Wednesday’s Word: BLOOM

Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. Which is why, on Wednesdays, we simplify to one word. Read more about the idea here. Bloom As Valentine’s Day approaches, stores are filled with red and ...

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Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. Which is why, on Wednesdays, we simplify to one word. Read more about the idea here.


Bloom

As Valentine’s Day approaches, stores are filled with red and pink and heart-shaped boxes and flowers. Everyone’s focused on their sweethearts—but today I want to think about You, Lord. The One who loves me, adores me, even cherishes me, more than anyone else. I want to buy myself a big, gorgeous bouquet as a reminder. But I know that if I do, it will only be a matter of days before the petals litter the table around the vase. And before I’ve even really enjoyed them, the flowers’ usefulness will be worn out.

It seems like I’m always in such a hurry. I want to get to the beauty and skip the long, tedious process of getting there. But as I reflect, I realize that the bloom is just a small part of the whole life cycle. Before the flower reaches its full beauty, its seed must begin buried in the dark, deep in the dirt. Water and light and nutrients allow it to grow. Conditions must be right, temperatures in a precise range. And time must pass. Eventually, when all conditions are met, the flower finally blooms.

Thank You for waiting, for providing the necessary ingredients, for having the vision to see what I might become. And for tending to me, watching eagerly for the blossoms to burst forth—yet not discounting the long process during which I attempt to become something beautiful. Thank You for not skipping past the hard, less glamorous moments. Thank You for growing me, slowly but surely, into the glorious burst of color You’ve had in mind all along. Something that is not fleeting or precarious, but a transforming beauty that remains.

Wednesday’s Word: TRANSPARENT

Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. Which is why, on Wednesdays, we simplify to one word. Read more about the idea here. Transparent One of many things I love about watercolors is their ...

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Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. Which is why, on Wednesdays, we simplify to one word. Read more about the idea here.


Transparent

One of many things I love about watercolors is their transparency. The way the colors seem clear and light, the pigment pure yet soft. Transparent has become a popular buzzword, which makes me not want to like it, but the truth is it is exactly how I want to be defined. I want to let what’s underneath show through. I want the colors and layers to blend, to be complicated and nuanced yet clear and bright. I want to be more than what’s on the surface, and I don’t want to hide what’s inside.

Because, in truth, Lord, I am the accumulation of all of my experiences, a blend of all my feelings and troubles and issues and hang-ups. It’s sure easier to be opaque, to hide all the ugliness under a solid exterior. But then no one can see You inside me. No one can witness the transformation You’re effecting. Seeing a single color is fine and it can be pretty. But the true beauty comes with the layering and juxtaposition. The beauty is in all the colors coming together to make one exquisite work of art.

Wednesday’s Word: SHARPEN

Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. Which is why, on Wednesdays, we simplify to one word. Read more about the idea here. Sharpen Pencils are tools for beginners—children learning their alphabets. But they’re ...

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Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. Which is why, on Wednesdays, we simplify to one word. Read more about the idea here.


Sharpen

Pencils are tools for beginners—children learning their alphabets. But they’re also a tool of choice for master artists with so much to express in one bold or delicate stroke. The duller the pencil, the softer the mark—but the softness comes with less precision and little control. When the lead is worn down all the way, the pointy wood splinters around it will gouge your paper, ripping a hole in it. A sharp pencil, on the other hand, makes a crisp, sure stroke. Strong. But you have to be careful not to make it too sharp, or the lead itself might tear through your paper. Or simply snap when you put pressure on it.

It’s a delicate balance, like when we talk to others about You.

Lord, we need Your help. To not injure or push people away, while remaining true to who You are. To accurately portray Your essence without destroying anything in the process. Popular culture wants everything wrapped up with a nice tidy bow. Christian culture wants to make You into something easy to explain, simple to digest. But You are complex and complicated. Sharp and yet soft. Practical and unpretentious, yet glorious and beyond the grasp of our imagination.

Lord, let me sketch an accurate likeness of You, one that is not harmful or inaccurate or misleading. Sharpen my understanding of who You are. Of all sides of You, all aspects. Let me see You in Your wholeness. Let me live my life trying to be who You made me to be. And let me draw you in truth. Amen.

Wednesday’s Word: SCRIBBLE

Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. Which is why, on Wednesdays, we simplify to one word. Read more about the idea here. Scribble When we pick up a pencil and scribble, it’s out ...

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Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. Which is why, on Wednesdays, we simplify to one word. Read more about the idea here.


Scribble

When we pick up a pencil and scribble, it’s out of boredom. Or anger. Or because we really have no idea where to go. Maybe we scribble to find out what we can do with the tool in our hand. People think scribbling is a bad thing for an adult, but I beg to differ. Lord, as we scribble, let us pay attention to what we’re feeling. Help us to become more self-aware. Teach us to express ourselves and explore. Let us quickly expel the energy that wears us out, the efforts that take us nowhere, and move on towards productivity. Not to be busy for the sake of being busy. And not to fill our days needlessly. But, Lord, be behind our efforts so that all of them are amplified. Magnified. Efficient, confident and sure. Give us direction and help us follow through.


Hey, guess what? My book releases in 100 days! It seems like I’ve been waiting forever, but after today, we’ll be down to double digits!

Wednesday’s Word: CANVAS

Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin. In the times when I believed I’ve heard from God, the message has been short. The words succinct. The meanings deep and layered, complex. The nuances of ...

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Sometimes we run out of words. And sometimes we have too many of them. Sometimes there’s so much to ask that we don’t even know where to begin.

In the times when I believed I’ve heard from God, the message has been short. The words succinct. The meanings deep and layered, complex. The nuances of it take so much longer to express than the amount of time in which the complete message was originally communicated.

The power of a single word can be immense—if we let Him do the defining of it. If we wait to hear what He will speak about it.

So on Wednesdays, when our weeks are in high gear and chaos is the norm, we’re going to slow down. Simplify. Pray—just one word—and then spend time focusing on what God wants to say to us about it. It’s like the “one word” concept many people do in which they choose one word and use that as their prayer focus for the whole year. But if your attention span is short like mine, this might suit you better because it’s just one day.

After the word, I’ll add my thoughts, my prayers, around it. But don’t feel you have to follow my lead. Do what you will. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Shut out the world. Concentrate on establishing a connection with God. Wait until you believe He’s listening, that He’s right there beside you. And then pray. You can pray my words with me. Add your own. Meditate in silence. Let God paint a visual image in your mind. Sing a song, look it up in a Bible or dictionary.

Or maybe you’ll feel, think and know nothing new. If that happens, you have not failed. I promise. You succeed at prayer simply by doing it. By showing up. Because our God is always, always there listening, and He’s the One who gives prayer its meaning.


Canvas

Before You spoke, there was nothing. Before You breathed, there was no life. When You create, the possibilities are endless. Lord, breathe into me. Sculpt me, mold me, draw me, make me. When I close my eyes and try to see You, reveal to me Your vision. What You want to paint. Transform me into the masterpiece You’ve imagined, even if I’m afraid. Even if I feel incompetent. Even if I feel all I have to offer is a blank canvas. Because who You say I should be has little to do with who I already am or what I think I can accomplish—and everything to do with the One doing the painting. Amen.

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