On idiotic checklists and bullfrogs that just matter.

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Okay … so confession time. I had something to say last night, and I really didn’t want to spend today (my last day off before working the weekend) sitting inside at my computer. So I sat down right then, and got a few things off my mind. Late last night, I finally hit “publish”, and then went on to bed.

Mission accomplished.

Well … I woke up today with my hips screaming and a migraine threatening, so here I sit on this beautiful Florida Friday, inside at my computer, anyways.

This is what I get for trying to check something off my list that God had spoken so clearly to my heart. And I did that just so I could spend today getting all dirty and sweaty out in my garden. And going for a long walk. Anything but sitting still. Inside. With a heating pad.

Well … I guess the laugh’s on me.

So, after I prayed my way through my obligatory pity party, it came to me that I could now use today to do a much better job on last night’s post than I previously had done. So what comes below, my friends, are the concepts from that same post, but truly coming from my heart this time, not from my idiotic checklist.

Please forgive my carelessness.

Last night I wrote about beauty. And how much I absolutely love looking at it.

Beauty soothes my eyes. It quiets me. Enchants me. Makes me smile. And I have just enough of a restless artist pacing around inside of me that I also love to create beauty, as well. Not just look at it. Make beauty.

And, yes. I admit it. My love for beauty actually compels many (if not most) of my thoughts and ideas.

I love to play with colors, create movement with lights and shadows. I love to group and combine. I love to add depth with textures. I love to design beautiful destinations on which my eyes can rest. Peaceful places.

These designs unfold in my home …

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in my garden …

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on my porch …

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and yes … Lord, help me … even out in my potting shed.

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I can’t help it. I love to surround myself with beauty. Everywhere.

So, is this wrong?

Is my perpetual beauty-weaving a sinful thing?

Does it make me shallow?

Does it disappoint God?

Am I wasting energy and moments on things unnecessary and fleeting?

The other morning I also woke at 3AM in terrible pain. My Lupus had been a real brat that day and I was weary. And angry. I really needed sleep. But my hips said “ummmm … no”.

I struggled to reposition. I struggled to find comfort. I struggled to return to sleep. I struggled to relax my frustrations. I struggled to just lay in the quiet. I struggled to enjoy the stillness. I struggled to be still. To feel thankful. I struggled to hear God. I just wanted to hear him. I wanted him to speak to my heart.

I wanted him to make this better somehow.

But I heard nothing. I just couldn’t focus on anything but my discomfort. So I got out of bed. I had to. I just wandered the house, looking around at everything in the quiet.

I can’t help it – I love our home.

It’s filled with the weaving of all my favorite ideas of beauty come to life. Things I’ve collected over a lifetime … or things I’ve made. Beautiful colors. Interesting textures. That old lamp. Stacks of books. Ferns in mercury glass. My trusty bullfrog statue. That rustic wooden bowl. Light. Shadows. Old. New. Nature. Whimsy. Perfect.

Looking around at all these little pockets of beauty finally soothed my restlessness and calmed my pain.

But these words soon filled my mind … instantly sobering me:

“Set your mind on things above, not earthly things” (Colossians 3:2)

Suddenly all the beauty felt incredibly hollow in that early morning darkness.

Funny how I couldn’t focus my mind on Him when I had tried to earlier in bed. But now I obviously had no problem at all focusing on admiring all my pretties as I walked around in the stillness. Yes, I had the excuse of my terrible pain distracting me earlier, but wow.

Just wow.

Okay, I hear you, God.

So I sat down right there and confessed my restlessness to Him.

He answered with the soothe of mercy.

That time of walking around the house had suddenly felt so shallow to me, but it had actually been a gift deeply rooted in the love of a Father who truly knows me.

He knows just how to quiet me enough to listen. He had used my God-given, dreamy little love of beauty-weaving to quiet my pain, calm my heart, and draw me back to Him.

I confessed my love of beauty.

He answered with a sunrise that says He loves beauty, too.

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Go outside. Look around. He didn’t have to make every, little thing so breathtakingly gorgeous, yet He did. Such stunning artistry in every, single thing He touched. Yes, He indeed loves beauty, too.

I confessed frustration at my situation.

I hate Lupus. I don’t like to hurt. I get so weary sometimes. I don’t want to be so complicated.

He whispered, “Be patient, Debi.”

He reminded me to trust that the Great Designer … the ultimate Weaver of every, little idea … the Giver of all things beautiful and holy and righteous … He has a plan. 

He created me just like I am, and he’s using both my tangled journey, as well as my need to seek out beauty in both my surroundings AND my circumstances, to help further His kingdom.

See, the most stunningly-perfect beauty imaginable is being woven throughout every frustratingly painful second of my story. Sometimes I can’t see it, but it’s always there when I seek it out. And it’s there in your circumstances, too, my friends. Look for it.

And I’m learning through all of this that the beauty I crave is not just sweetness for my eyes. Absolutely not. There is hope in that sweetness. And that hope is not just meant for me. No, it is certainly not. Point others to your hope, Debi.

Thanks for growing with me.  

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”    (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

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That face is deserving of a bit of a closeup because he matters. Truly.

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