Box of Shame

Halloween, 2011. We came, we saw, we got candy. And then we got wicked nasty coughs and snots. Caleb and Merrick are down with the sickness, but at least there’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to be had. It’s November now, and I am ready to shift the focus off of pumpkin-bucket-fulls of processed sugar and onto the thankfulness of the great feathered food. I, for one, am thankful that I have a husband who knows how to cook a turkey.

In other news, this past Saturday’s craft fair turned out to be an exceptional waste of time learning experience. While I did manage to sell about $100 worth of awesome handmade merchandise, I lost money overall once I counted in supply costs and booth fees and caffeine fixes. I was disappointed. Caleb tried to cheer me up, and since he knows me well and since he knows I wouldn’t be consoled with a customary “You’ll do better next time” speech, he launched into what could be considered one of the funniest monologues in animated motion picture history.

Toni: “Well…I think I’m only in the hole about $25.00.”

Caleb: (impatient sigh) “Well. You say that like it’s a great sale day…LOOK AT MY FACE!”

With that, and the gentle suggestion that the Box of Shame would make a great Halloween costume, my husband single-handedly prevented me from sinking into a deep black pit of self-doubt and depression of which there would have been no escape…without the help of expensive medications and “I like myself” videos.

I just recently wrapped up a bible study about false gods, and how they sneakily prevent us from giving everything we’ve got to our one true God–things like alcoholism, drug addiction, sin, yada yada…awful stuff, right? False gods can also include good things like our families, our friendships, our careers–none of which are neccessarily bad in and of themselves, but can nevertheless steal away the #1 spot in our hearts that should be reserved for God. What do I allow to rule me? I kind of like acceptance. I like controlling situations, I like to have an organized house, a beautiful house. TV, facebook, music. Money. Stylish clothes. Cute shoes. The thought of getting a new car tops my thoughts more frequently than I should probably admit. “Yeah, God,” I say. “I know your will for me is to probably save or donate that $5, but I’d seriously enjoy some Starbucks at Barnes and Noble right now. You know how I’m a slave to the bean. This can’t be helped.”

The list is long; I’ve racked up a number of offenses. With the big giant failure that was my short-lived craft show career, I was made painfully aware of just how focused I was on successfully selling my art. I put my heart and soul into every painting, every sign, every wreath–and at the end of the day I was lugging it all back home, feeling worthless and rejected. I almost ruined my kids’ trick-or-treat night with my bad mood. I was so wrapped up in my self-pity and disappointment that I forgot everything I’d been studying over the past 8 weeks. I’d been filling my head up with thoughts–awesome thoughts–of making great art and making great money…and when that didn’t happen, I wasted no time in getting impatient and pissed off. Why weren’t things going according to (my) plan? What was I supposed to do now?

Some days it’s really hard to trust in God and some days it’s really hard to give Him my full attention. It’s an everyday struggle for me to focus on God’s rad plans instead of on my own immediate desires. So, I’m disappointed with the outcome of one particular day in my otherwise pretty sweet art career. (sweet for the amount of time I’ve put into it, anyway.) So what? God gave me a talent and I’m sure He’s got something in store for it. There’s a plan, a plan that includes specific timing and details that are unknown to me right now. It might be different than what I had in mind (making a few bucks at a hometown craft fair), but if I can manage to patiently and prayerfully watch and wait (rather than selfishly and hastily take matters into my own hands), God will be able to do some amazing things.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

One response to “Box of Shame

  • Joell

    Reese’s do have magical healing properties. And I totally feel you on that need for acceptance and controlling stuff stituation. Love your words, as usual.

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