I was encouraged by a Facebook post I saw today. Author Susie Finkbeiner, a woman I respect and admire, acknowledged the winter gloominess but asked what is hopeful in our lives? “Just some little sparks of hope, joy, and love that are making you smile” to brighten the day? I loved this idea!
Apparently I wasn’t alone. Dozens of beautiful responses made me smile: photos of smiling babies and puppies, anticipation of upcoming weddings, decluttered spaces, chocolate cookies, “wild joys of motherhood”, soap bubbles that incite giggles, a fixed kitchen faucet pro bono, vacations, hot coffee, time with loved ones, assistance for the down and out, and the list went on.
One of my desires for this year is to focus on beauty. Not strive for a standard of beauty but focus on existing beauty. The beauty that God gives on a daily basis that I sometimes rush past because I believe the lie I haven’t time enough to luxuriate in it. Why not? Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, and I only get one pass at modeling for my children what glorifying God by enjoying him forever looks like. Why they should want to live.
So much brokenness…can’t run from it if I try, but I can choose to focus on the beauty and enjoy God’s gifts. Enjoy Him. And trust Him with the broken I can’t control. I desire to do less FOR and more WITH this year. To be fully present wherever I am, whoever I’m with, and discover the hidden beauty tucked into everyday interactions.
Today, I offer you a beloved collection of winter photos from photographer Johanna Froese that inspire awe, remind me to look up sometimes, and focus on beauty. I also greatly appreciate art student Katlin Gearhart’s eye drawing, the very picture of focus! What about you? What’s something beauty-filled you’ve seen or experienced? I’d love to hear from you!
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9 MSG