pursuing simplicity, creating humbly, loving furiously

Why Every Parent Should Pick Up A Paintbrush


Anger, frustration, and disappointment are always the easiest response to a child who chooses sin, it comes spilling out, boiling over from the heart, a toxic wasteland…

After early baths all the kids were ready for bed so we could have a nice, quiet, peaceful night.  the third night of being home alone with the kids, that is count them, 72 blissful hours alone on the farm with 4 kids, 18 birds, and 7 cats.  I was counting the hours until dad arrived home.  As the kids were rough housing around on the floor (yes, quiet and peaceful of course) I began to smell a smell around my newly bathed daughter.  When I inspected further I realized that she had a pull-up FULL of urine.  Now, the fact that she is six and we are still struggling with through the night potty issues is enough to make me feel defeated, but when I realized that she had simply decided to potty in her pull up out of mere CONVENIENCE, I lost it and anger spewed out of my threatened and discouraged heart.  I held that pull up to her face and told her in no uncertain terms how disappointed I was with her behavior and then sent her to bed.

Wounds, seared into her little heart because I let anger lead….

I know.

After calming down I went in and apologized for my outburst, assured her of my love, and wished that I could take it all back and have a redo.  Now, I didn’t dismiss her behavior because her choice of laziness over responsibility needed to be addressed, but more than that she needed me to see PAST her failures to her BRILLIANT FUTURE.

She needs ME to see it because I am pretty sure she has no idea how amazing she really is.

In her blindness she needs a picture of current hope and future joy painted for her.

Don’t we all long for someone to do this for us?

I am an adult and most days my vision is blurry too, isn’t all of ours?  We have a hard time pushing past our inadequacies and failures to see the good God wants and wills in our lives.  If we struggle to see it, how much more do they?



Our children need us to paint a picture of their present worth and their future value, because when it is on a canvas that eyes can see, their hearts can start to believe it too.

We are our children’s ARTIST’s.  They look to us to paint that picture, and we should be painting a BEAUTIFUL ONE.

Using the dark parts, the hard lines, the things that smear and smudge to illuminate the bright and beautiful of their lives.



Last time, I BLEW IT.  I smudged that thing up so dark and dreary that no one could see the good in any of it.  When her little heart drifted to sleep she was LESS sure of herself, thanks to me.  That is the heart wrenching consequence of anger unleashed.

So, while I wish I had a redo, I am thankful to the Lord for the process and the revelation.  And I, knowing my role as the artist, have to live in the truth that there are days that I can’t see anything but the dark lines of the picture.  I am too close to the canvas, the work seems too hard and beauty is illusive.  And on those days I have to yield to the real Artist who is painting her life’s work.

The Father, with paint brush in hand, is never short of beauty, joy, and hope.



He has the perfect perspective and isn’t caught up in all the dark stuff, because He is light.  I just need to ask to see as He does, for Him to take a strong hold of my heart and my hand and teach me to paint.  Because it is privilege to be the painter, the tangible hand that can edit the lines, draw out beauty, and set before my children a vision of hope and the promise of a glorious future.


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