You’ve got a lot of problems…

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Ps 19_13“Mum, you’ve got a lot of problems that you need to sweep away”

Wha? How could my 3-year-old have such insight into the blackness of my heart?!!

“Yes, I want to draw with chalk but can you sweep away the leaves?”

Oh. She’s talking about the front deck. Ha ha… phew.

Our rule governing the use of sidewalk chalk is that it needs to be a sunny day. Today is a gorgeous spring day and, she is right, it’s perfect for some chalk artworking.

I grabbed the box of chalk and we walked out to the glorious sunshine covered deck.

“But M-aawwww-m (switching to her american accent), I can’t draw with it this way. Can you sweep the dirt away?”

Hmmm, I know how she feels. In my life, I crave a clean canvas. There’s nothing worse than trying to build something beautiful in my life when there’s a pile of dirt and junk there. Like the junk of the judgement of a person who has seen me at my worst. Or the dirt of an apology I refuse to give. Or the debris of bitterness. Or the carnage left behind when I try to be my own god.

Sometimes it would be nice just to go someplace new and start over with people who have no history with me. Except, I’d also be losing the beautiful artwork of my life. Like the sisterhood I have with women who love who I am. And the fruit of investments in the lives around me. And the new growth planted in the soil of forgiveness. And the standing stones that display God’s amazing work in and through my life.

My sweet daughter, if only I could sweep away my problems but nothing I do in my own strength lasts. With God, however, I have found what you’re looking for:

Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin. Psalm 19:13

He sweeps me clean and adorns me with beauty.

How are you? Craving a clean canvas? What is your journey in this?

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11 responses »

  1. I don’t comment enough about your blogs and todays was good. I really liked the metaphor of artwork to relationships, it took a little different look for me. The many activities of daily life are often the junk that is in the way and moving that out of the way or making it not be the defining part of your day is something I work on regularly because the beauty of the relationships I am building cannot shine through if I don’t. We all need to stop and enjoy the chalk art in our lives! That beautiful daughter of yours is wise beyond her years! The great thing about a relationship with Jesus is that the relationship does not disappear after rain or foot traffic!

  2. I enjoy reading your post. I love how you use the word “artwork” as a metaphor to describe relationships.

    Thanks for sharing! May God bless you richly.

    • Thank you for pointing that metaphor out! I hadn’t really thought about it on a deep level like that. You stirred my heart and mind to think about the masterpieces of my relationships. What a gift they are. I think this will help me see beauty in some relationships I haven’t given much value to.

  3. Oh my…. Justine, your words have spoken straight to my heart today. Just attempted to write a big long paragraph explaining why, but I think I just need to go straight to Jesus for that right now. He’s calling. THANK YOU for your words, beautful sister. Bless you.

  4. It always amazes me that the deeply profound things God is doing inside me can be stated with beautiful simplicity….yep. Craving a clean canvas is a great way to describe it !

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