. She was quiet, so I looked up to see tears streaming down her face. Thank you, Mom. I love it so much! I remember when you were painting our room, and we were running around in circles with Chewy. Thank you. 

All the effort was worth it.

What We Get

It’s great to have perfect, thoroughly mixed, fresh paint and supplies to work with, but that’s rarely what life hands us. Sometimes we have to make do with what we have. If we are lucky, we can use something already in our possession and turn it into something entirely different with a little creativity and ingenuity. The sum becomes greater than the parts.

What We DO With What We Get

I think that’s what God does with us. This whole era is a time of reinvention. So many people have lost so much and now must begin again. Don’t forget to look at the skills you already have! Each of these gifts is from God – you didn’t receive them for no reason. Take an inventory of what you can do – how you have used it in the past – and how you might use it differently in the future. You may feel out of your depth, you may feel you don’t know where to begin, but don’t bury your talents in the sand – grow them and yourself. That’s why God gave them to you in the first place.

“FOR IT WILL BE LIKE A MAN GOING ON A JOURNEY, WHO CALLED HIS SERVANTS AND ENTRUSTED TO THEM HIS PROPERTY. TO ONE HE GAVE FIVE TALENTS, TO ANOTHER TWO, TO ANOTHER ONE, TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS ABILITY. THEN HE WENT AWAY. HE WHO HAD RECEIVED THE FIVE TALENTS WENT AT ONCE AND TRADED WITH THEM, AND HE MADE FIVE TALENTS MORE. SO ALSO HE WHO HAD THE TWO TALENTS MADE TWO TALENTS MORE. BUT HE WHO HAD RECEIVED THE ONE TALENT WENT AND DUG IN THE GROUND AND HID HIS MASTER’S MONEY. … MATTHEW 25:14-30

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

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