I found a note on my desk from my daughter. It read, “Dear Mom, I borrowed some paper but will give some art.” As the paper was indeed returned in its promised form, I was pleased and impressed with the variety: paintings, and pen-drawings, notes and 3-D creations came pouring back onto my desk – all from a ream of paper and its cousins: Post-it notes and canvas. Her brothers helped.
The colors were beautiful on the flowers that echoed God’s creation. The drawings have improved through the years of her youth, as the once stick figure now has eyes, expressions and even backgrounds of mirrors or wheat fields. Sometimes the paper comes back as a pleading note, an invitation to a “Be Happy Party!” or as a glitter-filled, “I’m sorry. I was rong. Will you fergiv me?”
The notes to me, personally, hold a special place in my heart: “MomWOW!” or “I [heart] Mom” or I especially love the picture of me inside of the world.
The love-letters to me are equaled only by those which
tell of love to her brothers and dad, “The Best thing about you is…” or “I love J.R.” or “Nate, you are always the laugh-maker that keeps me happy.”
As I read her note of borrowing paper and returning art, I saw such a parallel that God has given us pages to fill with our art.
As the LIFE book, by Woodward and my husband says, “Life is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to God.”
We have 365 pages each year to return to Him with our “art.” Unfortunately, I know there are days, no, actually I know there are years when I have given back nothing but scribbles –wandering back and forth aimlessly as my pen kept drawing. Other days have gone by as unfulfilled lists: things “to do” that didn’t receive my effort. I am trying to push out of memory the pages of life where my day caused pain to others. (…like the one note I found from my child to a sibling that said, “You are stoopid” that got thrown away by me, instead of photographed.) Some of the days God gave me were wasted, because I was too self-absorbed, hiding my art, thinking it was unworthy to share with others.
On occasion, to Him I returned pages of “sorry” and “please” just like my daughter’s notes to me.
We can see our own created “art” change from stick figures to colors, to backgrounds and hopefully even a little depth through the years, as we become new creatures. I pray that we create pages of our life with our best effort, not for a blue ribbon on earth, or trophy on TV, but for His utmost glory.
God doesn’t judge us by our ability to draw, any more than I worry about the spelling on the love notes from my kids. It’s the love that matters. All we ever have to be is what He made us. So let’s “make art,” and to do it with excellence, every day. I think He would love a picture of me loving my husband in private and in public. He might enjoy a visual of me listening to or otherwise helping a stranger. His joy must abound in our thank-you notes. He would love to see that I love HIM and think He is worthy of awe, in the depths of my heart.
When Jesus was asked what the two most important commandments were, He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” So it seems that the pages of our lives which God, Himself, would enjoy the most are the same notes that were my favorites from my daughter’s drawings: “I love my brother.” and “I love You.”
May this day of your life be a masterpiece for His name’s sake.
Wow mom, is all I can say!
Oh, Terri Brady, how your words speak to my heart! Thank you for allowing God to work through you to change my heart & my life.
Thanks for the beautiful words today Terri. What a great way to start my day. Thanks for being such a great example for all of us.
You are amazing, Terri! It is obvious that you have been filling your pages with art more days than not! What gifts you have — and thank you for making the choices you do to allow God to work through you and your gifts! I love sharing your posts with others. Thank you for starting your blog — what a blessing it has been!
Terri, I can’t get enough of Christine’s sweet notes and artwork! For some strange reason your blog today has brought me to tears, maybe because I am remembering similar blessings from my children and grandchildren. Please put these in a book for all of us who either didn’t save these gems or can’t remember where we put them after we did save them. The life lessons that you attach to each sweet (or bittersweet) experience with your children are so wonderful and refreshing! Thanks for your servant leadership.
You know how to speak my language Girlfriend! That was a great message and reminder. Thank you for keeping us in check to what our heart is really “living out” on a daily basis. Thank God He gives AMAZING grace while we are learning and growing!
I loved reading all of the little notes. My kids are only 2 and 4 right now, so I get drawings and paintings, but I am so looking forward to the notes! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for this post. I love seeing all the art work and just hearing the story of your kids. I get so much information from the “fun” and learn as I laugh. Thank you so much for everything you do.
Thank you for sharing. You mean so much to us, and the lessons you teach are life-changing. I’m so glad you are in our world!
This is awesome. It reminds me of my four amazing children that I have in Ohio.
Thank You so much.
Tears…more tears…I am not exactly sure why. This is beautiful. Man, how the time passes by. I only hope that the art i create with my God first, family second and others is worthy to view.
Thank you for writing Terri Brady!
I love the little notes that our four children leave for us as well…especially the phonetically spelled lists of things to do for the day or the menus for their restaurant. Children are so great in their directness and truth. If a child tells you he loves you, he really means it! (They also really mean the other things they say, but we won’t list those here:) ) Thanks for the post and for sharing your notes from your sweet children 🙂