How Great Thou Art

Friday, January 13, 2012

This Thankful Friday, I'm grateful for, in a word, ART. It's been a busier than usual week for me as a SAHM. Three mornings have started with get-out-the-door-and-be-somewhere-on-time sort of manic craziness. It was one of those weeks where it seems like you just don't have the time to stop and smell the roses, let alone stop and gaze into one and enjoy the beauty of "why God made it that particular shade of flamingo pink" or "how does the dew drop stay on the petal so delicately for so long?" So, it's funny that this is my art appreciation week. But, maybe that's exactly why I don't want to take it for granted.

God is so creative. The Divine Creator, in fact. And it's not just that He made the sky blue and the grass green (or red or tan or whatever if you happen to be color blind). First of all, the fact that He made them at all is the most creative of miracles even imaginable - let alone what color they are! God was so creative that His voice commanded it...speaking tangible objects into existence. But, God also made us, in His likeness, creative!

Now, before you get insecure or feel left out because your "not a creative person"...just hold your horses. Maybe you sing off key, maybe you did burn that last piece of bread in the toaster, maybe you can't tell what adverbs modify, or you always lose at Scattergories. Big deal. That's the coolest thing about art - pretty much anything requires it, and you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it. In fact, just place the words "The Art of..." in front of whatever your next action is, and all of a sudden, Wham! Kazaam! You are feeling more creative in a flash. (The Art of Drinking Coffee, anyone?)

So, how do I know you are a creative person? Because, well, you were created! (Let's just pause for one second to briefly reflect on how ridiculously magnificent God exactly is at being creative - I mean, weaving us together in our mother's womb? Each one of us unique? Every cell perfectly placed for a purpose? Continues to blow my mind.) And since God made you in His likeness, you are are able to create also! It is one of the most awesome qualities us lowly humans can possess.

Sure, we're not speaking galaxies into existence, maybe. But - just last weekend, I took flour, yeast and a little salt...and voila! French Bread. (Okay, so there were many hours of mixing, rising, and kneading implied in that "voila" but was wonderfully edible bread...and not the powdery paste it initially started as!)

What's even cooler about being a creative human is that the love of art starts almost immediately. Baby Daphne is already drawn to colorful objects. She's not even six months old and she is developing opinions about flavors she prefers (bananas-yes, apples-no). She laughs when you make faces and follows pretty lights with her eyes. And then...just a couple more years down the line, Matilda is a all-out creative explorer. She's like the Ponce de Leon of the crayon box. The Magellan of the play doh. The Sacagawea of sidewalk chalk. You get it. Kids just have that incredible "why-wouldn't-I-try-this" wonder about them. I love it.

Yesterday, at the new toddler community class we went to (a better one, different teacher, and hopefully we will be able to kiss up our way off the waiting list and soon be actually registered for the class!) she got the chance to PAINT for the first time, really. Easel, paper, brush and paint - even a smock to make it official. It made me want to buy her a little beret she looked so cute. And, like an old pro, she acted like she'd been taking lessons from Picasso for years.

She loved it! And, honestly, I sort of love the picture. Sure, I'm her mother and I will keep it forever...but it reminds me that there isn't necessarily rhyme or reason to beauty. It reminds me that playful, cheerful, colorful expression is a blessing that can be as soothing as a sunset, as emotive as a good cry, as treasured as gold.

We use all our senses every day. We get up in the morning and absorb whatever the day has to offer. And we're more concerned with what's happening the next day to stop and savor what's right in front of us. Don't stop and smell the roses. Just stop and smell what's right under your nose! (If you're changing a diaper, maybe wait a few more minutes.)
When's the last time you played with play doh? Not just humored your kid and rolled it around in your hand to pass the time - but actually tried to have fun with it? When's the last time you colored a picture just for the heck of it? Made hopscotch with sidewalk chalk? Blew bubbles in your milk? Ate a crayon? Okay - maybe don't eat a crayon.

But, take a second and think back to your childhood - did you feel more creative then? Did you like art more? Probably. And maybe because you felt more of a sense of being "good" at it....or, was it that you just felt more sense?

God is limitless in His creativity. His beauty (and beautifying) knows no bounds. God, thanks for giving me just a smidgen of the love You have for art and creativity - how it is all around us and can remind us of how great and awesome and good you are. Thanks for being so creative in Your design of us and the world around us. Thanks for making us creative. Thanks for making us different. Thanks for making us beautiful. Oh yeah, and thanks for making us.

Now, time for me to practice the Art of Diapering. (It helps to say TaDa! really loudly when I'm done just to officially make it feel like art.)

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