So my day started out with me having a pity party in bed. I really didn’t have time to be sick. Do we ever have time to be sick? I had to cancel 6 voice lessons which meant inconveniencing all those people and having to reschedule for later. Plus, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t sleep, my head felt like it might explode and my body ached from the fever. All this from a cold?!! Before the day was over I had gone through all 3 Kleenex boxes and was onto the toilet paper roll!! As I lay in bed, I thought about the fact that this was my week to blog and all I wanted to do was crawl up under the covers. Really! My last blog was about savoring the moments of our lives and I thought the Lord would maybe give me some insight into developing it further, but I definitely was not in the mood to savor anything! I had an agenda for my day, we had bought tickets for Ballet Magnificat that night and it had all fallen apart. So as I lay there in my pity party, I just began to look around my bedroom. I don’t spend much time just looking at the walls in my bedroom. I mostly sleep there or read. But today, since sleep wasn’t coming I took in the four walls.
I was surrounded by beauty and evidence of love. As I took in each wall, my mind was flooded with memories or people whom the objects on my walls reminded me of.
And that prompted me to pray,
to be grateful,
to savor even these moments of a day sick in bed.
I tried to read a little, but my mind couldn’t take in too much. Our little dog Lily, 14 years old, found her way up onto the bed and snored beside me. Sleeping is never a problem for her!
The first picture that caught my attention was the Living Water collage. It is new to our bedroom. It lived in my office at church for years, even traveled around to some other homes, and now it has a new home in our bedroom. I’ve always thought of it as God’s work of art. As I studied it, my mind began to go back over the memories of how it was created. I’m often asked the story behind it since it is so unusual. In 2003, I wrote a 17 week Bible study entitled Living Water. It is a study on some of the attributes of God’s character and disciplines of the faith. It was first presented to a group of about 100 women and the Lord did a deep work in my life through the writing and teaching of it. A couple of years later I invited a group of friends to go through the study with me in my home.
I wanted to provide a more intimate setting.
We spent months digging into God’s word and sharing our struggles. I decided to end the study with a weekend retreat. Our focus that weekend was a prayer journey entitled “Come Unto Me”.
I sensed the Lord impressing on me to try a creative project with these women.
And so , at the retreat, I put a large, blank canvas outside and the only thing I did was attach the wooden cross to it. I asked the women to bring pictures from magazines, or items that visually represented the truths they had learned over the course of the study and pictures that represented things they loved, images that brought them joy because of the unique way God had created them. I brought some ribbons, papers and decorative pens and throughout the weekend the large canvas collage began to take on a unique beauty.
Some of the themes that emerged during the weekend on the collage were
Jesus as our Good Shepherd,
the Bride of Christ,
Deep waters - deep calls unto deep,
blood of redemption,
redeem the time,
and Jesus - our living water
that flows from the cross.....
When I gazed at the picture from my bed, I thought of each woman who had bared her soul and placed her creative offerings there. And I prayed and thanked God for them. I savored the memory of that season of my life and the people the Lord used to teach me deep truths.
Then my eyes gazed down the wall to the shelves holding some favorite books, family pictures of my parents, grandparents and children. I prayed and thanked God for the heritage of love through the generations. I know there are many who have not been so blessed in their families.
Then I pondered the picture under the shelves. My oldest daughter painted it for me for Mother’s Day in 2008. It was the year I retired from 25 years of leading a creative arts and music program for children. I was sure that God had led me to the decision. It was time to let someone else lead, but there was a hole inside me after so many years of ministry and hugs from those sweet little ones.
Maggie sensed that and created the 3 frame picture
-me reflecting, looking out into the unknown,
-the hope of a new season in spring blossoms
-and me walking forward holding the bouquet of flowers ....... the symbol of change and a new season.
How perceptive for one so young!
And I thought of how it represents my life even today, as I move forward once more into a new season. And I savored the moment that gazing on those pictures represented. That little narrow space on my bedroom wall represented a different kind of collage -
of family and love. And I thanked the Father.
Next my eyes moved over to the main wall of our bedroom and well, there was another grouping of pictures or a collage. I see a theme emerging here, at least in this room!
I remember telling my husband that I wanted to make a grouping on this large wall years ago when we redecorated. He started me off with the stone cross and later the St. Francis plaque. Through the years I've added to it and made a few changes.
Recently, I added the dogwood picture and poem printed on handmade paper. Sherry gave it to me a few years ago and my friend Monica framed it so beautifully using our Restore lavender color. We used it for the altar for our worship service on our first Restore Masterpiece Retreat.
And now as I gaze on that wall collage, I’m grateful for my sweet husband who started it off, so thoughtful and kind, and for friends who know me so well that they make special gifts to grace my walls with truth. Each piece was placed there because it represents something significant to me.
And I spent some time praying and thanking Jesus for His provision of a loving husband and friends and a home and a bed to lie down on to rest.
After a little rest, I took in other photographs and paintings on my four walls, gifts from Ken and the girls, and each of them brought something
to my mind to pray for.
Our lives really are like a beautiful collage that the Lord is creating. Isn’t it wonderful to stop and ponder how He is piecing together the people and seasons of our lives? My sick day has been a great reminder of that and I’m grateful. I have seen and experienced through the images on my walls moments and memories to savor in my family, marriage, friends, ministry, and my home on this day. Our homes should be a reflection of the people and things we love, a reminder of the grace and blessings He brings to every day, even when it doesn’t go exactly like we had planned, even when you have a sick day in bed.
Savoring the moments and resting in His grace,
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