I have taken up a career of stalking once again. You may remember that I stalked Jonathan Edwards off and on for a couple of years... searching for books, eying articles, and watching anyone that mentioned J.E. that I could locate online.
If I can blame John Piper for that stalking experience, which by the way... I want to resume someday... I can lay the blame for my obsession with stalking Beauty at the shelf in my home library that holds the Edith Schaeffer books. I think one can safely say she inspired many of us in that search.
It could also be safe to say that the seeds of my love for Beauty began in childhood from spending the short amount of time I had with my father. He loved to make things. Although not the kind of furniture that one would find in antique stores. No, his idea of furniture was much more... functional.
He loved flowers and gardens and animals, especially cows. I recall many times we were in the car and he had to stop to take photos of cows in the field. Which may explain... in a genetic sort of way... why last year my daughter sent me photos of a handsome bull outside their window in England and just this week, I forwarded to her an Instagram photo of the cutest cow I think I've ever seen.
While she may not understand my obsession with cows and poultry... those are my "chicken" garden shoes above... she does realize they make me happy and often her gifts reflect that understanding, even they are given with rolled eyes. ;)
Beauty is definitely in the eyes of the beholder and my search for Beauty will most likely not be exactly like yours. The important thing is to understand we need Beauty in our lives every day. It is not only a good thing to search out Beauty, I believe it is a Godly character. We are created in the image of the Creator of all things beautiful.
I love what Edith writes in The Hidden Art of Homemaking:
"...a Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. We are suppose to be representing the Creator who is there, and whom we acknowledge to be there. It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are suppose to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation."Our search for Beauty and the making of it can become a form of worship to the Creator. It all depends on our attitude in the process. I like what Edith says about being "conscious of the beauty around us" (paraphrased). That is what I have been attempting in this attempt Stalk Beauty... I suppose one could say I'm once again being more conscious of it in my surroundings.
For instance, as I write this blog post, the voice of John Denver is coming from the CD player. His music brings to mind my love of the beauty of nature. I could easily be a Christian tree hugger. With the rebirth of the natural world here by the forest, I find it easy to stop what I'm doing to soak in Beauty, whether the songs of the returning birds, the flowering dogwood in full bloom, or last night's amazing sunset (albeit seen only through branches now that the leaves have returned to the trees of the forest).
I have even been searching out new and inexpensive ways to perk up the various area of my house that need a fresh touch of added beauty. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the little bouquet of artificial daffodils I bought at Goodwill last week for 99 cents. Tucked inside my dad's shaving mug, it added both beauty and sentiment to the dark corner where the red Kitchen Aid mixer resides.
Two areas in the house are especially decorated with my style of Beauty. They are the kitchen and the Study. The Study is all mine, except when I let people I love who are visiting use it as a respite from crowds. The kitchen I share but I still make it mine, especially with the red and yellow color scheme.
An item does not have to be very big to bring joy, off to the far left on my desk, out of the way of the work area, resides a small vintage book called Your Bible and You by Arthur S. Maxwell, copyrighted when I was five years old. I think I paid a dollar for it at a library sale long ago. The front and back covers are beautiful works of vintage art and the content reveals old fashioned Christ centered values. It makes me happy just to see it sitting on that corner of the desk.
I will leave you to your own search for Beauty this week and will probably ponder more about it next Sunday. Even if you, like my family, laugh at my chicken shoes (I have garden boots that match them).
Mentioned in the Blog Post
The Hidden Art of Homemaking... here.
(Called Hidden Art when it was originally published in hardback, a title Edith has said she preferred.)
Your Bible and You... here. (Third party)
The cute Slogger's chicken garden shoes... here.
Their matching Slogger's garden boots... here.
They come in all kinds of colors and styles.
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