Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Creation’

I love the arts. I love music, I love drama, I love literature, I love films, I love dance. I love all of the cultural disciplines that are included in ‘the arts.’

The arts are a means of expression, a means of sharing, a means of communication. They can move us to laughter, or tears. They can help us understand what our life experiences do not provide exposure to. They can help us to live vicariously through other characters, or creatures, or simply the created.

I love to go to Bard on the Beach productions (Bard on the Beach) in the Vancouver area (even though, I admit, I normally do not enjoy Shakespeare). There is nothing like beautiful architecture to delight my imagination. I love to watch an individual dance across a dance floor, like I would never have the gracefulness to do. I so enjoy reading a book, or poem, or verse that makes me stop, and just enjoy the words on the page. It is a joy to watch amateur or professional actors play parts, as though they are those very characters. I can be moved to tears by a song played by a musician with a giftedness that comes from more than just endless hours of practice.

One thing I am becoming aware of, though, is that not everything can be duplicated by the arts. There are some things that, no matter how hard we creative humans might try, we cannot duplicate the ‘real thing.’

Within nature there are things that, in my humble opinion, painters, artists, musicians or even photographers cannot match reality. Things like an eagle in flight, a rainbow, the sound of rain falling at night, or the sounds of an eagle, or an owl, or chickadees, or a band of coyotes (I never want to meet up with them on a walk, but there is something so hauntingly beautiful about their yipping and yelping).

In human life there are communications and responses that plays and films fall short of duplicating perfectly. Things like a parent looking into the face of their newborn baby, or the look between a couple who are in love, or a first kiss, or (something horror movies cannot reproduce at all) a persons responses to a trauma.

We cannot live vicariously through the arts. We need to live, really live in order to really experience our own life experiences.

We also need to recognize, and credit the originator of all of the arts of man, and that it is only through His incomparable creation that we have a model, a muse, through which to create, perform and express our gifts through the arts.

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:24-28

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

  
 It started in the beginning …

chaos.

Now the Earth was formless and empty,
darkness was over the surface of the deep …”
Genesis 1:2a

A Bible teacher at our school ensures that each student understands this formless, empty, darkness as Bohu and Tohu, Hebrew for wild and waste. Before creation there was wild and waste … chaos, disorder.

A week ago, we Canadians were excitedly counting the minutes until the start of the Victoria Day holiday weekend, aka. the unofficial start of summer. What it really was, was a teaser! A taste of summer’s repose … and then back at it all again on Tuesday! Now, we are left with the sweet taste of warm evenings, BBQ’s, and sunshine … and yet we still have weeks to go until the season’s name changes from spring to summer, and our vocation to vacation.

At this time of the school year, Bohu and Tohu (wild and waste) might adequately describe my house, my kids homework habits, our eating, sleeping, home maintenance habits (just to name a few).

Although I am a confirmed believer in the concept of finishing strong, the reality of my life would tell you that I do not practice what I preach as the dust bunnies in my house (quickly swept under the bed), the daydreaming in my eyes, the school books (of my kids) gathering dust, the pizza delivery guy (Jaz) who knows that my hubby’s voice on his phone means “bacon, bacon, bacon” Hawaiian, and Greek (because three cheap pizzas mean not having to make school lunches for days), and the dog begging for at least one walk a week, tell of the chaos in my life.

So, what follows Bohu and Tohu? What follows chaos?

God created …

light and darkness, day and night

sky

land and seas, plants and trees

sun, moon and stars

creatures of the water and the air

creatures of the Earth, man and woman

And, what follows the Bohu and Tohu of this point of the year for me (and you)?

Well, concerning summer, it is a coming. The light is shining in the darkness. The prize is just around the corner.

And we will re-create! And we will call it summer,

and it is good.

Read Full Post »

I worked around my garden last evening, with the bright daylight stretching further with the hands of the clock. My holey, gloved hands covered in the dirt of the Earth, the trees, the shrubs that I touched. Tendrils of my hair, loosened from their elastic, to fall in the middle of my forehead. Muck from the hole that was dug, caked to the bottom of my shoes. Dirt across my pants, from when I ‘cleaned’ my gloved hands.

Dirt, dirt everywhere … enough to line the bottom of my bathtub, later that evening.

And. it. was. perfectly. glorious.

For I was not merely looking at the wonders of Creation, viewing just with my eyes, I was in the midst of the Creation, the wonder, the beauty. I was a part of it, and it was a part of me.

 If appreciating beauty was simply a visual experience, a picture would fill our cup. True appreciation of beauty requires inspection, not just of it’s outer appearance, but studying it fully and completely.

To see the ocean’s edge is lovely.

But, to walk, barefoot on the sand, feeling the cool of the water running over our feet, hearing the gulls above, the crashes of the tides, inhaling the fresh salty air … that is to experience divine beauty, from all around us.

To speed on a mountain bike over a quaint bridge with a brook running under it is adventure.

But, to stop that bike, and hear the symphony of the birds songs while hearing the beat of your own racing heart, and looking at the many shades of green all around, breathing in the most clean scent of fresh rain water falling from above … that is what it is to be united with beauty.

May we each have opportunity, this weekend, to become part of a glimmer of beauty, and to enjoy the refreshment and delight that can come from that.

Read Full Post »

I actively look to see what I can learn from all created around me. If you have read enough of my posts, you will know that I am a dreamer, I am terribly immature, and I love wonder (like I love chocolate … and that is saying something). I hope that, when I die, I am even more of a dreamer, more immature, and that I can even see the wonder in the leaving of this Earth for my Foreverland.

The photo to the right is of a pond I frequently walk past with my beast (either beast #1 … the dog, or beast #2 … the hubby). One day, as I glanced towards the pond, I could see something in it … moving (and no, it wasn’t a bear). Upon investigation (and much squinting), I saw that it was a beaver. It glided beautifully along the water, then … flop … with a flap of it’s tail, it submerged. I was delighted with my ‘find’, which now gave further significance to the fallen tree a bit beyond the pond.

This was about a month ago, and I still look to that pond, every time I pass, for Mr. Beaver. I keep looking, because he showed himself to me once, and now I know he is there … somewhere.

Along my walks I also frequently see horses in a field. Their grace and beauty bring me to a place of awe, every time I see them! But sometimes … most times that I pass their field, I do not see them. Still, because I have seen them in the past, I know they are there, so I keep looking.

Along my walk I also get beautiful, jaw-dropping views of local mountains, that even I can snap a great picture of. They NEVER look the same, because the amount of snow changes, and the sun shining on them, from different angles changes their appearance. But some days (really, if you look at the 365 days of a year, it is most days) they are covered by clouds, and they cannot be seen at all. That fact does not mean I do not still look for them. I always look for them, because I know they are there … just hidden from view.

One day I saw something I had not seen before (and did NOT want to see any day). A snake (ewie)! And I guarantee you, I will be looking for him EVERY time I am on that part of the path, because I know he is there (and he is waiting for me. I looked back over my shoulders for at least a mile after seeing this guy, certain that he was creeping up behind me like Fred Flintstone … but I digress). I have seen him, once, and now I will be watching.

The beaver in the pond, made me consider how God, and his comfort, are not clearly, obviously, in your face visible every moment of every day. But, if you have ever known His comfort, His presence, His answers, in your life, you know He is there. Sometimes He is there in a piece of music, or a hug from a friend, or in falling rain, or an eagle soaring in the sky, or a buttercup, or … a beaver in the pond.

And, I think the message might be … keep looking. He has revealed Himself in the past, He is there/here … keep looking. Because it is in looking for Him, when we do not expect to see Him, that we are enabled to BELIEVE.

Music moves me, and, the first time I heard the following song, on a day when tears were leaking from my eyes, I was moved by how the lyrics spoke the words of my heart. And I pray, because I have seen Him in the past, I will die saying, just like a child, I believe …

Read Full Post »

c1a3e9c3bfca55108deb9574f382b616

Last week I wrote about wanting to be really me … who I really am, and who God made me to be.

As I opened my emails the other day, one written by Bonnie Gray (faithbarista), jumped off the screen and into my heart. What captured me were the words :

“something beautiful and real”

Bonnie wrote that as she reminded her readers of the formless earth, before Creation. She wrote that, on the cusp of God creating all that was to come, when there was … no form … God was still moving in it.

And then He Created … making something new, and it was :

“something beautiful and real”

I am one who struggles at times with yearning for something more (The Day I Wanted To Run Away), and I know that all of us do, because we were created to live in a place of perfect peace (Peace-on-Earth), a place of perfect peace. And so, since leaving the perfect garden, we have been yearning for more …

It is a dichotomy that our yearning for the future, for the perfection that is to come, can keep us from seeing the very real beauty of today.

Although the personal reflections that Bonnie shares (below) may not be your experience, there is a very tangible lesson from the walk she is taking through her past, so as to see light and life in her future …

“both sadness and joy can co-exist”

and I would say that when they do co-exist we are living something beautiful and real!

Just like Jesus did not want to experience torture on a cross … separation from his Father … he chose to endure the pain, the rejection and the loss because …

WE were worth it …
WE are worth it …

“Comes a time, on the journey, you wonder how you will survive,
There comes a time, when you’re thirsty and so alone…
There is a pool in the desert, where water flows from fountains unseen,
Saving water, healing water flowing over me.”  The Choir, Flowing Over Me

You don’t have to die, in order to feel like you’re not really living.

You can even be loved by the man of your dreams whose arms as husband gently encircle your waist every night in bed — you can love the world’s most beautiful two boys, the ones you’ll always remember resting warm and soft in the cradle of your neck as newborns — and yet feel something missing inside.

It’s hard to talk to other people about what you find difficult to face yourself.

They might think you’re being ungrateful.

They might think you’re not counting your blessings.

They might think your faith is broken.

But, it’s not that way at all.

There is something deeper going on inside.

The Place Inside

I know what this is like.

To make it on my own. To be okay.

It’s a numbness.  In places no one can see.

It’s me from my childhood. Still alone.  Holding everything together.

It doesn’t show up at work, when I used to stand up making presentations in conference rooms.

It doesn’t show up when I’m hanging out with my friends, or even at church, where all is as it should be.

And if you saw me at the grocery store, or driving my kids to soccer, running errands, you would think all is fine.

This place inside me where I pull myself together is where I go whenever I’m feeling down, confused or stressed.

In the privacy of my soul — where my memories lay — lies the wounded me.

Greater Faith

You know, the month of November is the time of the year when we talk about being thankful.

But for someone like me, who is going through the journey of healing — having to remember all the people, places and stories that have wounded me — what I’m thankful for may not be what everyone else has on their list.

Before my journey through debilitating anxiety, I was able to ignore the undercurrent feeling of shame I’ve hidden growing up in a dysfunctional home.

I wanted to be strong and courageous — by being competent.

I didn’t understand God could make me strong and courageous — by being broken.

I was still young in my journey of faith.

It wasn’t time for me back then, as a little girl, to understand it takes greater faith to be broken than being competent.

Even Though

It’s what Jesus chose in the Garden of Gethsamane, the night everyone was remembering Passover and giving thanks for God’s protection from passing death.

It was the night Jesus chose not to pass death.

It was the night Jesus felt like dying –

even though He had just celebrated the Passover meal with His closest friends,

even though Jesus had given thanks, for the bread,

and even though Jesus had given thanks, for the cup.

Jesus confided –

My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.  
Stay here… With me.
I’m very sad.  It feel as if I’m dying…”
Matthew 26:37-38 (NIV, CEB)

 Jesus didn’t want pain, but He wanted us more.

So, Jesus chose to be broken.

This Thanksgiving, my heart is opening up.

My soul is awakening with each painful memory coming alive.

I’m stepping out — even in my numbness — to give thanks.

Not because I’m strong.

Not because everything is picture perfect.

I have something this year I’ve never had before.

I have a heart that is becoming real.

My Real Thanksgiving List

This year, I’m opening my heart to My Real Thanksgiving List.

I’m thankful –

I can be in need, so I can go on a new journey to find comfort.

I can feel sadness, so I don’t have to live separated from my heart.  I can cry and feel afraid because it means I’m real.

I don’t have to want suffering, but I can choose to embrace it.   Because God doesn’t see it as shameful.  He is going to stay with me.  As long as it takes.

I can fall apart.  Because Jesus is holding me tenderly and His tears are dropping onto the hands that have gone limp from praying too long and too hard in silence.

I’m thankful I can hear Him whispering –

I haven’t forgotten you.  

I’m not going to leave you.

over and again, even as I choke out in sobs to Him in return, “I don’t want this.  I don’t want this.”

I’m thankful I can finally stop to look at my wounds and investigate how they got there.

I’m learning to say no in ways I’ve never dared — to say yes to me and yes to God.

I’m thankful I can smell the rain and remember the dreams I’ve given up — so I can ask God if I can taste them again.

I can ask God, “Is it too late?” and still doubt, because God is faithful even when I’m not.

I’m thankful for beautiful things I’m finding among the devastation of letting go.

I’m thankful I can be broken and real.  Because Jesus still chooses me. 

Something Beautiful

I am finding new friends who understand that both sadness and joy can co-exist.  Who aren’t trying to fix me.

Friends who trust that love is greater than any resolution.

Friends who understand the journey of faith takes us off script.

Who share their own stories of struggle and dreams.

Who can touch the deep places.

Friends who remember the earth was once formless.

Empty.  

Yet, God was still moving in it, making something new and deep.

Something beautiful and real.

It was so real, that when God looked at what He was holding — after placing His lips and breathing into the dirt — He saw something come alive.

Something He never, ever made before.

It’s what God sees looking into your heart and mine today.

He is making something beautiful out of you.

Remember

As we walk into the heart of the Thanksgiving season, and all those picture perfect images and stories start flashing onto our screens, remember The Real Thanksgiving List taking shape in God’s heart — inside of yours.

This list is coming alive in the real stories He’s walking out with you in the current chapters you are living.  Today.

We can be thankful.

Jesus is going to keep loving us — the same way He calls the stars out on the darkest nights every day.

He whispers your name.  And mine.

Tenderly.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 
He counts the number of the stars;
He gives names to all of them.

~ Psalm  147:3-5

Read Full Post »

A few months back I saw a news clip about an environmental group picketing at the corporate headquarters in the middle of a busy, bustling city. As I watched the reporting, I was struggling to rectify the good message of concerns with the environment in contrast with the delivery of the message.

Those carrying well-designed, professionally made placards were yelling angrily at the people as they entered the building, some carrying a sign in one hand, and a cardboard coffee cup (of another corporation) in the other.

tumblr_mfpd6gex7q1qgje66o1_1280-1

I shook my head in disgust and disbelief at the hypocrisy I was observing. Then someone came to mind who, I believe, personified environmental responsibility far greater than any hired picketer ever could.

My grandmother was a simple, hard-working, God-fearing woman. She never had much, but she always had enough.

She thought that she was rich when she got her Canada pension in the mail each month, and mourned that such a cheque was not available to those raising young children.

She quilted pieced together quilts, for ‘the rich ladies’ she knew, and called that income her ‘fun money’ which she often spent on trips to visit relatives who didn’t live nearby.

She had a garden to share her home grown goodness with neighbors, until my grandfather died, and then she simply enjoyed the sense of community each harvest time, as her neighbors would call and let her know they had too many beans, or peas, or beets, or potatoes.

She made bread, by hand, every Saturday morning … and if I close my eyes I can almost smell it baking while spending the weekend in her spare room.

And her spare room … the register was always closed, as was the door, unless someone was staying over … no need to heat an unused room!

When the winters got really cold, she didn’t turn the heat up higher, she wore warmer clothes.

When she wanted cookies, cakes or pies, she made them.

When she had a weeks worth of left overs, Friday night became a left-over dinner.

She darned socks with holes, and when there were too many holes, they became rags.

When she washed her clothes, on the outside line they were hung.

When she needed to call long distance, she waited until the cheaper evening hours.

When she needed a poster … she made it out of an old cardboard box.

She re-used:

egg cartons for crafts and organizers

plastic dishes food came in, for left overs

plastic bags milk came in, for freezer bags

newspapers for packing, starting a fire, etc.

candles for new candles

and, most amazing of all (to me), when she had home baked goodies that were getting stale, she would soak them to soften, then use them in what she called ‘garbage bread’ … the most delicious homemade bread that never tasted the same twice!

She may have used her fair share of Styrofoam coffee cups, but she didn’t throw them out after one use … she would take them home and use them to hold her sewing pins, or gum drops, or to catch the last droplets of shampoo, before discarding the bottle.

She never had to hold a sign, and shout angrily to be environmentally conscious. She simply did was “anyone with the good sense God gave them” would do.

Oh, and God, environmentalism was His idea in the first place!


“God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
You care for the land and water it;

    you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so you have ordained it.”
Psalm 65:5-9

 

Read Full Post »

A couple of years ago at the school I worked, the theme of the year had to do with aesthetics … things to do with artistic beauty, or things that are pleasing to the senses. I have to say that my original thoughts on this theme were rather … ‘artsy-fartsy’ with little weighty depth. Upon further explanation, my perspective changed.

This theme came out of Creation, the amazing, ordered, pleasing world that our God has created. How could I argue with the beauty and order we experience every day?

Throughout the school year the word ‘aesthetic’ surfaced a number of times in a number of ways, each time drawing me closer with the realization that being made in the image of the Creator, meant that I was handed down a creative gene by my creative father.

When I read the following words, by Bonnie Gray, at her blog site, Faith Barista (which serves up a “double shot of faith”), I experienced that unplanned response of “ahhhh.”

I read the words,

I knew the words,

I had lived the words and knew them to be true in my own experience.

When you get closer to what truly moves your heart, you will touch the places that are still tender.

Because that creative place where you feel most safe is often where you’ve gone — when you’ve been most wounded.

Where do you go – to find safety, to express pain and beauty, in your world?

It’s there — in those private places of freedom — where you meet with God and your creative self speaks.”

… where you meet with God … and your creative self speaks …

Um, that speaks to me!

And now is the rest of the article, by Bonnie Gray:

“I sat there, at one spot on a table that stretched long, parked adjacent to other tables, wrapping us into a square donut of seats.

Faces blinked back at me from across the room on the other side. It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.

I was at an artists meeting that night.

And I was the keynote speaker.

I walked into this room with two legs, I began.

But, if you could really look deep inside me tonight…

I took a big, shaky breath.

You would see that the legs to my soul… are broken.

My lips start to tremble and my hands start to cool and shake, even though it is a warm summer eve.

I gulp and continue.

The reason is — because you see — I’ve spent a lot of the hours of my days this year in my bed.  In my home.

Afraid.

Not because I don’t love to be with people.

But, because of panic attacks.

They were triggered by memories that have come alive — doing something I’ve always loved.

Something I’ve always dreamed of doing.

Writing a book.

This is how I introduced myself to a group of painters, designers, illustrators, poets, musicians… writers.

It sure didn’t sound inspiring to me at all.

At one point, I even had to stop and collect myself.

I was overwhelmed by the surreal experience of recounting my story out in the open.

Even as I shared my story, I questioned whether there was any value in exposing pain that has been endured so privately.

I felt for sure I was making everyone feel uncomfortable and awkward.

Until I saw one woman’s eyes start to tear.  Then, another man’s head dip, in a knowing nod.

There is beauty behind the pain.

These are the words I found myself speaking into the room with my new friends.

When you get closer to what truly moves your heart, you will touch the places that are still tender.

Because that creative place where you feel most safe is often where you’ve gone — when you’ve been most wounded.

Where do you go – to find safety, to express pain and beauty, in your world?

It’s there — in those private places of freedom — where you meet with God and your creative self speaks.

When I finished speaking, I ended by asking if any parts of my story resonated?

The first question broke the silence.

“Have you always known you were a writer?” Someone asked.

I pause for a moment, to consider my answer.  And the response I chose to give sparked a beautiful response — stories flowing from everyone’s childhood around the table.

I’ve always been a writer, before I called myself one.

Writing has always been that one thing in my life — since I was a little girl — that no one could ever take away from me.

I didn’t have to be good at it.

I didn’t have to think about it.

Writing is just what I did.

It’s the most natural thing I can do.

The artist in me is a little girl.

“How about you?” I scan the gazes of new friends who suddenly feel closer than the space between us.  ”When you do your thing — play music, paint, design, blog about fashion, take cooking videos, build models, write, take photos — when you create — are you doing what came most naturally to you, as a child?”

Energy suddenly stirs the room, reminding me of the wind of the Holy Spirit that once blew through a room full of disciples gathering together.  They began speaking in a way that was different — that drew people from the outside closer in.

That’s what art does.  It connects us to each other, in those places we are most vulnerable, opening what is private, finding language for what’s unspoken. For what’s important and real.

Everyone started telling their stories — of themselves — as little girls and little boys.

What they’ve always loved to do.  Before they knew what it was called.  Before it became a struggle to claim artistic enjoyment as God’s legitimate imprint of Himself in us.

The artistic you. I discovered this is everyone’s continuing journey of faith.   To touch the artistic life we all hide deep inside. It’s the artist’s way.  The child in you.

Is there an ember of God’s creative voice flickering in you?

What is the one thing you’ve always enjoyed doing as a little girl, that felt most natural to you?

Take a moment to see yourself as that little girl right now.  Where is she and what does she like to do?

As you picture her, let your heart find its way back to where it longs to return.

Because that artist in you is God’s little girl.”

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you…
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you… 

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity,
but of power and love and discipline.
2 Timothy 1:5-7

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce

Ishshah's Story

Tell the story. Live the story. Be the story.

This is Ellen Peterson.

Playwright and actor Ellen Peterson writes mostly true stories.

Widow's Manna

A widows journey. Discovering God's provision is just enough for each day.

My life in words...

My heart and soul explode with joy- full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure

Explore Newness

My quest to do or learn something NEW as often as I can!

Malcolm Guite

Blog for poet and singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite

Musings of an Aspie

one woman's thoughts about life on the spectrum

Social Health

Insights on the Power of Social Bonds

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

Have Kids, Still Travel

A Family's Adventures Around the World

LoBrow | UpStyle

Castoffs are the new couture

Vonj Productions

Bringing you love through spirit!

colorfullyaliveart

Get to know me and my art...