Team Colors

Beautiful beads, each color separate in its own tackle box, covered Genia’s dining room table. Excitedly she shared her collection with us, helping us find beads, charms, and pendants fitting the vision for our pieces.

In our ladies’ meetings at Genia’s home, we often make jewelry. I was excited because I wanted to make a pink bracelet this time to match my new pink sweater.

Abbie and her daughter, Mary Grace, were each consumed with making beautiful long necklaces with pendants. The rest of us were making bracelets.

I sought for the right pink beads for some time, finding none that worked. All around me, beautiful jewelry was being created, but I had made nothing. I usually made two bracelets each time, but my creativity was taking a siesta.

I saw myself respond differently than I would’ve in the past.

First, if it weren’t coming together, I would normally have put it aside until another time. Now, my group wouldn’t allow me to give up because they knew how much I wanted that bracelet. They know I tend to withdraw and feel hurt when I stand out as different in a group of people. They wanted me to feel a part of the fun and be happy about what I’d created. Thus, the encouragement began.

Second, I would normally get frustrated and take on an independent demeanor, becoming offended at people trying to help, wanting it to be all my idea.

Instead, the changes birthed in me through my writing small group this semester quickly became evident. I began to desire and ask for their input!

Cathy found pink rocks! They were so pretty and just the right shade! They were tiny, so Genia suggested a different cord for them. I found multi-colored beads that resembled the earth from space with their blue and green shades. I added some transparent pink crystal beads in between. Slowly it was coming together! Cathy found the perfect green bead. Karen suggested other beads and gave opinions on the ones I’d chosen. I would typically make it very matched and symmetrical, but Genia’s more free-form artistry influenced me. Ginger suggested one of the tiny crosses she had used on her bracelet, which looked so lovely with the beads she had chosen. I chose a pink one and was amazed to see a beautiful bracelet come together!

I realized some key things that night indicating a huge change in me.

Throughout the semester, I’ve been part of a writing small group. We set up a website and have been submitting our writing to each other for editing and ultimately, publishing our pieces.

When my bracelet didn’t come together, I found I craved the feedback, suggestions, and support of my fellow artists who knew how important it was to me that my work was beautiful.

Like my writing group, what my ladies’ group offered to me brought more color and dimension to what I could do on my own. As a team, we came up with the colors.

Team colors.

As individuals, we had separate ideas. Together, we made a beautiful, sparkly bracelet. I wanted a pink one, but I got a bracelet with complimentary colors that looked much better together. Sort of like my writing group and my ladies’ group.

The Lord brought the point home to me further when I remembered a story from the Easter service at Church of the Highlands.

I was touched as Pastor Chris showed two photos that inspired the colors spelling out ‘Easter’ on the front of the worship guide. The first showed a dry, brown desert scene. The second showed that same desert after an unusually heavy rain. As far as the eye could see, pastel colors had sprung up all over, pink, green, blue, and yellow.

Desert bloom photo source: skyglowproject.com

When I later ran across the worship guide in my Bible, I realized what drew me about the colors in the bracelet I had made. Except for yellow beads, which I wanted, but were not available at the time I made the bracelet, all the colors in the photo were reflected in the bracelet!

I later added yellow beads to my bracelet to complete the team colors. I ran that idea by the ladies in my group and showed them the yellow beads I’d purchased.

We are a team, after all!

 

Are you part of a team? Why not form your own Christian writing small group today? It’s a lot of fun!     

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Crayola Crayons: The Father’s Desire To Bless His Children

Everyone wants a home to call their own. As a first-time home buyer, I was so excited! I discovered a beautifully renovated, affordable house. The catch? The home was in a rough neighborhood that had been chosen for a revitalization program. I mulled over the location. The area was dangerous, but maybe God wanted me to live there to win the lost. It was a great thought, but I had safety concerns. By that evening, I had started to buy into the erroneous belief that I needed to earn the house by living and witnessing in a dangerous area.

As I prayed the next day, God reminded me of a conversation with my daddy when I was little. I had just awakened from a dream, which I shared with Daddy. In the dream, I was enjoying coloring with a box of 64 Crayola Crayons. I told Daddy it was disappointing to awaken from the dream because I didn’t really have the crayons.

My daddy sat there silently for a minute. “When you finish your breakfast, put on your shoes,” he told me. “We’re going to the store.” “Why are we going to the store, Daddy?” I asked. “We’re going to get you a box of crayons,” he replied, his eyes and voice conveying the hurt in his heart. “Why did you want those crayons and not ask me for them?”

Of course, my daddy bought me the crayons. As I recalled that event, I realized it hurts the Lord when I don’t share with Him the desires of my heart. So, I asked. I wanted a newer house with lots of windows in a quiet, safe neighborhood. I also wanted to live in a certain town. He fulfilled each one of my desires.

That evening, I received a call about building a new home at a very low interest rate! The new neighborhood was outside the city limits but would be annexed by the time my home would be completed. I jumped at the chance to build a beautiful home of my own. The house had lots of windows with wide sills for my chubby cat. I had amazing neighbors who became dear friends. I enjoyed living there for six years before life changed drastically for me.

Crayons eventually are lost or broken. Like a box of crayons left in the sun, life circumstances often melt together to form something new and beautiful. Due to job layoffs, I have moved back to Alabama and am selling the house I built in North Carolina. What was God’s purpose in building it other than His provision during that time? He will reveal all things in due time and will meet every need (Philippians 4:19).

After all, He is a good, good Father.

And He created all the colors in my box of 64 Crayola crayons.

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