Our heavenly Father is a creative being – the one who spoke the universe into existence just by opening his mouth and uttering creative commands. The vast array of flora and fauna, of creatures and landscapes, reflect his nature. So much around us is beautiful – indescribably so – and yet how often do we take the time to appreciate it?
In a culture that idolises beauty, and can make both women and men feel 'less than' if they don't match up to what is deemed beautiful, we may have a tendency to push back against the notion of beauty. I know I certainly have in the past, and have been at pains to teach both my children (a girl and a boy) that they are loved and accepted for who they are, not what they look like. I absolutely believe that is a vital lesson.
And yet, I wonder if by rejecting the unhelpful cultural ideals of beauty, we have forgotten about the glorious impact of beauty on our wellbeing? I was reminded of this this morning when I walked into our sitting room to see the flowers my husband had bought me earlier in the week. Today they are now in full, glorious bloom.
They took my breath away and I stood for a moment looking at them, drinking in their beauty. I then moved to our dining room, where the last few sunflowers from a bunch remained. I smiled, remembering how my house has been full of flowers in recent weeks (due to my birthday) and what a difference flowers in a room make to me.
I used to buy flowers every week but stopped when we were trying to tighten our shopping budget (viewing them as an unnecessary expense), but I determined today that the impact of their beauty is so helpful to me currently that I will try and buy them whenever possible.
Can I encourage you, today, to ask God to make you aware of the beauty all around you. Spend some time thinking about what particular type of beauty impacts you the most, as we are all different.
It may be, for example, a smile on another person's face, a walk that takes in the sights and smells of the natural world, getting lost in the beauty of a piece of music, laughter, being creative with your hands and seeing what beautiful form takes shape.
Then determine to make time each week to experience and celebrate that beauty, thanking God that it is a regular part of your life.
Claire Musters is a writer, speaker and editor who blogs at clairemusters.com. Her most recent books are Every Day Insights: Disappointment and Loss and Grace-Filled Marriage. The latter was written with her husband, and they have provided a series of free videos to accompany the book, which can be accessed on the Big Church Read website. Claire also writes and edits for Premier Woman Alive and Christianity magazines and is the host of the Woman Alive Book Club.