Don’t Miss the Beauty

It’s been a while, I know! But you’ll be hearing from me a lot more lately. With the start of the new year, I’ve decided to post twice a week…starting this week. 🙂 Last week was a little busy; one of my very best friends got married! And I was there for the majority of last week to help her get ready and be a part of her special day. So, that left little time for writing. I did manage to write one post last week (not the two I’d hope to get done on the bus like I mentioned below), but never got around to posting it. As for the second post, well, keep your eyes peeled for it Friday. While the main focus of my blog will remain the same, I’m going to also start incorporating weekly posts that chronicle my journey through healing by way of diet. I’ll explain more in my next post, but in a nutshell, I had been having some health issues that eventually led me to see a functional medicine practitioner, who suggested I start an elimination diet to identify possible food allergies. The purpose of writing along the way is to hopefully serve as a source of help and encouragement to those who may be encountering similar health issues, but also as a source of accountability for me. It’s easy to get discouraged and want to just throw in the towel and pick up a brownie–or seven–a habit which likely, in part anyway, got me to where I am. This process has already begun to serve as a means to show me deeper issues in my heart, but I’m thankful. It’s only as these things are brought to light that they can be uprooted, and my heart can find the healing it needs. And, as uncomfortable as it may be for me, I hope that unveiling these issues will help others to find healing for their hearts and their bodies as well. Anyway, enough on the food front. I’ll follow up on that Friday, and leave you to read today’s post for now (which was actually written a week ago):

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I’m on a bus on the way to Bangor. And I’ve only got a little over an hour to cram in two blog posts. Two. After all, it’s a New Year. A fresh start. A chance to tackle all the goals I’ve set for the year, like the one about posting twice a week. And since I’m headed up to help a friend get ready for a wedding, I won’t have time to write Friday’s post later this week. So, here’s my chance. The pressure’s on. I write a paragraph. Highlight, backspace. Frustration. It’s crunch time, and nothing’s coming together. Then I look up, look out.

Maine is beautiful.

The pines that pebble the interstate are laden with snow. And as I look at the white weighing down burdened branches, ice engulfing limbs, I smile. The frustration lifts.

There’s no pressure. Just purpose.

Why write two times a week? Because of pressure? Because I’m letting someone down–others, myself, God? Because in 2014 I finally need to prove that I’m actually going to stick to a New Year’s resolution? No.

Why, then?

Purpose. Progress. Process.

Writing on purpose, with purpose. To make progress. To journey forward in this process of growing, changing, learning, reaching–out for Him, out to others. Because it’s not so much that you’re all going to be terribly devastated if I don’t write twice a week. In fact, that’s not it at all. It’s that when I take the time to reflect on what’s going on around me–in my life, in the world–in light of Christ and His Word, when I take a moment and step back and ask Him to give me His perspective on it all, I see Him. I catch glimpses. Of Him, of His beauty, of His glory. Of how He might use it to grow and stretch and teach and change me, if I let Him. And then, by letting you all in to see a part of that, maybe you might see more of Him, too.

So what do I see when I step back and look at it all? What I see looks a lot like the scenery surrounding me. Just a few minutes ago, I was staring at my laptop screen in frustration. And then I stopped and looked out the window. What my eyes met reminded me of a bigger picture. There is beauty all around. When I stare at my current circumstances, sometimes it’s easy to be frustrated over the things that haven’t gone my way. But when I lift my eyes to look at the bigger picture, I see there is beauty all around.

If I kept my eyes locked on that computer screen, I would have missed out on experiencing a beautiful view. I knew the trees and the snow were there. But that’s not the same as seeing it, savoring it. When I keep my eyes locked on the difficulties in my life, I miss out on experiencing the fullness of the blessings God has bestowed on me. It’s not enough to simply know that He loves me, He’s blessed me with people who love me, and He’s provided jobs and a beautiful place to live. Because when my gaze is still fixed on what I don’t like, I miss out on savoring the sweetness of His presence, His people, and His provision.

So this year, I’m writing twice a week. But not because of pressure. I’m writing with purpose. To see. To savor. To remember and drink in all the beauty He’s blessed me with, beauty that can’t be overshadowed by difficulty. Because even that, if I choose to see it as such, can be beautiful. I simply need to open my eyes to the beauty He’s making out of it, because it’s happening. This computer screen? It’s not so frustrating anymore. Because I took a moment to look out the window and be inspired by the beauty outside, I remembered that this is beautiful, too. This writing and grappling and fumbling through frustration to be reminded of why I write at all, it’s beautiful. Because He uses it to make me more like HIM: the Most Beautiful of All.

As you start this new year, what circumstances threaten to distract you from the beauty all around you? Why not try stepping back and looking around? And then, maybe, those circumstances, difficulties, frustrations, might just turn out to look beautiful to you, too. More importantly, may they point your gaze to True Beauty Himself.

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