Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Tag

Removing Layers   1 comment


Image provided by nationalgeographic.com

Image provided by nationalgeographic.com

Today I was thinking about the discovery of boats which have sunk to the ocean floor many years ago.  Have you ever watched a show on television which documents the discovery of one of those vessels?  Once the vessel is discovered, it takes a long time to bring parts of the vessel and its contents to the surface.  Even when the items are brought to the surface, there is a painstakingly slow process of removing all the sediment, barnacles, and effects of being underwater from each item.  Yet, the end result is a restoring of the beauty and detail of each of those items.

As I was considering all of this, I began to think about how this can be said of many people.  Over time, each of us takes on the dust and crud of life.  Each person and event which touches our lives adds its own mark and leaves a residue.  More and more lingering aspects of life attach to us so that we have layer upon layer, much like those items discovered with sunken boats in the ocean.  These layers add weight to us and can hide the beauty and details of who we were originally created to be.

So it becomes important to take time to remove the layers.  Like the removal of the ocean effects on sunken treasure, this process can take a lot of time.  At times, the process can hurt.  Yet, if we pursue in doing this work, the true beauty and nature of ourselves will be able to be seen.  We will once again remember how wonderfully we have been created.  We will be reminded of who we truly are and what we have to offer to others.  Our self will shine forth with a luster which dazzles ourselves and others.

My encouragement to all of you is to make sure you take time to remove the layers of life which cover you.  Let your truly amazing self be restored and shine forth.

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Finding The Beauty   Leave a comment


Image provided by Darla Millhollin

Image provided by Darla Millhollin

This weekend we received the first  (and only, so far) significant snow storm of the winter season.  Since I was having to travel, I was less than enchanted by the snow.  In fact, as I have grown in age, I have become less and less enchanted with snow.  So I can easily do a lot of grumbling about the winter storms which hit the Midwest.  However, some of my Facebook friends have caused me to pause even briefly and appreciate the beauty that can be found in the way the snow covers the trees, bushes and ground.  As they have posted pictures of the snow in their area and made comments about its beauty, I have been forced to look at the beauty which is the landscape around me.

All of this has led me to remember that even in what appears to be difficult, frustrating, or challenging situations, we can find beauty.  We  all want our plans to work out just has we have laid them out but life does not always happen in such neatly organized ways.  I am one who can easily become frustrated when my plans do not materialize as I envision them.  However, even in those times, there can be something good, maybe even beautiful, which occurs.  I need to remember to take the time to pause and look for the beauty.

So I challenge myself and each of you, to find the beauty wherever you may find yourselves this week.

Posted February 3, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Life

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Holding On   2 comments


Autumn LeavesI have a tree in my yard that still has most of its leaves.  In fact, it is one of the only trees in the neighborhood which is not bare at this point in autumn.  Today is another very windy day in our area with predicted wind gusts of thirty miles per hour.  As I watched the wind strip the few remaining leaves from many of the trees, I thought about the tree in my yard.  I wondered if this wind on this day would be too strong for the tree to hold on to the many leaves it has.  I wondered if this is the day that the beautiful, red, orange, and yellow leaves will yield to the force of the wind and come flying off.  Or would the tree remain strong in holding on to those leaves and when I returned home tonight the beauty would remain.

These thoughts led me to consider the times in life when we can be battered by strong winds.  There are many that when the winds begin to blow, easily yield to the wind.  Their beauty and part of who they are is torn away and falls around them.  They become bare and dormant in their lives.  There are others who are like the tree in my yard, they bend with the wind but they do not yield parts of who they are to the mighty force of the wind.  They hold on.

Which am I?  Which are you?  I encourage us to strive to hold on when life’s wind blows hard.  Hold on to who we are.  Hold on to those parts of us which result in beauty.  Remain strong in the resolve to not yield to the wind but to retain all that makes us the beautiful creature which the Lord created.

Beauty All Around   Leave a comment


Sun, leaves, and beautyToday I was struck by the image of the sun shining through the yellow leaves on the maple tree outside my office.  So I stopped to take a picture (the one with this post).  The beauty was so overwhelming.  Even though it was pretty chilly this morning when I was walking into the building, this image expressed warmth to me.

How often do we go through life and miss the beauty that is around us?  Some of that beauty is contained in the nature that we encounter each day.  Some of that beauty is contained in the people who enter our lives each day.  Some of the beauty can be found in ourselves, in our thoughts and our feelings.  There seems to be an endless amount of beauty in our lives each and every day but so often it goes unnoticed.

So I encourage each of you to look for the beauty in your day today.  For those who are believers in the Lord, give thanks to the Lord for the beauty which the Creator has placed in our lives.  If you are not a believer in the Lord, take time to reflect upon the source of the beauty which you encounter.  Either way, do not let the beauty escape your attention.  You may be surprised how it will add warmth into your life.

It Takes Work   Leave a comment


These people really went all out

These people really went all out (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like many of you, I have spent time over the last few days trying to put up Christmas decorations.  It is something that I dread with the coming of Thanksgiving every year.  Yet, once I have all the decorations up and in place, I love the look and the joy that seeing them lit up at night brings to me.  So like many of you, I wish there was some magic button that I could push and the decorations would be in place (While we’re at it, the pushing of the button would ensure that all the lights work the whole time from getting them out of the storage boxes to putting them back away.).  However, we all know that such a magic button does not exists.  So every year, I begin the ritual of getting the boxes up from the basement, testing the lights, replacing half of the strands because a portion on each strand does not work, hanging them, and then spending the rest of the season fixing different parts each day.

This exercise in what may appear to be futile efforts has led me to think about all the aspects of life that take work in order to achieve a great outcome.  If I did not take the time and effort to hang the lights and put out the lit, movable decorations, then I would never get to experience the beauty that arrives each night during the Advent and Christmas seasons.  Relationships are another part of life that require work in order to achieve something of value.  You must be willing to put in the effort and to experience the joys and pains if you are going to have a beautiful relationship.

Accomplishments in education, careers, athletics  the arts, organizations, and other aspects of life are the same.  Each of these require work and effort before a beautiful outcome can be produced.  There are set backs and frustrations in each of these but the work must be done.  None of these accomplishments happen without the work.

So today I am reminded of the importance of the work.  If I seek the future beauty in whatever area of life I may be focusing upon, then I need to do the work.

Colors of Life   3 comments


Today as I look out my office window I see the tree outside all adorned in the beautiful colors of fall.  This tree has a lot of messages for me today.  The first is the difficulty of capturing the real-life beauty of its colors in a photograph.  The picture that you I have included with this post is a picture of the tree.  However, no matter what angle I attempted to take the picture from, I failed to capture the level of beauty that I see with my own eyes.  The yellow of the leaves does not seem to be as brilliant in the photographs as it is when I look out my window.  This causes me to ponder how this truth exists in relationships.  Even though technology may provide great opportunity for us to connect with one another in amazing ways, those connections can never be as rich as when we are able to connect face-to-face.

The second message the tree communicates to me is one regarding the fleeting aspect of capturing life’s colors.  This tree is one of the first in the area to change colors.  However, it is also one of the first to lose all of its leaves.  Even now, I watch large numbers of leaves floating to the ground from this tree and it is not a very windy day.  I am led to think about how quickly the color in our life can fade away.  It creates in me a desire to capture and enjoy as much of that color as possible.  Our every day lives can become very monochrome in nature so we need to seek out the color of life and enjoy it to the fullest.

The Lord has created a beautiful world and placed colorful and beautiful people in it.  All of this has been created for our enjoyment and to remind us that beauty resides around us and in us.  It is very important for us to open our eyes and see the colors of life.  It is important for us to take the time to marvel at those beautiful colors and the way they enhance our lives.  I am drawn to give thanks to the Lord for such great color in my life.

May you find the colors of life and reveal in their richness and be dazzled as they swirl around you.

Posted October 5, 2011 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Faith/Life Connections, Life

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