Monday, May 28, 2012

My Cluttered Corner

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life 
and godliness through our knowledge of him 
who called us by 
his own glory and goodness.

Today is Monday on a holiday weekend and I am looking forward to not having to work today and having some time to paint and maybe organize my wreck of a desk.  I'll post a photo - but I'm embarrassed that it has gotten to such a state. I suppose it is evidence that I have a few things going on in my life in a very little amount of physical space. Mosaics happen along side of my job listening to files, home schooling, church stuff, coaching stuff, writing, painting. Sometimes it all gets a bit out of control and messy. 

As a kid my mom gave up on trying to order my room and we had a policy of just shutting the door. She knew I would get to it eventually. My oldest child is much like me in the "creativity looking for a place to happen" department. He does try to clean but in the midst of cleaning he will become captivated by something he finds and gets side tracked and soon has forgotten about cleaning and is deeply into a project of some sort.  We just shut the door.

It amazes me that out of such a disaster area like my desk, come beautiful mosaics, writing, and other things I'm working on and now painting. You can see on the right is the update of that painting project. I have mainly been working on populating the space with people. If you look closely you can see that most are painted in at this point. The children playing by the waters edge are just paper cut outs. I had a friend look at it before I started painting in the people. I had various figures taped in place trying to decide if I liked them or not. I go searching for models on the internet or I go find and take of photo of what I need and I cut them out of their backgrounds and and stick them into mine. It gives me the shapes and movements and I change things like the colors of the clothes and the hair. This whole picture is made up of little snippits that I first seamed together in photo shop and now am adding to with paper cut outs.

I look at the state of my desk and often wonder if my heart looks like that to Jesus. I've got a lot gong on there too. I'm sure my scattered approach to life would make most linear folks loose their marbles.
I do try to set up systems to manage my stuff. Sometimes they work -

I guess my goal is not to keep a Better Homes and Gardens picture perfect, guest ready environment.
I'm far more interested in really living and creating and I've found that both are messy. I'm more interested in the things that I'm creating, knowing that in some un inspired moment I'll go back and tackle the mess I've made along the way and regroup for the next wave of inspiration.
I'm sure I must have some form of OCD - obsessive creative disorder. Our society seems to have a disorder for everything any more. Sometimes I think it is all an effort to make us all fit into some preconceived box of what "good people" look like. I refuse to fit in a box and or to don a disorder label. We all have our handi caps and scars. I refuse to play the part of the victim and choose rather to play the part of the overcomer. Great stories are written about those who overcome great odds and difficulties and manage to make something out of what they have to work with. Stories are not written about those who sit in the corner feeling sorry for themselves and blaming everyone else for their problems. I think God provides exactly the challenges we each need to mold and shape us into the people he desires for us to become.

I guess I look at life from the perspective of what I've managed to accomplish in spite of the challenges, obstacles, things that seem to be missing.  One friend described me as prolific, in the sense of "producing in large quantities or with great frequency; highly productive, profusely productive or fruitful." I guess I look at it more as little by little day by day I am expressing the stuff that is happening on the inside in various ways. Some things can't find words and they find their way out in paint, other things have color, texture and brokenness and come out in mosaics. Some things can find words and come out in songs, devotional posts and journals. Sometimes I can manage to speak but that is much harder for me. If you ask me to tell you what to pray for me I usually can't find the answer to give in that moment. If you simply ask me to pray they Holy Spirit causes all the stuff I am feeling to some how come out in eloquent words.  If you ask me a question about my past or my hopes and dreams I can't usually find words because I see both in little snippets like the ones in my painting and I can't generally make sense of it all in words.  Its a tapestry of sorts and if I look too closely all I see is the messy knots, so I have to remember to step back and see the bigger picture.  At the same time I try to be careful with the big picture because it can become overwhelming to see too much of what God is doing and it is easy to get frozen by fear and doubt or even in the process of trying to understand and sort it all out. So I may take little peeks at the big picture but I quickly return to doing the things that are in my immediate view today. Here's the next step in "project me", just take the next little step. Song of Solomen 2: 8-10 says Listen! My lover!
Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.
My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me."
It is He who gives us the divine power to leap and bound over the difficulties and obstacles. He who gives the power and the courage to take that next step and then the next.
He says to you and to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me."  
He never expects for you to do it alone, he says come with me, and we will do it together. 

I make an effort to spend very little time worrying and try to put that energy to better use. When I don't understand and need to process or am tempted to worry, I find things to work on and keep myself busy. I do the things that I can, given the resources that I have at my disposal in a given moment. I trust that I will have what I need to do the things that God has called me to do when those things need to be done. Sometimes I need to have days like today where I can stop, rest, regroup, and try and make sense of the little snippets that have come to my attention. My life is much like a painting if something isn't working I adjust, change and try it a different way. Just because something has not worked it does make me a failure, I'm a work in process and so are you.

Dear Lord, Thank you that you have given each of us our own set of gifts, talents and challenges. Help us to figure out how to put those things to use in our own lives. Help us to be the people you have designed and created us to be.  Help us realize that it is often the challenges, and the handicaps that push us to become who you intend us to be. It is those very things that provide the needed pressure to cause us to change and develop.

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