It all flashed before me as I dipped my paint brush in and out of the can. I made sure the stencil was right where I wanted it. I painted in the letter, but when I lifted it up to check my work, black paint had gone all over the place. Everything in me wanted to know why it wasn’t perfect. Had I used too much paint? Should I have taped the stencil down on all four sides? I moved on to the second letter, resisting the urge to wipe up the black paint with my finger.
I looked at the white wood. I had pulled it from the side of the house. I bought the cheapest white paint and applied just enough to keep the original wood showing through. I let the kids walk all over it. We left the old nails in, bent them for safety and enjoyed banging it with several hammers. Despite how old the wood was, it didn’t hurt it to apply our own King Family taste of distress.
As I painted the letters, I aimed for the words to look aligned, neat and just right. I knew I wanted a truly original farm sign, but something about this black paint was frustrating me. I pulled my eyes back, took a few steps away and looked at the letters drying. As the creator of my piece, I put myself in the place of my guest sitting on my couch.
I didn’t want the final piece to look new. I wanted original and one of a kind. But as it came to fruition, I couldn’t handle the paint dripping outside the lines.
I left the paint to dry.
The farm sign was becoming a symbol of so much more.
Don’t get me wrong, we don’t live in the middle of nowhere. We have just enough land to entertain a few hobbies, but not enough to overwhelm us. However, I always wanted to be a city girl. I used to dream of life in New York designing and living roof top. That life makes me gag now. I would be miserable.
Before we launched this blog, I wrote a piece about my fear of getting out of the Marine Corps. I still plan to publish it so hold me to it, but for now I will summarize. My fears weren’t that we wouldn’t have money, I wouldn’t have friends or we would end up living with our parents. My fear was that it was the wrong choice. My fear was that my husband was making the wrong choice and I would likely suffer the consequences. I was afraid to follow him.
Now if you are a super awesome wife who just gets on board with any idea your husband has, well then props to you! Me, I am a bit more resistant. Ok, I am usually super resistant. I like to think I am the realist. I have dreams, but mine are attainable and likely not very risky. My husband…he has a new idea every other week and it usually freaks me out.
Right when I wanted to paint, I didn’t know what I was going to write. I texted my husband the 3 titles I came up with, but he responded with one even better. I looked at those words and saw so much more than a sign. I was nearly in tears.
Imperfect, worn and quite messy in many places. But it was perfect. It was better than my original idea and anything I ever saw for sale.
I never imagined I would be painting a farm sign, 5 kids constantly under my feet and barely sleeping through the night most weeks. Before Christ, everything in me wanted a life inside the lines. I wanted the paint just right, no fudged areas of black mixing with the white. I wanted exterior perfection, interior sufficiency and all the details planned out. The new me still wrestles with obtaining it and living up to ungodly expectations of myself.
When God gave me my husband, he gave me much more than a friend and life partner. He gave me someone to help refine me, to walk through the valleys with and carry me to the peaks. I stared at this sign, seeing so much of our story and God’s great work. I saw so many of my fears, my tears and my imaginary dreams — cut up, re-nailed and redeemed into a beautiful work of art.
The King’s Farm. He is the Author of it all. He is the ultimate Redeemer. The perfect Creator. The Lord has stretched me live a life outside the lines. A life where weeds, dirt and dust intersect with a bright blossom.
Praying our home and this land will be a special place where our family feeds on His Word and encourages many to grow in His Kingdom.