I like to have a spot in my office that I can just scribble out ideas. Sometimes my brain kind of explodes, so it’s nice to have a spot to focus the explosion. Or gather those pieces to make sense of another day.
Rather than collecting a bajillion post it notes all over my office, I kind of like the idea of a white board I could scribble on with different colored markers. There is even paint you can buy to make a DIY whiteboard. Eh, cool, but I’m not really that crafty. Besides, having a big, white, board thing taking up a lot of wall space is, well, kinda ugly. And to get a smart board, those are $pendy.
So here’s what I did: I made a glass board. I got a large piece of glass, a little package of mirror mounts from a hardware store, and installed it on my wall. Okay, you’re thinking, “sure, large pieces of glass are just super easy to come by”. Well, kinda. I actually went on safari in our church basement and found some large pieces of “art” that had been donated when a hotel closed. So imagine budget hotel art from the eighties. We weren’t going to use the picture, but I sure could use pieces. I used the frame for a different project I’ll share about another time. I was left with this huge piece of glass. So look around your space and see if there are things you can “repurpose”. Or ask others. Or check garage sales.
This could also make a really cool response station for your students. Even if you kept it in the frame (minus the gross eighties artwork) then hung it on the wall. Additionally, a person could use a smaller version in their home. It would make a great family center to write notes or schedules on.
Whiteboard? or Brain Exploding Board!
Rather than dry erase markers, you need to use the wet erase type. Like overhead markers. Yes, they still make them. I got a package with a nice selection of colors, so my little brain could explode in multiple colors. The other cool thing, you can slide other papers you may want to display behind the glass. Then write and draw around them. Then erase. Then let your brain explode all over again. So. Cool.
Happy brain exploding!
If you’re looking to reinvent a tired space or create something new, paint is a quick way to do it. Paint a room. Paint an alcove. Paint the infant ministry space. Or the bathroom?
I used to be a bit afraid of paint. I was afraid of picking the wrong color. Or colors. Unsure of what the whole scheme might be. Then choosing the brand and texture of paint, and all the tools I needed… shut the front door. That was overwhelming.
Want to know how I got over that?? Lean in, a little closer, and I’ll let you in on my secret. Ready… Here it is: I asked someone else to do that. I found a volunteer who was in design school and asked her to pick some paint colors for me. Granted, I had final say, but I let her pick them. Then I had her estimate costs, including all the supplies. I gave her petty cash to go buy the products. She loved it. And I loved that she loved it. And I loved that I didn’t have to get overwhelmed with it.
Since then I’ve gotten better in my painting skills. And I’ve gotten better in my paint selections. I’m never going to be a designer, AND I still have fun ideas that are valid. So when someone suggested hideous paint colors and dismissed my ideas, I was able to thank them, appreciate that they showed me a path I didn’t want to choose, and moved forward with my decisions.
The other cool thing about paint: even though it goes on permanent, it’s really not. I mean, you can’t erase it, but reality is you should update your space about every five years. Can you live with the color for up to five years?
So don’t be afraid to go BOLD. Or bright. Or soft. Maybe not technicolor vomit all over the place. That would be, well, gross. Then again, if you can make it work with your plans, GO FOR IT!
I have struggled in the past with having a voice. There have been times in my life I wasn’t allowed to express my anger, or the fear beneath it. I also was very timid in sharing my deeper views or feelings. I think some of it goes back to that “Not Good Enough Principle”. If I don’t measure up, why would people want to hear my views or thoughts? If I didn’t measure up, or wasn’t allowed to be angry, how could my other feelings be valid? Why would someone want to know them?
I think at times in my younger years I was sort of a shape shifter. I can get along with a lot of different people in a vast amount of situations. I can play the peacemaker to make sure everything is okay for everyone. Everyone except me. Because I didn’t have the voice to stand up and declare what I felt in the situation. Or what I needed out of the situation. Because of my insecurities I held back. So I often ended up in situations I wasn’t okay with, or in situations that felt horrible. And that’s what remains. The bad feelings. And those bad feelings make a map in our minds and hearts. I get in new situations and start to experience those same feelings. Then I’m triggered right back to original situations where I was hurt. Where I had no voice.
I went through a season of healing those old situations. Deactivating the map, so to speak. It’s an interesting process. As I think about a hurtful situation I speak out loud. Saying the words out loud has made such a huge difference. I speak what I feel, how I was hurt, and what I need. Then I speak what I needed to hear from the other person or people. After this, I look for Jesus in the situation and talk to Him directly. I tell Him how I hurt, what I need and He usually answers me right away. It’s a pretty amazing process.
It might sound a bit odd to you, but it’s helped me gain my voice. It helped me stand and embrace the calling He placed on my life. I encourage you to try it too. Get out of your head. Stop the inside chatter that will drive you nuts. Speak the words. Speak the truth. Speak them to yourself. To offenders. And don’t forget to tell Jesus. He is right there. He already knows what’s going on, but He wants to hear it. He loves us so much and doesn’t want to see us hurting and in pain. So voice it. Voice it to Him. You have a voice and He wants to hear it.