A few years ago, my three-year-old son and I were sitting in a meeting, and I was trying to keep him happy with a coloring book and crayons.
"Come on, honey. Why don't you color something nice?" I whispered.
Resting his chin in his hands, he sighed, "I can't. I just scribble."
He was right. His drawings did basically look like scribbles, but that was okay with me--that's how every artist begins. My son didn't see it that way, though. His older sisters could stay in the lines. Their pictures actually looked like something. When they finished a masterpiece, they felt a sense of accomplishment at having created a colorful garden, a family portrait, or a series of rainbows and fluffy clouds.
My son could only make scribbles.
It hurt my heart to see him discouraged, so I picked up a green crayon, placed it in his grip, and then guided his hand around the coloring book, helping him create the picture he could see in his mind's eye.
I remember that moment clearly because the Lord used that experience to teach me a powerful lesson.
I often look at my life and think, "I just scribble." I burn the pancakes, I miss half the stains that enter our washing machine, I don't create perfect web pages for The Power of Moms, I struggle to find the "right" way to teach my children how to behave, I cry too easily, and I'm lacking in patience.
These are little things, for the most part, and I know that I do many things well, but I still get discouraged. Sometimes I don't even want to try to create that masterpiece I can see in my head.
The Lord knows that. Every successful person has started out with "scribbles." It might look like everyone else can stay in the lines, but if that's the case, it's only because they first started out with a mish-mash of indecipherable lines and squiggles.
It's when we're feeling discouraged--when we're convinced that our efforts will yield nothing but failure--that the Lord takes us by the hand and helps us to create something more beautiful than we ever imagined.
A scripture I love from church says, "Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers."
I know this is true. I've seen it happen in my own family. We'll have a really hard day, one that is full of sickness, quarrels, and messes, but then everything will turn around, and suddenly I'm sitting in the middle of a masterpiece I did not have the strength or ability to create.
It's all because of Him.
When we start to question ourselves, and when we feel convinced that our scribbles will never be enough, let's remember to rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever.