Friday, February 8, 2019

A Starfish Enterprise

Sunday, my son Matt came over to help with my kitchen renovation. Our goal that morning was to build a narrow base cabinet for a gliding spice rack. I expected he was going to do most of the measuring and cutting, and I would be his assistant. That was our usual mode of operation, but he had other plans.

"What's first," I asked, and he responded, "Well, I can build the cabinet myself, Mom, so I was wondering if you would build something for Kayla." (His 5-year-old daughter.) He took out his phone and showed me a picture of a desk with a matching stool they just received as a hand-me-down. Matt thought Kayla would have more support and comfort with a chair, though, so he said, "I want you to make a seat and back to go on these legs." He looked at me and waited for a response. I looked at him trying not to show panic. The truth is I've painted and refurbished plenty of furniture in my day; I've used a jigsaw and router to make all sorts of things but never actually designed and created something a person could sit on! Not wanting to disappoint my child, especially after all the hours he put into my kitchen, I said okay. Then, without skipping a beat, he added, "Oh, and we'd like it to have a starfish cut-out on the back."

The last remark put a clammy sweat on my back, but he acted like all of this was no big deal, so I suggested he cut me two pieces of plywood an inch bigger than the overall dimensions. "I'll draw some designs," I said to him, "and you can tell me how you want to proceed." "No mom," he responded. "I'll cut the wood, but it's your project. You got this."

Now, I have to explain his nonchalant approach and the energy of trust behind that last sentence... He didn't even flinch. He had so much resolve, I felt a sense of calm come over me. I started thinking, 'Well he knows my skill level; we've built numerous projects together; if he thinks I can do it, why should I doubt myself?' So I dove in, and the result is an adorable starfish chair. It took me an inordinate amount of time to draw, cut out, and sand that creature, but it actually came out better than we imagined.

A feeling of accomplishment stayed with me all week as I filled and sanded all the imperfections and then primed the chair for paint. I kept hearing my son's words, "You got this," and knew there was more to the story. I came to realize that I literally used the love I had for him to push myself out of my discomfort. It would seem, too, that I used his belief in me to overcome my own self-doubt and fear. This was a powerful realization because, honestly, I've been praying for months to overcome fear and gain the confidence I need to take on the truly inspired work I know I'm being led to do right now. And the request to take on this work is coming from a Source much higher than my kid!

It was becoming clear to me that the chair was not just a mother/son building experience; it was a Father/daughter trust building, for sure! My prayers were answered with a gift... a way to instantly stoke my bravado whenever fear and doubt creep in.

This statement, "You got this!"... when we hear it coming from God, it's like a direct spiritual order mixed with an "Atta girl!" (or boy!), and we need to start trusting and believing it. After all, the mere fact that we are being spiritually led and guided to take on a task should tell us that we are already qualified to do that task! Allowing ourselves to believe differently would mean we are actually arguing with infinite power and wisdom. How inane and unproductive is that? :-)

So you know, as I finished typing that last sentence, I suddenly felt the urge to google the spiritual meaning of a starfish. I see the words "infinite Divine love" on my computer screen and smile big at the validation. My mind wandered back to how this story all started with my son wanting to support his daughter... He had her back, so to speak, and now I am reminded that my Father has mine. How awesome is our God?

No comments: