The Artistry of God

by Andrea Cooley

acornsThe story goes that when my parents were dating in college, my dad would collect acorns and give them to my mom. It may sound like a poor college sweetheart’s excuse for a gift, but my mom valued them more than expensive trinkets or fancy clothes. She loved their quirky little hats perched on their heads and their pointy little bottoms.

To this day it isn’t unusual to find a collection of leaves, stones, nuts, or shells gathered on my mom’s desk. She regularly sends me pictures of butterflies on flowers or birds at her feeder and I send her images of tomatoes from the garden and flowers that I’ve grown. My mom instilled in me a love of nature. And with that, an appreciation and love for God, the ultimate Creator.

I love fall. As nature prepares for winter, it sheds the glory of summer, showing off its best colors, scents, and sounds, before buttoning up for winter.

I can’t help but think what an awesome God we have to bless us with the beauty of this season.

Yes, I know winter is coming, and with it comes days that are shorter and darker and colder and grayer. But before that, we get to bask in the glory of his beautiful creation. The days are cool, but the sun is still warm. The blue sky seems crisper, and the leaves! Every year they amaze me. They are so vibrant and abundant (especially if you have to rake them!)

I wonder if maybe we wouldn’t appreciate the beauty of fall as much if we didn’t know that winter were coming. Maybe God knew we needed a few glorious weeks of sunshine and playing in the leaves and going on picnics to sustain us through the winter.

red leafGod is the best artist. He delights in spoiling us with his beauty. We just have to make the time to see it.

Take a minute to look around you. Go outside if you can.

Notice the trees, slowly changing color, filling the sky with a glow unlike anything man could produce on a canvas.

Bite into an apple, freshly picked from the tree, the skin warm from the sun, and let the sticky, sweet juice drip down your chin.

Stop and let the leaves flutter around your head, landing in your hair and sticking to your shoes.

Listen to the crunch of dry leaves and throw them in the air like confetti.

Gather with friends around a fire pit, holding your hands near the flames for warmth and watch the stars fill the sky like pinpricks to heaven.

I hope you find time to slow down and soak up this season before it’s over.

I’m so thankful that my mom taught me to notice the little things. We serve a God who delights in the details. He notices the little things like children and mustard seeds and grains of sands and sparrows. No matter how seemingly small or insignificant, he notices. He cares.

The countdown to our move has moved from weeks to days. The boxes are filling and stacking while the cupboards and closets empty.

I should be packing or organizing or cleaning or doing something other than sit on the couch and type, but whenever I feel like I’ve got this under control, that I know where to find the toothbrushes and extra diapers and coffee filters, I stop and realize there is still so much to do!

I’m trying to just keep doing one more little thing and all the little things will add up to a BIG move, and deep down I know it will, but I still get a little sad when I look around and think of all the memories we made here and that it won’t be ours anymore.

But that’s the good thing about packing. The more we pack, the less things that are hanging on the walls and lining the counters and cozying up the place, the less it feels like home and the more it just seems like a house. Because as much as we love the physical structure of the house, when it comes down to it, what we really love are
the memories we’ve made here,
the dreams we’ve realized here,
the love we’ve shared here,
the people we’ve had here,
and the time we’ve spent here.

It’s easy to say you aren’t attached to earthly things until you start to take them away. This has been our home, the place we lived and worked and laughed and cried for almost 6 years. But soon it will be someone else’s. For as much ownership as we felt and pride we had in it, painting the walls, filling it with pretty things and people we love, it is only temporary.

It is strange to think of another family settling into this space that we loved so much, making their own memories here, starting their own traditions, and settling into their own routines. We are so excited for our new house, but this one will always hold a special place in our hearts.

We say the house we’re moving to will be our forever home, but as I was thinking about that the other day, I caught myself. Deep down, I know that everything in this world is temporary and my forever home is in heaven. I don’t think it’s bad to say this house is the one we hope to be in for years and where our kids will grow up, but I also don’t want to put all my hopes and dreams in it.

No home on this side of heaven is permanent. It’s interesting to think that even though a home is typically our biggest investment, the place we spend the most time and money on even if technically we say we own it, it’s still not really ours. One day, someone else will probably live in it. They will forget that it was someone else’s. They will make their own mark on it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though I’m super excited to have four bedrooms all on the same floor, 2nd floor laundry, and cabinets in the kitchen that are white and a garage that is attached to the house, I need to hold this, like everything, with an open hand. It is a blessing from the Lord and we want to use it to honor him, but at the end of the day, it may be the place I sleep and raise kids, and live for the next 30 years, but my forever home will be so much more than I can even imagine!

Even if you aren’t moving, think about what you’re holding onto. Remember, change is good. It means you’re growing. Loosen your grip on the temporary things, the things of this world and open yourself to something new. You never know what you might discover!

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