You know what I’ve always wanted to be good at?
I love art. I think it’s beautiful how someone can take a picture in their head and transfer it over onto a canvass or sheet of paper.
I love how people use it to express emotions and relive good memories, or just use it in whatever way they see fit.
It’s so beautiful, but unfortunately, the artistic gene never manifested itself in my life.
I remember in middle school art class when the teacher would come and look at everybody’s stuff, she’d say stuff like, “Good job; maybe just shade a little more here and [insert other artsy recommendations here].”
Then she’d get to me.
I think she only complimented my art one time in my art class career. Mostly she just grabbed my brush or whatever we were using and started to work over my stuff to help me out a little.
Years later, my sister and my mother were going to attend one of those art classes and invited me along. I said no because I’m terrible at it and I wasn’t going to bother trying and inevitably embarrassing myself.
However, not too long after this I did attend an art class due to the prodding of my mom.
The class was fun, if a bit stressful to me because I just kept thinking, “I need to make sure it looks good. It needs to look just like the instructors.”
As the instructor was making her rounds, she came up to me, looked at my work and said that it was looking good but it was too neat.
“Don’t be afraid to get a little messy with it.” she’d said.
And you know what, she was right. When I stopped focusing on making it perfect, and instead got a little messy with it, it looked so much better.
When I reflected on this moment later, I realized how this can apply in our lives. At least, for me.
I’m a perfectionist, so I’m always working to make sure something is perfect. And when I don’t feel it will be perfect, I push it off to the side and procrastinate on it.
But not everything is going to be perfect.
Sometimes, you have to get a little messy.
When you watch those home makeover shows, they often have to dig everything out to make it look better.
They have to make a mess in the process to get to where they need to be.
It’s part of the process.
And oftentimes in life, things won’t look perfect. Things won’t go as planned. But that doesn’t mean we don’t move forward in life. That doesn’t mean we don’t try new things.
Life is messy, but we can’t be so afraid to get messy that we miss out on life.
So I encourage you today to ask yourself this: what have I been holding back on? What have I been too afraid to do? What has my perfectionist qualities kept me from pursuing?
And finally ask yourself: is this something God wants me to do, to pursue, and to go after?
If the answer is yes, then move forward today! Don’t let these things hold you back.
Live the life God has for you, and don’t be afraid to get a little messy with it. In the end, God can take all of our efforts and make it into a masterpiece worth showing off. We just have to pick up the brush and start.
Maddisen Sauls is the smile and voice behind the Everyday Joy blog as well as the author of the Word of the Week posts and the editor of by leaps and bounds. Throughout her life, Maddisen has worked as a reporter for small town newspapers, a School Age and Preschool teacher, and has acquired her ministerial license.
An avid book reader and lover of the written word, Maddisen is passionate about using her favorite medium to reach the lost and the hurting, and to offer encouragement and hope to those struggling through life.
Following her battle with depression, Maddisen has made it her mission to help other people through this journey and to bring joy to the lives of the people around her.
You can find Maddisen on Instagram @maddisen.paige