Two years ago, my husband gave me a very special Mother's Day gift. The idea for the gift was inspired by a painting my husband and I had admired in our daughter-in-law's studio. We learned the beautiful painting had been particularly difficult for her to paint because it had been her first blank canvas, hers to create whatever she desired, after several commissioned pieces in which people told her what colors to use and what design to paint. (You may check our her art at

Of course, I didn't know about my husband's inspiration as I unwrapped the golden-fabric covered journal on that Mother's Day. And while a new journal is always a welcome gift because I write in one almost every day, I had never received one from my husband. Trying to hide my disappointment, I turned to thank him just as he said, "This is not just any journal." He paused. "This is your blank canvas."

Tears welled up in my eyes as I realized what he was referring to. He went on to explain that in this new season of my life---children grown, moved out and on their own---he wanted me to take time, to pray, to carefully consider and to write down in my new journal what I wanted to "paint on my blank canvas."

That special journal, now filled with my thoughts, prayers, dreams, goals and plans is safely stored away where I can easily pull it out from time to time to reflect and remember. On one page, I drew a simple border to "frame my canvas." On each section of the frame I wrote the names of my children with room for the new names of their growing families. I understood they were no longer the main part of my canvas because now they had their own canvas to paint.

Inside my hand drawn frame, I wrote GOD in large letters across the blank page of my sample canvas. And in the middle of the letter O, I wrote my husbands name Duane.  For without a doubt, I knew my faith and relationship with God must be the backdrop, the main color and the theme of my "canvas." And, as long as God gives us breath,  my precious husband will be the other primary "color" on that canvas.

There is one other page, in my Mother's Day journal, that I actually reproduce in my new journals. On this page I sketched an artist's palette. Inside the palette I drew several dabs, small squiggley circles. And inside each dab, I wrote a word or short description of the "colors" I want on my blank canvas. The first palette had fifteen "dabs of color" which I thoughtfully chose to define my life now that my children are grown and gone. (Don't be surprised to see a blog post about the palette in the future.)

It fascinates me to watch an artist paint. It is amazing to watch them blend, cover, highlight and change the colors on their canvas to make it exactly the picture they have in their mind. So as I prepare to celebrate another Mother's Day, I wonder what colors are on the canvas of your life? Are you happy with your canvas? Are there colors you would like to add or enhance or eliminate? The Mother's Day gift I received two years ago inspired me to look with new eyes at my life's canvas. And I pray you will be inspired to think about the canvas of your life and to prayerfully consider the colors God wants on your paletteto make it the masterpiece He intended your life to be. 

Ephesians 2:10For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.