Painting the story {and a scary/exciting announcement}

One of my twins--Jorie--loves to paint. Since Christmas, she's painted her way through multiple painting books. When the painting books were finished, she turned to coloring books and painted her way through those. This past week I timed her to see how long she would stand there painting. Jorie painted for two hours straight. Now, I don't think she's any child prodigy. I just think she's found something she really enjoys doing. I'm happy to supply her with the paints and paper. But what makes me happiest is simply sitting down and watching her.

I loved watching how her little fingers grasped the paintbrush, how she carefully selected the colors she wanted to use, how she dutifully rinsed the paint off her brush before switching colors.

When she caught me watching her, a shy little smile spread across her face. After awhile, I stood up to go work in the kitchen and she was upset.

"Mommy! Can you watch me? Mommy! Please! Watch me!"

I settled down again and watched her for a few more minutes of mutual delight.

It was in those quiet moments that the thoughts came to me. Could it be that our Heavenly Father delights in me the same way? Is He watching the story of my life and cheering me on?

I've been really struggling with my writing--unsure of which direction to take. I've spent a lot of time rehashing through my painful past and wrestling with God. I think, perhaps, that will always be with me.

But there's something else, too. It feels like a tugging toward something hopeful, something life-affirming. It feels like I'm beginning to understand the reason why I went through everything I experienced. It is like taking the cast off the broken arm and realizing it is healed. The cast of anger, doubt, cynicism and sarcasm that once protected me is no longer necessary.

I have forgiven those who trespassed against me. And that forgiveness released healing.

I can be vulnerable again.

I'm sure there will be relapses, mess-ups, false starts. But I'm increasingly convinced that not only is God a loving God, but He's watching with delight as I paint this story.

Of course, my paint box isn't filled with paint--mine is filled with a bountiful palette of words. These words are a gift. And the question is: how will I use these words to paint the story? I hope to paint a story worthy of the One who gave me the words.

To that end, my lovely, supportive new editor has asked me to write a faith-based column for the Orange County Register.

I have to tell you, I'm scared.

Writing about technology and societal commentary was "safe." But writing a faith-based column--even though I write that kind of thing all the time here on my blog!--feels like a terrifying risk.

I can't do it without you.

My new column launches next week. Your support would mean the world to me.

Will you cheer me on?

Let's paint this story together.