Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Sometimes I paint a little bit just for fun. It's a small and relatively insignificant hobby, and I'm very much a beginner. Recently, I discovered that the best way to paint - what produces the most clean, most beautiful, most intricate and exact strokes - is to get only enough paint on the brush for ONE stroke at a time. When I get too much paint, the strokes are bulky and sloppy, and they bleed into one another. When I don't get enough paint, it doesn't produce a stroke as strong and defined as I want. I suddenly realized today that this is what God does with us. He gives us just the right amount of information and direction for only the next thing He wants us to do. If He gave us more than we needed, everything would get really messy. If He gave us less than we needed, we would be weak. That's not how it is! He gives us exactly what we need when we need it. He gives us just enough paint for one stroke. We might not understand what the stroke is supposed to look like. We might not even like the stroke. But one day, when we see all the strokes together, we'll realize that His hand has created a painting more beautiful than we could ever imagine. We'll realize that every single stroke was important, and that they each had the perfect amount of paint.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Okay, so this post might possibly make me sound just a little bit silly.
I don't know, but if it does, oh well. :)

The past few days I've been thinking about snow and especially snowflakes. As you probably know, I grew up in Texas - close enough to Houston to have Houston weather, which means that I don't really know much about snow. I've been thinking about the images that we have of snowflakes - how beautiful and creative they are. The only snow I've ever actually seen is just little tiny chunks/balls of ice. Not hail. Snow, but similar to hail, I guess. It was kind of random, but this morning I suddenly wondered if snowflakes are really real or if it's just some image that we conjured up somewhere along the lines. I called my mom (she grew up in Tennessee) and asked her. And, YEAH! Snowflakes are REAL! There are photographs of them! Absolutely gorgeous, unbelievable, stunning photographs!


Go to that website RIGHT NOW! It's amazing and I'm just blown away.
You can find images at the end of the page under the "Snowflake" Bentley Exhibit tab.

I know that I'm 21 years old, and maybe I should have already known this, or maybe I shouldn't be quite so enthralled or enamored, or ... I don't know. Maybe, just maybe, this is a bit childlike... But I think this is part of what Christmas is ALL about. Being childlike. Seeing beauty in the little things. Being amazed with life itself. Seeing something extraordinary everyday. Not seeing with your eyes; seeing with your heart.

I leave you with a quote from the man who photographed over 5,000 snowflakes, never saw two that were alike, and never ceased to be amazed.

"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind."
~Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley 1925

He found a way to leave a record of their beauty. I love that.