We’ve recently been studying the Renaissance artists. Kate dressed Olivia and Isabella up in their Thanksgiving dresses and posed them – so she could paint a picture, inspired by this beautiful painting by Johannes Vermeer.
I especially love his “girl with a pearl earring”.
Copying the masters is a well-known approach to learning how to draw. As long as you don’t compare yourself too critically to the master, who was after all.. a master, but realize that you are learning bit by bit.
Through the years, I’ve read and heard wonderful advice by some very godly ladies, who have encouraged me not to compare myself too often with others, but to be inspired by their good examples. I’m reminded of this sometimes when I talk with a friend, or listen in conversations among women. We talk about our convictions, our reasons behind choices we make for ourselves or our families. Sometimes, I have made similar choices to my friends’, sometimes I have done things differently.
Being gracious to one another is important at times like these. Occasionally, we might be tempted to feel a little defensive about our own position, to want to pipe up about our choices and insist that we think *this* is a good way to do something.
But I wonder if oftentimes, it’s better just to encourage each other. Instead of assuming someone is trying to trump us or change us, assume they are telling us why they do such and such because they value our support – they want it. Assume their intent isn’t to compare themselves with us – but to share themselves with us.
Assume God is giving us a perfect opportunity to do something good for the friend – encourage them!