Recently, I have started playing ping pong again. Growing up, My Dad, my brother and I used to play ping pong all of the time! We would have tournaments at night before we went to bed. All three of us are pretty competitive people and none of us like to lose. Over time, we would constantly try to get better and exploit each others weaknesses. My weakness was and is my backhand shot.
I would spend hours trying to work on my backhand. I would spend so much time working on overcoming my weakness. Overtime, my backhand got a little better but has never become great.
I remember one day my Dad said to me, “Stop working so hard on your weakness and start focusing on your strengths.” Huh, it never even occurred to me to do that. My strength is my serve and forehand spike. I started to work on my serve and my forehand. What I found was this: if I could serve it really well people would be forced to hit the ball to my forehand. My serve would tee up my forehand spike! As I worked on my strengths I began to become a better ping pong player.
Why is it so easy to focus on our weaknesses and ignore our strengths? It could be because people tend to always point out our weaknesses and ignore our strengths. They tend to see that one bad grade on your report card, or that one day you got to work late, or the one time you lost your temper, or that one accident or speeding ticket on your record.
What if we decided that instead of spending all of our time trying to improve our weaknesses, we asked God to help us in the areas we were weak and we poured our effort into our strengths.
The apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 12:9, But God said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Did he really say that he would boast gladly about his weaknesses? That sounds like a crazy idea! What if it were true? What if we could give our weaknesses to God and rely on His power? What if we focused our effort on our strengths?
Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses.
My good friend Les Morrison recently said, “if you look for the bad in people you will find it every time.”
What if we started focusing on our strengths and the strengths of others around us?
Let me tell you what would happen. Our self-confidence would grow! Our self-esteem would grow! Our self-image would be positive! You would be able to say “so long insecurity” and “Hey there self confidence”!
Here is the challenge:
Make a list of five of your strengths right now. List one way you can work on each one of those strengths going forward.
Remember, your life is NOT small. You have so much to offer when you focus on your strengths!
Fall! Don’t you just love it? When you envision your perfect Fall, what do you think of? Apple picking? Changing leaves? Sweater Weather? Chai tea lattes? With every season, I have a bucket list of sorts. There are certain things that I think just make the season complete. For Fall, one item that always lands on my mental bucket list is carving pumpkins. I’ll pin cute designs when I come across them and conjure up the idea of a couples date-night-pumpkin-carving-contest. And then…..
Life happens! :) And somehow Carving Pumpkins never made it to the top of the priority list. Go figure. So where are you at today? Do you have 10 pumpkins carved already and have no idea what I’m talking about? Maybe you’re going through a difficult time right now and don’t have the energy to celebrate the season. OR Maybe you simply have a pumpkin that’s currently taunting you; you bought it with very good intentions but now don’t want to deal with the slimy stringy-ness of it all.
I get it.
That’s what happened to me a few years back. Every year pumpkin carving would land on my mental bucket list and every year without fail, Thanksgiving would roll around and I’d be waving bye bye to my good friend the jack-o-lantern. SO, today in an effort to help you “get your fall on” and celebrate the season WHILE maintaining your sanity I bring to you : “The Painted Pumpkin.” That’s right this self-proclaimed queen of spray paint is taking it to another level. We’re spraying gourds baby! :D You now have no excuses, don’t let your schedule or lack of knife skills keep you from fully enjoying the season. Even if you are short on time, you can still celebrate & get your fall on!
My cutie pie sister is joining me today and we’re going to do 5 super simple, anyone-can-do painted pumpkins for your viewing pleasure.
First up, your basic spray painted pumpkin. This is the pumpkin to do when you have 30 seconds. :) Last year, I saw these gorgeous metallic pumpkins at a design store. The price however, not so gorgeous. What’s a girl to do? Don’t fret, it’s your favorite metallic spray paint to the rescue of course. The only prep step for this is to wipe down your pumpkin to get rid of any dust or dirt and lay your pumpkin on a surface you don’t mind getting paint on.
As you can see, I’ve used this poster board multiple times and it’s still going strong. I prefer poster board to newspaper or a drop cloth because it doesn’t stick.
Gunther however prefers the drop cloth.
I placed this mini pumpkin on my Mantel to add a little “Fall meets Glam” to my decor.
Next up are 2 basic spray painted pumpkins with a little kick. These are the pumpkins to tackle when you have 1 minute 30 seconds :)
The 1st Pumpkin has a very playful feel and would be great for the kiddos in your life. I sprayed this pumpkin a semi-gloss white and added teal washi tape from Target. There are so many designs that you could do with the washi tape OR you could err on the side of ridiculously simple and pretend you intended your pumpkin to resemble a basketball…like I did. ;) (And yes, if you squint real hard, those ARE tags still on my desk lamp.I’ve been debating. You like? Or is it back to Home Goods for me?)
The 2nd basic spray-painted pumpkin was a total happy accident. It started out metallic silver with polka dots, but it wasn’t workin’ for me. THEN I decided it should be cream with gold polka dots. And next, I learned a valuable lesson. Spray Paint, has a shelf life and my Cream can had seen better days. It was a crazy splotchy mess. To cover it I decided to spray it with Metallic Bronze in a hammered finished. Have you used Hammered Spray Paint before? It’s awesome. ( I spray painted all my interior door knobs with it!) But alas, the cream splotchy mess had yet to dry and the result was..um..as my whitty sister put it, “marbled.” And truth be told…I LOVE it.
Life Lesson #532: Sometimes, a creative mistake can open up room for a new idea. Embrace it. It’s just a pumpkin.
And before we conclude the spray-paint only section. Meet my gourd. He was $0.27. He got painted and now lives on my ottoman topping a stack of books. He’s neighbors with a Home Goods vase that is filled with a few branches I literally ripped off my tree as I was letting Gunther out one night. You gotta use What’s in your Hand remember? ;) He’s got the cutest little shape.
Moving right along we have 2 simple versions of a Monogram Pumpkin.
Here is my 1st attempt. My sister was hoping for a lovely “Q” on her cream Pumpkin. EPIC. FAIL.
Life Lesson #534: Stenciling non-flat surfaces…is not my forté. The struggle is real.
SO, in order to redeem myself, I instituted the help of my friend Emily. She’s the perfect mix of love, sarcasm, loyalty, and calligraphy. Seriously, the girl can hand letter like nobodies business. If you do not have an Emily in your life, try sketching on your own lettering in pencil OR you could print off a giant letter and trace it on.
Next, add some Modge Podge (which is in the $1 spot at Target Currently..I KNOW!) I applied it with a foam brush for extra precision and add glitter. I choose “Champagne” glitter from Michael’s, it has a rose-gold feel. Once it’s dry, give it a good coat of Spray Lacquer so you can pass it down to your great great grandchildren.
And the result, so pretty and expensive looking. I was really tempted to keep it, BUT since I have no Q’s in my name. I made my own Monogram pumpkin, with Furniture Nails!
Ta-Dah. If you follow me on Instagram, your curiosity is now satisfied…;)
If you’re wanting to make your own Monogram-Nailhead-Pumpkin just pick up a pack of Furniture Nails from the hardware store. I used just under 1 pack. PS they’re $1.25/pack, so go crazy, buy 2!
I tired my hand at drawing the “R” on in pencil and then I decided that ALL hand lettering should be left to Emily. Needless to say, I free-handed it and if I can…you can too! :)
So there you have it, 5 quick and easy no-carve ways to fancy up your pumpkins!
Praying this brightens your home no matter what season you may find yourself in.
Go forth and spray paint.
Until next time,