Becoming Brave



Since I was a child, I have loved the possibilities held within a blank canvas. I have spent hours standing before my easel – smock in place, paints perfectly poured into my new tray’s compartments, and freshly-unwrapped brushes in hand - imagining all that could take the place of the bareness before me. A city skyline? A jungle? I always feel such anticipation and hope stir in the very depths of my soul as I dip my paintbrush into “rustic red #25” and begin my work. That is, until I remember one small detail: I, Nicole Marie Homan, cannot paint. As a matter of fact, I’m rather awful at it. Always have been. Don’t believe me? Ask my teenage bedroom.

During High School, my mother allowed me to choose a color to paint my room. I was elated! I had dreamed of this for years and couldn’t believe it was really happening. I knew right away that the walls would have to be a shade of blue and the quilt on my bed would need to be replaced to match. I also wanted stars. Lots of stars. Stars on the walls, stars in the comforter design, and stars in the pictures. I pictured country chic. What I ended up with was a room that looked like it had been attacked by finger-painting toddlers. Paint was everywhere it shouldn’t have been. In my impatience, I had layered some walls with more than enough paint and others with barely any at all. But there were stars. Lots of stars. I hoped they would distract from the botched paint job. Instead, they accentuated it.

I look back on my High School bedroom and can’t help but laugh. It may not have been a masterpiece, but my mother’s willingness to let me try sparked a desire in me to be that kind of mom – the kind that lets creativity flow and welcomes the mess that it brings.

We have a saying in our home, "Home is for learning and not for perfection and while you are learning, you are loved. " Those words have not only spoke to the hearts of my children: "Go on and give it a try"- they have made me brave too.

Brave enough to approach the canvas again and again knowing what I paint will never reach the caliber of Picasso.

Brave enough to pull out a new cook book and try a new recipe.

Brave enough to attempt a cart wheel (which only happened once and now I'm brave enough to admit - it hurt.)!

Brave enough to TRY.

WHY?

Because my worth is not in what I create.

It's not in what I do.

Or how much I achieve.

Or how far I go.

Or how high I reach.

I don't need to be the best.

I don't need to come in first.

My Father loves me now - right now - just as I am.

And His love doesn't increase with success and decrease with failure.

His love is eternal, steadfast, and immovable.

And His love makes me brave.

Let it make you brave too.