I am so used to posting pictures now that this feels a little strange, a little bleak without one. But I try to bravely press on...
Today was a day for exercise, not the kind you might imagine with the blood pumping and sweat running down your face, but the kind that involves all your mental powers and the control of your spirit. The last few days so many little things happened and continued to happen, until this morning when a few more were added on, I fell apart rather ungracefully.
In these moments, I try to remind myself that there are people far less fortunate than I in the world, people with far less, people with problems far heavier and more serious and long lasting. But in the end, I am still here, faced with my problems however small or light in comparison, and I must wrestle with them.
Despite what some may say, one thing that is true of Christianity (not necessarily Christians mind you) is its robust ability to engage in intellectual debate, in inquiry, in thoughtful, even emotional questioning. And it can stand in the face of those things with humble but unbreakable strength. So on days like these, and on so many before it, I work through the things I know and hold to, and find that they still hold fast.
When the exercises are done and I lay spent in prayer and the quiet rest of an afternoon, I am at peace. His Name, His Word calmed the storms and when they rage in my mind or my heart or the deep places of my spirit, He brings the calm there too. I spread the events of my days before me, laying them out in a banner before my closed eyes and feel the winds of refreshment blowing them gently, not away, but as though they are now written on the Banner of His Love.
And when I take pictures, when I hold a lump of dough in my hands, when I walk with my daughter in my arms, smelling the fresh autumn air, when I catch my breath as I fight the frustration of an unreasonable five year old, I am living in the moments and the in the midst of the materials God has given me to work with. He, the Master Creator, has made me a mini-creator, an artist of my days. It's not without guidance and it's not always freelance... there are rules of the trade to follow if I want to make a Work of Beauty. So these days, these small inconveniences, these mistakes and errors, these ups and downs and bits and pieces of grace and goodness, they are the stuff of everyday life... and this, my task, it is the Art of Everyday Living.