Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wax on, Wax off....

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

I have some projects that I am working on and you may already be aware of them. The first is to learn to play the piano. I've been working on that project for 4 years now. I still have a long way to go but I am enjoying the journey. I finally got a semi decent recording of my recent recital piece called Scherherazade by N. Rimsky-Korsakov. I would have been thrilled if I had played it this well for recital last week. Sadly I got lost after the first page and never really recovered. Thankfully I played the my arrangement of Be Thou My Vison well enough. I think my bigger goal is to be able to write and arrange music on the piano. Four years ago I was at a big Christian women's conference and the only thing I really remember it that during it God spoke to my heart to call my friend Kirsten to take piano lessons. I was really hoping that God would just download the piano playing ability - kind of like they do in the movie the Matrix. While there are gifts that the Holy Spirit does give us even they often require some faith and practice to understand and operate in fully.  Piano has been more like one of the fruit of the spirit in my life. Those kind of things one must grow in ones life. For most of us the fruit of patience is not an automatic thing and if we are honest love has to grow. Just because God calls or tells you to do something does not necessarily mean it will be easy. There are things that we have to pursue, practice and stick with doing over a long long time to finally master.

My other big current project is a painting that I am working on. I have not seriously painted in 30 years. So this project is kind of experimental. In the photo here you see the face of the sun which is morphed version of my friend / clients great grand child into the sun. I have painted the nose I think about 6 times now trying to get it right.  I had done the eyes using another photograph and was using these in the photo to get a better handle on the nose and mouth.  I think I'm getting close. Even so I will probably take a break from the face and move on to some of the other elements of the painting. You can see my on going progress reports at http://mosaic-margot.blogspot.com/ There are times when I get stuck in projects and have to stop, pray and do something else until the Lord shows me the way forward. When I reach the edge of my abilities in a given task I look to Him to help me see what eles I could do, or how I might do something a little differently to achieve more satisfying results. Sometime it is good to do what you can and simply go to bed and get a good night sleep and look at things with a fresh perspective in the morning. These are things that I apply to all of life not just painting and music. I approach the challenges of life in much the same way as I approach art and music. I realize that it takes on going persistence and work to make relationships work. I realize that most problems are not solved in 30 minutes like the tv constantly leads us to believe. When I get stuck in life, I pray and do some thing else in an active kind of waiting while wait for the Lord to show me the way forward. How many times has God helped me re-paint my own nose because it was out of joint and my attitude was all wrong. Really, I get the message. It reminds me of that old movie the Karate Kid  - wax on, wax off, seemed a silly exercise to the kid but the master knew he needed to develop those muscles through use and repetition. 
Sometimes the things that we are doing don't make sense to us, they seem like silly busy work, kind of chores. Its often later down the road that we realize that those things were part of the wax on, wax off repetitions that allow us to be ready for the real challenge.

This blog has been an on going project for me. The idea of doing anything daily is a stretch for me. I am a pretty spontaneous, moved by inspiration kind of gal. Dailyness has been a discipline that I have needed to grow and develop. I'm sure some of you who have been reading for a while are thinking spelling and punctuation are things I should work on as well. I thank you for your patience. In my mind I am looking at this as the first pass. I am more concerned with the content than the perfection of the page at this point. I plan to go back and edit all of this for a published version. That is a journey and where it will go is still to be discovered. I suppose developing a following of people who are interested and encouraged by what I have to say is also part of the project. Maybe the building a following of people that are being encouraged is more important than a published book. I don't know at this point, and I don't know what I will do when I reach 365 posts of my initial goal of writing a year long daily devotional. Often the initial reasons for a project grow along with the project and my understanding of Gods greater purpose becomes revealed as I progress along in the project. I have found that God does not usually give me the next step till I get close to it.  

Another project is my patio. I got material to cover all the patio furniture cushions.  It is becoming a nice space to be. We also enclosed the dog yard. Now the dogs can be out with out getting all tangled up on everything. It was nice to be able to be out in the patio area for mothers day.

We are nearing the end of the school year. Which usually means things get crazy busy with all the final programs, activities, work and things that are quickly coming to an end for the year.  My kids do part home schooling and are part of an educational co-op through the Spokane School system. What that means for us is 2 days at school and 3 days of work at home. This year they both took some on-line classes and have pretty much worked on those on the 3 at home days. Can I say .... I'm ready for summer?

Like you I have numerous things going on. I do try to evaluate the projects that I take on to make sure that it is really something that I need to do. I only have so many hours in a day and so some things will happen little by little over time. I have found that when I get too busy and don't allow for down time and my quiet time with the Lord that the creativity gets lost in the busyness and tiredness. So I have learned to guard and protect that time each day because everything else springs from that time.

I pray that you will be aware of the Lords presence through out your day. That you will take the time to allow him to be part of what you are doing. I pray that he will help you sort out what things are really yours to do, and what thing you need to release. I pray that he will give you the grace to know the difference. I pray that he will help you to stick with the things that he has given you that feel like they are just tedious wax on, wax off kind of tasks. I pray that even now he will help you look back and remember other similar things that he has helped you to develop that are serving you well today. 

 E-mail folks - there is a video that goes along with this post so click the title and head back to my site to hear it.

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