Searching for Beautiful

Looking for Beautiful

I painted this from a photo I took while in Bisbee, Arizona about five years ago. What a charming little mining town it is! We were walking down the old streets near the Copper Queen Hotel and I saw the most beautiful garden. It just screamed Paint Me! You can’t tell anything about the location by looking at this painting. My camera captured a tiny sliver of a moment in time. I found the beautiful because I was looking for it and I chose to ignore everything else around it when I painted it.

This is a reminder to me to focus on what is positive and good. The Apostle Paul, brilliant man that he was, said, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.Phil. 4:8

There is a lot of opportunity to be frustrated or anxious by events happening in our world. We have to sift through a lot of noise and despairing views to find beautiful lately. The not so beautiful seems to get way more attention. But we have been called to think about what we think about. Maybe we have the opportunity to bring joy with acts of kindness and compassion. We can also seek to acknowledge kindness in the actions of someone else by speaking a blessing over them.

There is opportunity in every direction to be in opposition. Sometimes we must take a stand. But it is more important to be loving and grace-filled than to be “right.” We can be right and be hateful. But Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 We are to love. It is hard in these days where right is now considered wrong, truth is now hidden, and dark calls itself light. But Truth will win out. And shining the light of Christ’s love is our primary mission statement.

Heavenly Father, help us to watch for Your hand at work in our world. Please help us to reflect Your love in our lives as a beacon of hope to others. And help us to spend more time searching for beauty and truth than despairing about ashes and chaos. “…provide for those who grieve a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:3

Help us to love one another as You first loved us, Lord, and help us to focus on the beautiful.

Bisbee, Arizona

Encourage Someone Today – Maybe in a Live Chat!

Mi Princessa

Don’t those eyes just grab you. We miss you, sweet Princess~

I had an interesting experience today. I was trying to get online help from someone somewhere in the world who, by virtue of “Live Chat”, is visible only via typed words. For some reason, I decided to throw a bit of the real me into the conversation so said some funny things, thanked him for his time and generally treated him as I would someone I could actually see. His response broke my heart a bit. He thanked me profusely saying he’d had a horrible day up until that moment. I realized how often I was like the other customers – in a hurry, totally disconnected, treating the other “voice” as if coming from a robot rather than a real person. I could feel his emotion through his words and it touched me.

I made the effort to get his name so I could use it. He shared it was Cavan. I’d never heard that name before and have no idea where it originates. But I met Cavan yesterday and hopefully made him feel valued.

Even though I’m not seeing a lot of people these days or going as many places as I used to go, I can still try to make someone smile in the course of my day. I hope these “maskless smiles” below brighten YOUR day today. I loved painting each of them and invite you to consider letting me paint someone who lights up your life.

Which is your favorite? I fall in love with each pet I paint especially when I have to capture the look in their eyes~ I invite you to see these and more in my Furry and Feathered Friends Gallery.