Brush Strokes

Column Post by Lisa Easterling

I created my first painting today. A friend invited my daughter and me to a painting party and it seemed like too much fun to pass up.

I have a hard time doing anything for myself, especially if there’s a cost involved, but my friend talked me into coming and even met my husband to pick us up so I wouldn’t have to drive as far through Tropical Storm Debby—a real blessing, especially considering that the painting studio was only a few blocks from a significantly churned-up Tampa Bay.

I had no idea how much fun painting would be. I am a creative person by nature, but my normal canvas is a lined page or a blank Word document waiting to be filled. As I followed the directions of the art instructor, my excitement grew with each stroke of the brush. The acrylics blended and flowed across the canvas in smooth blues and greens, and in those moments the thought flashed that I was free to create whatever I wished against the white surface.

But being the painting rookie I am, I stuck fairly close to the teacher’s directions. I didn’t know what I was doing, and she did.

Losing myself in the magic of creating something beautiful I let my thoughts wander as God led, and I pondered how each day is like a blank canvas. So cliché, and yet so true when I think of the immense possibilities each moment holds. Each new day opens up clean and white against the easel where sometimes brushes fray and colors run, and occasionally there is a missed stroke that must be redone to keep the picture intact.

But along with everything that can go wrong, so much can go right.

I am grateful for the piece of art I shielded carefully with my jacket against sheets of rain blowing sideways as we left the studio. I am even more grateful for these lovely days God gives me, each and every one, and the scope of possibility set before me to make wise decisions and choose words and actions that please Him.

And when my brush frays unexpectedly and I mix the wrong hues, I whisper my thanks for grace to mix again or grab a new brush and work a little harder on the rough spot until it reflects back the beauty God saw all along.

It would be a shame to become frustrated and give up before the stars came to life, before the lights shone golden through the tree branches like tiny lanterns alight with fireflies. It seems it would also be a shame to pull up on any calling God has placed upon my life when rains blow sideways and waves churn and roll.

It was my first painting, but Lord willing it won’t be my last. There are far too many beautiful things in this world to capture, too many cherished hearts to pour into with all the love God has painted into me.

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Lisa Easterling is a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay area alongside her husband Steve, five children, and two grandchildren. A pioneer for home education in Florida, she has served in various areas of Christian ministry for the past 32 years. Lisa is a lifelong writer, editor, creative writing coach, and Site Director for Write Where It Hurts. Her favorite place to write is near the ocean, and she particularly loves helping others to fall in love with words. Lisa blogs at and can be reached by emailing

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

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