Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship
Funny story... I've actually postponed writing this review since March. The reason? It was one of the best books I read this year. Sometimes the scariest thing in the world is describing something that spoke to very personal places and affected your life in ways you can't explain.
But that was Beholding and Becoming, by Ruth Chou Simons. The marriage of beautiful art and gospel truth made this book a timely read when I was grappling with a world turned upside down.
About the Book
We become what we behold.
You are in the process of becoming, Every day is an opportunity to be shaped and formed by what moves your heart... drives your thoughts... captures your gaze. Is it any wonder that where you direct your eyes and your heart matters in your day-to-day?
We become what we behold when we set our hearts and minds on Christ and His redemption story here in the details of our daily lives. Not just on Sunday, not just on holidays, not just when extraordinarily hard or wonderful things happen...but today.
Bestselling author and artist Ruth Chou Simons invites you on a new journey to Beholding and Becoming. With more than 850 pieces of intricate, original artwork, Ruth encourages you to elevate your gaze to the One who created all things.
Today is an opportunity for God to demonstrate His love and His faithfulness in the midst of your mundane. No circumstance is too ordinary or too forgotten for Him to meet you there in worship. His transforming grace turns your "everyday ordinary" into a holy place of becoming.
My Thoughts (aka my 5 star, go follow her, buy everything she sells, rave review)
In a podcast interview (Coffee with Andi, episode 42) Ruth said of her newly-released book, “My goal was not to write a self-help book. It wasn’t to specify, ‘here’s a fix to this situation.’ Because at the end of the day, a bigger view of God will cause bigger change in your person. If you want to see huge change in your life, you have to have a bigger view of God.”
On everyday worship, she commented, “I’m not trying to over-spiritualize. I’m not saying that clipping your nails or doing whatever is so spiritual. I’m saying that God is giving you a life and breath today. It’s not all going to be beautiful – the birds aren’t always going to be singing the whole day through. It means, simply, that He is present, and He can be known.”
Someone told me this week that while reading historically-proven gems of theology is essential, every generation also needs its own voices pulling them back to the cross. Ruth Chou Simons fills a specific void in a world of Pinterest and side-hustles, when success means money and fame and everyday faithfulness is often belittled.
Each chapter is divided into two parts, Beholding, where she shares pithy truth about who we are and who our God is, and Becoming, when she ties it in to dirty refrigerators and gives practical application.
One of my favorite chapters was "Beholding: God's Faithfulness in a Day / Becoming: Be Glad in a Day". Each chapter is filled with quotes and hymn lyrics, and they're easy to read in short sessions.
“We were made for one worship and one satisfaction, but our taste buds are skewed until our appetites are formed in and for Him. The question isn't whether we will use our everyday moments to worship because we will -- in the midst of ordinary places, people, sights, sounds, joys, and pains.
"How we direct our eyes, minds, hearts, and hands in the everyday will determine whom we ultimately worship, and what we ultimately become. We were made to behold Him and be transformed in Him. The art of everyday worship is the journey from canvas to masterpiece. We all have an invitation to be transformed, one everyday moment at a time.”
I highly recommend checking out Ruth's Instagram account, blog, and the Grace Laced Shoppe. She just released an Advent collection and her products make the perfect Christmas gifts! This book alone is perfect for women of all ages, including new mamas and mamas of littles who only have short snippets of reading time.
Plus it looks gorgeous on any coffee table and the hand-painted art is a delight!