When it comes to fleshing out ideas for a story or a drawing, I often need to ruminate over the slightest spark of a thought.
Put the pot on and let it simmer. I can try to hurry it along a bit, like stretching a just-washed sweater over a drying rack, pulling and twisting it into shape…but I know it will probably just bounce back. Or end up, lifeless and baggy. Until it’s… time.
I was starting to bite my nails a bit last week though when I had just a firefly glimmer of a plan and only a few days to go until a baby shower for one dear as a niece friend. Could I really complete a drawing and have it framed and back in my hands on time to give? Lord, please give me some fuller ideas, I asked (a tad anxiously).
So far…I knew I wanted to incorporate a line of a song I’ve always loved…as I have for past mother-to-be gifts. An endearing verse about a mom who tells her little boy, “you my son shall blossom, as the newborn flowers below… I will be your raindrops, you will be my rose…” – and one that I could reword slightly to fit boy or girl still unknown. But I didn’t want to make the same exact piece I drew years ago for this friend’s aunt and a few others…
Then…ummmm… an image of someone holding a newborn filled my mind… another little scrap of an idea…
Maybe if I found the kind of pretty white frame I’d been sort of envisioning… one that had a slight curve to it… it might bring a picture into focus, I thought. But browsing, I just wasn’t finding anything… until my eyes fell on the kind of frame I usually hate. One of those collage types, with several different-sized cutouts. I don’t know why, but they always strike me as faddish, and… well, just sort of tacky. And I really wanted something more… classic.
But this one had the curvy lines I was envisioning, enticing me. I contemplated the collage design. One large rectangle in the middle, two tiny squares on either side… Maybe I could work with that idea…
I remembered recently thumbing through an old issue of a magazine favorite…Victoria… and stumbling upon a new to me quote. A charmer…from Victorian author George Eliot. (Hmm… the authoress of literary fame who took a man’s pen name?) Suddenly, I could see those words in one of the little squares… and the verse about the rose in another. Maybe that sketch of a mom holding her newborn in a third, with the spotlight on the baby…
But… what about the large center rectangle? I picked up the frame, traced out the squares on my art pad, filled in the verses, drew the hands holding the baby… But… now what?
I’d been flipping through magazines, looking for inspiration. A child’s dresser and a pretty chair? No. A rocking horse? No. It was all just…too… nothing. Maybe I needed to get a backup plan. Like maybe some onesies.
Stop thinking about it. Just take a walk.
Outside, putting my prayers elsewhere, a photo image of a quaint cottage gate I’d noticed in Victoria suddenly breezed through my mind. That gate would make a great addition to a theme I have in mind for some other drawings… I speculated. I’d have to go pull it out and save it…
Why not make that the center of this drawing now? came an out of the blue sky idea.
Hmmm? How might that work? The gate did have the feel of an old storybook. Kind of what I had in mind for this piece. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it!
I felt it then… it was time. All the missing pieces of that firefly idea, making me exhilarated to get back to it…
Like stepping out in faith…
Yes… when maybe we only have one step that seems clear, You don’t always reveal until we begin, do you, Lord?
I looked at the sunlight filtering lacy patterns through trees around me and imagined His smile at that question. I always wish I could see more of the plan up front, but His ways of revealing a little at a time are like lights of grace…
The whole picture in mind now, my fingers were flying then… When it was done, I just couldn’t make myself cut up the pieces to fit the collage frame, so I headed to a different store. And found… it. So nearly exactly the one of my dreams, I almost breathed out OH!
(Click to view larger)
It is in the simple, winsome moments like these... when the Creator of the World shows me — if He is so intimately involved even in the planning of a gift like this… down to the nth detail of a sweet and charming frame…wanting it to touch the receiver even as I do — how much MORE He is moving upon the deeply pressing concerns I am lifting before Him these days.
And I catch a bit of His heartbeat for us. He knows the picture before we do… He takes each of our prayers, weaves each tapestry thread exquisitely, is even now filling in the light… rising His Glory upon us… guiding and inspiring even when we think we are alone…
In every overwhelming heartfelt prayer you are lifting up. For the one who needs healing. The one who feels hopeless.
Step by step, He shows us the way…one by one, like the stars come out.
© Pam Depoyan
NOTE: The image of the framed drawing is under my copyright (please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar. )