It’s like a pretty picture

One Saturday morning my son Andrew woke up early to go for a walk with his grandma. My mom has a pond with a path around it near her home, and he loves to walk around it with her. It was still dark when they headed out but as they walked my mom noticed the sun beginning to peak through the clouds.

After they walked a little ways, she suggested they sit on a bench swing nearby and watch it rise. Andrew snuggled up close to her as the morning sun cast hues of pinks, blues and golden beams across the horizon.

Soon grandma announced, “Look Andrew there it is. The sun is rising!”

Andrew responded back without hesitancy, “Yea, grandma, it’s like a pretty picture – and we’re in it!”

Hearing that story touched my heart so deeply. My little boy had seen the beauty of God’s masterpiece and put a frame around it. But what I loved most is that he had not only seen it, he put himself in it!

It made me wonder how many of God’s beautiful pictures I miss seeing, and being in, throughout my day. Perhaps because I simply walk by then. Too distracted to notice, too busy to stop.

Many days it’s hard for me to slow down and see what God is doing in my life. And do you know what I am most likely to miss seeing? The beauty of the work He began in me and is now completing each day.

Our lives are not only full of “pretty” pictures that we are in, but to others we are the picture of Christ that they see. A portrait of beauty that reveals God’s glory. A masterpiece that others can take notice of His Son rising in us each day, bringing hope as we reflects His work in us.

Finding the “real me” starts by getting to know myself and notice how God has uniquely created me. And that only happens when I take time to be still. To take notice. To allow God to work in my heart and in my thoughts. Being still is the first step. After all, have you ever seen a canvas running down the street while the artist chases it down?

Being still starts with a pause. A pause where we bow our heads and lift our hearts to Heaven and acknowledge – He is God. A pause where we surrender our desires, our dreams, our burdens and decisions and trade our plans for His purpose.

A pause where we say to our heart and soul, “I can trust Him. He is mine and I am His. I will let Him create in me a new new heart, a picture of His glory.”

Are you willing to be still? Are you allowing God to paint His purpose on your heart through the vivid colors of your personality? Will you carve out time to consider the spiritual gifts He’s given you that reveal His character in unique ways, and then look for opportunities to offer those gifts in service to Him and others?

Today, let’s pause to see. Let’s be still and put a frame around the masterpiece He is painting in us and in our lives. Let’s cease striving in our hearts and minds so that we lean on, trust in and discover each day the woman He created us to be.

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength….Isaiah 30:15 (AMP)
About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I love that concept! I don't want to miss being in His pretty pictures!

  2. Beautiful, Renee. He are His workmanship, His masterpiece. What a wonder!

    I love this "son story"! Warms a mommy's heart! Sweet!

  3. WOW. So amazing. I'll explain later.

  4. Such a wonderful reminder, and a confirmation of exactly what I am sharing for my 5 minutes talk (yes, I haven't started yet…it's been a bit crazy).

    Slowing down to pause, pray, ponder and praise. 🙂

  5. 🙂 Oh, this makes me smile! I love this. I certainly have been a canvas just running around! Not sitting still for the Artist!!!! Can I share with you what He spoke to me a few weeks ago?

    This is from my journal:
    "Where are you going? Where are you running off to in such a hurry? Have I sent you?…No. You need to slow down. You need to sit down. Come. Sit. Feed. You run from here to there and come back empty-handed. Come. Sit. Feed. Feed on My Word. Feast on Me. That is what I am calling you to for now. Resting in Me."

    He certainly continues to confirm things He is speaking to my heart here at your blog. Thank you for your sweet voice of encouragement…I hear the Father when you speak. 🙂

  6. How often do we miss what God is doing in our lives? Thanks friends for sharing how this post touched your hearts. Melissa, I can't wait to hear the why of your "wow."

    Kimberly, I LOVED what you shared from your journal. That spoke to me powerfully. I love how God is so straightforward to me through you.

    Linda, I don't want to miss his pictures either. Makes me look a little closer when I think about this story.

    Sharon, truly it is a wonder that we are His workmanship. I love how He shows us more of our selves through our children.

    Jen, I would love to hear your 5 min msg. So glad God confirmed the direction today. And no worries about preparing honey, I am still working on my message to give to the whole group :-). Also, how are things coming on the blogger get-to-gether Thurs night? I'd love to pop in :-). Post some details here if you want to.

    And before I go I just want to share something neat. This morning I was wondering if this post was "too much" to process. Did I overwrite it? A few hundred visitors but not too many comments. I wondered if it was not connecting with you all. Then I got a neat note from Suzi K., a blog reader, telling me it held enough secrets for a whole book and was rich – like decadent chocolate. Well, I don't know about that but her words came just as I was asking God about the post. Such amazing timing!

    I'd love to know where this post leaves your heart. I think I may leave it up a day more.

    Praying blessings over all of you!
    Renee

  7. I am so glad that you left it up a day longer!!!! I can't always get to everyone's blog each day!!

    Renee, this was a beautiful post! I so agree wtih the other gals. It's a deep one, but one we need to hear and to pray about. I loved, "Are you allowing God to paint His purpose on your heart through the vivid colors of your personality?" And I had to smile at the artist running after the canvas to paint it!! (As I look at the 2 unfinished canvas paintings on the table!!!) God simply wants us to spend time with Him! To enjoy His Word and His creation! Thanks so much for this!!

    Love ya!
    Susan

  8. What a beautiful article, Renee! Thank you so much for leaving it up a few days, as I just caught it today. I esp love how you've included Isaiah 30:15. Really speaks to me. Yes, I do need to pause and listen more intently to Him! To really hear what He's speaking.
    Thanks and love,
    Andrea

  9. Loved this! Your boys are so insightful. I saw your story I believe it was on the D6 video about what Joshua said. As a matter of fact, I have it written down and it's in my wallet. "We need to be careful what we look through before we judge what we see."~Joshua Swope age 13!!!

    Thanks for sharing Andrews wisdom with us also. Never too old to learn from the young.
    What a blessing.

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