"Wonder," by Shelby Kizer

When I began working on this series of paintings, I knew that I wanted to capture the beauty of God found in nature. I had just finished my series, “Hope”, where I painted landscapes inspired by photos that were taken at the most beautiful places all around the country. 
When I think about God’s beauty in nature, I automatically think about these breathe-taking places—mountains, waterfalls, blue waters. God’s beauty is so apparent in these places, but what I began to realize is that God’s beauty is also apparent in seemingly ‘ordinary’ places.
These landscapes were painted around my parent’s property in Jones County, Mississippi, one of those ‘ordinary’ places, especially to me since I grew up here. No mountains, no waterfalls, no blue waters—just trees, grass, and murky brown waters!

As I continued working on these paintings, I kept thinking about the word ‘wonder’ and what it means. The song “Wonder” by Bethel kept playing over and over in my mind.

“Wide eyed and mystified

May we be just like a child

Staring at the beauty of our King”

The song goes on to say:

“May we never lose our wonder”

Listening to those lyrics over and over, I began to realize that I had lost some of my wonder. I was so focused on the big displays of God’s beauty that I was completely missing all the little moments that God shows out. The little yellow butterflies that are everywhere this time of year, the beginning of the leaves turning, the sounds of the crickets at night, the little cool breezes: the list is endless.

- Shelby Kizer
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