Have you ever watched an old polaroid picture develop?
I know, I’m dating myself… but there’s something magical about watching the small black sheet slowly turn to shadows and shapes right before your eyes before turning into a picture or a memory that one day becomes a special treasure.
This past weekend, I experienced something very similar. It was a wonderfully beautiful moment that brought a cherished smile to my heart and tears to my eyes. I couldn’t wait to share it with you today. For me, it was anything but a typical weekend. Instead of spending the weekend in snowy New Hampshire, I headed south to Myrtle Beach for a weekend planning retreat with Encouragement Café.
I arrived full of anticipation ready to spend the weekend with an amazing group of ladies. Trust me when I say I have too many stories to share in this one post… so you’ll have to wait for the others. Today, I want to share the magic that developed before me.
After a night of staying up late with the other women who arrived on Thursday, I noticed a large canvas painted black with chalkboard paint. The blank canvas intrigued me with it’s potential so much so that I took a picture of it.
It truly captivated me. Why, I wasn’t sure, but I loved the potential that it represented. I thought how neat it would be to make a smaller version of it and hang it above my writing desk. I could write a word or two, a quote or a scripture on it that inspires me. And, because it would be chalkboard paint I could change it as new verses speak to me.
Later in the weekend, it was fun to watch as Betty Shoopman, a performance artist brought the canvas to life right before our eyes. What started out as two trees and a view of a lake, transformed in to a masterpiece of a woman. I sat in awe of how a blank canvas could transform into such a beautiful work of art.
As I watched, I felt God’s whisper – that’s what He does with each of us. When we’re willing to be a blank canvas He transforms us into His masterpiece. Though some of the lines or shapes she initially drew didn’t seem to make sense to me, some of our life’s journey or parts of our paths may seem too like they don’t make sense either… yet it all becomes part of the resulting treasure which was always part of His divine plan.
With that beautiful image in my heart, I thought I really need to get a canvas, chalkboard paint, and chalk when I get home. But, not sooner did I think that when I was overwhelmed with a swell of emotion.
“No you don’t” I thought remembering a small gift I received last spring.
“Hold your hand out,” my dad said. “I have something I want to give you.”
I stretched my hand out and he dropped a chalk holder with a piece of chalk in it.
“You speak and teach. Maybe one day you can use this,” He said.
The chalk holder was his for the many years he taught as a professor. One of the last things, if not the last thing he ever gave me, he wanted to pass it along in case I could use it one day. This weekend I plan to head to the craft store to get a canvas and chalkboard paint. I plan to hang it next to the desk where I write. There I’ll use my dad’s chalk to write my Father’s words. I can’t think of better inspiration as I look to encourage others and write from my heart.
What do you think of my wonderful chalk holder? Have you ever realized the value of a gift long after you received it? Or, were you touched by my story? I’d love to hear from you!
Have a blessed week!
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Oh what a beautiful inspirational story Susan! Your dad seemed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to give that chalkholder to you and now you know what you can do with it! Wow that’s so special. Writing every day with a special memory of him. I have inspiration because my mom kept diaries and loved the written word. I’m very touched by your story!
Myrna, yes it feels like it was a divinely inspired gift. I remember when he gave it to me I thought I’d treasure it because it was his but I wasn’t sure when I’d use it. Now it’s such a huge special blessing! How nice that you have your mom’s writings! That’s great!! Blessings, Susan
Treasurers we receive may not mean much at the time we receive but as you describe your gift I can think of many things I have been given in the past that mean more now. Great Story. I love to read all of yours and they inspire me every time to do more blogging. My plan is two a month and that will outshine the only five I did all year in 2015.
Linda, Always good to hear from you! Treasure those gifts with the value that develops. Priceless! Good luck with the blogging! blessings – Susan
I LOVE this story! Thank you for sharing it. God is writing something new everyday. Love you forever,
Mama Lu! Yes, He’s writing something new everyday. So blessed that He gives us reminders in such personal ways. Love you and all of our Encouragement Cafe Sisters!
Love this Susan!! So much truth! Grateful God crossed our paths and connected our hearts!! Joy is still talking about purple cows!
Jill, Glad you liked the post. It was so nice to get to know you both! – blessings. Susan