7/27/10

toolbox of the soul

Every once and a while the thought passes through my mind that I should get started on painting the kitchen. We still have much to do in updating our not-so-new-to-us-anymore house, and we're still trying to take it one room at a time. Anyway, I don't ever start painting, that's what I'm trying to tell you. First of all, I actually quite hate painting, it's far too mind-numbing for me. I abhor endless repetitive sameness, unless we're talking about a daily routine that makes me feel safe, but then again, that gets old, too.

Hellooooo ADD brain!

What was I saying? Okay, so. Painting. You see, the thing is, I can't get started. I know I won't get started unless I ask Ryan to get started for me. And then I have to get out of the way because he's coming up and down the stairs and looking for all the right things and it's best if I mind my own business while he does that. He always, sooner or later, locates all the right tools, newspaper for the floor, brushes and rollers, painter's tape, and pans to pour the paint in for said rollers. Then he even pours the paint in the pan on my behalf and maybe even makes a couple of swipes with a brush around the woodwork and light switches to get me started. Which reminds me, he also has to do the taping.

After I see that these things are on a roll, I'm less overwhelmed, I feel release and relief and I just paint. It's still not something I love, but I feel freed up somehow, able to engage and move my arms and just keep going with all the tools around me. At this point, I don't mind the task as much as I thought I would.

I think this is what God does with the creative spirit. If we get out of the way, we're able to do what we were made to do. If we get out of the way, he's able to come up the stairs with all the tools we need. If we stop thinking about how long it's going to take or all the details involved, he can't inspire. If we're thinking too hard when we're writing for instance, we only come up with contrived words that frustrate us with how terrible they are. But if we trust that the tools are being provided, just like I trust Ryan to give me what I need to start painting, I trust that I have what I need, and I just write.

There's a spiritual thing that happens from this vessel of our souls, a freedom that comes with the belief in provided tools. Then we paint beautifully and love the endless repetitive sameness of the writing task.

I thought about this after I took the boys to the lake yesterday. Because even though I wanted to sit and force myself to write, my head was too full and my frustration level too high. And I knew the lake was what they needed and maybe that is why the experiences of the day ended up being just the tools I needed to write from my heart-gut. Maybe doing something for someone else is often the inspiration that we need.

The water and the sky and the fun my boys were having were all filled with inspiration, climbing into my toolbox soul, for later, when the words poured to the page, prepared in advance for me.


I don't know why this photo rotated itself, but I guess it looks kinda cool,
so I'm leaving it. Sometimes we just have to leave things the very way they come out.



{This post is a part of Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chatting at the Sky.}

20 clicked right here to comment:

Mommy Words said...

What a great post and an inspiration for me to let my creative self rule for a little and to actually start some things. I think I too could paint if hubs even got it taped. That is the worst part!

deb said...

fabulous, as always Heather.
and I 'm going to take away from it some things I need.
Unless I've actually taken an English course, or learned about sentence structure and designed an office and organized book clubs and....

I think I just need to write.

becca said...

I love when writers recognize the Divine help - that Someone is there to set us up when we get ourselves out of the way. That humility (or understanding, or recognition, call it what you will) enables creation, even if we're just putting down the words/story/paint/image that already exists, spiritually, and waits for our willing hands.

Christine said...

Sometimes when I'm unsure, I just close my eyes and let it come. I focus on nothing and then I'm filled with everything. Sometimes. I'm only learning. I want to take it so many places, this new awareness that doing nothing really is doing so much.

Have you read Seeking Peace by Mary Pipher? I'm just finishing it. SO SO good. I highly recommend it.

Shaina said...

Thank you for this. I needed it.

Heather said...

I wish I lived closer, I love to paint.

And sometimes you just have to sit back and let things happen on their own, just a bit, then you can finish.

xo

Cassandra Frear said...

Actually, the photo looks better rotated.

Painting is a huge job. It's always hard for me to take the plunge into it.

I think you may like my Monday post -- about persistence, resistance, and grace on the other side of it.

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

Hey sister. I painted my kitchen a few weeks ago, for the third time. Guess what? I hate it. Yep. So now I'm going to repaint it. But first I'm getting beadboard backsplashes put in. Yeehaw! Anyway, I don't know what my point is.

But I think when you said something about doing for others? YES. I get that.

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

This really hit home with me today. I'm always struggling, in my head, about what to do next. Ways that I can financially help my family, while staying at home. But they all seem so overwhelming and time consuming, so I never start. I think that I need to just sit back, and let God lead me.

Jenn said...

Heather, I love the story of Ryan getting you started and then how you paralleled that into God giving us the tools we need to be creative. I needed to hear this. Thanks!

a云c2v吳c9f8文sagd1 said...

出遊不拘名勝,有景就是好的..................................................................

Alita- Da Mainiacs said...

Letting God lead is always the answer. We do it in little ways every day.

Great shot! I like it just the way it is.

Corinne said...

Yes yes yes :)
(have you read "If You Want to Write" by Brenda Ueland? If you haven't, read it. Like.. now.

Elaine A. said...

"...when the words poured to the page, prepared in advance for me."

And pour they did, so beautifully. I love your analogy about God and the tools. So lovely...

Studio JRU said...

So beautifully said! Trust, trust, trust! What a cutie you have... great shot! :)

~Jennifer

Casey Freeland said...

Ryan's a good guy. :). Our house is forever unfinished... after ten years. So I hear ya.

Casey

Mommyfriend Lori said...

Let it come to you, embrace it. Love your post, I am the exact same way.

charrette said...

Pure truth. I have to work so hard to get my students to have the courage to let go! And it is definitely a spiritual process.

Mom to a Preschooler said...

I am happy I found this post because it just hits me to the core. When my head is so clouded, it's so difficult to accomplish tasks. I think I also need to go elsewhere so that I can better handle things. Thanks for this post.

Jessica said...

Yes, this is exactly what I am needing- a little creative inspiration and a lot of gettin' out of the way :-) Great post as always!

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