Kids–there may come moments in your life when your Mom questions your actions or articles of clothing, sincerely out of love and protection…especially when there is a history of prior events that she foresees could similarly happen again and just wants to protect you (and articles of clothing), and avoid the unnecessary mishaps. In these instances, even as an adult..let me offer my own sound advice: Listen to Mom.
Getting ready to head to the basement and paint this afternoon (more to come on those, stay tuned), I was wearing grey exercise pants and a yellow V-neck tee-shirt. Nothing fancy, but nothing I have ever painted in before and they aren’t too shabby either. “Are you sure you want to paint in those?” Mom’s question also had the concerned eye expression. I am a notorious messy artist. I had to put on my tennis shoes, so I told her I had planned to change into my designated painting pants and just wear the painting apron my sister gave me for Christmas two years ago. Mom said no more, but still didn’t look too convinced and when I was ready, we set out to conquer the stairs.
I only had a few finishing touches left on the small canvases before finishing a larger one with the hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Things are moving along nicely, until I reach the signing of my name on one particular board. It has been long time coming, really. With my hands decreasing in strength and increasing in numbness, atrophy and curling, they also shake. Maybe the latter listed are the cause–I am not sure. It is not a massive shake, but rather just “shaky.” Certain fingers will do it more than others and my left thumb sometimes does it the worst. My hand’s shakiness is most obvious when I eat or lift a mug or write…or try to sign “MEL” with paint.
I think it has to do with the straight lines. Combine the shaky hands, the eyes focusing so hard in my bifocals…I can’t get my hands and eyes to agree on where to land the mark. It even happens when I write on paper. I am starting to detest signing my name when I have to use checks. Anyway, this “MEL” was in white and what a good choice, because I wiped it off about four times before finally achieving something satisfactory. Then I was nervous. My Bethlehem painting was just a simple, solid blue background and the hymn was mod podged on earlier. The plan was to paint simple lines of the town-in-that-day around the hymn…in a deep brown. There was no room for mistakes.
I got started and since it was a bigger canvas, did not feel pressure for matching the lines as hard as the signature. All finished and I thought it had turned out quite nicely. No paint on the shirt either, thanks to the apron! I then proceed to shift things around, brushes to the water and take the apron off. Looking back at the canvas, there was enough room to safely dot the sky with glitter and silver–the star effect–without even touching the brown rooftops. ‘Put the apron back on before you begin,” my mind tells me, as I move the apron from the paint bin to get the silver paint. Ignoring the thought, I turn around and light the sky with speckles. Complete and I was proud. Mom had just come down to see how I nws doing and if I was going to eat. I answered her and then she pointed to my shirt.
“Oh, man!” I exclaim. Needless to say, I don’t think Mom was at all surprised to see a big slash of brown paint on yellow. “I was doing so good. I just barely took the apron off before doing the stars. I should have kept it on until the painting was moved.” Kids–I now offer more sound advice: Listen to your conscience.
I should have leaned by now…Mel, just wear the worn out, already stained painted clothes. It would save me time in laundry effort and a good shirt. In life, we all make mistakes, but we should learn from them as to not continue in them. I have yet much to learn.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.