I’ve been spending a ton of time sanding lately. In those hours when I’ve been smoothing away dents, roughness, and decay, I’ve had a lot of time to think. Namely I’m thinking, ‘Ugh, I hate sanding.’ But usually that general disgust is replaced with this thought, ‘Yeah, as much as this sucks, sanding is really the foundation to a piece of work. It’s so necessary.’
We came to California in August with absolutely no furniture. Since we were listing our home back in Colorado as a VRBO, we had to leave it fully furnished. As a result of our budget and lack of furniture, I’ve been having a heyday with chalk paint and furniture I’ve found on Craigslist, consignment stores, and thrift shops. Right now I’m working on a hexagon-shaped piece to replace the sexy Amazon Prime box that is currently serving as my nightstand. I found this unique antique piece sitting outside at fascinating (and a tad creepy) auction-style warehouse that gets all the returns to Macy’s, JC Penney’s, and Ashley Furniture and resells the product at a major discount. Sometimes they also get used furniture, like my to-be nightstand. I’m pretty sure it’s from the 60s. It has a glass top and it’s definitely solid wood, but it was sitting outside and had been rained on and so there’s some significant water damage and a little bit of black stuff (which I’m just going to call mildew)! The guy said I could have it for $5 and I was on it because I saw its potential with a little love and mint colored chalk paint!
I’m totally aware that the only way this nightstand is going to look good when I’m done with it, is if I put in the hours now with some gritty paper and lots of elbow grease. I’ve got to sand off the mildew, smooth out the minor flaws, and get aggressive with the flakiness caused by the water damage. It’s going to mean sweat, some burning sensations in my forearm, biceps and triceps, and most definitely some scraped knuckles, sand burns, and possibly a little bleeding.
And yet, isn’t this how it is with our own hearts and the finished product of our lives? When I say ‘finished product,’ I’m really just referring to the visible life others see – our character, our demeanor, our self-control, and our love. What manifests itself visibly is only the result of the time spent with Jesus behind-the-scenes. Our yes and our obedience to time spent in his love and his Word shapes us, it softens our rough spots. It’s His loving kindness that brings us to repentance, and as we confess and practice reconciliation with others and ourselves, that yucky mildew disappears. As we bare open our wounds, scars, and shame, we experience healing and our dents and scrapes are minimized. As we put in the hard work it takes to live in messy community, we practice love and learn to let go of offenses and in that we are strengthened and released into greater depths of freedom.
I just want to encourage you. The time you spend with the Father matters, it’s SO necessary. The world is desperately searching for authentic women, brave women who carry themselves upright and are fully of light, love, radiance, and joy. We don’t fill ourselves up in order to pour ourselves out. That’s called striving and it only leaves us empty. No, we let ourselves be known by the One who made us, we ask Him to tell us who we are, we ask Him to remind us of us of how much He loves us. And out of that secure place of knowing love and being loved, we then get to interact with the world. It’s a holy confidence! We aren’t speaking or acting to get love, instead, we’re locked into our identity in Him and we know we’re loved, no matter what. So grace! Grace for yourself. Grace for others. Grace for Today. And grace for tomorrow. I don’t have it down, I just know I want more, more love and less striving, more identity and less fear, more holy confidence in who He created me to be.
Let the sanding ensue! Sand yourself if you need to or hand yourself over to the kindness of His loving hands. He’s a good Father. Get in His presence. Put worship music on, lay down and rest in Him (with a cozy blanket), take a walk, explore nature, pray, create some art, read His Word, write, sing, talk to Him, whatever it takes…everyday practice being in His presence and see what happens. Yes, there are a million things bidding for our attention each day, & let’s be women who choose to live out of being loved and known by the One who died to tell us how much He loves each one of us!
Morgan is a storyteller at heart. After running an NGO in Uganda for 7 years, she and her husband, Dave, currently record a weekly podcast called Chasing Unicorns, produce and host The FIND series, run the CB Ideas design agency, and mange Yes& Collective. Morgan also co-authored the newly released children’s book, The Girl Chronicles: A Story of Good. She’s a mom to two middle schoolers, Asher & Jadyn, and so when she’s not driving them around, she fills herself up with yoga, reading, air-popped popcorn, and all things coconut flavored. IG: @MorganHansow & @HansowFamily www.HansowFamily.com