Painting By Samantha Ratcliffe
I only really started painting in March of 2015, after attending a one-month program that helps people struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. If you do not know, I have struggled daily with these for the past 4 years. I realized, from this program, that I needed to have some kind of hobby and so I decided to try out painting. This painting is one of the first ones I made. I wanted to paint a lotus flower because of its symbolism and what it means for me in regards to my struggles with depression. The lotus is a beautiful flower that grows in dark, muddy water. Beauty can grow even in the darkest of places and there is always light and hope even when things seem hopeless and the darkness feels too overwhelming. It is a reminder that I can overcome the difficulties that I face.
By Deanna Cook
It’s March and I am already in June mode. As the grade twelve advisory teacher, I’m in grad mode. We’re choosing grad songs, creating centrepieces, and sending out grad invitations. A wonderful tradition we have is the PowerPoint highlighting the graduates. Each grad gets to choose six pictures for the slideshow. I love this moment of graduation and I love helping to put it together. Often as students hand over their envelope of pictures, they complain about how much work it was to choose the perfect combination of pictures. They all have the biggest smiles when I gush over their childhood pictures. And often they will tell me a little story to go with one of the pictures: the trip they took to BC, the escapade of how they broke their arm, or the time they cut their sister’s hair. Some of the pictures obviously come from scrapbooks; they are cropped into circles and have remnants of glue on the back. Others are faded and warped, pictures that have been on display or hidden in family Bibles. Each picture represents a tiny moment from the graduate’s life. And at the grand premiere at the graduation ceremony, even though I have seen the pictures numerous times, I still get misty-eyed over those little snapshots.
I wonder if God sees our life in the same way- snapshots of events that have passed and those still to come. Does He smile proudly over the times I do “good”? Does he shake his head and furrow His brow the times that I mess up? Does He chuckle when I say something goofy or is it a big belly laugh at times? Can you imagine God looking at His scrapbook reminiscing over each of His children’s lives? And as our life comes to an end, does he close the album pleased with what he sees?
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed (NLT, Psalms 139:16).