Beauty in the Broken Pieces

Beauty in the Broken Pieces

Squeal with delight

His little feet raced from one shell to another. “Here’s one, mommy.” My son reached to put it in my bucket as we walked down the beach. I explained I wanted pretty shells, whole, not the broken ones.

He quickly told me those shells were pretty, too. “Just because they’re broken doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pick them for our collection.”

In Parker’s eyes, all shells were pretty.

Those simple child-uttered words spoke to me.

Do we sometimes see the broken as unlovely, not worth our time? How often do we search for the unblemished, the perfect relationship, the perfect family, the perfect church, the perfect (you fill in the blank).

The reality? Things break. Life is not perfect. No real surprise there, right?  But if we look, we can find beauty and even restoration in the broken.

God sees our hearts

Jesus saw beauty in the broken. It seems He sought them out.

He saw Mary and Martha. He healed the woman with the seven demons as well as the woman who touched the hem of His garment. Jesus saw Zacchaeus. He even invited another tax collector into His inner band of believers. He had compassion for the crowd of 5,000 who needed food.

Long before he came to live on earth, He saw a broken world and made a plan to rescue it and set things right.

Jesus sees beauty and value in us. He sees through our pain, our struggle and our rebellion. Jesus knows our hearts. He sets things right.

He sees beauty in the broken.

Am I still looking for the perfect shell? Yes. But God and a little boy reminded me there is beauty even in the broken pieces.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling,” (Psalm 46:1-3 ESV).


Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

My Christmas gift to you

He called him Precious. Until the day he went to be with Jesus, he called his 6-foot, 13-year-old son Precious. Whether at bedtime, on the football field or basketball court, that name belonged to my now 21-year-old.

Words of endearment stir our hearts and, in our case, give us reason for a chuckle or two. I once knew a pastor who called his beautiful blonde wife Yellowhead. Cute. Right? Even today, the server at Sonic randomly called me “lovebug” as she handed me my order!

My mom called my sons “Sweet Angel.” Of course, one son questioned that name. “Why does she call me that? I’m not sweet and I’m not an angel!”

Affectionate names can even inspire proud moments, lift our spirits and reinforce our value.

Do you have a word for someone special? Or maybe a secret handshake between you and someone else? (My husband had one with our boys.) Maybe you share a heartfelt look with a friend or family member that communicates a message that mere words cannot.

What a beautiful name

The Bible tells us God has special words for believers too. Let’s look at a few, letting them soak in. Let them cover you with His peace and love and encourage your spirit.


“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

Chosen and Royal
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)


“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15 NIV)


“‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them my jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’” (Malachi 3:17 NKJV)

Masterpiece (God’s Workmanship)

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

Joy of Many Generations

“Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations.” (Isaiah 60:15 NIV)

What a beautiful love

You are all these things to Him and more. So many more. The Bible also tells us that God calls us by name, revealing His personal involvement in our lives, the promise of His presence and His love for us. And that love will never be shaken. In contrast, He sets His heart on us.

“What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him,” (Job 7:17 ESV).

Yes, He sets His heart on us! He has wonderful and beautiful names for us. Let the beauty of these names and the beauty of God’s love refresh and strengthen you today.


Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.


Paving the Way to Bigger and Better

Paving the Way to Bigger and Better


Our dog escaped from the backyard last week. I was moving leaf bags to the front so they could be picked up. With that opening in the gate, he bolted past me.


I chased him for 40 minutes until my son and a helpful neighbor backed him into a corner. I was concerned he would either attack another neighbor’s chickens or get hit by a speeding car. No matter how many times (and there were many) I called his name and said the magic word “here,” he only darted the other way.


He ran across the street and back multiple times, into neighbors’ yards and then just simply ran 30mph down the street.


That experience was not supposed to be a part of my day.


He was once trained, but little by little, he began to ignore the rules. I, of course, was only trying to protect the guy from harm. What he doesn’t understand is that small acts of obedience pave the way to bigger and better things.


Acts of obedience

Two thousand years ago, a group of shepherds acted on the guidance of an angel of the Lord. They were rewarded big for it. In a surreal display of magnificence, the angel announced the Savior of the World’s birth and told them how to find Him. They could have marveled at the spectacle before them and praised God for the angels’ appearance. They could have reminisced about that experience the rest of their lives.


But they didn’t stay. Following the angel’s instructions, they left their flocks and went seeking the Christ Child.


The shepherds heard. They obeyed. They expected to see great things.


They definitely saw bigger and better. Because they obeyed, they were likely the first to see the Savior of the World. Because they obeyed, they couldn’t keep this great news to themselves. Scripture goes on to say they shared with the others what the angels had revealed about Jesus.


The greatest news ever known

My friend, we have been given the greatest news ever known to man. Jesus Christ came to earth in the form of a baby. God with human skin. But let’s not miss the second part of this greatest news. Jesus came so he could make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.


Most of us have heard this good news. How have we responded? Are we full of wonder at what was done for us? Do we enjoy God’s blessing of people, experiences and things we’ve been gifted, only to go back to our daily routine?


Or do we respond and obey? Like the shepherds, do we share the good news? Do we go to where the Holy Spirit leads us? For me, I have found that I need to be obedient to what God already has said before He reveals something new. I believe that one step of obedience at a time opens the door for God to speak more.


Step by step

I think we can learn from the shepherds.

  • They stopped what they were doing, obeyed and went to see Jesus.
  • They returned to their fields glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

Today, we too can act upon the word of God.

  • Stop what we’re doing and recognize the splendor of that event 2000 years ago. Keep the awe and reverence of that moment in our hearts and minds and glorify Him.
  • Recognize the gifts He gives us every day.
  • Follow in obedience — one simple step at a time.

When we obey and seek Jesus, we can’t help but return glorifying and praising Him.

And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20 (ESV)


Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.


Stunningly Beautiful

Stunningly Beautiful

Stunningly beautiful.

I read the comment on someone’s social media page. I cannot remember who wrote it or what it referred to — someone’s physical beauty or words written. Maybe it referred to God’s beautiful creation.

It reminded me of a time many years ago when a friend and I visited Niagara Falls. We were in Toronto and drove down for the day. It was breathtaking. The shops and town on the Canadian side of the falls were beautifully decorated with potted and hanging plants overflowing with flowers. The overall experience was one of awe and appreciation.

We decided to see the falls from the U.S. side, so we drove over. In contrast, this trash-littered scene was quite appalling. No quaint streets. No beautiful landscaping. Of course, the falls were equally as beautiful, but the environment around them hadn’t been kept up. It had quite literally gone by the wayside. Abandoned. Not cared for. We saw only trash scattered about.

Those two sides of the most powerful waterfall in the world couldn’t have been more different. (I do not believe this is true today, but the experience absolutely left an impression.)

Pristine or neglected?

What about us? Are our lives in pristine shape? Have we cared for the conditions around us?

  • Our physical health. Is it on the back burner while we focus on other things? (Ouch – that one hits home for me.)
  • Our mental health. What do we allow into our minds?
  • Our spiritual health. Are we reading God’s word consistently?

Which side are you on?

Niagara showcases two views. Both views surround a beautiful phenomenon.

We have the love of God. It is without doubt stunningly beautiful. It is beyond comparison. Jesus Christ is our center, our constant. He is our powerful redeemer.

On the one side, we have complete trust and faith. The other side disobedience and rebellion.

My life has depicted both sides over the years. Can you relate?

But as Christ as our center, let us strive to keep the physical, mental and spiritual chunks of our lives in order so that others can see Jesus in us. Not to be distracted by clutter but that the life we live will point people to Him.


When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV)


Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

Surrounded by Joy

Surrounded by Joy

Not long after we got a new puppy, Parker sat on the floor beside our two dogs. One old. One young. From an overflowing of his heart, he declared “I feel surrounded by joy!”

Such simple words, but impactful. What would it take to feel surrounded by joy? To have an overflowing of “wonder?” A heart bursting with gratitude?

I felt the same way this week when returning Parker to scout camp after soccer practice. I stood by the campfire and looked at the stars in awe. Seeing the night sky from the quietness of the woods does that to me. I could have watched for hours, reflecting on our incredible God, the creator of the universe.

How can someone see the expanse of the sky or witness the birth of a child and not believe in a creator God?

Misguided beliefs produce a lack of hope

There are many who do not. This week, a Facebook headline drew me in. I’m not one to click on links on the platform, but this one gave a list of famous people who are known to be atheists. My curiosity got the better of me. Soon after, my heart broke because of their lack of hope for a future beyond this life and missing heaven because of misguided beliefs.

The assurance that one day I will spend eternity in the presence of Jesus tops my gratitude list. That alone gives me peace and joy.

This Thanksgiving let’s allow ourselves to be surrounded by joy. There are plenty of things to focus on – the beauty and innocence of our children, an encouraging word, a visit from a loved one, a surprise phone call with good news, a meal, a beautiful sunset, a good checkup, a new beginning, an opportunity presented, a restored relationship, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and many more.

Truth is, giving thanks in all circumstances is the will of God.

Today, take the time to rest and reflect . . . and fill in the “many more” on your own gratitude list.


Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28


I know why birds sing

I know why birds sing

God is an artist.

And he must love music.

  • He created the birds to sing and praise him
  • His angels sing praises to Him.
  • People worship and sing praises to Him.

I know, I know — scientists say birds sing to sound an alert of a predator, or to snag a mate. But God wanted them to sing for His enjoyment — and ours.

We create things for enjoyment too.

  • A favorite dish or entre’
  • A painting or other work of art
  • A song played
  • A poem written

Creativity. Some people have an overabundance of it. Matthew did. Parker is following in his footsteps with that talent. Garrett’s creativity comes out in his relationships. Connor’s is released through his favorite sport.

Me? I’m still trying to figure that out.

Recognize the wonders of the earth

How can someone recognize the wonders of the earth, yet not believe in the God who created them? We can find God’s beauty no matter where we are. Author Sue Monk Kidd writes it excellently. “Something deep in all of us longs for God’s beauty, and we can find it no matter where we are.”

God’s creation is beautiful. Creation’s beauty points us to Him.

So, where God is Almighty and worthy of our reverence and worship, He also delights in creativity — the tiny bird’s song, the things that are awe-inspiring, things that are beautiful, things that give us pause or make us laugh.


For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20 (NIV)