Last week I shared a DIY – today, I wanted to share the significance of that painting.
“Live a quiet life and work with your hands.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Painting by Ruth Simons of Gracelaced
On a road trip in June, every few days we would get cell service. I didn’t mind being without technology, but it was fun to check in on friends when those cell bars would light up. I remember scrolling through instagram and noticed my friend Ruth was sharing about three women that inspired her. She listed my name, which I had to read twice because I was a bit confused. She then described me as a women “who lives a quiet life and works with her hands.” Her words spoke more encouragement to me than she will ever know – despite my attempts to express it to her.
Those words…a quiet life and works with her hands….those are words that I’ve clung to for decades. There has always been something deep inside me that wants exactly that – to live a quiet life and work with my hands. Over the last several years I’ve struggled with how to reconcile living a ‘quiet life’ and being on social media. Often with writing a blog and being on other social media channels, my life can feel loud. It is a weird feeling some days for me. I am not one to wave the flag that social media is the demise of all things – obviously. I believe, like most things in this world, there is lots of good to come of social media and lots of bad. I don’t think the issue is social media in and of itself, but more what we do with it and the role we allow it to play in our lives.
Blogging is a tremendous joy for me. It has connected me to the stories and lives of so many of you. It is a place where all my interests can collide – photography, writing, diy, activism. It never feels draining or like something I HAVE to do. This random blog is a creative outlet for me during this season where daily life often trumps hands-on creating. And yet, this thing that has become so much a part of me is read by others making my life feel loud. If I think about that too much, I start waging an internal battle of making all my social media accounts private. Then come back to the thought that the most beautiful thing we can offer others is just ourselves, in all our vulnerable, messy and glorious uniqueness. Offering my randomness here probably won’t change the world, but maybe it might bring a smile to someone’s face. Maybe a mom will feel encouraged that she is not alone. Perhaps a college student will find a new diy project that gives her a creative outlet during the stress of studying. Maybe in sharing how photography helps me to see beyond the mundane to the marvelous, someone else will be encouraged to look for that beauty too.
Ruth saw something in me that I hope is true, but social media can make it muddy for me – she sees a woman who lives a quiet life and works with her hands. She took the time to speak words of grace and encouragement to me. She had no idea I long for those words to describe me. She saw something good in me and she shared it. I feel like it is increasingly common in our culture to look for the ‘bad’ in others. It seems like searching out for the thing to discredit others is more popular than searching for the good. I want to be like Ruth – to look for the good and not stop there…I want to speak those words of life to those I am around.
You never know what your thoughtful and kind words could mean to someone else. Will you join me today in looking for the great in others and taking the time to let them know what you see? It is going to be a good day…