This is part 3 of a 4 part series on Creating An Environment of Learning. The start of the series, along with links to parts 1 and 2 can be found here. It may surprise you that I have included ‘beauty’ as a cornerstone for learning. I hope you will soon agree that it is essential to awaking the soul to curiosity. We will explore beauty in nature, in the home, and in you.
The quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.
It would only take a brief look out your window to realize that God is the essence of beauty. His creation tells us something about His heart. It is magnificent, powerful, and beautiful. He has, with reckless abandon, lavished His beauty on the world. We stand in awe of the landscapes of nature; the clear, crystal force of a moving river, the delicate colorful petals of a flower, the gentle sway of a tree moving in the breeze. God is the penultimate artist. The Creator of all things has not made a world merely of function—He has chosen the wonder and beauty of the world as a means to draw us back to Himself. Beauty is transcendant. It reaches to the soul—it inspires us, and invites us—to know and to love.
“….their education should furnish them with whole galleries of mental pictures, pictures by great artists, old and new; with these pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of their imagination, which has the property of magical expansion.”
I would go a step farther and say that creating beautiful, nutritious meals is an important way to literally ‘nourish’ our families. This is the perfect time of year, with summer’s bountiful harvest, to practice making meals that are both healthy and appealing. Take the time to use a tablecloth, set the table, use cloth napkins, and make a simple centerpiece of flowers or clippings from your yard. We all have to eat several times a day, so attack meal planning as if it were a job. There is comfort and tremendous ‘soul’ nourishment to children when they come in from playing to the smell of fresh bread or homeade cookies. And just as our Father has lavished on us beauty and nourishment in abundance, we can share the same gift with our families.
Beauty in You
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters……Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” Isa. 55:1,2
“A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest…..she exudes a sense of calm, and invites those around her to rest as well……she speaks comfort….she offers others the grace to be and the room to become….in her presence, we can release the tension and pressure that so often grip our hearts…..Her spacious beautiful soul invites other to come, to be, to taste see that the Lord is good…A woman who makes herself vulnerable and available for intimacy invites others to do the same….in her presence, you can breathe again, you are free to be you….she unveils her beauty and invites you to life.
Oh, how I long to be a woman like that. So often our hurts and insecurities keep us from unveiling the beauty in our hearts. We fail. We protect ourselves. We draw the curtain tight so that noone will have the chance to hurt us. But God invites us to His table, where we once again obtain forgiveness and find the strength to make our hearts available. If there is one thing our family and our world needs, it’s to see us without the veil, offering our hearts and our presence ‘full of tender mercy and gentle vulnerability’.
It will invite them to true life.
It will captivate them.
It will awaken their very souls to the beauty and paradox of God’s redemption.