I’m what you would call an “artsy-fartsy” type.
I haven’t really had any formal art training. Well, unless you count one measly and messy year of lessons from a local artist back when I was a kid. I love to throw things together, experiment, and then see what the end result will be. I like to make new creations out of random things.
I remember, when I was little, I made my mom a “music egg”. My mom is a piano teacher who is always stressing the importance of hand position and curved fingers. I came up with the idea to drain an egg, paint it, and then wrap it up and give to her as a gift. That way she could use it in her teaching by placing her student’s hand over the egg to show just how curved their hand position should be. Pretty creative huh? At least for a third grader!
Even today, some twenty-five years later, something in me wants my work to serve a purpose.
To be useful just the same as my “music egg” was. So, what do I do now? I make things out of vinyl records, wine corks, dominos, bottle tops and other odds and ends. I make jewelry. I make bulletin boards, magnets, and push pins. I’ve been known to buy old suitcases and “jazz” ‘em up a little. I call my wares “Charmingly Redeemed”.
Let me explain the title: Charming, adj-attractive; fascinating; delightful; pleasing to the eye; To Redeem, verb-to restore; to make worthwhile; justify; to convert. I take things that are trash- either no longer useful, or serving their original purpose- and (hopefully) restore and convert them, making them attractive, fascinating, and delightful. Something new.
You don’t really use a wine cork again once the wine has been opened, now do ya? Are you really listening to those records on your turntable? Wouldn’t you rather wear a delightful pair of earrings? A converted bangle bracelet? I thought so!
Now, there is a deeper level to my title selection here as well.
For you see, it also describes me! I love the fact that I have been redeemed, made new. I was once trash, useless and wasted. I am now being restored and converted, justified and made worthy! (And that’s just the redeemed category; sometimes I fall into the attractive, fascinating, delightful camp too!)
For many years, I was a dead body that was lying on the floor of a lake. Christ dove into the water, pushed His strong but nail-pierced hands, under my torso, and lifted me up through the depths. He gently placed me on land, blew life into my dead nostrils, and I awoke to begin a new life. I wasn’t drowning or grasping at a life preserver that Jesus tossed my way. That would mean I could take credit for doing something. I was dead. Dead as a doornail. He breathed life into me.
I was trash waiting to go to the eternal dump. Boy, am I glad He picked me from the bottom of that lake. (While the dump is an okay place to spend a hour looking for “art”, I can’t imagine eternity there…and I am also pretty sure that the smelly, nasty loneliness of the earthly dumps and trash heaps I’ve visited don’t even compare to the landfill of eternal separation from God and His beloved.)
The other aspect of this is that I deserved to stay at the bottom of the lake.
Just the same as my corks or my records deserve to go to the curb. Think about it (and for you eco-friendly, earthy, hippie, tree-huggers out there, bear with me for the sake of my illustration, will ya?) The corks are trash. They smell, have wine stains on them, some are broken and have jagged edges. As far as the records, a lot of the ones I use are just plain bad. (Are you really going to listen to “Readers Digest Greatest Collection of Love Songs” or Jim Reeves’ “Missing You” album? Seriously folks, I think we can agree for the sake of argument these things are on their way to the curb.)
I deserve nothing more. All of my good works are nothing. I am a fallen sinner. It is the Gospel of Christ, and His work on the Cross, His relationship with His bride, and His grace that redeems me! He melts me. He molds me. He pokes me…(The same things I do when making my jewelry- though on a much smaller scale!) He does all these things to draw me to Him! (Now I’m getting into sanctification here…Uh oh Stacey, you might have to have me back for another “guest blog” 🙂 He has made me “Charmingly Redeemed” by His death on the cross. I love it! I love being His work of art, and not just His work of art, but His tool to be used for His glory!
Every time I make a new piece of jewelry, or paint a new item for my business, I can’t help but think about what it used to be and how cool it is that I am making something even better out of it. You can still see the “old” in it, but now it has been made new in order to serve a new purpose. May you find yourself new, and charmingly redeemed as well!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17