Saying Grace, Part 2

Welcome  I shared on Friday about going deeper when we say grace before our meals.  Today I want to challenge each of us to go deeper with when we say grace.  Know that when we say grace, we are being the most gracious recipients of God’s compassionate blessings, and that extends beyond the food we eat each day.

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Food For Thought  I want to start by sharing this quote I recently found in my Gratitude Journal.

You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and the pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British writer

I love this!  Yes!  Let us say grace before every single activity we partake in that brings us joy and fulfillment.  We are indeed blessed with art, entertainment, hobbies, recreation, relaxation, enjoyment, and pleasure.

After reading this quote, I realized I need to be grateful for everything I have and everything I do, right down to the words I share each day on the blog.  As I am grateful for the opportunity to share my words with you, I say grace.  As I am grateful for the opportunity to relax with a good book, sitting in the warm sunshine of my deck, I say grace.  As I am grateful as I walk the calm and quiet streets of my neighborhood, I say grace.  As I sit down with new paints and canvas received as Christmas gifts, I say grace for my creative outlets that bring me joy and serenity.  As I stand at the kitchen counter preparing a new recipe to share with my family and my readers, I say grace.  As I clean and organize the cabinets and drawers, I say grace, knowing it is such a blessing to have enough stuff that it needs organization.  As I try on the new outfit, I say grace.  As I partake of a movie marathon that shares some of my classic favorites with my daughter, I say grace, not just for the movies, but for the memories and moments created.  As I sit down to play the thousandth game of Scrabble with my mom and brother or the millionth game of Yahtzee with my dad, I say grace, knowing these opportunities will leave me all too quickly.  As I sit in the car rider line waiting to pick up my daughter from school, I say grace, knowing my days as carpool mom are numbered.  As I make the bed, fold the laundry, and rinse the dishes, I say grace, because God has blessed me with the life I want, leaving me fulfilled and loved.

Today, I challenge you:  Say grace.  Live a prayer-filled life.  Express gratitude.  Look at every little thing as a blessing.  Without those little moments of joy and happiness, our life would lack big meaning.

Today’s Scripture

Today’s Arts and Crafts

When I share my arts and crafts projects on here, it’s not necessarily that I think everyone is going to run out and copy exactly what I’m doing or even that I think my finished products are “that good.” My goal, however, is to inspire others to create! Our human ability to be able to create using our hands and imagination is truly a gift from God! I don’t know about you, but I want to take advantage of that gift as often as I can, whether I’m studying His word and making a Bible journaling page or recreating His beautiful creation (as best I can) in a painting or drawing.

I believe everyone should have creative outlets. Mine include painting, drawing, writing, cooking, baking, and photography. Some people use music, dance, and film as their creative outlets. Others have passions in sewing, quilting, knitting, or paper crafts. I know others who are into woodworking or furniture making/refinishing. Whatever interests you, find a way to #neverstopcreating.

Bible Journaling Page

Bible Journaling Psalm 118:1
Bible Journaling; Psalm 118:1; Handlettering; black ink and watercolor

Painting, Acrylic on Canvas

I start with a basic line sketch, which I never fully commit to, and establish the light source in my painting.
I’ve been obsessed with painting clouds and interesting sunset colors for about a year now.
Lighter colors closer to the sun with darker blue colors higher in the sky to replicate patterns of a sunset.
I mix my reds, yellows, blues, white, and black to get those high-impact shades from natural sunsets I have photographed.
I determine my mountain forms, which are my very favorite thing to paint. I use my finger to swirl and blend the white with the mountain background to get a smoky effect.
Next comes the layout for my lake. Water is my third favorite subject to paint, after mountains and sky.
I add light reflection to the water and give some land definition on the banks of the lake.
More shades of blue are added to the lake, working with the reflection to indicate it’s beginning to get dark out, not bright daylight.
Next I begin to place my trees in the picture, starting on the far left, intending the trees to be evergreens.
Adding more land definition, giving some elevation and movement to the land. At this point I scrapped my idea of trying to paint a cabin in the picture.
Playing with the lights and darks of the land and also adding some plant texture to the foreground.
Decide where I want other trees to take “root.”
Beginning to fill out shrubbery and adding rocks and vegetation. After this shot, I decided I disliked the green shrubs and made a plan to change them.
The completed painting, after filling in the needles on the pine trees, adding foliage to the shrubs and ground. I also added some definition to the far shore of the lake and gave some colored foliage on the far side. I had to take a picture from an angle to prevent glare from my art lamp.

It’s the process, not the product!

I hope you will feel comfortable starting a creative project today, especially if it’s been awhile. Don’t feel intimidated, just start. You never have to show another person or you can show everyone you know and say, “Hey, look what I made.”

Creative products I recommend today: