About the Author

Deidra is a national speaker and the author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are, and One: Unity in a Divided World. Follow Deidra on Instagram @deidrariggs

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  1. Deidra,
    What a deep breath of fresh air you post is!! To quote a member of the previous generation, one might say, “Our country/world is going to he__ in a hand basket.” If we focus only on news and social media that’s what it certainly seems like. Our God, however, is not worried or stymied by the global situation. He is still sovereign and in control. He gives us proof of that every day if we will just shift our focus. Keeping our eyes on Him enables us to see the “new” the amazing, the beautiful, the hope. Thank you so much for encouragement we all so need to hear!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. What an inspiring post. It gives me hope just to read it. Imagine what the day will bring. What an Awesome God we have!

  3. THANK YOU!!! a breath of fresh air. The discouragement and fear that circumstances and our broken world bring can be paralyzing and depressing. Only this hope can spur us to action and give the chance to be light in the darkness and show others how God is redeeming us every day!

  4. Yes. This. Remember. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things
    hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hold on to Hope it is the the accumulation that makes up faith. And faith is the evidence of all we do not see…that underlying growth and change as the planted seeds grow into a crop of wheat. New. Life.

  5. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
    Isaiah 43:19

  6. Thank yoy. I have hope inJesus, but as the saying goes”I am sitting on the premises instead of standing on the promises”. My logic says my life is hopeless, but with prayer today I will chose hope. Please pray for me

  7. As I pulled out of the driveway, my car piled to the hilt with boxes of memories of the past 20 years, God spoke to me ” Behold I am doing a New thing. It will spring forth, will you Not be aware of it?” New things in the midst of brokenness, in the midst of uncertainties, in the midst of loss and fear…it’s what God is all about. ” I would have fainted unless I had seen the Goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” He is still our Abba Father. Still King of Kings our Lord God Most High! He is still worthy of our Praise! I realized what I was feeling about my life was exactly what I was also feeling about the condition of the world, but in the midst of it He whispered to me ” all things New, my girl!” And I felt Him pull me in close to His side, as I took a walk on the beach and found joy again in the sand between my toes and the warmth of the Sun on My back. He holds my life, even when I squirm and wiggle cause it’s uncomfortable and sometimes scarey…He holds the world, even when it is crying out like the birth pangs of a new mother…”Something New”…Just around the corner it will all unfold and we will stand in Awe because He is Worthy!

  8. A much-needed reminder. It can be so easy to look at the mess we’ve made of the world and forget that our God is a God who redeems. God makes all things new, indeed. Thank you for the reminder.

  9. Thank you. My husband keeps begging me to turn off the news, reminding me that the world has always been broken, it’s just a lot more publized now. I’m starting to remember, God’s in control, not us. It’s easy become so prideful and arrogant, doubting His plan for all this. I find my hope in the daily reminder that I’m not in control, He is and I’m so thankful for that!

  10. My birthday, this is a wonderful start to my new year that God,Himself, is starting everything anew! He is always at my side. Knowing He loves me and am never alone is my strength!

  11. Deidra, thank you so much for these blessed words and the pitter patter it gave my heart. God is good all the time and His love endures forever! I mean what is too hard for him and what pit is so deep that His love does not reach still!? He reaches through the heavens and pours himself out through vessels like you! Thank you so much for the encouragement today – feeling the love! I am bookmarking this to read again and again. Blessings to you! <3

  12. Deidra, I really appreciated this post, and of course, we all know that I really appreciate YOU! I am fasting from media news during Lent, partially because I am addicted to it, partially because it makes me fearful and depressed over things which I can’t control, and mostly because it takes my focus off God. It seems like there is nothing new under the sun when I focus on man’s inhumanity to man, unless maybe that it seems to be getting worse. But you refocus our eyes onto God, the author of newness, impossibilities, love, beauty, peace and LIGHT. And light, HIS light, always overcomes darkness. I found it so intriguing that you should illustrate your blog with the exquisite works of one of the foremost Impressionistic painters of light, Jean Claude Monet. And it’s especially amazing that you use Monet’s famous water-lilies exhibition, what he called Les Grandes Decorations, which are customarily housed in the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris. Of course, he painted them during the tumultuous years of the worst-possible devastation the world had thus far experienced: WW I (1914-1918). He painted them to defy disaster, to show that beauty still existed in the midst of horror, that it was desperately needed, and that it could be captured in paint. He was leaving this as a legacy to help heal his beloved homeland, France (from where he could actually hear the fire of battlefield guns raining down across the Channel in England), and ultimately as a legacy of beauty for the world. Even in his waning years (he was 74 at the outset of the War), he chose to do a new thing with this massive artistic undertaking. He chose to continue to fill his artistic purpose midst days of destruction when he said: “Most of my family has left . . . a mad panic has seized all this area . . . as for me, I’ll stay here all the same . . . in the midst of my canvases, in front of my life’s work.” During this time, both his wife and son died and he was diagnosed as having cataracts, which were gravely affecting his eyesight. Eyes are an artist’s tools as much as his brushes. Can you imagine how all these catastrophess combined to make this a terrifying, agonizing time in Monet’s life? And yet, God gave him new eyes to see new possibilities. He envisioned his dream: “Imagine a circular room in which the walls above the baseboard would be covered with paintings of water, dotted with these plants to the very horizon, walls of transparency by turns, toned green and mauve, the still waters calm, and silence reflecting the opened blossoms. The tones are vague, lovingly nuanced, as delicate as a dream.” This dream, this room, these Decorations, were the new thing that Monet bequeathed to his countrymen–a place of retreat and contemplation, away from the surrounding horrors–a place where one could “come away” and be strengthened and re-NEWed, where hope could be restored. These paintings, which have no borders, no beginning, no end, remind me that peace is without borders too. When we are encircled in the beauty of Monet’s work, its serenity, we can remember that ultimately our peace and beauty in Christ, is without end, and His peace surrounds us and permeates our world, even midst the horror currently transpiring in it. But we must take time to experience it, to seek it. And Monet’s tenacity and courage remind us that we must determine to take a courageous stand ourselves and to sit in front of our life’s work–whatever that may be–and not abandon it no matter what our circumstance. For you, dear Deidra, I sense that your work in writing, speaking, and championing racial reconciliation within the Church. And as you sat at your screen today, tapping out brushstrokes of light, did you imagine, like Monet, that you would be surrounding your fearful readers (at least I am!) with the love and light and peace of Christ? What you are doing is so important. Please, please never stop.

    All my love,

    Lynn

    • Thank you for your beautiful reply to Deidra’s blog. Both it and the poem touched my heart today. Our souls need art as much as we need air to breath. Thanks for the added beauty.

      • Susan, and your words so much to me. I am writing a journaling class where the focus is on creativity, beauty, the arts–whatever brings joy. And at first I thought people might see that as frivolous. THis is Christian journaling, and there are so many terrible problems in the world. But the more I prepare, I realized God was showing me that creativity and beauty are just as much a part of His ministry as sharing His truth. We need both, because He is the author of it all. To deny these things is also to deny Him! So, dear Susan, I really needed to read what your encouragement just now. It’s a strong confirmation. Thanks so much!
        Blessings,
        Lynn

  13. Deidra, my post below conveys all I want to say, but I wondered if your readers are familiar w/ this fabulous poem about Monet? Of course, the poet takes exceptional poetic license. Monet did have that cataract surgery. But (among many things) the poem speaks to me about how God can redeem tragedy in the most surprising of ways and do “new” things that we never could have anticipated. The poem is not exactly on topic, but because it is one woman’s “impression” 🙂 of Monet, I thought I would share it.

    Monet Refuses the Operation

    by Lisel Mueller

    Doctor, you say there are no haloes
    around the streetlights in Paris
    and what I see is an aberration
    caused by old age, an affliction.
    I tell you it has taken me all my life
    to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
    to soften and blur and finally banish
    the edges you regret I don’t see,
    to learn that the line I called the horizon
    does not exist and sky and water,
    so long apart, are the same state of being.
    Fifty-four years before I could see
    Rouen cathedral is built
    of parallel shafts of sun,
    and now you want to restore
    my youthful errors: fixed
    notions of top and bottom,
    the illusion of three-dimensional space,
    wisteria separate
    from the bridge it covers.
    What can I say to convince you
    the Houses of Parliament dissolves
    night after night to become
    the fluid dream of the Thames?
    I will not return to a universe
    of objects that don’t know each other,
    as if islands were not the lost children
    of one great continent. The world
    is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
    becomes water, lilies on water,
    above and below water,
    becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
    and white and cerulean lamps,
    small fists passing sunlight
    so quickly to one another
    that it would take long, streaming hair
    inside my brush to catch it.
    To paint the speed of light!
    Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
    burn to mix with air
    and change our bones, skin, clothes
    to gases. Doctor,
    if only you could see
    how heaven pulls earth into its arms
    and how infinitely the heart expands
    to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

    • Oh, sweet Lynn, I do love it when you join the conversation. I love the time you take to read and respond, and I love how you speak straight to my heart. Thank you!

      In January, I was given the opportunity to go to New York City, one of my most favorite places. It is overflowing with culture and light and jazz! And, my children live on the East Coast — my son in Brooklyn, my daughter just outside Philadelphia. While in New York, they both came to see me, no small gift. My daughter and I met up with our friend, Jade, and we toured the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

      Now, years ago, when my daughter was in elementary school, a teacher introduced her to the work of Claude Monet. My daughter fell hard for the art and the artist. That Christmas, we bought her a poster of Monet’s Water-lilies, and a coffee table book, filled with images of the artist’s work. Our daughter continues to be a fan.

      We had no idea Monet’s work was displayed at MoMA! We were enjoying our afternoon, laughing and taking in the beautiful art when, suddenly, we walked into one particular gallery and found ourselves surrounded — much as Monet envisioned — by his art! We were struck silent, and my daughter was moved to tears. It was such a lovely experience and what a gift it was for me to be there to see her reaction!

      When looking for images to include with this piece, I was drawn to the pictures of Monet’s art, and my daughter’s interaction with it. I think she would have tried to step right into the canvases, were it not for the velvet ropes reminding us to keep our distance. God knew how fitting these images would be for this message, and that you would stop by here to complete his words to us.

      Isn’t it something, how much we need each other? How God used you, and me, and my daughter, and Claude Monet — from days long gone — to speak a word of hope to us today? We are part of the body of the Christ, and we are meant to live life together. If you hadn’t shared your wisdom and knowledge, something would have gone missing from this message. Thanks be to God! And thank you, Lynn, for adding such richness to this message of hope. Behold! He makes all things new!

  14. Deidra,
    Thank you for this encouragement! I don’t look at social media or the news much these days, I have my own problems to conquer. God is there always making things new and fresh!
    Just looking outside my windows I see snow melting and showing off nice fresh grass and flowers springing up from a dormant sleep!
    I’m standing on promises that God will take care of me and my family no matter what happens (keep my job). I know new things are just around the corner-just like Spring!
    Blessings 🙂

  15. Thank you for the encouraging words. Thankful to God every new day, He is amazing. I love what your mother in law used to say, “Life sometimes is a tough row to hoe”, so much truth, I wrote it in my planner ;-). God is in control of all. Blessings Anna