Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you . . . (Psalm 36:10a ESV)
Continue. Contain. Content.
All three of these words consist of the Latin roots “com/con” and “tenere” meaning “to hold with.” As the new year unfolds, I long to hold on to Emmanuel.
After Christmas ends, I often spiral down. How will I continue without all the festivities and feasting? I will miss the togetherness of the holidays. What will the hours and days ahead contain, as winter settles in for its stay? I will feel bored at times. Why is it so difficult for me to be content this time of year? I will feel cold and lonely, which I do not like.
What will I hold on to? A person. A word. A feeling. A belief. Or a combination of these. I do believe Jesus was more than a babe born in a manger. I know that He came to dwell among us, to be Emmanuel, the God who holds with us, who holds us together. I can face the winter in the warmth of His presence, in the midst of His words, and trusting that my feelings are part of the wholeness He designed for me.
Feelings that can draw me closer to His heart, whether I feel happy or dismayed, He wants to share all of it.
With the fresh start of 2016, I feel ready to practice and continue on the path that has been set before me, a path of creativity and encouragement and taking care of myself.
One way that I accomplish this is by looking for “real life altars” where I can practice being aware of God’s presence. (See my GOD+ART series to learn more about how Brother Lawrence inspired this spiritual practice for me.)
For 2016, the blank canvas given to me for Christmas has become one of these altars. I plan to add some element to the canvas each day. Each morning, I wonder what will I add, how will it impact or change the image. It’s simple, yet courageous work. (I will be documenting the process on Instagram and at my souldare blog.) I hope you will be inspired to try your own daily documentation of your real life altars, your places where you worship the Creator of the Universe. It could be over a sinkful of dishes, at a nursing home, or in a creative pursuit. You will know!
I am using #reallifealtars to tag my canvas progress. I would love to see your practices over on Instagram, so feel free to tag them with #reallifealtars.
To be continued . . .