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
Cheryl

Thinking About What I’m Thinking About…

Heading Home

Yesterday morning I read something on Facebook that created a shower of conflicting emotions. Where I had been before at ease, I was abruptly in a different time reliving painful feelings. As I thought about how these words made me feel, I was struck by how powerfully emotions can affect our lives. They are not “reality” as much as they are possibly a previous reality – but they can change our present if we let them. I had to have a heart to heart with my head and instruct it to straighten up and fly right. Think about what you’re thinking about, Cheryl!

Later in the evening a remarkable event occurred which brought me unexpected joy, but also enabled me to give unexpected blessing to someone I love. I experienced the profound impact of emotions and this time it was from a place of JOY. I relived how happy it made me to surprise and gift someone who matters so much to me all through the night into this morning!

I chose to share the painting, ‘Heading Home.’ This solitary bird battles strong wind currents and must continue to powerfully pound its wings regardless of how it may be feeling. There is a goal in sight and that must be its mission to stay focused on the task. The apostle Paul said in Phil 4:8, “…whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise – think about these things.” Also in Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

We are encouraged to renew our minds. To think about what we are thinking about. Don’t let your thoughts or emotions drag you into a dark place. Be careful what you focus on and what information you feed your heart. These days it is easy to feel we are sinking in the chaos and disinformation swirling powerfully against our peace of mind. FOCUS. Look up.

If you like my art and my posts, please consider visiting my gallery

“Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all you do acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.“ Prov 3:5, 6

Living Water

We need You, Lord, every hour. Precious God and Savior, we come to Thee🎶

Cheryl