An “attitude of gratitude” has been a value that my husband and I have tried to instill in all of four of our children from the word go. We do our best to lead by example. Not only are we gracious with one another but we also put energy into recognizing people outside of our family who have touched our lives in some way.
As a result, the remnants of homemade cards, thank-you notes and gifts of the heart are frequently found scattered throughout our home. Although I like a tidy house, expressions of appreciation are messes I can live with most days.
One evening while I was cleaning up the kitchen after supper, our two youngest daughters were busily discussing what kind of special thank-you cards they were going to make for their Grandma. Early on, Madison, our very precocious six-year old, had gained a reputation in our family for being exceptionally creative and artistic. Often her advanced abilities for drawing and crafting left her 4-year-old sister, Emmalee, feeling artistically inferior. Emmalee would frequently defer to her big sister for advice or help in creating what she deemed an acceptable card.
As I finished up the dishes, I listened to the two of them exchange ideas. Not surprisingly, Emmalee was struggling with what to do and once again was trying to talk Madison into drawing her card.
“Madison, would you draw my card for me?” she asked.
“Oh, Emmalee” replied Madison, “I can’t draw your card for you.”
“Why not?” Emmalee inquired.
“Because,” said Madison, “If I make your card for you then you might miss your chance to make your masterpiece.”
Somewhat puzzled by her sister’s reply, Emmalee asked, “Madison, what’s a masterpiece?”
“A masterpiece, ” Madison explained, “is when you make something you’ve been waiting for in your dreams.”
For a brief moment, a quiet hush lingered as Emmalee took in her sister’s words and I soaked up the magic in that one small moment.
“Will you help me?” Emmalee asked rather timidly.
“Sure,” replied Madison.
And off they went with an assortment of markers, crayons, scissors and construction paper tucked under their arms. I took a deep breath and offered my own prayers of thanks for the wisdom that resided in my daughter’s young untarnished soul.
In the depth of our dreams, I believe we all harbor a masterpiece that is patiently waiting for us to give it life. Listen to it calling, your masterpiece is waiting.
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