I spent the last couple of weeks strolling (with Grendel of course) along the roads and paths of Walloon Lake, Michigan. On Friday, Grendel knew it was the last walk—he kept going far ahead of me and had to meet all the dogs along the way. It’s a good thing the people are nice there and don’t mind so much when strangers walk around their yard screaming at their dog to “stop peeing on that tree and sniffing that dog’s behind and come now!”

I’ve been stressed and not sleeping a lot lately mostly due to being unemployed—but during my stay in Michigan I slept like a rock. There is a kind of peace and calm there that works like Prozac. I got to thinking during those walks about the senses, and beauty, and art, and found myself saying over and over again, “thank You God.”

As a marketing professional, I often work with designers to combine function and art. No one does this better than God. Think about it as you look at the natural world around you. Do you notice how everything has a specific function and purpose? And not only that, how its construction is perfect and beautiful? God is the ultimate engineer, architect, conductor, singer, mathematician, scientist, historian, storyteller, and artist. And the following is what my mind lingered on during those long walks under the canopy of trees with Grendel (when I wasn’t yelling at him to come back).

My eyes took in the vibrant, lush colors—the greens of the trees and grass, the blues of the sky and lake, the reds, yellows, purples, whites, pinks, and oranges of the flowers—and I thought how no canvas or paint could match the beauty that God creates.

My ears took in the caressing melodies around me—the birds singing, the waves lapping, the rustle of the trees, and even the soft cry of Gus the cat—and I thought how no symphony or chorus could match the sounds that God creates.

My nose took in the sweet smells of the country—the fresh, clean air and the aromas from the wild flowers (Grendel smelled everything else)—and I thought how wonderful God is to me and how nothing can match the bouquets that He creates.

My skin took in the comfort of nature—the warm embrace of the sun, the cool breeze off the lake, the softness of the grass under bare feet, and even the refreshing rain washing and cleansing the land—and I thought how God touches me in wonderful ways that are unmatched by anything else.

My tongue tasted the myriad flavors of the earth—fresh corn and vegetables from the local farms, fruit picked right from the tree, and the whitefish that came from the local lakes—and I thought how God provides for me, all the energy my body needs to sustain itself all wrapped up in yummy recipes.

The trip was really refreshing to my soul. So if anyone has a job for me where I could work from home on my computer, I will be forever grateful as I move into a small cabin in the woods and breathe the fresh air every day.

Fade back in to reality—Grendel is on a leash, the traffic is creating toxins around the beltway, and I’m putting on a suit for another interview in the city. Even so, thank You God for the break! Below are a few paintings by God.