During the last week of summer before school started, my two sons stumbled on a great idea. My older son, Josh, found a step-by-step YouTube tutorial on how to draw Avengers superheroes and Star Wars and Looney Tunes characters in cool, comic-book style. I’d just bought a fresh spiral notepad of drawing paper for my younger son, Caleb, but Josh didn’t have one.
Since I was busy decluttering the house and didn’t want to do a Target run, I offered Josh my more expensive “real” heavy-weight drawing pad that I’d been saving to learn watercolor painting.
“I’m gonna give you Mom’s real drawing paper, Josh — the good stuff,” I smiled, handing it over. “Go have fun with your brother!”
As I returned to my domestic archeological dig through piles of stuff, I heard a sound that sent me speeding back to the dining table where my sons were drawing. It was the sound of paper being ripped out of their notepads again and again. Both brothers didn’t like how their characters were turning out and were tearing paper out to start over!
“Hey, guys, Yoda and Ironman look so good! Why are you ripping them out?” I asked, a bit concerned that perfectly good paper was being discarded so effortlessly. A little encouragement goes a long way, I figured.
“No, mom. It doesn’t look right. See here? The legs?” They knew exactly how they wanted it to look.
I returned to cleaning up reluctantly. This was, after all, just for fun and it was great they found something to do together. Don’t ruin it by worrying about the paper, I coached myself.
But as I heard page after page being torn out, I couldn’t help myself. At the rate they were going, they were going to run out of paper and expensive paper at that!
I returned, trying to walk in nonchalantly and casually commented, “Oh, you’re using Sharpies . . . Why don’t you guys use pencils first? That way you don’t have to keep starting over.” I started getting nervous, watching the boys starting to rip yet another page out that “didn’t start out good.”
I was informed, “You don’t do this kind of drawing in pencil, Mom.”
I inhaled, about to inform them just how much the paper cost and how they shouldn’t just rip paper out because they didn’t like it. I wanted to tell them not to be so picky, and couldn’t they just be more careful not to waste good paper?
And then, my ah-ha moment dawned on me:
How many times had I been fearful of “wasting paper,” even though God had put an idea or something new on my heart to try, start, enjoy, explore, or learn? How many times had I lectured myself out of being free to just be me, been critical of myself, or felt intimidated by others who might’ve viewed my idea as dumb?
In that moment, I felt Jesus gently place His arms around me as I stood there at the dining table watching the boys. I was no longer the mom, but the little girl God was trying to reach, who grew up providing for herself, who had learned to survive on contentment rather than on lavished joy.
I needed to hear God’s whispers of love again:
Go ahead. Waste “paper” on what I’ve put on your heart, on the things that might bring joy to you and give you pleasure (Psalm 16:11 ESV). What gives you joy is important to me because YOU are important to me. My grace will never be wasted; you can never use up My grace. My kindness will always be your refuge, and your mistakes can never outpace my gentle love for you. My faithfulness to you will never run out, and I have an infinite amount of “paper” for you to play, make mistakes, use, and begin again. I am for you.
Perhaps you have an idea you’ve tried to forget because you feared you didn’t have enough “paper”? God sees. It may not be a pad of paper you need, but God’s unending supply of love and grace will never run out for you.
So, go ahead. Plant new beginnings together with Jesus and give yourself grace. You are His beloved. See Him tenderly folding your hand into His, and rest in the comfort of His gentle presence right next to you as He whispers, Loving you is never wasted. You are my pearl of great price; you are worth loving.
With my heart encouraged, I told my boys, “I’m so happy you guys found something you love! I can’t wait to see what you draw!”
They beamed smiles bright as the sun. “Thanks again for the paper, Mom!” Josh said. “Yeah. Thanks, Mom!” Caleb echoed. They returned to drawing, beginning again.
Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that
we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (CSB)
What is the “paper” you’re afraid of wasting or running out of? Give voice to what you’d love to do and what you need from Jesus. What does God whisper in return?
Need more fresh reminders of God’s grace? I’ll refresh your soul and encourage your heart with what I’m learning on my new beginnings! Sign up here for Bonnie’s Soul Refreshment Newsletter and read my bestselling 40-day rest book, Whispers of Rest.
God's unending supply of love and grace will never run out for you. -@thebonniegray: Click To Tweet