Addicted to Potential

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Creativity can be messy. The hardest part about the kids growing up and moving away was that I had no one to blame for the mess anymore. (Although one of them makes serious historically authentic bows and arrows and swords and even the most amazing costumes for his little boy, and I’ve seen the aftermath on his kitchen table. The other two are perpetual home renovators. Now that’s messy.) I have ideas for refinishing furniture, sewing, painting (in several media) cooking, writing, photography, song-writing. I pick up materials when they are on sale or available at the thrift shop. I’m kind of addicted to potential.

I really want to make leggings for the grandbaby out of recycled sweaters – wait, the baby is talking in full sentences now. Oh dear.

I finally finished a quilt this week that has been awaiting binding for several months. I took one square apart and reassembled it more than once, but now it’s done.

I’ve got a pretty good song jotted down on manuscript paper sitting on the piano – well, except for the harmony in the bridge for the accompaniment. I wrote the lyrics for that one four years ago. When the notes are all penciled in I need to enter it into the computer. I hope I can remember how. Every updated version of the music program seems to require a complete brain overhaul.

There’s a pile of potential in a trunk under my sewing table, and unframed canvases leaning on the wall. I really should entitle my recipe collection on Pinterest, “As If.”

My friend asked if I intend to live long enough to finish all these projects. Yes. As a matter of fact I do. I figure if you stop planning for the future you might as well not have one. Besides, I’ve made investments in all this raw material.

Some projects take a long time. Some of my favourite things have remained in an unfinished state for longer than I care to admit, but eventually, like the quilt, they are ready to throw on the bed in the guest room or hang on a wall. Sometimes I set things aside when I don’t like the way they are going. I’m not giving up on them, just taking time to re-think them. If you were to look in the storage bin in my closet at something under ponderment it might look like a confused mess. But in my mind I see a dozen different ways it could go. I just need to find the right one for those materials and colours. It’s a process.

Sometimes we look at people who are in process and wonder why they are taking up room in our lives. Nothing ever seems to change. They’re a mess. OK, truth is, so am I. But God sees our potential and he’s not giving up on us. He’s invested too much – and he has all the time in the world.

7 thoughts on “Addicted to Potential

  1. Dean Smith

    I can relate to this! I think it is the blessing and curse of a creative mind, you can see the potential or use for so many thing. May God help us see people in the same way.


  2. Ha! I can totally relate. I have more UFO’s (unfinished projects) that I care to admit. Just today I was thinking that I need to make a list and just go through it one at a time until I finish them all (finally!). I’ve seen some billboards around this area that say in large red letters, “We buy ugly houses!”. A friend of mine said that she often felt that way about how God redeemed her and has been transforming her ever since. She said she was like one of those “ugly houses” that needed to be completely gutted and remodeled from the inside out. It’s a never-ending process when it comes to life, and at times I must confess that I wonder how God doesn’t just give up on me. I’m reminded again that “He has loved us with an everlasting love.”


    1. You just jogged my memory. I am remembering a song I haven’t thought of in years. The lyrics to the chorus are something like: “He’s got all the time in the world, and he knows what temptation can do, so remember that he won’t give up on you, ’cause he’s go all the time in the world.

      It’s probably in one of my music files somewhere…


  3. Amen. This is a critical perspective to have when discipling or just relating to others in Jesus’s body. Paul says we no longer know each other after the flesh (2 Cor. 5:16?). That is a challenge that I trust God’s grace to meet!


    1. Like the angel who greeted cowardly Gideon, “Hail Mighty Man,” while he was not looking particularly mighty. And what did Barnabas see in John Mark that made him hang in there with a “failure?” Did the Lord show Barnie who Mark really was in the spirit?


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