Not long after my brother and his family moved into their new home, I noticed that my sister-in-law had decorated the wall of the stairwell with the children’s art work. These works of art were framed in hard, clear plastic covers over a cardboard insert which held the art in place. They gave the house a home-like atmosphere in a classy way. I thought it was a lovely way to support the children’s artistic efforts and decorate on a budget.

This year, when we sent out our Christmas cards, I saved the boxes they came in because they reminded me of the frames that my sister-in-law had used. Preparing the boxes was relatively easy. I turned them upside-down on some paper and spray-painted them white. (I did not bother to remove the label on the back as it would be covered by the art work.) It required about two coats to sufficiently cover the boxes. While the paint was drying, I removed the stickers from the front of the plastic covers.

Once the boxes were dry, I turned them back over and marked the center of the panel that was used to hold the cards in place. Then I punched a hole through my mark. Why the box is not the exact size to fit the cards is a mystery to me, but this extra cardboard does provide a wonderful space for hanging it as a frame!

The fun part was choosing some of my children’s art work and “matting” and framing them! The mats are just pieces of colored paper cut to size. Since I did not want to do anything permanent to the art work or the mats, I used just a small piece of tape to hold the work in place while I slid the cover on over it. This way, I can change out the art as they continue to give me new work simply by removing the cover and replacing the old with the new. These were done by my son and daughter. Didn’t they do well?!

This project reminds me of a sermon illustration that I once heard about the love that God has for His children. The Bible tells me that my best efforts at righteousness are so tainted by my sinful nature that they are like “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6). With regard to God’s pure standard of righteousness, they are like the scribblings of a preschool child on a piece of crumpled paper being compared to the works of the masters which hang in the Louvre. As a parent, I know that my children’s art will likely never hang in a major museum, but my love for them takes that art, enhances it by matting and framing it, and gives it a place of honor on the walls of my home. It is not that I need their art work. It has value to me because I love my children and I am proud of their efforts. In like manner, God does not need my pitiful efforts at righteousness. He could do much better! He chooses to take my efforts and enhance them for the work of His kingdom, because He LOVES ME! Isn’t He awesome?!

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