Together We are Creators of Beauty

by Apr 7, 2018Connect, Courage, Cultivate6 comments

Be a creator of beauty. This was a surprising statement that surfaced as I interacted with a coaching tool with its lines and columns and places to mark an X. Designed to highlight our current desired focuses and life intentions, it helped me to see the possibilities, the meaningful ways we can be in the world in relationship to ourselves and to others.

On the surface, “creator of beauty” seemed to fit an unnamed desire. In currently rare extra moments, I love playing with paints, pencils, and pastels, teasing objects or scenes onto the blank white space of a canvas or layering media to bring out surprising images. More often beauty shows up simply, as in a few spontaneously cut stems of daffodils placed in a small vase with a sprig of lavender on a windowsill.

Yes, those are creations of beauty. Definitely. But there was something more.

In Gratitude

At first, I simply watched for beauty in the ordinary. Challenging myself to attune my eyes and heart to see it where I might typically overlook it. I saw it in the playful way the sun slid its stretched out impressions across my carpet. I saw it in the freshness of the first tiny bud of the hydrangea that had wintered in a dusty pot on my porch. I saw it in the deep lines in an elderly person’s wizened face, in the brightening eyes of a baby’s joy. And I saw it in sparks of inspiration and discovery in conversations where the smallest insights turned into possibility and transformation.

Really, noticing these small expressions of beauty offered me a new pathway into gratitude—something that in my current distracted season seemed somewhat buried. Unearthing gratitude as beauty fed my soul.

How might you notice beauty in the ordinary? In what ways would you love for it to attune your heart to see God’s work in and around you?

Invitation: Create a no-rules, no-guilt, beautiful moments jar that you can fill as you like with expressions of gratitude, descriptions of an ordinary moment, reminders of anything that deeply touched your heart.

In Who We Are

I started there with gratitude and noticing, but the nudge inside was still about something deeper, something that challenged the core of who I was. Be a creator of beauty.

As I journaled, I thought about how we enter peopled spaces, how we show up and how our presence is experienced by others. Can we be a creator of beauty as a contributing presence to others? Not in an ostentatious, aren’t-we-wonderful way, but with genuineness, bringing to the space lightness or graciousness, openness or generosity, compassion or inspiration? A creator of beauty in how the brushstrokes of our life paints mercy, or brings peace, or offers hope?

Isn’t that what God’s presence brings? And though imperfect in our reflection, aren’t we the Creator God’s image bearers? Transformed by his Spirit, we are invited to bring the depths of his mercy, peace, and hope to the world around us.

Creators of beauty, shaped by his merciful, creative hand–that’s who we each become.

What is one specific situation in this week ahead where you might, through who you are, bring to the space a beauty that wouldn’t otherwise be there?

Invitation: Think on this more. Create a word cloud or a collage you can post somewhere including words that describe the unique ways God is nudging you to bring beauty into your community spaces through who you are.

In Letting Go and Embracing

Even when others see us as put together or confident, many of us enter peopled spaces tentatively, as if carrying a sign that asks, “Is it okay with you that I’m here?”

Just in case it isn’t.

First, know how very normal that is. If those signs could be revealed, most in the room would be carrying some version of that message. We can stand together in this as women of humility, grace, and courage. We can open our arms to the realness of the struggle, the acknowledgement of the inner beliefs that stop us from coming clean . . . and moving close.

What are some of those beliefs for you? What stories have you accumulated to amass evidence that they must be true?

Invitation: In letting go and embracing your identity as a creator of beauty, have a conversation with a friend (or a Voice of Courage coach), and discover how you might move into all of who God created you to be. Fully free. Fully beautiful in your unique presence and contribution to your community.

God calls us to more. More than a statement on a line next to an X in a box on a piece of paper. More than a colorful swipe of paint across a canvas. Even more than a smile in a room full of people.

He calls us to more. He calls us to be creators of beauty.

What are your thoughts, questions, or hesitancies around this possibility of being a creator of beauty and contribution to your community? Share with us below or write to us. And if you try any of the activities included above, please return here and post your images and share your discoveries. We always love hearing from you and learning from you!

Note: The coaching tool mentioned in the first paragraph of this post is the Life Intention Tool from the Academy for Coaching Excellence. Jan is trained in providing this tool as part of a coaching conversation and process with her clients.


  1. Bethany Macklin

    I particularly liked this: “Can we be a creator of beauty as a contributing presence to others? …. bringing to the space lightness or graciousness, openness or generosity, compassion or inspiration? ….Isn’t that what God’s presence brings?”

    That is a beautiful truth-drawn thought that brings a paradigm shift since we (or maybe just me) usually consider our presence more obtrusive than anything else.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful, thoughtful post.

    • Jan Kern

      Thank you, Bethany, for your encouragement . . . and your beautiful presence here on Voice of Courage!

      I’m included in that “we” you mentioned. Pushing past those feelings and thoughts can be quite a challenge! But yes, we can be that beautiful, contributing presence regardless–courageous in what we bring because of His creative transformative work in us. Not an easy journey but so worth it!

  2. Ging Embre

    YOU are so amazing. What lovely lovely words!!! I can tell you embraced stepping into the notion of beauty. For us. I am so grateful for your heart.

    This morning standing at my kitchen window, I saw two black butterflies. For years and years I looked out my window at dead grass. Finally we changed the yard and I look at plants that attract butterflies and birds. Yesterday I saw a very black bird with a bright red head! God is so amazing. These lovely blooming plants, flitting butterflies, He created something called a woodpecker!!! I’ve lived her 25 years and heard them but never seen one. Until yesterday.

    I don’t feel compelled to “create” beauty, but your words are making me want to be more and more awake and see it in each moment. Bless you 🙂

    • Jan Kern

      Thank you, Ginger. Your words are encouraging!

      And not only are you noticing the beauty more, I see in you how you create beauty in gathering community, connecting people, inviting them to come together and consider another perspective and to consider God in the midst of it all. That’s being a creator of beauty!

    • Jan Kern

      Thank you, Janet, for stopping by and reading. You’re one of those creators of beauty too!

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