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The Marvelous & Mundane

I have spent the last hour editing a YouTube video. For myself. My channel. To show my painting process (what is this life?! How do I, little old Maddie, have a handy dandy YouTube handle?). 

I’m telling you this because a) you should check it out and (far more importantly), b) this is your reminder to marvel. 

And no, I’m not talking about the superhero movies. I mean marvel… at all God is doing. All He has done. In your life, and in the lives around you. 

A couple days ago, I caught myself staring at the sky. It was a beautiful day, the kind that has the stereotypical cotton ball clouds and baby-blue sky. 

So I was looking at it. For a good five minutes. 

And I don’t mean just glancing upwards, I’m talking about the neck bent as far back as it could go, staring straight above me kind of looking. 

Because God was blowing breaths of wind across the hemisphere, making the clouds - cotton candy and wispy alike - swirl in a simple dance. 

It was mesmerizing, watching layer upon layer of aimless, dancing air. 

And the only reason I stopped looking at the sky (besides the neck ache) was because I decided to shift my eyes to the trees touching the edges of the swirly clouds…

Leaves just beginning to form, allowing me to watch the birds flittering amongst the still-bare branches.

Countless offshoots of branch after branch, too many to number, and yet He knows each one

The woodpecker hopping along a single branch, going high and low, determined to drill every single spot. 

A particularly plump robin flying towards our birdbath, finding a moment of rest.

Then the birds on the ground, sifting through the dead leaves and new shoots, hunting for worms (or bugs or whatever it is they fancy). 

Grass that is green once more, peppered with wild crocuses of yellow, magenta, and the palest purply-white. 

I count fifteen crocuses this time. Never planted in our garden, they pop up in the middle of the yard, year after year.

There are more this year, more than ever before. They are being fruitful and multiplying. As resilient as ever. 

And I could go on. 

Trust me, I have taken more pictures of the often-overlooked wonders of nature than I can count. 

But again, He knows every single photo (blurry or beautiful) that I have.

And He will probably inspire me to make paintings out of a lot of them (four crocus paintings and counting!). 

Now, you may be wondering (as I am, at this point in the post) what all of these little instances add up to. What’s the big theme? Marvel? 

Yeah, that’s good and dandy, but what does that word really mean? 

It means to slow down. 

Breathe in deep. 

Quiet the noise inside your mind. 

And thank Him. 

It may seem simply, it may seem silly, but how often do we thank God… instead of asking Him for things? 

And don’t get me wrong, He wants us to cast all of our cares on Him. But He also wants us to praise. Because praise plucks us out of the center of the universe (because we do tend to put ourselves above all else) and sits Jesus in our place. 

In the center of the world, where He rightfully belongs.

Now, there are plenty of Bible verses that emphasize the power of praise, thanksgiving, and looking up to the Lord in the heavens. But I’m just gonna give you one that, quite frankly, I didn’t know was a verse (I thought it was just a nice song):

Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands” (Psalm 63:3-4). 

Why do we marvel, friends? Because everything we are, everything we have, everything we could ever be - whether it seems spectacular or ordinary - is thanks to His great, merciful, sacrificial, and unconditional love. 

God is love. Love has quite literally breathed life into our dirt-molded forms. 

We marvel because all creation is made to sing His praise. The clouds, the trees, and you and me. 

We are His greatest creations. His masterpieces

He is doing a new thing in all of us. What better reason is there to praise?


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