Grateful for God’s artistic hand

Holy Week started yesterday, and on Sunday 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. By counting our blessings, we’re inviting positivity back into our point of view. We’re reminding ourselves to focus on the good that outweighs suffering.

“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.” – Matthew Kelly

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 filled with family, 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 angel provides me and the unconditional love God gives when I’m feeling alone. It’s hard to focus on what’s making your life tough when you start thinking about the things that make your life wonderful.

Over the past week, I’ve had two experiences with nature. I’m not a professional photographer, but I enjoy capturing nature’s beauty. My favorite photos involve sunsets or interesting cloud activity. However, this week I focused on ground-level subjects. The first batch was taken during a walk. I was having a terrible day, so I decided to take a walk to clear my head. I ventured to the woods near my house, and here is what I saw.

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Yesterday my sister needed to go to Mill Creek Park in Shawnee for her Environmental Science class. While she was working, I walked a shady trail along the creek. I couldn’t believe how serene and beautiful everything was. The recent rain transformed the bushes, grass and produced small flowers. I knew I couldn’t leave without snapping a few photos.

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As I look at these photos, I can name one more blessing – God’s artistic talent. He paints breathtaking sunsets, colorful flowers, soft grasses and flowing streams. He never stops surprising us with endless sources of wonder.