I blame my sorry-looking art project on one of my kids (but not really)

I am not very artistic. In the times when life has been particularly difficult, I have often sighed and wished I had an artistic outlet…and then went on Etsy and bought something from someone who is. Because, retail therapy. It’s my favorite kind, especially when it means supporting someone else’s talents, of which I am extremely jealous.

But, one thing that my husband keeps reminding me through this process, is that if I don’t own my mess, then I can’t use the pieces to rebuild. They will continue to lie on the floor, suffocating under the dust of their own potential, while I keep wishing for something that isn’t and blaming everyone else for what is.

When King Solomon was building the temple, the shaping and chiseling of the structural stones was all done at the quarry, away from the build site itself. Only once the hard labor was finished, were the stones moved to the temple site and the artistry really began. In peace. No iron tool was heard while the sacred home of the Lord was constructed. (1 King 6:7) Once the building was finished, these stones, covered in cedar and overlaid with gold, were hidden from view. The true artists completed the carvings and finery of the temple, but they could never have done their work if the laborers had not been faithful in theirs.

They will continue to lie on the floor, suffocating under the dust of their own potential, while I keep wishing for something that isn’t and blaming everyone else for what is.

It took seven years to complete. My father is a contractor and I spent many hours with him on job sites growing up. I know from experience that building projects are slow – at least if they are to be done right. There are days when you move forward, and many days where it feels like you are struggling to progress. But rushing the process can be disastrous. My life is no different. As I labor through my struggles, chiseling, hammering and carving away at the cold, hard, stones, I often remind myself that if I am faithful in my work, the True Artist will be faithful in his. The finished product may not be overlaid with gold, adorned with carvings of cherubim and palm trees and flowers, but a mosaic, carefully constructed and divinely inspired.

In the end, when my work is done, God will begin his in peace and I will have rest. The result will be more beautiful than anything I could have accomplished on my own – and I won’t even have to blame it on the kids.

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*Photo of a page from Mosaic: Techniques & Traditions Sonia King, 2002
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