Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Parable of the Ugly Spoon Rest

The last few months of our time in Brandon were filled with outings with my girlfriends. I had become very close with four women, Catherine, Leila, Emily and Amanda. Preparing to live three hours apart from one another, I spent time going to dinner with them, seeing movies, watching our children play together, praying and planning for the future. One of the events we planned was a trip to Harry the Potter on Lakeland Drive. It is one of those paint your own pottery places.

On that visit, Leila and I each selected a spoon rest to paint. How we preceded is a portrait of our different personality types. Leila selected colors that she liked and that would match her kitchen. She picked out books that showed techniques for painting flowers. She chose a flower she liked and carefully moved forward. As she added each layer, the rest of us were awed. It was turning out so beautifully. Leila is a planner, you see.

When she finished, she commented that she felt tempted to do just one more thing, but then she knew she would keep doing one more thing and then one more thing and then just one more thing until she managed to ruin it. So we cut her off. No more paint. No more brushes. We forced her to leave well enough alone, and that beautiful spoon rest is still in her kitchen. I bet she gets compliments on it all the time.

I also selected colors that would match my kitchen. I decided on a yellow base coat and began painting. I glanced at the books, but mostly just painted. I found some little stamps and used them to put stars on the edges of the pottery. I painted the recessed area that was shaped like the spoon intended to rest there. The more I fiddled and played, the more the colors mixed and morphed. I stamped a letter T for Truett in the center and then left mine alone too. I am not much of a planner, and the little I do plan seldom comes out as I expect it to.

In the end, my spoon rest is not what one would call pretty, let alone beautiful. We have moved, so it no longer even matches my kitchen. As a matter of fact, the color and shape makes it look a bit like a chicken leg on a yellow background and the orangey shade with the letter T might make someone think I am (horror of horrors) a Tennessee fan. I should have painted the durn thing Kentucky Blue and been done with it.

I use the spoon rest daily, despite my dislike for its appearance. The making of the spoon rest is a fond memory. The girls also painted me a bowl on that visit. They signed their names inside it, and the bowl sits on my bedside table, a treasured possession. The spoon rest does its job, so I have no reason to replace it. One day, I probably will. I cringe every time I look at it.

It's a lesson learned. For starters, I could do with a little more careful planning in my endeavors, creative and otherwise. And, as we stopped Leila from continuing to fiddle with something already complete, so I should learn to take my brush out of the paint and let God have His way with what He has already created and made beautiful ... myself.

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