I bought a book at our Tractor Supply that's just down the road.
It's about decorating, which we both know I adore. As I started to read through the introduction, the word "Arkansas" caught my attention. How exciting! The author was from Arkansas. Then, one little line made the air of excitement whoosh from my heart a bit. The author was remembering how she lamented as a child, asking "Why she had to live in the most boring place in the world in ____ Arkansas." The book then went on to depict her great travels all over the world, before settling in another state entirely. While I don't know the author personally and don't even know if she's the one who worded the introduction or not, it got my attention.
After traveling to several "big" places in my small lifetime, such as New York City, St. John, and Italy, I still hold tight to the belief that our surroundings can either be the most boring or most exciting place on the planet. The choice is entirely up to our minds, souls, fingers, and feet. I really do believe that. I think that we can live among the hustle and bustle of a big city or even way out in the middle of nowhere and be too busy both places to notice the tiny details of life God has tucked into the nooks and crannies of our lives.
As we trekked along in the woods on this winter walk last week, Betsy Grace stopped for every. single. animal track and hollered out in excitement, wanting me to stoop down low and appreciate each set. It was as if she'd seen a wonder as great as the Pyramids or the vast expanse of the beach. Each set of fresh animal tracks n the mud simply amazed her. As I inwardly challenged myself as I always do to "find something interesting and capture it", the ombre' shade of this leaf, the sparkle of the water, the intricacies of snail shells, and the magical, ethereal look of the frost all left me in awe. Wanting more, my feet begging to explore this great world of ours.
Do I live in the most beautiful, exciting place in the world because we experience farm life? No. I believe beauty can find us anywhere, pushing it's way through the cracks like a wildflower that simply refuses not to grow. So with all the big, real-life things happening around us, why even bother to think about such a thing as beauty anyway? It's not lost on me how much hurt, despair, brokenness, and bad news seeps into our world on a daily basis.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5
"Again Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
"Walk as children of the light." Ephesians 5:8
These words, woven together and in and out of my life, sum it up for me. My prayer this year is to help share the light, to lean over and light your candle with mine for the moments when your flame flickers wildly.