Tag Archives: beauty

Up close

image

The details.

The beauty.

The focus.

All those things are easier when I’m up close.

It’s easier to focus on God when I’m as near as possible.

It’s easier to see His beauty in nature and in people when I’m dwelling in His shadow.

It’s easier to see the details of life and how He is constantly changing evil into good and preserving us from even worse when I’m leaning into Him each day.

You see I’ve been struggling.

Our year has been filled with change.

And to be frank I’ve been morning.

I miss my school and the staff and the kids.

Although I’m rejoicing at the hand of God and all the good I’ve seen come from the changes, I’m sad sometimes.

I miss my daughter.

I love our son-in-law and watching them love each other.

I love the new family which has sprouted and is taking root.

But it’s not easy to let go and simply say “good bye! “.

I’m heart broken over changes in personal relationships.

I can see God’s hand and He told me they were coming.

He made it clear that He was allowing this change and I needed to step away.

But I’m watching my dear friend be hurt and I’m powerless to stop it.

I love and encourage as much as I can, but it has nothing to do with me and I am unable to bridge the gap between those people involved.

Because sometimes people choose things which cause pain and brokenness.

I’m scared.

At least I was, until God broke through the lie.

I was cowering with fear from the weight of homeschooling our three.

Until Jesus reminded me of the truth.

Their future is His responsibility.

Mine is to do what He tells me each moment.

Until I drew near, up close to Him with my fears, failures,  pain ,and loss I was pretty depressed.

Life had become tasteless and futile.

But I heard Him calling my name.

I learned from Adam and Eve, don’t hide when called, run towards Him with all my junk.

He embraced my heart and brought peace to my mind.

He revealed His truth and shattered my fear.

He reminded me that sin hurts and people will sin, but He heals and shall always be there to comfort and guide.

He pointed out that He is working and I was failing only because I was trying to do it myself.

An ant wasn’t designed to be an accountant and I wasn’t designed to strive on my own.

He brought me comfort and hope to mend my sad and morning heart.

And He’s still working.

As I have been leaning towards Jesus, doing all in my ability to get up close He has been faithful.

He has listened to my hurting, He has comforted my sorrow, He has guided me in my prayers.

And I can see the beauty, the details and my focus is on Him.

Advertisements

Wild beauty

image

The sound was loud.

The air was crisp.

The moment awe inspiring.

We had stopped here, because of need.

Yet, I was surprised to hear the kids had no memory of the place.

So, I decided to take the time and walk them up to the falls.

(Actually, I watched them run up the trail, I walked!)

This photograph is one of the places we stopped.

The falls are huge, and I couldn’t get a really good picture with my phone.

As we walked back down and I listened to the thunder of the water and the comments of awe from the kids it struck me.

God did this.

The only man made thing was the trail and the bridge.

Man only saw the beauty and built a way to share it with others.

God created the wonder.

Man can only stand in awe of the power and admire He’s creation.

Our pastor taught on Psalm 8 yesterday and it is so fitting.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars,
which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?”
Psalm 8:3-4

What a great God!

He created so much beauty and majesty and yet He loves us even more.

No tree or bird or mountain can say that the very breath of God caused them to have life.

Only mankind.

What an amazing and awesome God!

Winter beauty

image

I’ll be honest.

No one was looking forward to the chance of snow showers more than I.

Since I was born in the desert I look forward to the white world, even though it doesn’t happen every year.

Yet, I wonder if I’d be as enthusiastic if I’d grown up where it snows by the foot instead of the inch.

Would my child like thrill be absent if we were dealing with broken water pipes and frozen electrical?

Probably.

-Sigh-

How fickle are my emotions.

True beauty is always around me in God’s creation, yet how often do I pass it by?

How quick am I to notice the blessings around me instead of focusing on the trials?

So, as I enjoy the winter beauty I’m praying.

Because I want to be joyful at the turning of every season, yet I never want to be forgetful of those blessings which can so often be taken for granted.

So, I’m going to get a hot cup of tea, a plate of biscuits, and my Bible by the fire.

I’m so thankful for the winter beauty.

I’m so grateful for God’s provision.

May He bless and encourage you this day.

When in the midst

image

Although lovely,
this flower was in the process of blooming.

It hadn’t reach its full potential.
It hadn’t shown all it was capable of.

The flower was in the midst of making a beautiful testimony to God’s creation.

Yet, as easy as it is to recognize the beauty in the middle of the effort,
is it as easy to see in ourselves?

We are blessed with 3 daughters and each of them is beautiful and a blessing to us.

Yet it amazes me each time one of them speaks of their lack of beauty in sight of their sister’s.

“Well, I’m not pretty like…”

Of course I understand this is a normal part of being a girl and growing up.

Yet being able to communicate the truths of beauty to my girls is so much more difficult.

Beauty is not an end result.

True beauty is like a wonderful patchwork quilt.

It holds various patterns and shapes, it takes time, attention to detail and love.

For a girl to be beautiful goes deep within her character as well as an effort to hone the outward.

True beauty is timeless.

Several parts of our world seem to continually try to undermine or erode the true beauty.

Magazines and some movies make beauty about how much a girl can reveal instead of how alluring true modesty can be.

We see pictures of women using their looks to sell products, when true beauty isn’t used to manipulate others.

True beauty is valuable yet often misunderstood.

True beauty is words spoken with gentleness even when emotions are strained.

True beauty is steady loving strength to stand for what is right even in the face of personal loss.

True beauty is loving others, even though they may be difficult to love.

True beauty is a smile and a heart willing to listen to the needs of others.

A woman of true beauty is mindful of her looks, wearing clothes which flatter without exposing. She attends to her outward appearance without neglecting her inward needs.

A lady of true beauty spends time in the Word and prayer so she is a tune to God’s call, His direction, His love to fill her so she’s equipped to pour into others.

A woman of true beauty is honest and humble, able to ask for help, willing to admit inability, because she realizes each of us has limits.

So while I’m learning how to be a woman of true beauty, while I try to teach my daughters about true beauty, I can look to the flower and remember.

When in the midst of growing,
there is beauty.

What kind are you?

image

With all the beauties springing up everywhere,

I have been thinking about the variety of options which all fall into the category of beautiful.

The lawn daisy,
lilac blossoms,
the pink buds of the cherry trees,
primroses,
daffodils,
dandelions,
crocus,
bleeding hearts,
pansies,
and wild lady’s slippers,
are
each unique,
each beautiful,
each made to bloom in different climates.

The same is true of people.

Although we have the habit of judging each of our own beauty by those around us, God sees it differently.

He created each of us for specific events, special talents, differing abilities, unique gifts, orchestrated appointments,  and even in the challenges of life an opportunity to bloom.

Each and every individual was created by God.

Each with a purpose and opportunities to know Him and His plan for them.

A wonderful example of God’s amazing abilities is the story of Ruth.

Ruth was married to a Jewish man and they didn’t have even one child.

We don’t know how long they were married, nor any other details as to why they never had a child.

However, Ruth ‘ s challenges didn’t end there.

She then experienced the pain of deep loss.

Her husband died.

Her brother-in-law died and from what we can extract from the story her father-in-law had already died.

She was left alone with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

Her mother-in-law was determined to move back to her home country and pleaded with both daughters to go back to their parents.

Ruth made the decision of a lifetime.

She said,  “Entreat me not to leave you,  or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; Wherever you lodge, I will lodge;  Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also,  If anything but death parts you and me.”

In our western mindset this is crazy. But in her time Ruth understood that her mother-in-law was unable to provide for herself or to earn an income. If Ruth left her there was a high chance Naomi would starve.

Ruth wasn’t willing to allow that, and she was willing to pay for it with her own future.

They return to Bethlehem.

Yet there is still a major problem. They have no way to earn an income.

So Ruth does what she is able to do.

I call it the task at hand.

She gleaned in the field.

Back breaking,  difficult,  tedious work.

Nothing fancy or even to be desired, yet she was willing to work and she was faithful day in and day out.

We don’t know much else about Ruth.

Was she beautiful?
Was she brilliant?
Was she tall or short?
Was she dark or fair?
Was she articulate or quiet?
What was her upbringing?
What kind of family did she come from? What treatment was she used to?

We know nothing except that she was faithful.

She followed God and was dependable to do whatever was needed to help Naomi.

She was definitely a woman of worth.

And the story ends with her being married to Boaz and having a son who is a direct ancestor to King David and the line of Jesus.

Ruth ‘ s life proves that the Lord is capable of making a life bloom when they have devoted themselves to Him.

Even if it costs them everything.

So as you look around at the flowers remember God created you just as special as each bud and He has a path laid out for you.

Each of us is a beautiful creation.
I think Ruth was a wild cherry blossom, blooming where she was planted no matter what storms tore at her heart.

What kind of flower are you?