ten on tuesday - 7
inquiring minds want to know (or...even with the door closed?)

how to actually make stuff (part 2)

McElman_070820_5354A®T glowing too     "T" DominicanaW0_006

(If you missed part one of this post you can read it and see the project I'm referring to {including a tutorial and printable pattern!}  here. :)

So why did it take me so long to do such an easy project??

What were the three things that the Lord showed me as I was praying about this?

Bead Letter ONsilver block e

You don't have to know *everything* before you start

This is actually what prompted me to start this project in the first place.  I was trying to figure out how I would even do this.  Staring at my kitchen thinking,

"How will I know how many flags to make?"

"What if I don't cut the right colors and patterns out and they don't go well together?"

"How will I attach them to the bakers twine?"


You get the idea. Often in the past I would procrastinate on a project because I couldn't think of *every* detail before hand. 

So as I was asking myself all these questions I just felt the Holy Spirit whisper, "you don't have to know everything before you start - just start"

Now those of you who don't know me very well (yet) may think it's weird that God would talk to me about a craft project, but I'm telling you right now, I talk to Him about *everything* all the time and He listens...and He answers (even about craft projects!  isn't He cool?).  And I try not to make anything off limits.

In fact, it's when I try to "compartmentalize" God (i.e. "this is spiritual stuff/this isn't") that I fail over and over again. 

And it's because I hadn't really thought this was important enough to talk to Him about for so long that I had been creatively stuck.

Not to say that I have mastered this and am in the midst of  some kind of creative jubilee (creative jubilee that's fun to say...ooooh maybe another blog...*LOL*) by any means, but I am really feeling Him speak to me lately about resting in Him in order to create the home and life that I know He wants for me.   


TWO - glowing             

It doesn't have to be perfect

It seems pretty obvious, but if you struggle with perfectionism (which I do and I no longer think of it as a good quality to have, but more of a character flaw) then it is anything but obvious or easy to accept. And actually both of  the other two "things that stop me" are really a part of this one.

Perfectionism is paralyzing.  It stops you from doing anything and everything, because let's face it, none of us is perfect (even Martha - gasp!).  I find myself frozen in the midst of projects frequently because of that feeling that it will not be perfect, it will not be good enough, so why try?  This of course  is completely irrational and the Lord has really been speaking to me about it and showing me the way to overcome it.

Perfection drives me to focus on myself, *my* efforts, *my* shortcomings, with nary a glance God's way.


God has been showing me lately that He has called us to be "whole" not perfect.  To be complete in Him.  1 John 4: 17 tells us,

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world." (KJV)

Did you get that?  We can have boldness in the day of judgement, not because we are good and perfect, but because He is good and perfect and as He is so are we in this world!

The God's Word translation puts 1 John 4:16 & 17 like this,

"We have known and believed that God loves us...God’s love has reached its goal in us. So we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment..."

You are complete in Him, you are complete in Him, you are complete in Him.  Just keep saying that over and over to yourself when that perfectionism raises it's head up at you.

{I have to tell you right now that I'm feeling ridiculous for writing this because I *really* really* struggle with this *all the time* -seriously - like *right* now 

while. I. am. writing. this. 

But the Lord has put it on my heart to lay this out there and maybe someone needs to read it or maybe *I* just need to be accountable to all of you! ha!)


So what does the Word of God say about this?

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
-Phil 4:6

What is perfectionism but an all-consuming anxiety

It is definitely not peace.  Peace comes when I take the control away from myself and lay it at the feet of Jesus, where it belongs.  What a promise.  I love the way "the message" puts it:

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

I let go of my anxiety, make my requests known to Him and then accept the fact that:

I can make something for my kitchen and it can be crooked, and not match and still be great.

I can make a dinner that isn't a complete representation of the food pyramid and my family can still enjoy it.

I can let my kids do school work in their pajamas - on the living room floor  -in between pillow fights - and they will *still* learn something.

I can clean *part* of the kitchen, *part* of the living room, and do *one* load of laundry and it will *still* bless my family.

{this list is making me cringe...I have so much work to do still}


It. doesn't. have. to. be. perfect. 

I am a flawed, imperfect, "have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" human being.

And that is o.k.

{could someone email me that tomorrow? }


T glowing tooHBead Letter REsilver block e             

Don't hoard the good stuff for later.  Use it now.

After I had fought past the urge to know it all and do it perfectly I went looking for the papers I wanted to use.

While I was gathering up all kinds of pretty pink & red scraps & sheets from my stash my inner "hoard monster" was very upset.  It really didn't want me to use *any* of my collection of papers.

Picture a cross between the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz (as she's melting) and Gollum from Lord of the Rings...you know kind of a screechy English accent... (I don't know why English, that just seems scarier, maybe if you are English it should be a screechy American accent, ha!)

    "Nooooooo not *that* one it's our last sheet!" (ewww...creepy...i just scared myself)

Ok, not really, but sometimes it feels like that...that fearful desire to keep the good stuff for later.

I have to keep reminding myself that,

"There are plenty more beautiful papers just waiting to be discovered,  Let's just make something pretty today.  Right now, with what we have."



The "hoard monster", that impulse to keep the good stuff for the perfect time, really is the enemy of creativity.  It creates a debilitating fear in us that demands that we

share nothing

make nothing

create nothing


This quote from Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Annie Dillard is one of my favorites.  It's about writing a book, but I think it applies equally to any type of creative process:


"One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. 

Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.

The impulse to save something good for a better place later is a signal to spend it now.

Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water.

Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive.

Anything you do not give freely and abundantly is lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes."

-Annie Dillard


Ideas, supplies (like fabric and paper), photos, blog posts, all those fun, creative things that we scribble down on pieces of paper or in the back of notebooks. Good stuff is supposed to be shared, given, used up...

  Jesus said,

"Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
    -Luke 6:38 (new living translation)

If you never sow the seeds you will never reap the harvest.  You'll just have a big collection of seeds, which by their nature are *dead*.  Seeds don't come alive until they're sown, cast into what seems like only so much mud.


But, oh the miracle of Spring!  When all that sowing and giving and pouring out of resources, ideas and heart comes to fruition!

I need to trust God that if I use up *all* of everything lovely that He has given me, He will replace it *all*, generously, as He has always done.

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion.  Being alive is a special occasion."
-Ann Wells

Another problem with "hoarding" is that life is short.  I might not ever *see* the day (the project, the chapter, the time) that I have imagined is worthy of whatever special thing I am saving...

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is."
-Psalm 39:4 (new living translation)

"Don't brashly announce what you're going to do tomorrow; you don't know the first thing about tomorrow."
-Proverbs 27:1 (the message)

...so it's important to use everything wonderful that God's given me, and to create fun things with my boys, and to try new ideas that would make our little home even homier. It's important to do it *now*. 


with what i have.

right now.

So there they are, the three things I need to do to actually make stuff instead of just thinking about it.

Just start doing it without all the answers.
Just start doing it  crooked and off center.
Just start doing it using all the good stuff.

And maybe read this post everyday.

Peace and Grace friends,


 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" -Philippians 1:6 (KJV)