The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~ Psalm 65:8
When did I stop noticing?
What are the tiresome distractions that pull my gaze down, preventing my attention from being captivated by the wonders He puts on show day after day after day…
a spectacularly radiant sunrise;
trembling green leaves on the aspen’s branches in my backyard;
the cheerful call of a song sparrow on the front porch swing;
the clean, fresh smell of my neighbor’s just-mown grass;
the laughing blue eyes of a mischievous child…
It’s easy to push these aside as everyday occurrences. We forget that every single sunrise is a miraculous visual symphony we could never conduct; every intricate snowflake an impossibly complicated design.
God spoke the living world into being, everything untouched and true, a never-before-seen mystery of astounding originals. One day on the Creator’s earth, the very first whale breached in the cool saltiness of the very first watery ocean in the light of the only sun that ever was or has ever been.
Wonder of wonders.
There is little need that I should tell you of God,
For every thing speaks of him.
Every field is like an open book;
every painted flower hath a lesson
written on its leaves.
Every murmuring brook hath a tongue;
a voice is in every whispering wind.
They all speak of him who made them;
they all tell us, He is very good.
We cannot see God, for he is invisible;
but we can see his works,
and worship his footsteps in the green sod.
~ From Hymns in Prose for Children by Anna Laetitia Barbauld
Today is a WONDER-FILLED, GOOD day!
Do you think of yourself as an artist? If not, you might reconsider. Made in the image of God, we are indeed, artists. Not of His capacity, of course. He created all original, astonishing things. Light. Armadillos. Wind. Kiwis (the bird and the fruit). Purple.
Yet even within our human limitations, we are artistic. A synonym study shares that “art implies a personal, unanalyzable creative power”. So maybe you’re not a painter or a sculptor or a photographer, but what are you doing beautifully . . . artfully?
Some of us are:
Organizing our offices and homes
Molding Play-doh with our children or grandchildren
Preparing meals for shut-ins
Teaching 8-year-olds to swing a golf club or throw a pitch
Serving lunch in our local soup kitchen
Maybe we’re building a deck or making a casserole for our neighbor next door. At our best, when we make our way through our work artistically, we reflect in our own limited way the Creator’s commitment to excellence. And while we fall short of His perfection, our whole-hearted attempts glorify Him nonetheless.
Mother Teresa said, “There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in – that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.”
“Do it as beautifully as possible.”
The way I spend my time here on earth is my creative offering to God.
So grill the steak and arrange the flowers – beautifully. Visit your friend in the hospital and pick up your grandchild in the carpool line – beautifully. Hold the hand of your dying parent and make up your toddler’s bed and ask the elderly man standing in line at the deli counter how his day is – beautifully.
Because today you have creative moments to live.
Live them . . . beautifully.
Today is a GOOD day!
Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth brings simple art to prayer time. In this handbook-of-sorts MacBeth introduces the “art” of prayer time – everything from simple doodling (“improvisational drawing”) to complex images. MacBeth teaches pray-ers of every level how to use pen, paper and color to create daily prayer reminders.
Her writing is casual and humorous, putting those who fear they lack skill or ability at ease. It is her mission to invite everyone into this practice. Early on in Part 2, Chapter 2, she discusses the nuts and bolts of starting a creative prayer time. She then teaches her reader to create some type of simple visual illustration of a person being prayed for; this illustration becomes the catalyst for praying the remainder of the day. Lots of examples of colored doodling and art are included in the book, so her suggestions are easy to follow and implement. The strength of this book lies in MacBeth’s ability to encourage her readers . . . to just start!
Praying in Color is for everyone – no artistic talent required – just paper, pen, your favorite coloring art supplies, an open heart, and someone you’re praying for. In her own words:
When the drawing was finished, there was a visual record of my prayers. The images stayed in my mind and I carried them – and sometimes the actual page – with me wherever I went. (p. 15-16)
I highly recommend Praying in Color for those who want to add a little color to their prayer life!
Today is a GOOD day!
Thank you so much for visiting my site! As I settle back into some writing after a short break, I’ve thought about ways I can connect with you.
Would you like to receive a short weekly e-letter of encouragement?
Currently, I am sending out a personal letter each week A Simple Note – to those who’d like to receive it.
This short, weekly letter includes:
- a brief and sincere reflection – a thought for the day
- a prayer focus to think and pray about
- and sometimes a small tidbit that’s of interest
It’s short and sweet, a bit of encouragement for the day.
If you’re interested, you can subscribe here:
Thanks again for visiting – it means so much! And, as always, I welcome your questions and comments!
Today is a GOOD day!
Today I have a guest post at Belong Magazine‘s blog. Grab a cup of coffee and head on over!