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“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” Elbert Hubbard

After I wrote yesterday’s blog post, “Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper,” I thought how difficult that advice was to follow when my paper was blank. I didn’t have hobbies or much interest in entertainment like TV, books, and shows. I didn’t get together with friends. I didn’t care much about my work. 

I only cared about your paper. 

My self-esteem depended on who I fixed, so I turned people into projects. Instead of keeping my eyes on my own paper, I tried to control my parents, spouse, and children. 

It wasn’t until those projects failed that I looked back at my blank paper and felt lost. So, I tried harder. 

Around 2015, I offered to pay for my husband to take watercolor classes. In passing, he mentioned he’d like to paint more. I always wanted to too, but he had talent. I followed up on the place and pricing with a local art instructor, then asked my husband about classes several more times. 

On social media one evening, I noticed a post by the art instructor about an opening the following day. I clicked on her video. She said, “If you’ve always wanted to give watercolor a try, now is your time,” “Beginners are welcome, actually encouraged to come,” and, the most encouraging to me, “You’re never too old to paint.”  

It’s true what I always heard, if we’ll take a first step, God meets us there and takes us farther than we ever imagined.

I signed up online that night and drove 25 minutes the next morning to her art studio. 

Twenty minutes after I posted my bright orange fish on Facebook, a friend offered to buy it. I laughed off her comment because surely she couldn’t be serious. If I remembered who she was, I’d gift it to her. My granddaughter visited last week and noticed the fish hanging in our guest bathroom where we just moved. She said, “Mammy, I love your fish.”

My story’s not about how talented I am because I’m not. I paint like a five-year-old. I’m okay with that because I’m having as much fun as they have when they paint. The story is about how God steps in when we’re finally willing to keep our eyes on our own paper. He fills in all the blanks better than we ever could. 

Mine just happened to literally be real paper to keep my eyes on. Your “paper” may be coaching a little girl’s soccer team, getting a group together to walk daily, or returning to school for a degree. 

I’d love to hear your stories, so, if you like, consider putting them on paper right here.

In This Together,

I have something for you!


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