Celebrating the Beauty of Life and giving hope

"Amidst the ebb and flow of our lives as mothers, it is all to easy to get caught up in the serious side of our walk with God. We have so much to teach our children: moral standards, an understanding of God's character, Bible stories, manners--the list goes on and on. Yes, there is a battle for our children's souls. Yes, there is godly character we need to form in them. Yes, there is so much work to be done. But we have to realize that there is something much more important to the Lord. God wants us to enjoy Him, His creation, and His love. He wants us to lead our children into celebrating life with Him and taking time to notice the beauty He has poured into each and every day. He wants us to revel in His goodness and love. God, the artist, went to great lengths to create tangible beauty for us to enjoy in every facet of life. He made visual beauty with colors and design. He made audible beauty in which our souls can feast on lovely music and song. He made the beauty of taste and aroma pleasing to our palate: the sweetness of honey and the tartness of lemon and dill, the satisfying aroma of roasted meat or fish, the richness of cheese, the bite of chili peppers. We are equipped with the tactile senses of touching and caressing other human beings, as well as the soothing comfort of a soft wool blanket or cotton shirt. We have tangible beauty in endless varieties and amounts; there is no end to the number of ways we can take pleasure in God's created world. He provided these pleasures because He loved us." ~ The Mom Walk

What a joy it has been for me over the years to enjoy all the beauty the Lord has created with my children. Enjoying backyard campouts, taking trips to beautiful places, drawing circles in the sand with our toes -- each of these things has helped us draw closer to what really matters. We are always busy and often find ourselves feeling cramped by schedules, phones and email. But a few hours (or days!) away from the pull and draw of life seems to set everything aright.

I love that the Lord enjoys beauty, and created us to be able to enjoy it, too! Pulling loaves of fresh bread from the oven sending wonderful smells wafting up and down stairs is sure to bring everyone to the kitchen. A vase of new flowers from the garden put on a side table adds a pop of color just where we need it, bringing the outside in. Hearing the kids share newly-written songs around the piano makes me want to set my own work aside. I think it's because in all of those things we hear echoes of our Creator, Who created giraffes and sequoias, heavy-scented gardenia and sweetpeas, chirping crickets and the roaring ocean.

There is one more thing, Satan would love for us to live in fear, in dread of darkness, in despair of this broken world in which we live, surrounded by lies and threats. Yet, when we open our eyes to the heaven on earth, the fingerprints of God every day, the sounds of His voice throughout the art of life, we give reason to have hope. The light of His reality crowds out the empty threats of Satan who has already been defeated. And so celebrating the beauty and light become a soul defense against fear and despair.

You will truly be inspired when you read this article, the hope in a young girl's heart, that mounts up over fear and lives in purpose, because her own soul has been filled, over the years, with beauty. Read Joy's article here. and below, a tiny excerpt:

 I am in the exact same place as those girls. MY days have a price on them, they are precious. To be lived with a sense of urgency, gratefulness, and excellence, because I have been bought by the blood of my beloved. It makes me think of this.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

 And so, when I draw my family in to appreciate beauty in any form, I know it is time well spent. I hope you find your own spots of beauty to enjoy this weekend and build beauty into the soul foundations of your own child who needs hope.