I recently tackled a "do-it-yourself" project far outside of the areas of my expertise: I painted a Scripture on my daughter's bedroom wall. In preparing to do that, I rationalized to myself that it was only words and I'm good with words. I know how to write on paper, a wall can't be too different, right? I knew enough to mark the bottom line of the words with masking tape – my years as an educator writing on the chalkboard have revealed to me my tendency to gravitate my words toward the ground. I very lightly penciled the words where I wanted them to go.

Paint in hand and masking tape in place, I embarked on my project. It didn't take too very long at all to realize that a heavily textured wall was far different from my yellow legal pad as a writing surface. The paint became bumpy and out of line, making an enormous mess. My scripture looked as if I were using my feet and a broken crayon instead of painstakingly painting each letter.

After I had finished one word, I could stand it no longer and opened the can of the original wall color — we had just recently painted the room and I HIGHLY recommend having the wall color on hand for this project. I took my tiny touch-up brush and began correcting my mistakes. Soon I realized that was the fun part. With just a few little strokes, the "bumpity" mess I had thrown on the wall transformed into the precise wording I had originally envisioned. The touch-up was definitely crucial to my masterpiece.

Soon I painted with abandon, having a grand time getting the words on the wall, knowing that the key to a beautiful finished product was in the touch-up. One time I heard Frank Bielec, a designer for the TV show Trading Spaces say, "There are no mistakes in life. There are only embellishment opportunities." I had plenty of embellishment opportunities on the wall, which called to mind the embellishment opportunities in my life.

As I painted I began to think of the people in my life that are my touch-up brush. Steve sees me as an award-winning writer, Tammy sees me as a brilliant mind, and Troy sees me as the complete package: beautiful woman of God with a loving, compassionate heart. I am immensely blessed to have people that see me as a masterpiece because their love covers over the embellishment opportunities I create. The family and community of God has afforded me a safe place to be the real me, warts and all.

Because of the security provided by the love in their eyes, I am able to live and love with abandon. I'm having a grand time as I envision the finished product God will create of me. I hope and pray that I may see others as a Masterpiece of the Master's making, after the touch-up of His love has perfected my view of them!

I am able to live and love with abandon.

No person has ever seen God. But if we love each other, then God lives in us. If we love each other, then God’s love has reached its goal — it is made perfect in us. (1 John 4:12 ERV)