How to refocus – right in the midst of everything

Ruth Chou Simons is an encourager and a friend who inspires me to live with intention every day. She began sharing her artwork on social media while searching for God’s grace laced throughout her days. As an artist, she knows no detail is too small to be overlooked. She applies the same care and attention to her everyday life knowing that God is present in even the most mundane moments. Her new book Beholding and Becoming offers wisdom and beauty to help refocus our hearts and minds on Christ right in the middle of our daily lives. As our attention is pulled this way and that, Ruth’s work continually causes me to pause and set my gaze on what is truly important. It’s a grace to welcome Ruth to the farm’s front porch today…

guest post by Ruth Chou Simons

A relatively short time ago, we didn’t have an “online life.”

Tweeting was for birds, posts were for fences, and text required ink.

The advent of mobile devices brought a fundamental shift in the way we engage with the world. From the coffee shop to the subway, it isn’t hard to find someone head-down with a cell phone.

We’ve been given so much to look at, but we are missing the art of beholding.

We are so captivated by our technology and all that it puts before our eyes that we overlook the ways that God displays His glory through creation, relationships, and our ordinary circumstances in the day to day.

Ruth Chou Simons | GraceLaced® 

Ruth Chou Simons | GraceLaced® 

Ruth Chou Simons | GraceLaced® 
Ruth Chou Simons | GraceLaced® 
Ruth Chou Simons | GraceLaced®

Ruth Chou Simons | GraceLaced®

We look for dramatic ways to experience God, but His presence and transforming work in our lives happen minute by minute.

William Blake may have been the first to say, “We become what we behold,” but the apostle Paul certainly defined true beholding and becoming for us who long to become like Christ:

“We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

We are being transformed into His likeness by looking intently on who He is.

When I was an art student in college, I spent one semester studying the work of Georgia O’Keefe. I was living in New Mexico at the time, where the artist was well known for having painted from a remote ranch in its desert from 1930 to the end of her life.

As a budding artist myself, I was enchanted by her body of work, her consistent style, her sense of identity, her fearless expression. She elevated a flower’s most overlooked secrets and made grand experiences of its petals and sumptuous lines.

Studying her work wasn’t simply acknowledging facts—what brushes she used, what kinds of paints. It wasn’t a mere intellectual acknowledgment of her prolific work.

No, to behold her art was to gaze upon it with awe, wonder, and willingness to let its beauty change me somehow.

Her work impacted the way I perceived nature and even included techniques I use in my own creative work.

If admiration and study—even emulation—can cause us to see and respond in an impactful way, how much more so worship—a reverence and adoration for God.

Before you discount yourself as a worshipper, thinking the label too religious, lofty, or spiritual, Paul David Tripp reminds us in his book Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands:

Human beings by their very nature are worshippers.

Worship is not something we do; it defines who we are.

You cannot divide human beings into those who worship and those who don’t.

Everybody worships; it’s just a matter of what, or whom, we serve.

Our jobs, relationships, reputations, and treasures—these are just a few things that compete for our worship. We were made for one worship and one satisfaction, but our taste buds are skewed until our appetites are formed in and for Him.

The question isn’t whether we will use our everyday moments to worship because we will—in the midst of ordinary places, people, sights, sounds, joys, and pains.

How we direct our eyes, minds, hearts, and hands in the everyday will determine who we ultimately worship and what we ultimately become.

We were made to behold Him and be transformed in Him.

The art of everyday worship is the journey from canvas to masterpiece.

This is your invitation to be transformed, one everyday moment at a time.

 

Ruth Chou Simons is an artist, writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. As author of the bestselling book GraceLaced and creator of the GraceLaced online shoppe, blog, and Instagram community, she shares scriptural truths daily through her hand-painted artwork and words. Ruth and her husband, Troy, live on the western slope of Colorado and are grateful parents to six sons—their greatest adventure.

Bestselling author and artist Ruth Chou Simons invites you on a new journeyin her book Beholding and Becoming. Because every day is an opportunity to be shaped and formed by what moves your heart, drives your thoughts, and captures your gaze, Beholding and Becoming beckons you to be transformed, one everyday moment at a time. If you love GraceLaced, you’re not going to want to miss the next step in the GraceLaced journey.

Offering wisdom and beauty in Ruth’s stunning and beloved style, Beholding and Becoming explores 16 insightful themes with more than 850 pieces of Ruth’s original artwork.

[ Our humble thanks to Harvest House for their partnership in today’s devotion ]