Wooden Bench

There is nothing better than being in a place of complete awe, surrender and well – unknown.  I didn’t use to think this way.  Nope, in fact I hated the unknown.  Not knowing what is happening next, where things are going to end up, how we’re going to get there – all these questions that don’t have clear answers and you’d THINK it’d be scary – but I’ve grown up a little and it’s not anymore.

Instead, as I look at all the unknowns, I feel like I’m sitting on a wooden bench in the middle of a room at the art museum.  You know those rooms that have a 360 degree approach to artwork?  They are fantastic!  Usually these rooms display art that comes from a particular time period or comes from the same artist.  No matter the source the end result is being totally surrounded by creativity, art and expression.

Think of the most beautiful masterpiece you’ve ever seen.  My favorite artists are Monet and Manet.  Both are French painters from the 19th century and I’ll tell you why I love them so much.  Manet was the FIRST to display black splotches in his painting, or dark areas in the pastoral scenes.  I have a print hanging in my living room called “The Swing”.  In the picture you see a girl, standing on a rope swing, her picnic basket on the ground and friends gathered around her.  On her white dress and the ground there are dark blotches.  As silly as it sounds, Manet did an amazing thing – he painted what WASN’T there.  He knew that the tree branches swaying above the girl would have blocked out the sun’s rays with their leaves.  We don’t see the leaves – just their shadowing effect.

I love Monet because his initial look of chaos is almost scientific.  I was able to actually see a Monet painting when we took our boys to the art museum here in Kansas City.  My husband took this picture of me, sitting with our two oldest boys, as we gazed on one of Monet’s water lilies paintings.

When we came into this room, full of impressionistic paintings, I had the boys immediately go close to the Monet creation and look at one small area.  I asked what they saw.  After naming off some colors I asked what they thought this was a painting of – one guessed the sky, the other water.  Then I told them to keep their eyes on the painting and walk backward.

As we moved back I actually heard their understanding and appreciation develop toward the beautiful water lilies they were NOW able to decipher. It was a very cool moment.

Just like Monet and Manet we are impressionists too!  We see what we want to see in a way that no one else can.  I have to wonder if someone had found these painters at the beginning or middle of their process if that person would have had more questions than appreciation.  But now that the paintings are done it all comes together – the seen, the unseen, the messy, the clear, the real and the imagined – it’s all there in a beautiful display of art and science.

So my life is full of different “masterpieces” that are still being discovered, formed and completed.  these masterpieces involve my career, my family, my spiritual growth, my calling…the list goes on and on.  I’ve decided to sit on the wooden bench in the middle of the room of my life and watch with great expectation as to how things will come together.

I don’t know what masterpiece you are currently waiting to see completed – but hang in there.  Don’t judge the process or the resources being used to create it – just watch, wait and wonder at the possibilities.

You are an amazing masterpiece, an artist and museum director – don’t lose sight of the beauty around you while you’re waiting – I know I’m soaking in each moment of growth and discovery –

Happy New Year my friends –


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