Monday, March 9, 2015

Color shift

Recently, we repainted the main living area in our home.  With nineteen foot ceilings, archways, columns, and a catwalk connecting one side of the second floor to the other, this didn't exactly make for a quick and easy project.  Which meant that selecting a color we were happy with was all the more important, because the likelihood of a redecoration in the next decade is pretty low.

Earthy and more neutral tones were what we favored in our first home in Colorado; and while it worked for us then, becoming Texan isn't as simple as getting a new driver's license.  It means embracing a whole new persona.  Natives affiliate themselves with the state first, nationality second.  Texas takes red, white, and blue to a new level.  It is one of the endearing qualities I've come to love about our new home state, and I find pride in the fact that I can officially say I'm Texan {even if by way of a lengthy path to arrive here}.  Therefore, I wanted to include some of the exalted colors of the flag, nods to the glory of the state, and testaments to the faith upon which I pray to construct my family's foundation.  

The last piece of our painting journey {except for a small snippet of the loft and the kid's rooms, which give me a dash of anxiety as I envision what I might unearth as I move their beds away from the walls} was our foyer, great room, and exposed upstairs hallway/catwalk.  The great room already boasted a roasted red pepper wall that houses our expanse of windows, from which our main light source comes.  Additionally, we chose a deep denim blue that coordinates with our formal living room and dining room for our fireplace wall, and adorned it with a family project {and nod to our new home state}; a Texas flag which features each of our handprints to create the points on the lone star. 

our family's tie to Texas grows stronger by the day
So when it came time to put up the color for the remaining spaces, it took a while, y'all.  Well, not technically.  I am known for being very definitive when it comes to things like this.  So I knew what I was looking for, I just had to find that particular color in real life.  What took a while, I guess, was getting up the gusto to actually move forward with the painting.  Because, painting.  Ughhh.  What a process.  We decided we wanted a greige-ish color, but would also coordinate well with other colors we already had in the space.  So.  We set out for Home Depot, beelined for the paint counter, and returned home to borrow some extra tall ladders from a neighbor around the corner.  Then. Go time.

The paint went up on the wall as I went up and down, up and down the ladder {Randy's not a fan of heights, y'all...the ladder work all falls on me}.  The hours were long, the arms and legs sore, the hands callused, and the color.......changing.  


Over the three days total it took for us to put the paint up on the walls, we watched the color shift from a cementy-grey to the greige we viewed in the sample to a warm lavenderish shade, dependent upon the time of day.  And it didn't stop there.  Different places and different eyes and different light and different people all resulted in different shades.  It was our own live version of what color is the dress? 


Granted this isn't the first time I've painted, nor is it the first time where the color, once up on the wall in all it's color gloriousness, appears to be a little different than what I had envisioned from the two-by-four square foot space I'd painted with a sample color.  But this was huge.  It was striking, frustrating, and at first, made me want to immediately hop in the car and scour the paint department for a different color.

Randy, on the other hand, was done.  As soon as the paint was dry, he was putting our family gallery wall back up, sitting down on the couch, and enjoying the fact that he would no longer need to 'cut in' {until the kids' rooms are painted...}.

Against nearly every fiber of my project-filled, finished-product-driven being, I decided to follow his lead.  Sit.  And soak it in.  The feeling of accomplishment.  The physical space in which God gave me to raise our family, as well as the space in which He used His glory to paint my walls with His own colors of light over the course of a sun-filled day.  I watched the appearance of the color shift as the sun's position {appeared to} shift in the sky while Earth rotated.  

And suddenly, I saw it.  I saw something majestic and godly in this color-shifting paint that covered my walls.
When I was growing up, I held in my hand an awkward palette of colors with which I painted a persona, acrylic-ed an ideal landscape that I felt was more widely accepted than the reality in which I was living.  I tried to mask the labels I had been given, conceal the shame I wore daily.  Over time, I had added so many colors and so much paint, that I completely lost my original self.  My heart, my core had been altered with so much facade, so much decorum, that I felt even more lost and confused than when I began my journey to make myself 'better'.

Over the years, I can't say I've necessarily become free and clear of the damage I've done with the facade I've created, but I can say I recognize now the colors I was using to create that image weren't from a place of authenticity.  My colors faded.  They chipped.  They weren't flattering, they clashed, they poisoned.  I was working with a palette of temporary bliss.  And what's worse, I was giving myself credit as the 'artist'.  It's true, my hand was in the mix; blending shame and lies to feebly cover hurt, mixing false idols with infatuations to foster and fill feelings of lonesomeness.  I was doing something, alright, but none of it could be considered 'art'; just a half-wit attempt at patching together something get me through to my next stage, whatever that may be.

And then. 

I met the real artist.  

The One, true artist who creates and shapes and molds and makes beautiful things--out of dust.  The palette I held in my hand suddenly lost all color.  The bright, glitter and distraction of the ways I'd attempted to cover my true self became dull.  And the paintbrush I was using to construct this facade splintered and fell apart.  I was at His mercy.

My artist paints with a magical brush.  He molds with His hands, creates with His word, shapes with His breath.  He challenges me to break down my barriers.  Remove the scaffolding, chip away at the work I'd spent years upon years doing, in order to try to 'make it'.  It's not easy.  His work isn't something that can simply be slapped over top of the mess I've made, no.  He doesn't work that way.  True, He seeks out those who are broken, those who are buried beneath lies and shame and hurt and loss.  His glory shines brightest when He transforms those souls covered by layers, those hearts hardened by life.  But the colors He uses aren't found here on earth; they're life-altering, heart-changing, truth-seeking, relational, revealing colors found only in the heart of a Savior.

He is the light by which the colors are brought to life, the light by which the shift and change occurs, and no matter which way that light is shining; because it comes from Him; the outcome is beautiful.  Cement-grey, lavender, matter the original desire, through His light, they all work within the space they're placed.  

Becoming a Christian isn't as simple as buying a bible and going to church.  It's embracing a whole new persona.  Christians affiliate themselves with God first, the human race second.  Christians take joy, peace, and love to a new level.  It's one of the endearing qualities I LOVE about my faith and find pride in the fact that I can call myself a Christian {even if by way of a lengthy path to arrive here}.  Therefore, I want to include some all of the exalted virtues of my heavenly father, nods to the glory of His kingdom, and the testaments of my faith--*the* faith upon which I {continually} pray to construct my family's foundation.

So now, no matter what anyone else may think, my heart is set on this enigmatic, unique, authentic paint color.  Because I know the variety of colors I see from that single can of paint are all beautiful when the right light shines.