For several months, my husband has had a set of encouragement cards that I made for him on his dresser. Bright colored cards that are labeled with a day of the week and share some sort of positive message. Some days have a Scripture passage, some a prayer, others a reminder to look for God in the world around us. Now that we have gotten married, the encouragement cards live in the apartment we share and I get to see them every day too. Today the encouragement was “Take time to notice the world around you. The colors, tastes and smells of the world are gifts from God. Notice and be thankful.” With that encouragement fresh in my mind, I began to reflect on the world around me.
My main focus is the gift of colors. As an artist, color is extremely important to me and something I love to reflect on. A patch of flowers growing by the highway. A sunset full of oranges, pinks and yellows. A fun scarf worn by someone I pass in the grocery store. The world is full of beautiful, vibrant colors and I see the love of God in every one of them. The world doesn’t need color to function, God could have easily created a world without color, or given us less vibrant colors. But instead, the world is full of beautiful and diverse colors that are there to bring us joy and remind us of our awesome Creator.
This past month I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a week in Jamaica for my honeymoon and bask in the gift of color every day. Bright blue skies with fluffy white clouds. Dazzling waters of clear turquoise. Radiant sunsets of orange and pink. Huge schools of fish of shimmering purple. Everywhere we looked was another gift of color, and every gift of color gave me a small moment of worship. A moment to soak in the brilliance of the world and the glory of God. A moment of sitting in awe of the world around me. A moment of prayer without words, a prayer of intentionally noticing the world around me and being thankful.
How often in my daily life do I miss out on these gifts of God? How often do I ignore the sunset because I’m thinking about everything I have to do in the short amount of day I have left? How often do the everyday gifts of God get clouded by the everyday tasks of life? It was beyond easy to sit and enjoy the colors around me when I was in a place so full of color with no responsibilities. But in everyday life, I easily forget to notice and be thankful, even as an artist who loves seeing the colors of the world. So today, with the small reminder to look up from my to do list and see the world around me, I take time to notice the blue sky peeking out from behind the clouds. To smile at the paintings from Day School in the halls of the church. To stroll past the stained glass windows and take a moment to reflect on the gift of color.
I want to encourage you, take time to notice the world around you. Look for the colors you love. Count the number of times you see something beautiful, and share them with a friend. Take time to notice the world around you, because it is a gift of God. As you notice, be thankful for the world we have been given.