As I embark on the fourth Christmas season as a mother, I can see progress. Of course in my son, but also in me. In the beginning, I believed I should be the mom whose kid did every creative project known to man, so I’d have my one year old attempting to make hand print crafts for every holiday.
It turns out he was not that into making his hand prints look like actual hand prints. He’d rather slather the paint all over the paper or ball up his hand or outright refuse to stick his hand in the paint.
I finally accepted that I would not have a hand print calendar with adorable designs for each month of the year. I gave in to letting him mix the colors into the muddy color that forms when every color in the box of paint is mixed together. I didn’t give him lines to color in or outside of, I just gave him a blank piece of paper and let him find joy in creating.
Over these three and a half years together, I have finally stopped hyperventilating when the crafts I prepared are inevitably pushed aside. I actually see his work as something beautiful even if it’s nothing like the vision I had in my head. I can see joy in his earnest little face as he creates his own art. I see progress in his development as he experiments on each occasion with something he refused to do the last time.
Today he painted a hand print Christmas tree on a plate during a play date. I looked at that hand print, and while it technically resembled a frog more than an evergreen, I honestly found it adorable. The progress that both of us have made in this area is great, and I love the peace that accompanies the knowledge that we don’t need to attain perfection because we’re both growing.
I was struck with a realization while I helped my little guy display his newly-completed Christmas plate. I need to work to apply this principle to every aspect of my life – including this tricky world of writing and blogging.
I definitely struggle with finding a balance in the world of blogging.
- I still don’t “get” the Twitter hype.
- I forget to link up to other blogs all of the time.
- I don’t do something blogging related (or even think about blogging-related things) every day.
- I can’t seem to nail down an exact niche.
- I don’t have a growing following because I don’t work at it like I should.
I’ve read the “how to” articles on overcoming each of these things, but in the end, I’m just like the one-year-old version of my son attempting to make a distinct hand print with paint. It looks like a goopy mess. Inevitably, I give up on one or all of my problem areas.
Sometimes it’s good to step back from something to allow time for maturing, but giving up altogether is not the answer.
That’s why this mama is giving herself an assignment that does not feel comfortable even though it’s right.
I’m going to keep doing it anyway. It will not miraculously stop looking sloppy overnight. The questions and internal struggles will not go away. My hand prints will continue to look misshapen at times, shaky at best. But how can I take a stand for my Jesus or leave a legacy for my babies if I don’t choose to purposefully put my hand down and leave a mark?
That’s why even if it’s for an audience of One, I will not stop making hand prints in this place until He tells me otherwise.
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