This day has overflowed with so much grace, it makes me want to weep.

From conviction at Chapel this morning, to a class that I’m learning to enjoy, I just can’t take in all of this goodness! My lips are not clean enough to speak of the holiness here…the righteousness in a world of messes.

One of my RA’s, Brook, is also an art major. She also happens to have a love of missions (her minor). As she and I talked tonight over coffee steaming in beautiful mugs, I couldn’t help but wonder at how good God is to bring us to where we are. How good He is to give me what I need when I need it. The most beautiful part of this whole picture is that He’s been planning this.

I’ve been able to look back on the past before and marvel on the year, and see His hand at the end of it…and how He prepares our road before us.But this year, I was starting to wonder. Things I had held in goodness, and precious thankfulness that really helped me last year were taken away. But I think I’m on this road of learning to trust…learning that when God takes something away, He does not leave me desolate.

Brook and I had been planning to meet tonight for coffee since Sunday. I was looking forward to it, to getting to know her after observing her from a distance. Little did I know how refreshing our conversation would be!

We talked of our summers, of where God has had us, and what the road looks like right now. My breath gets stuck in my chest when I try to think and recount all that we covered. A 2 1/2 hour conversation seemed like and hour.

We spoke of the artist community as one of the least reached. Something I’ve been thinking and praying about for the past 2 days. We marveled at how God’s grace shows us our selfishness. My heart warmed as I felt understood. I felt the love of God through Brook. Her heart is for framing the glory of God she sees. I have so much to learn from her. I’m so encouraged to keep taking snapshots of his grace and somehow…someway, turning that into paint on canvas, some kind of craft…some kind of “ebenezer”.

I’ve known for the past few months that I want my life to be a “living metaphor”. I think my art will be “ebenezer’s”…monuments to the grace of God. Now, this doesn’t mean my art becomes “Christian” or slotted into the “sacred” category of cliché’. Sacred art should be morsels of grace. Morsels of unmerited favor…snapshots of living in the Kingdom of Love, the Kingdom of Light.

Freshman year burned me away from art. Art in Highschool had been for me, and about me. I entered contests, I put myself out there so that I could get accolades, praise, people marveling at me.… So when I entered college and didn’t get many accolades, I started wilting…I had been sucking life out of praise, not out of the gospel…the power of knowing Christ.

So, when it didn’t bring me life, I almost walked away…in fact, though I still maintained my major, I felt lifeless in my art classes. I started looking for something that would bring life. I found life in my Bible classes…classes that brought me to the true Life… Sophomore year and Junior year, I started focusing on spiritual formation, knowledge of the Holy, and obedience in discipleship.

Then this past summer, I flew over the ocean (one of the best, most glorious things God has done in my life).Somehow I wanted to see if the two things could be combined. God met me there in ways I hadn’t expected, and I fought disappointment (fruit I wanted was replaced by other fruit).

Ireland showed me that matching the gospel to art is hard…that it is hard for me to reach out (because of fear), and that I’m afraid of not being understood. I wanted a clear answer. EUROPE or AMERICA? Where do you want me Lord? I still ask this question.

But a bigger question, a question that runs deeper in my soul now has to do with worship. How do I worship with what I do? How do I worship by creating art? How do I obey in this way? How do I look through this “lens” (as Brook put it), and do what He made me to do? Art is no longer the thing I “need” to bring satisfaction. But how do I dust off this desire to create beautiful things and use it to point to Him? How do I use it to build bridges…

I’m so excited for this year. I can’t really even believe I’m saying that. Only a week ago someone asked me what I was looking forward to this year, and I had trouble coming up with something. I couldn’t find anything.

I’m thrilled, because of this: He’s been weaving life all along… I know this. I find joy welling up in my bones because I have the thing that satisfies, and now He is bringing the pieces together to teach me how to use these hands that He’s been reshaping and forming to praise Him. I long to know how to worship wholly…to worship fully.

Oh Lord, please teach me!

(Grace of Today)

  • drinking out of a Prof. Nieter mug for the first time ever…so beautiful, so many spiritual lessons in filled cups poured out.
  • A lovely little cactus on a coffee table…a reminder that God uses even sharp things for His beautiful glory.
  • A 3.1 mile run. Strong legs. Stretching muscles after they have been worked.
  • A Bible Study full of girls I know and love…who have walked the path of college, and who I can’t wait to continue to know and grow with.
  • A call to prayer.
  • His nearness.
  • Irish Brown Bread recipe…tastes and smells so much like the real thing that it just about makes my soul weep.
  • Feeling good in this skin…this real life.
  • Soaking in this preparation time of SR. year, and realizing that God is taking all of us to the fields so very soon. This thrills me!
  • just enough buttermilk
  • A bed “cave” created yesterday…a safe place near the ground.
  • Microphones that work.
  • hearing what others are learning.
  • Steam rising from coffee mugs.
  • White chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies.
  • handwritten cards.
  • new music to run to with just the right beat.
  • reminiscing on how far we have walked.
  • promises to pray that I know will be carried through.
  • the words “I am blessed” to the question: “how are you?”
  • good news that never will fade or grow old.
  • that I can be weak…He is strong.
  • handmade skirts that finally fit.
  • washed and cut up fruit and veggies ready to eat.

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