Letting Go

Sometimes you just need to let things go. Yeah, I get that, but it can be hard to do. I am a sentimental person so I tend to keep things that are reminders of people and places that are important to me. I am also a creative person and I am finding that it can be equally difficult to let some of my “creations” go. Let me give you an example.

Here is a painting of a buckskin horse I had done with the intention of selling at an upcoming Arts and Crafts Fair. It took a few weeks for him to emerge because he was not coming out easily. So I would stop work for a time so as not to push or rush the process. In the mean time while working on other projects he would catch my eye and my thoughts would dwell on him. Hmmmm, why can’t I get him to emerge? I would catch myself having asking him why he was making it so hard for me to help him come into the world. As he was emerging he just looked so haughty and prideful about it all that I took to calling him Pride. Which later became the name of the painting. (I know, I know. This all says a lot more about me than him.)

After completion, he sat on the easel for a few weeks while I finished my other projects for the event. During which time I just enjoyed his presence. He brought a sense of satisfaction of a difficult job well done. While I could see the ‘flaws’ in my work there was just something compelling about him. When it came time to prep him for the sale I just couldn’t do it. I could not let him go. It’s not that I consider him the best work that I’ve done, he’s not, I think that it is more that he reminds me of a challenge that I managed to meet and besides, I like him and I like having him around looking down that prideful nose at everyone and everything. Let him go…..mmmm…not just yet.

Actually, I have always found it difficult to let my art work go unless I was making it for someone specifically. I tend to put more of myself into my paintings than anything else that I do. When I let them go it’s as if I am giving away a piece of myself or my world. When doing that for family and friends that to me is a good thing. Selling them to someone unknown, that’s much harder.

Letting go is hard. However, sometimes it is necessary. Clinging to “stuff” and even people can be detrimental to our well being. Someone once said that, “Letting go is a part of moving on to something better. You will not get what you truly deserve if you’re too attached to the things you’re supposed to let go of. Sometimes you love, and you struggle, and you learn, and you move on. And that’s ok. You must be willing to let go of the life you planned for so you can enjoy the life that is waiting for you.” (Anonymous)

Now I have been talking about “stuff” but letting go has far more deeper meanings and ramifications when applied to our work and ministry, our relationships, our children and family, as well as our possessions. No matter the situation, letting go is often one of the hardest things we are asked or required to do. But we are not left wanting when we choose to make right decisions to let go. Remember, Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14 NRSV)

The Right Tool

My sewing machine was on it’s last leg and just a smidge from dying! I was trying to finish the last few projects for my upcoming Arts & Craft sale. Sigh, it didn’t make it. It needed to be fixed. I could not in good conscience continue to use it as it was affecting the quality of my work.

With a heavy heart I looked into a possible replacement. I did not want to simply fix my machine because I had been hoping to replace it with an upgraded one if I could make enough money at my next sales event. My husband urged me to go ahead look into purchasing a new machine. As I set out to look for a new machine I was calculating what I could perhaps expect to make at the sale verses what I could afford to add to that. I was assuming that the machine I had had my eye on was out of the question so this was not a very happy task for me.

I decided to check out the brand of machine I was hoping for knowing that there was no way I could afford the one I actually had my eye on. But, nothing ventured nothing gained. To my surprise and flickering hope…A huge sale! Dare I push the budget to actually get the one that I wanted? It was almost within my budget range but not quite. What to do? My mind was trying to think things through while watching the demonstration by the salesperson. My prayers were going heavenward pleading for help as to what I should do. To help me not to simply give into my want. I worked hard to listen to what the Lord was saying to me while trying to beat back my excitement at a possible purchase. So close and yet so far!

I did it! (Do I have an awesome husband or what! Rather than being upset at the added cost He encouraged me that we could work it out, no problem.) The arts and craft sale went very well and I was able to apply it to a good portion of the cost of the machine. I now have my “dream machine.” ….I have my dream sewing machine….wow….

As I was finishing up projects for the sale on my new machine, I realized how easy everything was going. The machine was working correctly and I did not have to fight with it. I had forgotten how relaxing and enjoyable sewing could be for me. I had been so frustrated sewing on my old machine that all I had been experiencing was disappointment, anxiety and tension. I could not help but think of the old adage, ‘the right tool for the right job.’ Yet even when you do use the correct tool if it is not used correctly or in disrepair it is no better than using the wrong tool.

I am so looking forward to working on my next projects and discovering all of the features that are now available to me on my new sewing machine. Two things I have appreciated through all of this: first that the joy of creativity can and will push through obstacles to come to fruition; second I was reminded that with the right tools creativity enlarges itself by leading to new possibilities.

In all of this I thank my Lord for helping me to navigate the minefield of temptation as to what I can and should do in this whole situation.

A peek at my next project.

It will be a table runner….I think