Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Greenhouse Effect

I think it was in 1987 when I ran across an article about affirming children in their early years. One phrase stood out to me and I immediately tucked it into my heart, with a promise to myself that I could use this to be a catalyst in my daughter’s life.


You can do hard things."

...a phrase that has been repeated many times over in her 27 years of life. I cannot recall all the situations and circumstances that caused me to say those words to my beautiful daughter. But I’d like to think that the reason she is so adventurous and ready to accept challenges is that she believed what I told her. She believes in herself and the gifts and abilities God has placed in her life. She is married to a man who is also quite gifted. (They are a match that was covered in prayer from the day she was born.)

My daughter’s name is Hannah. She brightens up rooms when she arrives. Even though she is mine, believe me when I tell you that she is beautiful! When she smiles, her whole face smiles. Her laughter is contagious. She is very opinionated, stylish and quirky. Very quirky...and it is quite endearing! And she can do hard things.

Hannah is an Interactive Graphic Designer for Scripps. You can see her work on HGTV’s website mainly, but also on other Scripps sites. (She is also on Pinterest! Look for Hannah B. and see what she’s pinning.)

She is a designer. And an artist. I am convinced that all the colored pencils and sketch pads we invested in every time we took a road trip are paying off today.

A couple of years ago, I tried my hand at watercolor painting...a floral. I did a postcard sized pencil drawing, then used watercolors my cousin loaned me to complete it. After showing it to Hannah, she saw some possibility there. Next thing I knew, she bought paints, brushes and paper for me to experiment with. Time went by, the things were packed away but not forgotten.

This fall, I started thinking about a certain painting I’d like to try. I had plenty of time to think about it, but by the time I got around to doing it, there wasn’t much time to work.

But I did.

In pencil, I drew the picture that was in my head, then did the watercolor. It was a drawing of the house where Hannah and Andrew live and I was able to match up the colors on their house pretty closely. After the colors were finished, I did something unusual...I pulled out my ultra-fine point Sharpie pen, used very small print and wrote their love story all around the outline of their house. It was written in chronological order with their wedding date and details on the front steps. Looking at it from a distance you can't tell that there are words printed there. I framed it and shared it with them on Christmas night.

They liked it.

Hannah cried as she read it. (I guess that’s a good sign...)

When she came over to me with a huge hug, I told her that she was the reason I tried it. She was the one who saw some potential and bought those art supplies for me. I thanked her for that.

As Hannah let go from the hug, she said something quite familiar...”Momma, you can do hard things.”

I’m glad she told me that. She learned to do new things...hard things...exciting things. And I guess I have, too. 

Lots of times when I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone, my knees were applauding my bravery.

Well, my knees didn’t beat each other to death on this project. In fact, I rather enjoyed it.

Guess I need to be less nervous and learn to ‘practice what I preach‘ because I really can do hard things.

So can you.

If you have a pulse, then you have a purpose. Make your life count!