When my daughter Cassie offered to do a painting for me as a Christmas present a couple of years ago, I was thrilled. (She was an art major at the University of North Alabama at the time.) My eyes immediately gravitated to a spot over my bedroom closet doors that was patiently waiting for just the right painting. Now I could choose the size, the colors, and the images I wanted.
I climbed on a stool with my yardstick to evaluate the spot over my closet and determined the painting should be 22 inches wide by 12 inches tall. I then decided the painting should be splashed with pink, orange, red, yellow, and green. Finally, I selected the images for the painting. Actually they weren’t images; they were words.
I like catching inspirational phrases in things that I hear and see. I write them in a journal that I started on Thanksgiving Day in 1991. So to choose the best possible words for my painting, I read through years of journal entries. I made a list of my favorite phrases.
- I shall pass through this world but once.
- Today is within my grasp.
- What’s next? We should always be asking.
- The window of opportunity is narrow.
- God does not give a big assignment to a little character.
They were all so good. Any one of them would make an inspirational painting. But they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. I decided to change gears altogether and choose three individual words. The three words had to be powerful words, words that meant something to me, words to live by. Surprisingly, they came to me easily. I jotted down Adventure, Ambition, Attitude. I called Cassie and placed my order.
The painting now hangs in its perfect spot above my bedroom closet doors. I love it. The word Adventure reminds me to step out of the comfortable and into the unknown. The word Ambition reminds me to step out of the complacency and into the challenge. The word Attitude reminds me to step out of the difficulties and into the possibilities.
Choose your own three words to live by. Display them somewhere you’ll see them daily, like on a post-it note on the refrigerator, on your computer desktop background, or on a painting.
“God’s words are pure words, pure silver words refined seven times in the fires of his word-kiln, pure on earth as well as in heaven” (Psalm 12:6 MSG).