Emily Belle Freeman




1 Chronicles 23:6 - 1 Chronicles 28:12

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Last night we had an unexpected visitor.

He brought with him a work of art.  A color by number.

His Dad had just taken him to the copy shop so he could have it laminated.  Because his Dad was proud of him.  Because his Dad recognized his son's ability to create something amazing.

I could tell he was proud of his accomplishment by the way he carried it so carefully in his hands.

The grin that pulled at the corners of his mouth when I asked if I could look at it.

The twinkle that filled up his eyes when I asked if I might take a picture.

He had done a beautiful job, staying carefully in the lines, matching each color with the number.

I could remember being that same age and spending hours matching the right number with the right color.

Training my imagination.

Following the pattern.

As I grew older, I remember adding to the pattern, embellishing, daring to be creative.

Letting the imagination of my thoughts direct the work.


When I look at this picture I am reminded of the words of one of my favorite songs, Beautiful Life:

Every day is another blank canvas Every step is a brushstroke And you’re one of a kind, yeah you’re so brilliant I hope that you know you can

Pick your favorite colors There’s no paint by numbers For you to go by With every single shade You create a beautiful life.

I love the principle this song teaches...

That we are brilliant, and capable.  That there is not just one pattern, but each of us can pick our own colors.  That everyone has the potential to create a beautiful life.

To imagine.

In First Chronicles there is a profound lesson in a father encouraging his son to use his imagination.

After gathering everything that would be needed to build the temple...gold, silver, and precious things...David spoke with his son Solomon.  "Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern...all this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern."  (1 Chronicles 28:11&19)

Besides the pattern, David gave his son some advice, "the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts..."  (1 Chronicles 28:9)

I try to comprehend the Lord's ability to understand my dreams...my greatest hopes...my imaginations...

And then I think of His ability to create this...

and this...

and this...


And I realize, He can understand all the imaginations of the thoughts.

I love the last counsel that David gives to his son, "Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it."  (1 Chronicles 28:10)

Take just a minute and ponder this idea...

What hath the Lord chosen you to do?

When He searches your heart, and understands all the imaginations of your thoughts, what does He have in mind for you?

Have you ever asked?  Have you felt a prompting?  Something that tugs at your heartstrings?

"be strong, and do it"

You might think you are not creative enough...or talented enough...or brave enough.  But the Lord does.  And if you look carefully at verse 9 there is a promise found within...   " if thou seek him, he will be found of thee."

He will help you accomplish every great thing He has in mind for you.

"Be strong and of good courage, and do it:  fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service...of the Lord."  (1 Chronicles 28:20)

Today let your imagination lead your heart.

Be strong, and do it.

You know, my dad is one of my greatest cheerleaders.

Just as David was to Solomon.

And just as the dad of the boy who visited my home last night is to his son.

Since I was a little girl, my dad has encouraged me to chase my dreams, to explore my imagination, to create.  I love that he instilled in me the desire to follow my heart.

But more importantly, I love that he believes in me.  Even if I am a rainbow chaser.  A dream catcher.  An imaginarian.

Many, many years ago he gave me a quote that I memorized.

In the moments when I wonder if I should listen to my heart, follow my imagination, or explore the possibilities within my thoughts, I try to remember this quote...

Hang on the walls of your mind the memory of your successes.

Take counsel of your strength, not your weakness.

Think of the good jobs you have done.

Think of the times when you rose above your average level of performance

and carried out an idea or a dream or a desire for which you had deeply longed.

Hang these pictures on the walls of your mind

and look at them as you travel the roadway of life.


What's in your imagination right now?

Search your heart.

Be strong.

And do it.



Emily Freeman