Recently some girlfriends and I attended a painting class.  If you know anything about me at all, you know that no painting class in the world could make me a painter.  I claim to be the least creative person that I know all the time.  Although lately Aaron has been trying to tell me that I have to have some creativity in me because I do like to form  words into sentences and so that has to qualify me as creative person.  I think he’s sweet and trying really hard to build me up, but I’m still not buying it.  Creative is not a word I would ever use to describe me.

For this painting class though it was different.  Had the instructor stood up there and showed us the finished product of the butterfly, handed us a blank canvas and told us to create our best strokes to make our blank canvas look like her finished professional canvas I would have failed for sure.  No chance of anything looking like a butterfly would have come from that.

Instead it wasn’t like that at all.  She gave us each a blank canvas a few brushes and the paint we would need.  Everyone had the exact same supplies, canvas and colors in front of them.  No one was at any advantage or disadvantage, we all started the same.

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Then something beautiful happened.  She guided each of us through each step. I could have never done this on my own.  Never.  Instead, she showed us.  She gave us the ability to create our own masterpiece.  She guided our strokes, and advised us when we needed less color, more color, softer strokes, thicker lines; she took us through the entire process, and never left us alone.  Even when we messed up, she helped.  Even when we felt like giving up because we thought our butterfly looked like a gigantic misshaped candy corn she encouraged us to keep painting.

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I have now had my personal masterpiece up in my living room for a few weeks and honestly from far away it looks awesome.  It’s nothing to brag on, but it’s mine.  I created it.  I took a blank canvas and with the help of the instructor guiding me I created something beautiful.

I thought about this the other day and how it relates to motherhood.  You see God is our guide and he knows the final picture.  He gives us blank canvas’ and then he shows us the way.  Sometimes we need more paint when parenting and sometimes we need way less.  Either way, it’s our style.  It’s our way of parenting, with him as the guide.

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I honestly never thought my canvas would ever transform into a butterfly because some of the middle stages were awkward and I didn’t understand them at all, but they were necessary for me to get to the end.  I feel like I’m in the middle stages of parenting.  I have a 10 year old that some days looks more like a misshaped candy corn than a butterfly, but I trust that we’re on our way.  His wings are forming and by God’s grace he’ll turn 18, head off to college, and fly. His wings might look different than my other kids, and than your kids, but God is guiding us.  He’s helping us with our strokes, and helping us with our shading, all along holding our hand as we nervously take our blank canvas of a child into adulthood.  He’s there for it all.  Follow him, let him lead, and then hopefully by God’s grace one day all of us momma’s will step back and view our masterpiece that we got to be a small part of.  God working through us as we parent.  What an honor!

Jamie Ivey