Grateful for God’s artistic hand

Holy Week started yesterday, and at the end of this weekend we will celebrate the end of Lent with Christ’s resurrection. Today I watched the 36th video of my Lenten journey with Dynamic Catholic. The video, Blessed and Grateful, was about counting our blessings  when we’re feeling down during our journey. By counting our blessings, we’re inviting positivity back into our point of view. We’re reminding ourselves to focus on the good, which usually outweighs the suffering.

The Dynamic Catholic speaker said, “When I get discouraged or when I get down, the thing I’ve found that works—and works every time, and works the best, and works the fastest—is gratitude. 

Every time I sit down to pray, the first thing I say is, “Dear Lord, thank you for all the blessings in my life.” I have led a very blessed life that is filled with a loving family, good friends, countless opportunities, essentials (food, water, shelter, clothing, etc.), a strong faith life and a functional body, mind and spirit. I’m grateful for the protection my guardian angels provide me, and I’m thankful for the guidance and unconditional love God gives me when I’m feeling lost or alone. It’s difficult to focus on what’s making your life tough when you start thinking about all the things that make your life wonderful.

Over the past week, I’ve had two nature-based experiences that gifted me a handful of amazing photos. I’m not a professional photographer by any means, but I enjoy capturing the art of nature. My favorite photos usually involve a sunset or interesting cloud activity. However, this week I focused on ground-level subjects. The first batch was taken during a walk last Friday. I’d been having a terrible day battling a sour mood. So I decided to take a walk to clear my head in some nearby woods, and here is what I saw.

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Then yesterday, my sister needed to go to Mill Creek Park in Shawnee, Kansas to perform an experiment with her Environmental Science class. While she was there, I walked along a shady trail next to the creek. I couldn’t believe how serene and beautiful everything was. The rain had transformed the bushes and grass and brought out several small flowers. I knew I couldn’t leave without snapping a few photos of the beauty I was surrounded by.

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As I look back at these photos, I can name one more blessing. That blessing is God’s continuous artistic talent. He paints the breathtaking sunsets, the colorful flowers, the soft grasses and the flowing streams. He will never stop surprising us with the copious amounts of wonder that surround us, and that is what I am thankful for.

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