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birds of a feather

one of my most favorite things about what i do is who i am able to work alongside. namely, my sweet lilly jane. if i am painting, crafting, or even in the rare chance cleaning our craft room and she is home, she is right there with me. i have often said, she has more creative inspiration in her pinky finger than i do within my entire being. she, however, hasn't recognized it yet. more times than not, she sits in awe of me and whatever i am working on as i simultaneously am watching her create, sing and tell stories while her hands are busy - all i can think of is how amazing she is!!

a while back lilly and i were hard at work in the craft room painting, ripping and gluing. i had been sketching and painting a bajillion birds and she wanted in on the action. i have no idea how many hours the two of us spent together but what i do remember are the words we shared. as we worked together, lilly continued to get more and more frustrated with herself as the birds she was attempting to make didn't look like the birds i was drawing. as often as i told her, they were beautiful and how much i loved them - she couldn't hear it. she found herself defeated and paralyzed and it broke my heart. finally, i stopped. i stopped what i was doing took her by the hands, looked her in the eyes and reminded her how much i loved her. i reminded her that she was creatively made and that her expression was her's and her's alone and that it was beautiful, no matter what - not because it was perfect, looked like mine, or even looked like a bird, but because it was hers! after this interaction she visibly changed. we broke from our hug and immediately got back to work creating our birds. in the end, her depiction of a bird standing on a hill basking in the sun made from torn paper scraps was beyond precious and not only looked completely different than mine but was a true expression of who she is. how often do we move through life believing a lie about ourselves. how often are we unable to really hear the encouraging words of the people around us and believe them to be true. how much more time do we need to spend beating ourselves up because we don't think we measure up. i am so thankful God gave me the words to encourage my sweet girl that day - i am thankful she was able to not only hear them but embrace God's truth in her life and take action. as you look to find truth in your life, i pray, you will not be thwarted in your effort. may you not be ashamed of your God-given gifts, no matter what they are. may you recognize they are uniquely yours and yours alone and that the world needs your unique expression. grace & peace,

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