Glitter from Heaven…..

I have heard that “The streets will be paved with gold in Heaven.” Well, I find myself walking on paths paved with gold right here on earth. A glorious demonstration of God’s love for each one of us as we walk the paths of life.

The brilliance of the sun beaming warmly through autumn trees, igniting my path with golden hues, paved thickly with glitter from heaven. Each leaf acknowledged by God as it floats, glittering in sunlight, making its’ way toward the path, awaiting its’ chance to be noticed by a traveler.

Or, raked up in enormous piles with all of the other glittering shapes! The leaves from high above, having watched children underfoot running around all summer long, listening to giggles of glee, laughter, and joy! Now finding themselves underfoot, hugged by the warmth of children, being tossed back up into the atmosphere by the armfuls…….back up into the sky, floating down again

and again

and again!

A rare beauty found, the shape of the leaf depicted only by the remaining veins, now preserved, dipped in gold, worn proudly by the traveler. A reminder of the “Heavenly streets paved in gold!” Glitter from Heaven!!

Flying, wings or not……

I thought, “Weeeeeeeee, I’m flying! And then I was not!” The comment made by my 5 year old daughter tonight, after 5 stitches in her chin, and 3 hours of waiting at the hospital. Earlier she had climbed the ladder that was propped up in her room, scooted her way into the loft space full of boxes, in search for “stuffies” to play with. And then, proceeded to “fly” from a 7 foot ledge. I had meant to put that ladder away!!!!

Lessons learned tonight from my incredibly fearless daughter:

1. Always look on the bright side.

2. Always be brave enough to aim high.

3. Always be on the search for new adventures.

4. Always try, believing you will succeed!!

Starry Night…..

Take time for what brings nourishment to your soul.  In so doing, you will discover that you have accomplished more in a day with an attitude of gratitude and a smile in your soul.  Whatever consumes your mind, controls your life.

What do you think is the most recognized painting in the history of Western art? If you said “Starry Night” oil on canvas by Vincent Van Gogh, you are correct! I have always had a fascination for this masterpiece. I decided to recreate Starry Night with acrylic on canvas, something I had wanted to do since High School.  Some 20 years later, I finally dug out my paints and brushes, set up my art easel, and started filling a large white canvas with the colors from Starry Night.

Every hour I worked on the painting, I cleared my mind of all thoughts other than the choice of colors and the movement of each brushstroke.  Months of work, hours by lamplight late at night, layers of paint, and thousands of brush strokes later, my work was complete. I felt a whole new connection to the original masterpiece, my mind often wandering to the life of Van Gogh as I worked each color into the canvas.  I was satisfied with the completion of my own masterpiece, and of the therapy that each brush stroke provided for my own busy mind.  Realizing all the more, how the original work of art was a work of art therapy for the mind of Van Gogh as well.

“Starry Night” acrylic on canvas, by Ruth Graupner

A daily dose of therapeutic massage for the mind is so important to sustaining a healthy life style.  Painting, listening to classical music, long walks on a sunny day, star gazing on a cold, clear night, a hand written letter to a friend, visiting with an elderly relative, resting on a beach listening to the ocean tide, or hiking into the mountains and listening to nature.  These are just a few of the many activities we all would benefit from throughout our week.  All marvelous, artful, soothing, self-therapy, ways of slowing down the mind in a fast paced, media crazed society.  Stopping life long enough to breathe. To allow the mind to slow its’ whirling pace from the circles that often leave chaos in its’ wake, often discovering that we are back to where we started.

Take time for what brings nourishment to your soul.  In so doing, you will discover that you have accomplished more in a day with an attitude of gratitude and a smile in your soul.  Whatever consumes your mind, controls your life.  

Some other daily practices that help improve overall health:  

  • Reduce stress levels by practicing mindfulness meditation.
  • Get your blood pumping through exercise.
  • Engage in mental stimulation.
  • Nourish your body and brain with balanced nutrition and plenty of water.
  • Stay positively connected to yourself and other by socializing.

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”  Etty Hillesum

Sunflower Glory….

While in India, nothing stood out to me more than the glorious sunflower fields. Symbolizing adoration, loyalty, faith, and longevity, each petal a “ray” of sunshine. They are recognized for their sunny charm and delightful disposition.

Early this spring I spent an afternoon planting sunflower seeds with my daughter. Her little hands working each seed into the soil, in hopes for a sprout. Much to our delight, the little seeds started the life process. Healthy soil, lots of rain water, and sunshine. The ingredients so necessary to sustain life.

The sunflowers grew rapidly in the summer sunshine, their brilliant petals reaching towards the heavens. Daily the sunflowers brought a smile to those passing by.

The leaves on the aspens have begun to change, turning into a golden glow. The other flowers fading, ready to sleep through the winter months to come. But, through the cold, snow, hail, and wind the lovely sunflowers in our gardens have continued in their warmth and beauty.

As in our own life, we can choose to maintain our glorious, God-given glow through the ever changing seasons. Beaming our truth, warmth, love, light and “rays” of hope to those that travel through our garden path.

Chasing Rainbows..

Have you ever chased a rainbow? I have spent my life chasing rainbows! Now that I have children of my own, I am instilling in them the desire to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Rainbow….it means so much more!

It was a brilliant storm, a massive double rainbow arcing gracefully through the sky. We were driving directly into the moving storm.

“Mommy, can we chase the rainbow?”

“Is there really a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?”

“Can we slide down the rainbow?”

Came the curious questions of three little minds.

“Let’s find out!” I replied, eager to join in the mystery.

We didn’t take our eyes from the suspended beauty! As we drove closer, it seemed to race in front of us. At last, we came to the rainbows end! Shimmering silver grain silos, and the double rainbow pressing down into a massive golden wheat field.

We found our pot of gold, alright!! Spending a few extra moments in time together, chasing down a rainbow! Filling us with awe. Love, like liquid gold, passing between us. For in this moment…..a memory was created in three little minds….a golden drop of time allowing us to bond, to live, Chasing Rainbows.

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