The Artist and the Engineer

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My dad is an engineer (both by trade and by personality). Like many engineers, ever since he was a small boy, he’s been contemplating the way things work, the way the world runs. By taking things apart, attempting to put them back together, and continually coming up with new invention ideas, he has always been a special kind of person. 
When I was just a young whipper-snapper, playing dress-up with my cousins, we were bummed that our favorite, golden, hello-my-name-is-marilyn-monroe shoe was broken. We offered it to my dad with hopeful hearts. However, when my dad was done with it, it was fixed, but it was also a silver duct tape mess. And I won’t let him live it down. Ha! Bless his heart. 
From cider presses to my hope chest, from home additions to playhouses, he has been designing and making. And with the exception of my poor, darling dress-up shoe, they have been beautiful. Accuracy with numbers and shapes can lead to some lovely creations.

This hope chest is similar to mine–lovely, right?
It’s funny, people seem to put artists and engineers in two opposite arenas of thought and practice. Granted, engineers typically see things in black and white, while gray is normally the favored color for artists. But there are a few very important similarities: they both desire to make things with their hands and with their creativity.

With the birth of Pinterest, DIY (“do it yourself”) and art projects are ever available to try. It is amazing what good building something, “crafting” something, or painting something can do. If we remember that we are created in God’s image (imago dei), it is not so hard to understand. He made everything that is, and when we build something useful/beautiful, it feels satisfying. 
When I first got married, I was worried about spending too much money on home decor, since I did not know how long we would be living on Guam. And while being wise with your finances is very important, I realized that our home was a worthy investment. Besides, there’s no sweeter home decor than that which is handmade. 
Think about a beautiful rocking chair or table–it is both functional, geometrically sound, and lovely in artistry. Our God is into beauty and accuracy, both the stroke of a brush and sequence of an algorithm, the peaks of the mountain and the waves of the ocean. Colors and numbers all belong to Him. He is a God of grace and truth. 
With our hands and minds we have the power to either harm or heal, make or break. So whether you’re building a house, painting a picture, or duct-taping an old shoe, enjoy the deep richness of making something useful and beautiful. And always remember that God is the Ultimate Creator: “For by Him all things were created…” (Colossians 1:16a) 
So be something useful and beautiful for Him! Francis Schaeffer said,  “A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself” (Art and The Bible).

Make a beautiful thing of truth, because truth is a beautiful thing.
Living for Him is meant to be the most exquisite existence, so let’s live it with artistic precision, with algorithmic beauty. 
Keep the faith,
Audrey Ann
Image Credit:
1.Google Images/woodworking.com
2. Google Images/Pinterest.com 

Brave[ry]

Bravery, Christian womanhood, Christianity, Work

Bravery.  It can look different every time. The word brings images of everything from a soldier jumping out of a plane, a little girl singing her first solo at church, or a man confessing his affair to his wife. 
“He who is brave is free” said Seneca. To be brave is not to be without fear, but to allow that which is more important to break the chains of fear. You may still fall flat on your face, but the point is that you are not bound by those chains.

I remember a similar sentiment mentioned in Disney’s Princess Diaries, based on Meg Cabot’s novel. How I resonated with the awkward, opinionated Mia. In a letter from her deceased father, he inspired her to take courage, not because her fears were not a reality, but because her courage was a better one. 

We have all had a lot of fears, haven’t we? Thoughts of what people think of us, looking like a fool, being a “failure” wrap those chains of fear around us. Goodness, I have been scared of bringing a birthday cake to Eric’s work, because I didn’t know if they would like it and then think I was a bad baker. Ridiculous. I have been scared of taking dancing lessons, of submitting articles for publication, of opening up my heart to others.

It is always a question of importance. Is my fear more important then trying? Rarely. Have I looked silly in my dance classes? You better believe it. Ha! But I would have been even sillier not to try. Once you get past that fear of failure, you can truly be as ol’ Seneca said, free

Jesus is all about us being free, being free in Him to go and do in His Name and with a passion always for Him. We can be brave, because we know that if we are seeking to honor Him, He’ll be right there. It’s the reason for the risk that matters. And that will keep us going, even when the thrill has worn off. Are we jumping for an adrenaline rush, or for a purpose? Yes, sometimes the mountain just needs to be climbed, but you had better have a fairly concrete reason why on day 278, when it is getting so difficult and monotonous. 
The first step is about bravery. The next steps are always about discipline. So in this new year, let’s attempt to grow in both. It can be a beautiful thing. 
Keep the Faith,
Audrey Ann

Image credit: google images/goodmenproject.com