I sold my couch and bookcases a couple of weeks ago. My beautiful solid wood dining set is being re-homed this weekend, along with the bed frame that didn’t fit the mattress upgrade I followed through with a year ago. I had forgotten what it’s like to live in transition and out of bags . . . fully unfolded into my fully furnished two bedroom apartment, taking up all of its space. I’ve written before about that lyric from Josh Pyke’s Leeward Side: one day you will unfold and fall into the untold . . . recently it’s coming out in colors I literally didn’t know I had in me. In praying two-ways one day, I felt the Lord impress to me that He wanted my soul to be a canvas. For all of the things I tend to take literally, this time I assumed it was a metaphor. But here I am sitting in an emptying apartment with dollar tree canvases and poster and foam boards and framed 8.5×11 abstract water colors I haven’t tired of looking at yet. Pigment on my typing fingers and three of a dozen brushes resting in a pool of cyan.

I’ve taken up painting. And a few extra pounds. And also, I’m moving West . . . not states away this time, but the other end of this county. The extra pounds are from a year of indulging in plenty and gluten and foods fried in vegetable oils. Plus batches of chocolate chip cookies as posted and shared {… you’re welcome}. And still not working out, ha. Five-to-ten pounds ago, I felt better than I had in a really long time, and felt the Lord nudging me to increase my physical activity. Given that I was so used to being or feeling “effortlessly” thin {as in, never sweating and walking-far more as a means to declutter my soul than to strengthen my core or exercise my heart muscle} I didn’t think much of it and did not prioritize consistency the way I should have. So now I miss my jawline. Ha. I’m confident, though, that with the Lord’s help {and my cooperation and obedience} I’ll get to a size that is not only comfortable and healthy, but maintained in a healthy way.

I had known before that perfectionism had manifested in restrictive eating habits and an overly-critical relationship with my body over the years, but I didn’t realize that what looked like a healthy or “ideal” size wasn’t actually being healthfully managed. I also didn’t realize that that my soul was so significantly restricted. I see bodies differently these days, and I see that giving birth to beauty calls for a fuller frame too sometimes. It’s like my soul expanded with my waistline, ha. Bigger breaths, deeper breathing, and so much fun with color all of a sudden.

It’s been so nice to have something quiet and messy and explosive to do that still ends up being . . . beautiful. Something that takes up space and resources and feels extravagantly privileged and abundant. It has also felt like the little by little stewardship principle that’s sprinkled throughout the bible . . . my one little elementary-level watercolor talent has turned into two.

This is not the first time I have picked up a brush and a notebook and a pan of 8 Crayola watercolors to relieve the stress of transition. But it is the first time I have felt my brush and eye be Guided as I lift up paper and canvas and poster-board to watch color chase running water. It’s the first time I’ve providentially stumbled upon on-clearance ounces of colorant in artsy little tubes and felt intentional . . . filling my space with risk and reward and populating my Insta-feed with carefully curated painting profiles I somehow relate to.

Becoming an artist is so much fun. God is so full of surprises.

. . . & &


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