September 3, 2019

Summer of Wonderment and a Child-like Bucket List

Small Wonders Illustrated Faith
We need to develop a palate for what is good, not just for what it can do for us, but for what it is in itself. -Mako Fujimura
We're entering what I *affectionately* refer to as the dog days of summer. They are those last days of summer exhaustion from too much heat, and I hate to say too much summer fun. (I wouldn't mind some stay-at-home, cozy fall and winter days right about now.) Everything in my garden is starting to look worn-out; it just needs a break from sunrays. Me too. This is that time of year where I start to itch with making holiday plans and plans for what I want next year to look like; these plans are in the super beginning baby stage--I'm not marking my calendar and creating goals just yet--but the eagerness to do so is there. 

This does have me reflecting over the summer today. Learning to reflect was one of the most personally beneficially practices my collegiate and teaching career have given me. I can still hear the professors say, "If you're not going to be genuinely reflective here, you've picked the wrong degree program."

Our Women's Bible study group has been beholding and learning about beauty in the Bible and in the world. We've had many rich conversations around utility, pragmatism--and where they come up short in comparison the creation all around us. Many Christians have written through the centuries about the massive role beauty--in all its' forms play a vital part in the amphitheater of the God's world and vision for flourishment on it. To ignore it is to ignore inner aches and longings for goodness, truth, and awe. In response and in reflecting over the verses and our conversations, we each began to illustrate our faith. Here are my pages:

Small Wonders Illustrated Faith

Small Wonders Illustrated Faith
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. -G.K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy
Small Wonders Traveler's Notebook

I absolutely loved everything about the Small Wonders set by Eliane Davis from Illustrated Faith this month--from the color scheme to the playful-looking insects. I tried experimenting with lots of pockets on these pages--and even sewed a notebook into the notebook for added space to reflect on the quotes and related scriptures (as seen below).

Small Wonders Traveler's Notebook

Small Wonders Traveler's Notebook

Small Wonders Traveler's Notebook

Small Wonders Traveler's Notebook

At the tail end of summer, I plan to print out some of the photographs of this summer's favorite memories to keep in this miniature file folder flap I created on this particular page.

Summer Bucket List

The set also came with a summer bucket list which I ended up filling out and sticking inside a pocket along with a printed vision board for the summer's theme: wonderment.

Insect Twinkle Lights
Beauty is the word that shall be our first. Beauty is the last thing which the thinking intellect dares to approach since only it dances as an uncontained splendor around the double constellation of the true and the good and their inseparable relation to one another. Beauty is the disinterested one, without which the ancient world refused to understand itself, a word which both imperceptibly and yet unmistakably has bid farewell to our new world, a world of interests, leaving it to its own avarice and sadness. No longer loved or fostered by religion, beauty is lifted from its face as a mask and its absence exposes features on that face which threaten to become incomprehensible to man. We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past — whether he admits it or not — can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love. -Hans Urs von Balthasar in Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Vol. 1 – Seeing the Form
You can read the companion post about the set-up of the Bible study and more resources used here.  

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