The first gleam of dawn…

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The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
    which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness.
    They have no idea what they are stumbling over.

My child, pay attention to what I say.
    Listen carefully to my words.

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Look straight ahead,
    and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
    stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked;
    keep your feet from following evil.- Proverbs 4:18-27

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So often I sidetrack myself with my own mind.  Thinking instead of praying.  Talking instead of listening.

I was in a battle with myself yesterday.  You see- for nearly 3 years, I’ve written on here every single week- sometimes twice a week.  That once a week deadline (that I’ve tried to live up to) was yesterday.  I know others who write daily and even more often than that.  But for me- I have a hard time making myself do tasks such as these because- well, I have to have the time, and I have to be inspired!  You can’t “make” yourself be inspired to write!

The girls are home on Spring Break and there are lots of Mom things that still have to run as usual.  And I knew that if I didn’t “write” yesterday, that my once a week post standard that I have set would be broken forever. But you know what I did?  I allowed myself to feel like a failure for an entire day because of it. I did that to myself!!

And you know what? The sun still set last night.  The girls had a mini slumber party on the couch (their favorite non-school way to sleep), and I woke up this morning to my cuddly dog snuggling with me.  My hubby kissed me goodbye on his way out the door for work this morning.  And not a single one of them knew I labeled myself a “failure” all of yesterday. Life still went on as usual.  The only person who made me feel like a failure was ME!

The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.  Psalm 37

It brought me great comfort to read the above verses this morning.  When I delight in Him, I have no room for unpleasant thoughts about myself.  When I fall, He picks me right back up. And when I take my negative thoughts and surrender them to the Lord- I immediately feel the peace of Christ reign in my heart once again!

So, stop being so hard on yourself…surrender those thoughts to HIM! It’s a new day to love the Lord and to recognize how much He loves YOU!

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 2 Corinthians 10:5  

art and worship

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I had my boundaries stretched this past week.  I love how God turns my thoughts upside down and takes me out of my comfort zone.  We all have ideas in our head about what it looks like when people are worshipping– whether we are engaged in the singing or intently focused on the pastor preaching the message during a Sunday morning service.

“Mom, do you think I could bring coloring pencils and color while the pastor is preaching?” my older daughter asked me this past week.  She explained that it is hard for her to focus, but that during her classes at school, she “doodles” and that it helps her listen better.

I admit- I didn’t know what to say at first, because she’s not so little anymore. I am ashamed to say that part of me worried about what other people might think if I allow my (almost) 13 year old to color during the service.  But, I love to doodle- and I can definitely say that it helps me to focus, too. So I told her she could- as long as she was discreet and as long as she sat beside me and LISTENED to the message.

After I finished the last song during the music part of the service, I sat down beside her.  She quietly took out her pencils and began to fill in the little patterns. I was mesmerized watching her, and part of my own creative brain longed to color with her! As the pastor led us to a time of prayer, I went back to the piano and played.  When we were finished, my daughter had already put away her things and was all smiles.

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My daughter’s colorful creation

I began to think- coloring with your hands isn’t all that different from me playing the piano.  During almost every prayer I am “doodling” on the piano keys (which I like to call “noodling” around).  And for me- that is absolutely worship!  I am praying silently as I am playing- and I always feel more connected to Him through the movement of my hands across the keys.

Afterwards, I quizzed her in the car.

“So, what was the message about?”

She remembered everything- even the three main points of the sermon.  Seeds had been planted- and for me, that’s the most important thing of all.

So, can art be a part of worship?  Absolutely. I think anything we do can be an act of worship- even coloring – if our mind and heart are focused on the Lord.

I’m proud of her for not worrying about what other people would think. And I’m a bit disappointed in myself for caring too much.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1  Corinthians 10:31

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