Yesterday as a couple of us were sharing with each other about our struggles and triumphs the most beautiful picture arose. I which I could claim credit but it was not my idea but one I am clinging onto.
As we were talking the idea arose of how many times as we continue in our journey with God we experience greater depths of emotion and intimacy it is like we increase our palette. As we mature so do the varied colors with which we see the world. It is no longer black and white but a myriad of shades which bring out greater beauty.
I can just imagine the joy and delight that must bring our Father in heaven to see our eyes opening to the wide range of colors that he desires for us to engage with each and every day. His palette is limitless but mine continues to grow as I walk with Him. Also as my palette grows so does my capacity to love others well and go to greater depths of experience.
Having gone through art school, although never being a painter, I so appreciate the idea of creating things of beauty. I believe that is ultimately what we experience when we see restoration come out of broken places.
May your palette be full of many colors.
There is something about a lone bench that just beckons me to sit and stay awhile. It is like an invitation to pause, to reflect to just be present with my thoughts. I wish I could say I always accept the invitation but sadly many times I just move on throughout my day with all the busyness and distractions that a day brings.
But what if I took that moment? If I saw the beauty of the invitation to sit and just be? To be with the One who loves me dearly and longs for me to talk about my day. To hear from Him his thoughts about me and all the places he is inviting me into what he has for me. Oh the joy that could bring.
So I guess that is my invitation to myself and to you. To savor those moments of a lone bench. To see in it the beauty of the invitation to have a conversation with the One who loves you immensely that he paid the price for you to just sit and enjoy his presence.
“What you are thunders through so loudly, I can’t hear what you say to the contrary.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Those are such convicting words. Do my actions line up with my words? Am I truly loving and accepting of others regardless of what they believe or how they treat me? Am I reflecting Jesus to the world around me or do they seem a dim reflection because my sin and my selfishness so cloud out the light?
All questions I have to ask myself daily, even moment by moment. Obviously I am so profoundly humbled by God’s great capacity for love and grace for me. For I do fear that many times I am more concerned with myself than those around me. But if I do long for restoration in other’s lives I must face the self-sacrifice that comes with loving others well.
Recently I have been devouring the book You Lost Me by David Kinnaman. To say that it resonates with my soul is an understatement. He proposes that through their research at the Barna Group that there are some common themes of why amongst many of the young generation of Mosaics they are leaving the church. Yet within that I love how he suggests how each story is individual and nuanced. As a church we need to re-think how to come alongside someone else in discipleship and relationship and how we relate to the next generation. These are some of the same thoughts I have been burdened by over the years as I have sought to engage with younger women in their faith journeys.
So as I have read the pages and listened to the stories of heartbreak, doubt, and alienation that many have felt I want to see us bring about restoration. To bring back to the forefront this idea of relationship and journeying alongside of another. I continue to think of the amazing women God has placed in my own life and the ways they have sought to love, care, and pray with me. I am sure that I have scared so many with my failings, fears and doubts. I also am so grateful for the way I can trust that the Holy Spirit uses my humble attempts to listen to another’s story and give some insight along the way. So grateful He can take my fumbling words and translate those into something life-altering in the life of another.
I love how Kinnaman writes that a new way of thinking about relationships is “The church is a partnership of generations fulfilling God’s purposes in their time”. Oh how I long for this to happen. It convicts and challenges me to see how can I be a part of bringing this to reality in my sphere.
So over the last few weeks I have been told I should blog my ideas. Not that I have brillant ideas or that what I think will change the world but more that through blogging, hopefully I will have the opportunity to have conversations about ideas that can bring about restoration. Just last night I was part of a conversation about young professionals in Seattle and mentoring. What is this current generation of young professionals looking for in a mentor and how to facilitate conversation or “spaces” where growth, questions and transformation can happen. That excites me. I love the idea of being a part of this conversation.
So here is the beginning of a new journey for me. A journey of being more intentional in my blogging and writing about ideas. Please forgive my grammar faux pas and other errors and enter the space.