December 8

All Things New

Wreath road kill.

That’s what it was.

When I first drove by it on the way to 1910 last Sunday, I said out loud, “Oh, that looks like mistletoe.”

After leaving service, I slowed just enough to see that it was in fact, a Christmas wreath. I’ve been pining for a solid green one from Wayfair for weeks now, one I could use year round, but it was more like $59 dollars. And free is fabulous.

Certain that the heavenly hallelujah choir of angels above would protect me on RR 474, I pulled the car over, ran out into the street, snatched it up off the highway and skipped joyfully back to the car without getting run over by all the people rushing to the 11:30 service.

A few days later, I was dropping off packages of baking mix for a few people in Alamo Heights and found a wood serving tray and a plant stand on the curb and threw those in too.

Next, I went to drive-by a home Mary Louise might be interested in and struck curb-side street gold. Pilfering through the pile of goodies, I spotted two must-have ceramic salamanders, a shade-less lamp, another serving tray and two incredibly cool wood end tables that would paint-up perfectly. My friend Kathy is an expert furniture restorer. She uses the Annie Sloan milk paint and creates pieces of art for her home and consignment.

She is teaching me, but at this point, I am much more skilled at channeling Fred Sanford while rummaging through other people’s garbage.

I’ve started painting the two tables French linen and learned a knock-down technique that lets a little bit of the original wood peak through. It’s like original sin, but prettier.

And that’s what I think I’m loving so much about this new hobby. Everything I do turns my heart back to God. I lightly sand the top and remember how rough my edges have been. I see the spots that still need a little more attention. Every step, like every paint stroke, makes the masterpiece look a little different than it did before.

We are complicated. There are layers. Many, many layers.

I love the idea of restoration, but I’m not good at the finicky details of sanding, staining, and the patience it takes to pull off endless coats of poly finish. The milk paint technique gives me the freedom to create the way I really am, a little off and imperfect in so many places.

Flawless is an unworthy struggle to strive for, and impossibly hard to obtain anyway.

It feels unauthentic and glossed over like the Christmas party conversations I will likely avoid again this year. Mostly, to me, they feel as fluffy and clean as the snow that fell a few inches onto my Texas yard last night. I want to know what’s really happening, not the mail-out version to family and friends.

Real, unexpected beauty is so spectacular.

The snowfall was incredible, just beautiful, and I am at a loss to describe what I felt when I first looked out the window to see that blanket of white.

Child-like wonder.

And I crave to be around the people who can love and accept the truth of an imperfect story and the messiness of fresh yellow stains after walking the dogs.

Life is not a picture perfect postcard.

But it is a joy. And it is a wonder to watch when God does something amazing, unexpected and shows us so magically what it looks like to be fresh, clean, new…restored.




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Posted December 8, 2017 by in category "Uncategorized