I’m sitting at a table with a palette of watercolors in front of me. My word for the year is “mini-adventure” and my dear friend got me a gift certificate for this art class. I’ve looked forward to it for weeks and yet I find myself feeling a bit intimidated.
Beth Woessner, our talented and kind instructor, gives us a picture of a truck filled with hearts to trace then paint. We also work on a grid of six simple hearts and a small floral wreath. All through the process she keeps repeating one phrase, “Embrace the wonky.”
By this she means make room for imperfection, let the water and the paint have their way, release expectations and welcome what is taking shape on the paper in front of us. Beth says one of the biggest obstacles for new painters is trying too hard.
I’m in a challenging season and it seems this is the invitation Jesus keeps giving me. I have an image in my mind of what life should be like and how everything should turn out. When I cling to this, I’m inevitably disappointed. I only find joy, freedom, and creativity when I choose to let things be.
Our lives are not impersonal production lines at a factory.
They are pieces of art being created with Someone who loves us.
When my final painting is finished, I look at my work. No one is going to hang it in an art gallery or museum. But I’m proud of it anyway. Not because it matches the image I had in my mind, but simply because it is mine. I had the courage to try. I learned new things. I’ll do better next time.
If you are in a season when your life doesn’t look like you hoped it would by now, take heart. You are not producing perfection, you are creating art. Those are two entirely different things.
Producing perfection is about control, creating art is about curiosity and letting go.
Producing perfection is about meeting expectations, creating art is about accepting what’s unexpected.
Producing perfection is about the final product, creating art is about the process.
I’m learning with art and life, what matters most is just showing up and doing what you can, with what you have, wherever you are right now. However it turns out, that is enough. As Beth would say, let’s embrace the wonky today.
P.s. Are you interested in having a watercolor mini-adventure too? You can find out more on Beth’s site! She’s local for me but has online classes you can take wherever you are.
MORE FOR YOU
Do you need a strategy to add more fun to your life, help you heal, or grow closer to the people you love? Today’s podcast episode is about how mini-adventures can do all that and more! Listen in.
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