Beautiful Things

Having kids changes you in so many ways that you never thought of and makes you rethink so many things – like why on earth did I say I was tired when I was single and had no kids?! These days I notice that I am so often caught up in the monotony and monochromatic life of cars and highways and sidewalks and dishwashers and groceries, but having our baby girl has reawakened my senses –  after a few cups of coffee of course. Going out for a walk to get the mail was a chore for me, but is a grand adventure for her; each rock and bug and flower that I have passed 100 times without a second glance is fresh and new and intriguing for her.

Before I was and wife and mom, I loved to go out on the farm and I would spend hours just taking photos of tiny things. I was mesmerized by the intricate order of the flowers, or the fuzzy bee butts sticking out of sweet clover buds. I studied the strawberries in the patch, and the drops of dew hanging from blades of grass. When is the last time you stopped and REALLY looked at nature? I think we forget how majestic our God is, and how creative He was when He made everything! He could have made everything one simple drab color. He could have made one type of bird, one type of fish, and one type of flower. He could have made all food taste the same, and all sounds sound alike – but  NO! God has given us an amazing array of smells, tastes, colors and sounds to make up our world, and we pass it by every day like its nothing! Not to mention the beautiful collection of skin tones, faces and eye colors in all of His children! Read Genesis 1 and 2 – like REALLY read them – and think about how much fun God must have had dreaming up the crawly animals at the bottom of the ocean, the outrageously colored birds in the amazon, and the beautiful, aromatic flowers in the tropics. We have such an awesome world to live in, and such an awesome God!

I think we need to take more time to be creative as well – I struggle with this sometimes because I have a list of things I NEED to do, and when I have some precious free time, I often take care of those things because they seem more pressing. However, God created US to create, and I really feel like it can be a form of worship. If you are feeling numbed and insensitive to beauty and peace and joy, take just a little time to create something — to rediscover and nurture those things that feed your soul and make you feel closer to God, whether that is art, music, photography, cooking, or whatever! I used to love to cook and come up with new and tasty flavor combinations – I loved to take those tiny bee butt photos – I tried just about anything artsy, but the truth of my life now is that I cook in 15 minutes or less to feed hungry people on a schedule, and I only do something artistic if I’m doing it for a purpose, like making a gift. My life is filled with other things that are necessary and fulfilling in their way, but not always beautiful. This past week I was really feeling like I didn’t remember who I was outside of a wife and mother – I took some time and I sat down during the kids’ nap yesterday and painted this:

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Its not perfect, but I am proud of it. I have been wanting to practice brush lettering for a long time, and never did because I didn’t get the time. I love visual reminders of Scripture, but never created them, because I didn’t have the time. Well, yesterday, I MADE the time, and I had so much fun! I was in a better mood, had pride in completing something, and I feel like all of those things go into feeding my soul so that I can pour out more and better things on others. Obviously, this isn’t a fix-all for having a happy spirit but I just think that if we never take time out to do the things that make our lives more joyful, creative and beautiful, we will start to lose that sense in our souls to recognize those things in the world, and yes, in others around us. I highly recommend that when you feel like you are losing hold on who you are, return to those things that make you joyful.  Pay attention to those things, because sometimes its in the pursuit of them that you find yourself becoming close to the creator that created a masterpiece in YOU.

He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.” — Exodus 35:35

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