Simplicity. Don’t you just love that word? Who wants confusion and complication? Not me. I was inspired to do a simple little art piece with buttercups after reading a post by the lovely Trini.
Buttercups symbolize humility, neatness and childishness, while the color yellow symbolizes new beginnings, joy, happiness and comfort. All of these attributes speak simplicity to me. Treasures that can’t be bought. Treasures that make up a life worth living.
Sometimes when I listen to the Christmas song, ‘Breath of Heaven’ (music video in the first comment below) I start to cry. I think it’s because of the simplicity of it and the way that Mary addresses God, “Breath of Heaven”. She was just a young girl when an unexpected visitor showed up and shared a message with her that essentially changed the entire course of her life. She was engaged to be married to a simple carpenter, and she herself, was just a simple girl – that loved God.
As she silently prays to her maker, she’s extremely vulnerable and expresses to Him just how scared she is. She knows that the world is a cold place and she is feeling all alone. And rightly so. Imagine being in her place. A virgin, engaged to be married, in a society where it is absolutely unacceptable and punishable to have had sexual relations before marriage. And now she is carrying the son of God.
She pours her soul out to the only one that could possibly understand what she is going through. God, hold me together (I’m losing it). God, be forever near me (I feel so lost). God, lighten my darkness (the stone cold reality of this world is blinding me and I can’t see you). God, pour over me your holiness (for you are the only one that can ease my anguished heart).
I think it’s amazing how she addresses God as, “Breath of Heaven”. The word breath signifies life. Every bodily function depends on breathing as breathing is the most fundamental of all the body’s systems. It’s at the very core of life. When one stops breathing, one dies.
She also recognizes that she’s weak. She doesn’t see herself as one that is wise enough to be carrying such a serious responsibility. But the beautiful thing is that, even though she’s full of doubts and considers herself as unwise, it didn’t matter to God. What mattered was that she was willing to offer all that she is. What mattered was that she had a heart of humility and recognized she needed His strength, and not her own.
*Note on the art piece: Baby’s breath is considered symbolic of everlasting life and purity. I thought it apropos to include it in the star and around the border in response to the song and reflection.
I’m so sorry I’ve been absent. I was away for almost a week and had very little internet access. Plus, it’s summer here in Brazil and the kids are out of school and we will be traveling from the the 26th to January 10th. Once again I will have very little internet access. During this time I won’t be posting, but I will try and visit your blogs when I can get access to the internet and the time to do so.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy new year celebration.
Are you an expert in anything? In art? In poetry? In photography? In parenting? In life? In anything at all?
The little drummer boy wasn’t, and he knew it. Heck, he was just a kid. An insignificant little boy. He probably came from a humble background. Maybe his father was a shepherd, which wasn’t considered a first class profession.
One thing he did possess though was curiosity and wonder. Like any little child, he wanted to know what all the excitement was about. “Come!” they told him. “A king has been born and we are taking our finest gifts to honor him.”
That little boy didn’t care if he was amongst the elite. Those that had fine gold and perfume. Those that possessed wealth and wisdom.
When they arrived at the humble stable, the little boy noticed that Jesus was just a poor boy, like him. He had to be, because the rich don’t have babies in stables. He knew, though, that Jesus was special. He was a king. The little boy didn’t feel like he had anything to offer him that would be worthy of honor. Nothing that would be fit for a king. He so badly wanted to give Jesus something, so he offered to play his drum for him. That’s all he had. Nothing material. Nothing with a price tag. Just his little drum that he carried around his neck.
So he played his drum for Jesus. Even the animals swayed with the tune. He played his very best for him, which was probably not perfect, being that he was just a young boy. He played with passion, and gave it his all. He knew he was doing it for a king.
Then Jesus smiled at him. W O W! The story doesn’t mention him smiling at the frankincense. It doesn’t mention him smiling at the myrrh. It doesn’t even mention him smiling at the gold. No. He smiled at the humble performance given with passion. He smiled at the gift given out of humility. The gift given from the heart.
The Little Drummer Boy is my favourite Christmas carol. I love the simplicity and sweetness of it. What is your favourite Christmas carol and why?
The above article was written for the faith arts community, His Kingdom Come, where devotional articles are being published daily for the advent season.
So we’re into the busy Christmas season. The season of hustle and bustle. The season of spending and much consumerism. The above poem is just a little reminder to take a step back from it all and notice the simple things in nature, wonder and ordinary miracles.
How does the Christmas season make you feel? Do you find it tiring and exhausting? Do you enjoy time with friends and family? Do you get depressed? Many people do at this time of the year.
Do you hear the birds?
amidst hustle and bustle
Singing a message
Do you hear the birds?
Trying to get through to us
A carefree song sung
Do you hear the birds?
Whistling a melodic tune
Do you ever feel like you’re too busy? Like you are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life? Like you constantly need to be active and doing something? I do.
There seems to never be enough time to do all that we want. When we do have a little spare time, instead of breathing in the moment, relaxing, noticing the birds that are savoring their moments, living life for life’s sake, we get ourselves busy with some other activity.
“Where I come from the meal is the result of reflection and study. Menus are prepared in advanced, timed for perfection.”
I have written before about my appreciation for the movie, “The Peaceful Warrior”. The young man in the film learned some tough life lessons, but I love this simple one he was taught by his mentor, “there are no ordinary moments”.
I confess, I struggle with the rush rush of life. There is so much I want to do, study, read, etc. I am a victim of a microwave society that is addicted to information and activity. My patience levels get very low because of all I want to do, and I’m not getting it all done.
Why is it so difficult to just let go and simplify things? Why can’t we just be satisfied with doing a few things really well – dedicating time and commitment – instead of trying to accomplish many things, yet without quality?
When you think of wisdom, what comes to mind? Who, or what type of person would you consider to be wise? Do you have any mentors or examples of wisdom in your life? How do you think that wisdom is attained?
Allow me to share a little snippet of wisdom that I have been learning for the last little while.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” –The Bible
I have been known to be very vocal, loud and impulsive at times. I like to share my opinion and oftentimes don’t accept the opinions of others. I confess that this is a downfall of mine. I’m very black and white. Rarely do I see in shades of grey. I am, however, learning that life is not like that. I am also learning that I am not always right. Sometimes I need to shut my big mouth, especially in times of anger and disagreement. There is much wisdom in remaining silent.
Now it’s your turn. Consider the questions I’ve placed above. Would you like to share? Hmmmmmmm…?
Food for the body: Superfoodista
Allow me to present to you the lovely Sylvia from ‘Superfoodista’. She is an amazing and inventive recipe maker, using super foods. Some of her recipes include:
Simple you may think
Simple it may be
Hold more than one can see
A husband’s touch (I’m loved)
A mother’s kiss (I’m safe)
A child’s laugh (there’s wonder)
A listening ear (someone cares)
We make things so complicated
When there really is no need
Your calling I will heed
Do you think we tend to make things too complicated? If yes, why do you think that is?
Do you value simplicity? What are some of the simple things in life that you enjoy?