Tuesday, September 1, 2015

One Brushstroke at a Time

"A masterpiece still comes together one brushstroke at a time." Ruth Simons

Ruth is one of my favorite internet people (and I get to hear her speak at Influence Conference in a few weeks!). She has six boys. She writes. She homeschools. And she has a shoppe. That's impressive work but her words point out an easily forgotten truth. It's the little things. 

Our lives are made up of days. How we choose to live our days turns into how we live our lives. We see the overall vision for life in the Bible; it's not a secret. But the details will be different because God doesn't stamp people out factory style. He designs each person individually. My work today will be different from your work today. 

But each day we both get to choose. What kind of brush stroke will we put on the painting? Will I pick the right colors?  Will I put on strength and honor as my clothes? Will I be virtuous, prayerful, careful with my words? Will I bend my will- surrender- to the things in life I didn't expect? Does Jesus have full control over my life today? 

I get to choose where the brush stroke goes. This is a time of laying on the broad underlayers of colors. It's necessary- the painting won't be complete without it- but it's nothing fancy. 

Today I do all the unseen things. I clean up accidents and spills. I cook dinner. I run errands. I do the reading lesson and push the swings. I welcome my husband home and celebrate his work. I work on memorizing a piano piece.  I write my 500 words. I draw today's sketch. I pour the Bible into my heart and mind. I run and do yoga. Nothing big. Nothing flashy. But all important. 

Because what will life be if I don't cook dinner and teach my children? How will my writing read in five years if I don't write the words today? What will be left to celebrate in my marriage if I don't nurture it now? Do your work with the future in mind. 

These are the things that add up my children's faith, character, and education. The training they receive now will shape the adults they become. Necessary though often tedious. Ordinary and yet split through with glory. The little moments that make me want to pull out my hair are changing my children's lives. The words that I write today in Evernote and in my notebook are going to turn into blog posts and podcast episodes. It all adds up over time. 

Today matters for today. Pick well. If you go to bed exhausted tonight go to bed exhausted from pouring yourself into your work. 

Today matters for the future. Consider the future as you make your choices today. Today shapes tomorrow. 

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