life is beautiful

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sunday is Special

This week I had the privilege of looking carefully at Gideon's life.  Gideon's story is a beautiful account of God using an individual who felt weak, insufficient, incapable of the task given him. Gideon didn't trust God, but the Lord was still patient with Him and comforted Him. He looked for every excuse to not obey the commands God was giving him, and God's answer was simply: "Surely I will be with you."

What an amazing answer to Gideon's failings and shortcomings: don't worry about all that, Gideon - GOD is going to be WITH you in all that He asks you to do. And through Gideon's weakness, God was mightily glorified! 

Oh Lord, you know how weak I am.  Might you might be glorified in me, too?!

Purple Beauty

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Beautiful Moment

Early this morning at our house the sun shone brightly and surprisingly.  It turned our dew-drenched backyard into a sparkling wonderland, and I was holding my little one trying to show her the spectacle.
"Look! Look at that, little lady!" I encouraged, but despite my best efforts, she was intently focused on something else. We were standing inside the glass at our back door, and instead of taking in the glorious view, she was staring down at the small deck outside the door.  This little landing is... less than beautiful.  Water stands on it sometimes in the rainy season, and some rather interesting but ultimately unsightly tiny orange moss speckles in a few divots.  But my girl couldn't take her eyes off it. I tilted her.  I distracted her.  I tried to block her downward view, but she was entranced.
So.... I enjoyed the gloriously beautiful moment myself and was thankful that I could be cheek to cheek with my darling even if she was looking at something that paled in comparison to the radiance of the sunshine.
The situation made me think about how often I focus on my own interests and my own busy-ness and my own, beloved plans instead of gazing at TRUTH about my CREATOR and working on GLORIFYING Him.
Thank you, Lord for giving me such a beautiful moment to realize such a beautiful truth!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beauty Observed

I've often enjoyed and admired "Joy's Hope" blog.  Julie's tagline is right up my alley: "do something good. everyday."  Her blog is bright and beautiful, and on it she writes in a friendly, captivating way about her life. She loves brightly colored fabric and fun and her little ones and her husband and most of all the Lord. And seeing how her blog and all of this creating and beauty stemmed from a time when she reached the end of herself and went through some remarkably difficult trials adds an incredibly beautiful depth of meaning to it all. To say that I'm inspired by her story of relying on God during those days and of how He guided her to a healing place would be a huge understatement.  Her story reminds me how thankful I am to I serve such a gentle, loving Heavenly Father!  Today is a very special day for Julie and her family, so stop on over and read her story. Be inspired. Bask in the beauty that is the healing power and JOY of Jesus!

"Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's 
goodness while I am in the land of the living."
Psalm 27:13

Beauty Found

Today, as I had the privilege to create again, I re-realized that it is becoming an incredibly, entirely therapeutic process for me.  There is so much beauty around us, and today's project had layers of it.  I took this tremendously beautiful song and re-arranged it in as lovely a way as I could for four beginner instrumentalists who are also beautiful.... and I just cannot wait until the practicing is underway and I can hear for real how beautiful they will make it as they pour their souls into it and embrace its Scriptural lyrics.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Beauty Found

I'm discovering the joy of matching my girlie. It's a beautiful thing!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday is Special

"Scripture commands us to rejoice in the Lord. That's not just a pious way of saying, "Be happy in a Christian way." Rather, it's telling us the secret to joy: joy comes from our relationship with God, who Himself is omni-joyful!  The key to moving from self-pity to genuine joy is not thinking happy thoughts; it's thinking of and fellowshipping with Christ!"

by Joe Tyrpak and Chris Anderson

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beauty Found

Have you ever noticed how very much a 3 year old boy LOVES rain puddles? We're more than blessed with them here, and just look at the joy on these faces.

Now THAT's beautiful.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A New Year

As 2011 rolled around we were blessed in our normally dreary-skied climate with some golden winter days. The sun shined all day long, and we took full advantage of it, with curtains flung wide open and lots of "scootering" and glorious walks. One evening I watched a vivid pink and orange sunset cheek-to-cheek with my little daughter and was seized with the idea of spending the coming year hunting for one such stunningly beautiful moment every day.
Now that we're ending the first month of 2011, I've decided to move my paper journal online so that I can share the adventure with anyone who cares to follow it. Some days this month, I've seen extraordinary beauty in God's creation. Some days I've seen it in my children. Every day I've found the "beauty of holiness" (Psalm 96:9) in God's Word.
Another facet of looking for daily beauty has been a rather unexpected discovery. I've never considered myself very "crafty." I do enjoy the finished result of most projects I attempt, but rarely do I enjoy the crafting process, but recently I've tried my hand at making a few beautiful accessories for dear friends, family and myself to enjoy, and surprisingly I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative process AND the finished treasures. Some days, I've even found the most beautiful moment of my day in these little creations. For an experiment, I've put a few of these items on Etsy, and we will just see what happens.
I plan to blog my daily "moments" and hope that you will enjoy and maybe even start looking for the beauty of life yourself. Feel free to share them here in the comments, or if you're cataloging them online please let me know a link and I'll include it.
Enjoy this moment from our glorious sunshiney New Year's. I'll see you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beauty Every Day

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She loved life and was entranced by the beauty in the world around her. She learned and believed that the beauty and order she saw around her originated with God, the Creator of the Universe, and she grew to know and love Him as she learned about Him through His Word. She had wonderful opportunities through her school days to learn about the earth, the amazing creatures and individuals that inhabit it and the universe that holds it.
As she grew, she started paying less attention to the beauty that surrounded her and became more absorbed with what she had to do. She forgot to pay more attention to who she was than to what she was doing. She forgot that it's really important to pay attention to who you are.
She didn't forget about God, by any means, but she starting thinking that He cared most about what she did and how well she did it. She got very, very busy and eventually stopped thinking about the beauty around her altogether. She became a young woman, and a fairly productive one. She didn't take very good care of herself, but she was astoundingly efficient and just about as astoundingly proud of this. When something beautiful did surprise her, it was only a brief moment before she ducked her head back into her busyness and kept moving. Sometimes, she listened to the wiser people around her and engineered an opportunity to step into nature, but even then it was strictly scheduled and she was largely distracted.
The strangest part of this story is that she didn't realize how beauty-deprived she was. Even her personal worship had become clouded with almost frantic activity as she focused less on her relationship with God and more on goals and lists and private "achievements." She forgot that it's really important to pay attention to the beauty of the Creator and of His Creation.
Then, one day, there was a change. This girl-turned-busy-woman got a second chance.
It was the first day of Spring in 2006 when she suddenly remembered the smell of freshly tilled earth. She had moved to a farming community, and perhaps she caught the scent during her commute, but whatever the trigger, she was captivated by it. She remembered the vegetable gardens from her childhood and realized with an ache that she hadn't been noticing the season changes aside from obvious holidays and necessary wardrobe swaps.
She planted a garden. She stopped staring at catalogs and began thinking about what was truly attractive to her. She started taking walks and actually considering what she saw as she went along. After that first moment, the changes were slow, but the girl eventually started paying attention to beauty again.
Most importantly, she remembered that God is more concerned about who we are than He is about what we accomplish. He knows our hearts and motives! She renewed her relationship with Him and started basking in His beauty again.
Today, she often thinks about how close she came to living a life filled with activity of no real value, and thinks about what she would have missed if she never remembered to look for beauty in life. Her story isn't over yet, but she is determined that it will have a happy ending. Stay tuned to see how her quest to find one stunningly beautiful moment each day goes. It will be an adventure.