Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Spending time that matters!

On Monday night Gwen and I spent the evening painting together!  Not painting walls.....actually doing art.  I had spent so much time painting with the kids (actually watching the kids paint) during the time that Gwen and Tim were away, so it was fitting that Gwen and I made plans to do some painting together.  As you all know, time is a valuable commodity.  Anyone with a family knows that an evening away from the kids is something to celebrate.  This special night was, in fact, a very delayed birthday present for Gwen.  The time together was wonderful.  Anytime that Gwen and I have a chance to actually sit and talk without the kids around is wonderful.  Add to that, the chance to try something very much outside of our comfort zone!  This was at the end of the evening.......
If you look closely you can see the painting that we actually did.  It was called Zen Mountain and Gwen thought it looked easy to paint.  Well, it was far from easy.  Gwen was worried about the branches of the tree and I feared the leaves.  Gwen's tree turned out leaves, not so much.  But it was such an enjoyable evening.  In the end, we were both satisfied with our paintings.  

It was one of those times that I was thankful for a long drive home as I was just basking in the evening.  As I was thinking about the painting, I realized that it was exactly something that I had been hearing from Jesus.  That tree was a splash of color against a grey/black background.  That is exactly what we are called to be.  A splash of the light of Jesus in the darkness of the world.  Even though my painting was in the back seat, I was remembering what I had painted.  Suddenly I was remembering some very important lessons I had heard from the Lord over the years.  Not only is that tree the splash of color in this painting, that tree is growing out of a large rock!  It is obviously rooted deeply in that rock!  Could there be a more clear Biblical application.  Jesus is the rock that we must be planted on.  Our roots have to go deep on that solid ground if we are going to be able to stand the storms of this life.  When our roots are secure.... when we are drinking from the stream of living water that is at the center of that rock,  WE are secure.  And we are a beautiful blast of color and joy in the darkness and despair that is all around us.  

Isn't it great how Jesus will use everything that we do to remind us that He is active in every aspect of our life?  Even when we plan an evening out to do something like this, there is a lesson in it!  It makes me feel secure knowing that even when I don't think about it, Jesus is aware of my plans!  I am so thankful that Jesus is my rock and I can bloom without thinking about it, because of HIM!   

Yes, painting is fun.  Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna certainly showed me how wonderful it can be during our time together.  I confess that I never painted at all during that time.  I was focused on keeping the kids painting exactly where they were supposed to be painting!  Alas, this was a mistake.  I most likely would have really enjoyed painting with them.  So the next time I have the chance, I will be picking up the paint brush.  I am very thankful for my Zen Mountain painting.  Every time I look at that painting on my wall, I will see Jesus and the wonderful light, life and joy that He brings into me!

Jesus, thank you for wonderful times together with Gwen.  Holy Spirit, thank you for showing me a wonderful lesson through this painting.  Help me to remember that no matter how dark it seems all around me, as long as my roots are on the Rock - Jesus will shine his light out into the world.  Amen

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