There is BEAUTY everywhere.  In the little things like an adorable baby blankie, a little sprig of weeds poking up in a field or in the look of wonder on a child's face...  For some reason this week I have had such random thoughts while on my morning walks.   Maybe because this week has been such a relaxing week on Lake Como after so much planning and preparing for my Creative Retreats.  Or perhaps because we've had time just about each day to talk walks and just wander...

I LOVE it here.  Italy just has my {heart}  It's funny because my girls give me a hard time about it because I have not even one drop of Italian blood in me! (they do from their daddy, and of course make sure I remember that... :) But somehow Italy has become my adopted homeland.  Just ship all my loved ones and a few treasured possessions over here and I'd be good!

Walking around Lake Como this week and going to different towns, I have "fixed my eyes" on the beauty here and the I think I've figure out what it is that I find so intriguing... 

It is the "collision" of God and man here.  It's like man and God made this place in a group effort...  The unbelievable intersection of mountains and sky and water designed by God are perfectly met with the design and architecture of the buildings built here by man.  It's like God whispered in their ears... "build this here, this is the perfect place for my church,  or create a beautiful lakefront Villa on this outlet into the lake, it will be an awesome work of my beauty and your art for many to enjoy and for many years to come..."

Looking at all that God and man as done here has also made me a bit sad about the world we live in today.  Where has our relationship with God gone?  Why are the churches so empty... why do we side-step the truths of His word?  How does a country that is founded on Faith in God have so many turning away from Him and running towards the WORLD and all it's pleasures? (I'm speaking of my own country... along with so many European countries I've visited as well)  Why is there SO much more stress, worry, mental issues and anxiety in young kids these days?  Why do we see horrible things happening on the news, at the hands of young people?  Is there a correlation between the empty churches, the homes void of God and the stress and anxiety of this generation?  I know these are not "light" blog topics... I get it.  But I also wonder about these things.  I want to make a difference in this world.  Don't you?  Can just ONE PERSON make change happen?  Can we get "back to the basics" of Gods Holy Word and find a solution?

That's what my thoughts have been circling around lately.  It's kind of the THEME for my Art & Faith Creative Retreat coming up next month.  What does the Bible say about being USED for GOOD in this world....  What are our GIFTS that the Lord has given to EACH ONE OF US?  Can he USE just one person? You... Me??  Does He want to remind us that He LOVES US with a "DYING" love...  The kind of love that would DIE for each one of us?   I believe the answer is YES, and I want to remind people of that.  

Listening to one of my favorite songs from last summer as I write this...

Fix My Eyes by King & Country 

Listen to the words of this song a minute.  I hope we can ALL try to Fix our Eye's on what the Lord would want us to remember... What He would want us to DO.  He's not a God of accusation... He's a God of forgiveness and grace... and beauty and LOVE.  

I encourage each one of you to take that step to finding out what wonderful and good blessings the Lord wants to show you, in and through your life.  How can he use just one person for bringing about the good and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Tomorrow the rest of my family comes and I'm SO excited!  Now we have a few weeks to relax and enjoy a family vacation AND a family reunion with my husbands Italian side! So excited to meet some of his relatives that live here in Italy and see new places in Italy that his family comes from generations ago... Then I get to come back here on the lake for my Art & Faith Creative Retreat next month!  

But I will be back on here now and then with some pictures from our adventures... 

AND,

I will be announcing the teachers for NEXT YEARS Creative Retreats VERY SOON!

I can reveal NOW the DATES for the 2016 Creative Retreats in Italy:

June 25 - July 2, 2016 is going to be my "Documenting Life" Week!  It will be a week with some GREAT teachers who will share their passion for getting organized using some really fun planner ideas, and sharing how important it is to document our lives.  It's OUR history... we need to keep it for the generations to come!

September 10 - 17, 2016 will be my 2nd Art & Faith Creative Retreat!  I have been SO blessed by the outpouring of interest for this retreat!  This years filled up even MORE then I thought and next year I am SO excited to see what the Lord wants to do in and through the teachers I have coming next year to share their lives and faith with you!  

So check back soon for the announcement about the teachers and details, and see if the dates will work for you to join us in Lago di Como in 2016!

Ciao,

Laura






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