Some people have a gift for beauty. It seems that anything they touch turns lovely. They turn meals and rooms and anything else they make into works of art.

I am not one of those people.

I am not artsy or craftsy. I do not draw. Or sew. Or knit. Or decorate. Or anything. But I secretly wish I did. I secretly envy the beauty-makers.

So when Ann Voskamp created a family devotional for these last days of Lent, complete with classic works of art to hang on a Lenten tree, I decided that instead of just looking enviously at her little tree, I would actually try to make one of my own.

I cut branches from our spirea, tied them with twine, stabilized them in rocks in a flower pot, and set my little Lenten tree on the piano. I was shocked how good it looked.

Then I cut out the artwork from Ann’s devotional, and since we were fresh out of construction paper, Jane and I glued it onto colorful origami paper, and I taped ribbon to each piece of art so we could hang it from the branches of our tree. As we started to hang the artwork up, one piece each day, I was once again shocked at how pretty it was.

I had a surprising amount of fun bringing these branches inside and making something special for our family in these last days of Lent. I’m starting to realize that making a lovely life is mostly a matter of trying. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It won’t be, because I’m not.

But I shouldn’t let that stop me from enjoying the beauty I can create.


For inspiration for your own Lenten tree, check out Ann Voskamp’s gorgeous (and intimidating) photos of hers.

You can also download her “Trail to the Tree” devotion book.