I've been reading A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman of Chatting at the Sky. I started it a well over a year ago after hearing her speak and being given a copy. It isn't an easy read, but it is such a good one. In it Emily Freeman explains that God is a creative God and has made each of us in his image--an artist. Our art reveals a small part of His nature. Perhaps our art is the traditional kind--painting, drawing, music. Or perhaps we are called to show God's glory in accounting. Or Teaching. We all have art, and each of us is called to make that art a little differently. There are A Million Little Ways for us to show the glory of God.
As I read the first portion of the book I struggled to see where my art fit in. I like to draw, but drawing isn't my calling. I sew beautiful things, but it isn't something I must do. I like to blog, but blogging isn't a primary ministry outlet. There are many things I enjoy doing, but few of them are drives the way that Emily Freeman describes.
And then it hit me, around page 91, my art is right in front of me every day. My art is covered in jam and oatmeal, and marker art from yesterday evening. Mothering is my art. My children are the canvas upon which I show the glory of God. Sometimes being a mother means I sew cute things for my girls, or write a blog post, or take marker in hand and show my daughter how to draw a person (or, more often, every person in our family and extended family with "ABCD names" right beside). But those things are not my art, they are expressions of it. Mothering is the art.
This morning I was thinking about this as I began my day. The children were still in bed, and after yesterday it was easy to think of mothering as an art. I had the most pintrest worthy morning yesterday. I got up early and drank my coffee while reading a few pages of a Christian classic. I had breakfast on the table in time for the family to eat together. My husband had a homemade lunch to take to work. I worked on Bible verses with the children, complete with handmotions. I taught my oldest to balance on a balance beam. We learned about Noah while coloring pictures of Noah's ark. we spent time outside. We went to the store. Yesterday morning was art, if ever mothering was art.
The baby woke up while I was thinking these things. I got her up and as I was walking to the kitchen felt something run down my leg. In the time it took to walk to the kitchen the diaper had exploded and was running down my leg. Did I mention we're on day 6 of norovirus (for her--she's the last to catch it) and I've been changing poopy diapers nearly every hour? Nursing around the clock? Yeah. Baby cried for the next 3 hours. I never put her down. It wasn't a pintrest worthy morning. It wasn't a blog-worthy morning. It was a down-in-the-trenches, jaw gritted, holding on till naptime sort of morning.
When I'm a pintrest mom it's easy to see how my mothering is art. It's a little harder to see the art when the baby is crying and I can't decide which poo to clean up first. Sometimes art gets messy--but messy, imperfect art is still art. An artist can't throw in the towel every time their art doesn't turn out just the way they envisioned--any artist knows it NEVER comes out entirely perfect. We just keep making art, keep reflecting God's glory, even when it isn't exactly how we'd had in mind. And that's okay.
What is your God reflecting, messy, beautiful art?