Art and Prayer

New Year’s Retreat Rescheduled to January 20th

I wasn’t planning to start the new year with bronchitis (nor spend Christmas with flu and a stomach bug), but we can’t always plan our days neatly. Thankfully, all the days ordained for us are written in God’s book (Psalm 139:16) and we can trust that we are in his plan, even when our plans seem to fall through. Because I am not up to much yet, nor do I want to share any germs I might still be harboring, I am rescheduling our New Year’s retreat for Saturday, January 20th. Please email me if you would like to attend. I’m hoping that by rescheduling, some people who were unable to attend tomorrow might be available at the later date.

While I am more than a bit weary of coughing and feeling ill and am eager to have my energy back, these past three weeks have turned out to be a restful, sweet time of fellowship with the Lord after a demanding year. I haven’t had the energy to do much or go anywhere, and that has freed me to spend more time in quiet meditation on Scripture and other reading and also on the beauty of creation right outside my window. Because of multiple demands on my time and emotions during 2023 I had mostly neglected my art, including daily sketching, and I’ve always found that neglecting that aspect of who God made me causes me to feel spiritually dry.

The past couple of weeks, once I got past the worst of the concurrent flu and stomach bugs, the artistic side of me has been reawakened, which has led to peace, joy, and a delightful sense of communion with God. I am pondering how to maintain a more healthy balance between meeting responsibilities and engaging in those activities that nourish my soul, including art, reading, and walking with my dogs. The psalmist asks God, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” It seems to me that including in my days the things that draw me to God, giving me delight in his presence, is a significant part of “numbering my days aright.”

I don’t know what the coming year will bring, but I trust that my days are in God’s hands and that he will show me the way. I am looking forward to the New Year’s retreat as a day set apart to draw into God’s presence and to seek his wisdom for my days. Let me know if you would like to join me!

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