Bathroom Art

Let me tell you about my bathroom art.

The first piece is one I forgot I even had, and only discovered it when packing for our move last year. Frame is a bit cheap, and the “mat” is drawn by hand with marker, but I love looking at this one.

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The second piece, entitled “Hope’s Drawing of Her Mom,” has a more modern look. Bold brushstrokes, vibrant color, and a startling likeness to the subject matter.

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The simple drawing of the five little girls in the tub came from my grandma’s house. My four sisters and I used to visit her, crowd her and Grandpa’s house with our bags, shoes, toys and noise. Leave our fingerprints on the windows and walls, our crumbs on the floor. I worried that maybe sometimes they didn’t want us there. That five little girls all at once was just TOO much. Then I’d see this picture hanging in her bathroom and I’d realize not only did she love us, she was proud of us, and thankful for us. And she wanted a reminder of us when we weren’t there. Looking at that piece of art made me feel cherished, and it still does.

The watercolor painting was, you probably guessed, done by one of my young daughters. It’s a portrait of me when I was eight months pregnant, and I love it. A friend saw this one hanging in my house once and said, “Couldn’t you have picked a more flattering picture to frame?” I just laughed. What looks like a pregnant muppet to everyone else just looks like love to me, created and given by sweet four-year-old hands.

A few nights ago as I brushed my teeth, I studied that drawing of the girls in the bathtub and thought about the impact that artist had on me. I doubt many know the name Julie Corsover. But her work has very special meaning to me. And I’m sure no one else is interested in the painting my daughter made for me, but again, it means a great deal to me.

We live in a “think big” world, where we derive value from the biggest splash we can make. We strive to impact, reach, influence, touch the greatest number of people we possible can. I’m no different. How I would love to see my books on library shelves all across the nation, to be like Harper Lee and write something that touches countless people. Not to say it’s wrong for me to have this lofty goal. The problem comes when I start to think that unless I’ve achieved this goal, all my writing is worthless.

Then there’s the conversation I  had with my friend Laura a few days ago. She was telling me about a friend who is preparing for work in the foreign mission field. I felt a stab of insignificance as we talked as I compared my life to this other person’s. My life’s work is not nearly so important as that. Becoming a full time missionary? That’s a BIG thing. That’s something that impresses people. Being a stay-at-home mom? Not so much.

But here’s the thing my bathroom art has reminded me: I have been called to be a mom, and a fledgling writer, and have been blessed with these jobs. They’re mine to throw my heart and soul into and do to His glory. It’s God’s to decide what fruit will be born from the seeds I sow. Who can know, in the end, what is more valuable or meaningful? To reach many with a big splash or to leave a lasting impression on just one?

Keep doing what YOU are called to do, invest your time and talents in those God has placed in your life. Then let Him decide whether your work will produce a quiet ripple, a big splash, or a tidal wave that brings glory to Him.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Bathroom Art

  1. Dang, that one choked me up a little, Deb. Kinda reminded me of that Mother Teresa quote, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” You surely live that, and who knows how your great love will impact all those in your life?

    Also, someday, when you’re famous, that pic of you by Hope will be on your wikipedia page. Not saying that’s a bad thing; frankly, I think it’s a stunning modernistic take on her subject. I’m just saying there’s a reason I have Cathy-on-a-Stick out there. 🙂

    1. I love that quote, Cathy! And I kept thinking of you as I wrote this post, and how much your Pixar writing tips blog post from a few weeks ago has helped me rethink the how’s and why’s of my writing. I copied the list out and hung it on my wall (bedroom, not bath!) and I think of you every time I see it!

  2. I’ve always loved that painting of Hope’s! And I couldn’t help but think of a passage while reading this. It’s one that I’ve drawn closer and closer to over the years: “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
    Who are we to decided what is “significant” or “insignificant” in the big scheme of things? If we do everything to His glory, is there really anything insignificant? Making toast or writing a best selling novel…to God be the glory!

    1. I need to remember that passage as well. Like you said, if we are living for His glory then our lives have meaning. And I have to say, I will never look at making toast the same way again! 🙂 Thanks for such a nice comment!

  3. Beautifully said, Debra. Your stories are always deep and filled with encouragement. Here, especially to moms who so easily get descouraged, easily compare ourselves to others, and who easily forgets that the most important things are the simplest things. These things touches, shapes and most importantly shows our children shadows of WHO He is, with a smile, a hug, looking at their eyes, showing grace, forgiving or just serving lunch. Thank YOU for the reminder sweet friend… miss you.
    Ps. The pool makes me think about you and your precious family. 🙂

    1. Hi, Patricia! Thank you for such a lovely comment. I agree that it’s so easy to get discouraged as a mom, even though those little things can end up being the big things. I will remember that tomorrow when I’m serving lunch! And we miss you, too. I think of your family often and love to keep up through facebook. Both you and Sam write things that have a special way of encouraging me.

    1. Aww, thank you, Lisa! I’m thinking of looking up that artist on ebay or amazon and seeing what else she has out there. It would be fun to have a collection of her work. Writing this made me think of all my wonderful writer friends (like you!) who have helped me so much with a word or two, and probably don’t even know it. 🙂

  4. I love the pictures and the thought that no service is too small. Being a mother, a teacher, and a writer (I think you have moved far beyond “fledgling”) is a very important service to the Lord and the world at large. I heard you are coming to Georgia soon as a missionary for the CLC. See you soon!

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