Let's talk abrasives, shall we? I'm just going to put this out here - I'm your quintessential DIY crafter. Yes, I am that woman who gets a novel idea for some grand project, then spends hours scouring Pinterest to find concepts - to you know, kick start the planning process and get the list of essentials. I go at these projects with all the gusto of Martha Stewert on a case of Monster. My Mr. likes to tinker in the garage with all of his fancy wood cutting things while I manage the process. (Hey, it's my blog we can pretend this is the process!) However, one of the things that I actually do love to do, is the sanding. I'm not a pro, but I get excited knowing it is the last step before painting or staining and sealing. I have several grits of paper for the initial scrub down all the way to the fine detail. Sandpaper is an amazing thing you all. I mean, seriously!
You know that mind riddle from years back, "if nothing sticks to Teflon, how does Teflon stick to the pan?" Well, think of sand paper...how do they get it to stick and not still be sticky!!! Ok, that's a visual stretch, but you follow me. Here's the thing...sandpaper's sole intention in life is to be abrasive. Yes, even the 240 grit is just as important as the 40 grit. They all have a purpose - to smooth out the rough edges.
Now, let's take a leap. Have you ever met a 240 grit person? How about a 40 grit person? You will encounter both of these people in your lifetime. No, it's true (oh and they can't be returned to the store for a different grit, either)! Since I'm walking in my land of creativity today, or rather, because my devotional today slammed me into a brick wall and then shook me to the core and brought this lesson to light...Oooohhh...that was a touch on the violent side, but you get the imagery. That brings me to Life Lesson # 568 - Sandpaper (subtitle: Gritty People).
I know a couple ladies that qualify as 240-grit. These are the ladies who you want around ALL. THE. TIME! They are the ones who, through their love and patience and personal walk with God, are able to lovingly show you the areas of your life where you need to polish off, or lightly buff the edge. They are so delicate and soft, that all the while they are teaching you and leading you into a closer walk (showing you God's truths) you don't even feel it. They are just that gentle. Oh, my dear readers, to be that woman.
Then there are the folks who are 120 grit. They aren't there to polish you off, nor are they there to dig at the crevices the saw blades of life left; they are there to work the surface towards the polishing stage. These are the Christian ladies you need. YES! NEED! They are going to take your ill conceived ideas and thoughts and help you weigh them against the truths of God's word and they aren't even going to deny the fact that they will possibly bring pain. In fact, they are doing this because they know that a bit more sanding will grow you and change you in just the right ways. These are the ladies who will stand firm when you are falling apart. Beware them, they do not take excuses regularly. Besides, God gave them to you, embrace them!
Now, when a project starts - you have a hunk of nasty wood or maybe you have a great plane with a gnarly knot - either way you need the strong stuff. We're going whole hog here people, we're pulling out the 40 grit. This stuff is so abrasive, that in one swipe it will literally leave a mark and make a change to the surface. Do you know anyone like this? Have you met a fellow Christian sister like this? (Now, to let you know, in my devotional they were talking about sandpaper like this in a negative way, but I wanted to show how this is positive.) She's your moral compass when you have gone astray. We all do that from time to time, granted in varying degrees, but we all have a knot or two in our walks. She's the sister that's going to look you in the eye, square her shoulders, and with all the love of her Father behind her, tell you to SHAPE. UP! Oh, she's going to hurt. She's going to tell you and guide you and rub you the wrong way. She's going to be as course as she can be and you're going to fight her tooth and nail, and probably whine to others about her. But you see, dear reader, she isn't doing this because she wants to hurt you, she's doing this because she wants to help you change. Just like you wouldn't build a bench and have people sit on it without sanding it down, she isn't going to show you the way and leave you hanging. Those surfaces and edges need some work!
I have had and do currently have ladies in my life that can be described as each of these. I'm no where near the finished product God wants me to be, which means I'm quite certain there will be a lot more sandpaper in my future. Besides, I know that life without the love of a Christian sister would be no life at all. I so much would like to list out all of the beautiful (and painfully brutal) women God has used to minister to me over the years, but I think they know who they are, and if not, I pray I get the chance to let them know how much they have meant to me.
With that, I urge you to be responsive to the work of the Lord and the people he puts in your life to get you there.
Much love, M