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Racine, WI 53405

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Keeping Our Center ~ Day 134

One of the ways I’ve embraced “isolating” at home is that I’ve been taking a watercolor class of sorts. My dad used to be a wonderful watercolor artist and I’ve always loved the medium in general, but never had the time or courage to try it myself. Now, I’m nowhere close to wanting to share my paintings, but I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned (or been reminded) about life along the way.

First, I’ve discovered that watercolor painting requires a great deal of patience. While some people tell me I have a great deal of patience, I wouldn’t put it in my top five attributes! 

When painting in watercolor, I’ve learned that sometimes it is imperative to stop and let it dry when things start to go wrong. To me that feels completely counter-intuitive. When things start to look wrong, I want to fix it immediately, but the more I add water, or paint, the worse it gets! Last week I had to scrap a painting and start over because I ruined it so badly. The better bet is to take a deep breath, let it dry, then a little while later look at it with fresh eyes and try again. 

Life really isn’t so different. Sometimes when I’ve screwed up, I want to push and push until it’s better, fixed, healed. I can be the same way about a sermon, wanting to push through when I get writers block or it isn’t coming together well. Or about an argument that Julie and I have (not that we argue much), but I want it worked out immediately.

It’s hard to remember that some things take time, and that is okay. I’ve found much benefit in taking a deep breath, and stepping back for some perspective. I walk outside to check out my vegetable garden, a make a snack, I just do something completely different for a bit. Some things even require a good night’s sleep! This actually works in relationships, too, even though we often hear the phrase, “Don’t go to bed angry.” Agree to come back to the discussion after some sleep, a break, and hopefully a fresh perspective. But I digress.

Here’s my point. Practice patience. Patience with ourselves. Patience with others. Sometimes solving the problems in our lives goes much better if we don’t try to force something to be better instantaneously.

I’ll share the second thing I learned in watercolor class tomorrow!

Love & Light!