Peace be with You

Watch me paint this Cherokee Rose in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I originally had a completely different post written, one that I spent a couple of hours on. It was briefly published, so some of you may have seen it. Unfortunately the new technology that I was so excited about sharing with you (making a larger painting come “alive” through clickable hotspots to interact with the image), didn’t work when the post went live. So, now I’m writing a new post that relates to my experience this morning.

I get frustrated and upset when the time I invest seems wasted. I value my time as the greatest treasure I have. Money that is lost can be regained, but time can never be recovered. However, when I will myself to calm down, I can usually see that failed experiences are often more valuable than we think. Even if I can’t see the point of something right away, if I trust that purposeful intentions matter, I can let the issue go.

We can’t always control the outcome of our time investment, but if we approach every minute with purposeful intentions and honest expectations of time well spent, I believe that the spirit of our intentions and expectations will be honored and rewarded. My painting of a Cherokee Rose (at the top of this post) was meant to be part of the hotspotted image that I wanted to share with you. It seems appropriate to share it anyway, as it is a fitting metaphor for my change of blog post.

The Cherokee Rose is one of the elements in my patio garden painting that isn’t a part of my real life garden. I painted it because it is Georgia’s state flower. The project was for my book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia“. Previously, I’d never heard of this type of rose. When I saw a picture of it, I thought it was very pretty. After painting it, I was wistful to get one of these roses, so I looked into where I could get one.

This was weeks after I’d invested my time in painting the Cherokee Rose, formatting the photograph to publish as art in the book, and even designing the beautiful scarf that I’d put together show you (and even modeled it for you! 😂) in my video below. I was very excited about using my oil paintings for fashion. I love pretty things and this was such a thrill!

But, guess what? After all of this… I decided not to get this beautiful rose. It turns out that this rose is apparently quite wild and can be invasive. It needs a lot of space to grow. It’s not at all like my classic red roses that stay contained to their designated pots. In the end, the exotic Cherokee Rose doesn’t work.

I had invested a lot of time and energy into the idea of this rose, an idea that I thought would lead to this rose manifesting itself in my garden. Was that a waste of time? Of course not! I painted this rose in two different paintings, designed my first fashion scarf, and published it in my first art book collection. These are big things that matter to me.

Now, we don’t always see the results of our “wasted time” played out in such an obvious way. Sometimes we are kept in the dark about how the pieces of our lives fit together. Then again, other times the mysteries are much greater than a painting, fashion, or a book. Most of us have stories of moments when we failed to be where we intended to be, only to be at exactly the right place at the right time for a miracle to happen (or a disaster avoided). In such moments, we vow to never again doubt the connectedness of all things.

Every moment matters- even when we can’t see it. We may fail in our original plans, but succeed in ways that only God knows. At the right time, we may know how it all fits together, but it’s possible some things will remain mysteries. When we are at peace with the unknown, we can go about our lives with the best of intentions, while letting go of the disappointment when our plans (no matter how great or how trivial) don’t work. Whatever you’re doing today, may you succeed even if it seems you have failed. No matter the outcome, may peace be with you.

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