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You know how some people do yoga to reflect and relax? Or, take a bath, exercise, pilates, get a massage…? My best moments of reflection happen while I’m painting. I’ve been accused of having tunnel vision while I work on a project because I have a hard time coming out of that “project fog.” It’s why I have a hard time painting while I’m working in the store because I can become so engrossed in a project that I won’t hear or see anyone walk through the door.

This little sentiment is a product of what I call “project fog.” The inner monologue that goes through my head while I work…tuning out everything else around me and giving myself up completely to the relaxation of working with my hands.

A Metaphor for Life
The Story of a Dresser

Have you ever thought that life is  a lot like an old, dilapidated piece of furniture? In its creation, many decades ago it is born from the imagination and ingenuity of a craft man.

It flits from place to place, generation to generation serving its desired purpose but looking worse for wear. Over time, it changes. Life takes it toll. Scratched and scraped, covered and colored it has lost some of its charm.

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Finally, its discarded. A hopeless cause. Relegated to a garage, attic or basement. Until, in quiet desperation, it is passed along to someone who can “fix” all the problems.

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But sometimes, problems aren’t so easily fixed. One can mask the underlying issues with superficial and cosmetic changes that do no more than cover up the damage that is already present. Or, in the presence of an artist; a friend; a confidant; someone who is patient and inspired, the problems can be revealed and resolved.

It’s dirty work. It takes the right tools. The right motivation. But, with time the layers begin to reveal themselves. One layer is removed.

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And, then another…

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…and another.

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Layers of deceit. Betrayal. Low self worth. Doubt. Fear. Sin.

When the layers are removed, the scars remain. Not all experiences can be wiped clean. They are emotional. Physical. Spiritual. They make up what it was…what it has become…what it will be.

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The body becomes refined. Sure, you can’t, nor would I remove every bit of its former presence, but rather allow them to become a part of its new story. A bit of experience; it’s character. Flawed but beautiful.

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Until, what remains is renewed. Ready to stand on its own, having been acknowledged; cared for; revived. The memory of it’s former self remains through the scars, but those only add to what it has become.

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Confidant. Valued. Beautiful. Qwerky.

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There have been times when I’ve been a lot like that little dresser. At face value, it doesn’t look so bad. But, when you look closer it’s inherently flawed. It takes mentors to break through my own layers of self doubt and fear. Amazing friends to instill confidence and value my contributions; my family to support the chaos of my thoughts. And, my deep faith and relationship with Christ to nurture and enrichen what I do,  how I do it, to forgive and to be forgiven.