by Michel Van Devender

Getting To The Masterpieces Can Be Messy… 

My kids are and continue to be my wisest and greatest teachers. I’ve always believed God pairs us with the children we have, for a reason! They guide and lead us to the areas of ourselves where we need to learn, stretch and grow as people and as parents. Sometimes, my kids are shining bright lights on my undeveloped parts or beating on the most obnoxious percussion instruments trying to get my attention, both literally and figuratively. Even with these bold, and most often annoying signs, I don’t always see or hear the message. But over time, the signs accumulate and manifest as patterns, persisting… thank you God! As the meaning becomes clear, it is difficult to ignore and in need of my focus and attention. And yes, it usually requires some work. 

Case in point… this sweet, little guy is bursting with artistic passion and expression, leaving behind a trail of the magic of his mind. It usually looks like a #$@% storm hit the interior of our house! Many times, the magic leads to a tangible outcome, like this colorful, cherished painting. Other times, there’s a pile of seemingly unrelated toys, craft supplies and disassembled electronic components, scattered about. If you look closely though, there’s beauty in both – the painting and the pile. It’s all part of learning and the creative process. My need for visual organization and order can be an obstacle to giving him the freedom to explore. Anyone else out there like this? Of course, I might add, this doesn’t mean that we don’t teach cleaning up after yourself and organization as those have their place too – pun intended! However; I am learning that perhaps I can stretch and develop a greater threshold for the chaos and disordered. Yes, this means embracing the mess, and not just the clutter of cumulative, material possessions that come with three kids. I am still learning to embrace the beautiful chaos of little and big creative hands AND of life! It may be a lifelong challenge for me, but I’m okay with that and will aim for steady progress. 

It’s in these small, every day, mundane moments, living life with my kids that my heart is filled with overwhelming love and gratitude, I know that just like with art, the process of getting to the masterpieces of our lives is an imperfect, messy journey. Thank you for the lesson Silas! I love you my sweet, curious, creative boy. You are beautiful, exactly the way you are!


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