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).

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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.

Rush of Emotion

Rush of Emotion

As I sat waiting for the start of my son’s college basketball game, where he is a manager for the team, unwelcome tears sprang to my eyes.

Nothing had happened that day to prompt this emotional outbreak. As I sat in the stadium alone, a rush of emotions took over.

I thought about how my late husband would have been so proud of the young man our son had become. And then my mind traveled back to all the events, decisions and milestones he had missed with us.

In the noise of the game’s beginning activities, I sat missing him.

Even after many years, grief can surface without a moment’s notice. And especially around the holiday season.

Have you experienced this uninvited emotion? How are we to maneuver through it?

Two things come to mind. 1) Find things to be grateful for and 2) Focus on Jesus, who is always by our side.

 

Be grateful

In big things or in small, remember the people, the events, and the circumstances that have blessed and encouraged you. Remember your loved ones in Heaven and reflect on what they meant to you while they were here on earth. Journaling your thoughts can be a source of comfort and give perspective.

The Bible has much to say about gratitude. Here are just a few verses pointing us to praise and thanksgiving.

Giving thanks takes the focus off us and gives us room to focus on Jesus.

 

Focus on Jesus

  • In our sadness,
  • In our heartaches,
  • In our battles,
  • In our restlessness,
  • In our moments of decision,
  • In our skepticism and suspicion,
  • In our moments of disobedience, and
  • When we are faithful and when we’re not,

Our sovereign Lord is there.

 

Surrounded by God’s presence

No one physically sat beside me at that game. In fact, the crowd was sparse the day before a holiday. The emotional moment of sadness passed. I don’t know why they pop up like they do, but one thing I know.

My God’s presence surrounds me no matter where I am or what happens in my day, in my week or in my life. We can place confidence and assurance in God who is near.

How have you seen God in a particular season in your life, and felt His presence? Share it with someone today. Your experience might encourage someone else and be just the thing to get them through their day.

You made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures in your right hand. Psalm 16:11

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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.

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Ordinary People

Ordinary People

As King David stays hidden from his son Absalom, two men risk their lives to report to David Absalom’s plan to take over the kingdom. (2 Samuel 17:17-21)

Because they had been seen leaving the city, a man in Bahurim allowed these messengers to hide in his well. His wife placed a blanket and grain over it to stow them away from their pursuers. She then sent Absalom’s men in a different direction.

Available and willing

We don’t know much about this couple other than these few scriptures. They were likely just two ordinary people God used for a moment in time to protect his anointed. Did they sense that they were part of a bigger picture?

When they got the news David’s messengers needed a hiding place, did they “push through” their fear of possible punishment? I can imagine the wife’s rush to fling the blanket over the well in time. Did her heart race as she pointed the pursuers in the opposite direction?

One thing seems clear. They were available and willing, and God used them to protect His messengers and David.

Abide in the Word

I attended a women’s conference this past weekend — Abide in the Word — hosted by The Vine of NELA. The words amazing, inspiring and encouraging best describe our eight hours together.

The thought occurred to me that while we all came from different areas, different backgrounds and different churches, we were all just ordinary people with our problems, fears, mistakes and our sorrows. But together, as we stood singing and praising the Father, the presence of God filled the room and amazing things happened in our hearts.

We each fulfilled various tasks and responsibilities from listening, lifting a hand, putting an arm around a sister in support, organizing, praying, speaking and singing  . . . and making sure there was plenty of coffee. 

The two from Bahurim played a role in protecting David. What about us? Our lives may seem ordinary in our own eyes, but God can use us — He wants to use us — to accomplish His purpose and His plan.

Let’s be available and willing to answer the call, and to complete the task . . . no matter how large or small, or daunting.

Seek the Lord. Trust His Word. Ask Him to draw you close and teach you to abide.

 

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

When Words are Few

When Words are Few

What do you do when a friend is suffering?

Job 2:2 tells us what Job’s three friends did.

When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him, they began to weep aloud, and they ‘tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw how great his suffering was.

You may remember that later they had plenty to say, but at this time, they got it right.

Although my time of intense suffering is long past, anniversaries and special occasions still get to me. I voiced the upcoming anniversary of my husband’s death to the ladies in my Bible Study group last week. During the prayer, my friend beside me leaned over and put her arm around me. No words were needed.

Actions speak louder

Actions like these mean the most. Many times, words are just not needed. It’s the simple act of service, expression of love, and comforting touch that speaks volumes. Maybe a simple hug is your gift to others. My sister gives great hugs. When she hugs you, no doubt about it, you know she cares.

Do you know someone suffering this week? Chances are, we all do. Pain and suffering seem to be the constant in our world today. Has God moved you to do something? If so, do it.

So, when words are few and you don’t know how to respond, let your actions speak what words cannot say.

Does Mother’s Day bring smiles or tears?

Does Mother’s Day bring smiles or tears?

I hope you have had an amazing Mother’s Day, whether you were being honored or celebrating your mom.

I am grateful for a day with my family, but I also recognize that today may not be a celebration for some. Maybe you lost your mom and sadness made up most of your day. I pray that God would bless you and that your memories would put a smile on your face.

For those who want to be a mom but have yet to experience that joy, I know you long for the day. I remember what it’s like to want a baby in an all-consuming way.

The first Mother’s Day after our baby Ashlynn died at birth, I could hardly hold it together. My heart was so empty, the pain unbearable.

But God in his mercy dropped a baby in our lap just two months later. I met him when he was three hours old. It was love at first sight. He grabbed my finger with his hand and held on like there was no tomorrow.

With two other boys following, I accepted with gratitude that I would be a boy mom. And we haven’t stopped going, playing ball and challenging each other yet. Everything, and I mean everything, is a competition. You boy moms know what I’m talking about.

I tell you this story because many times we don’t know why tragic things happen. With our world turned upside down, we are at a loss as to what to do next.

I certainly don’t know all the answers, but I do know that Jesus does. I want to encourage you to stay strong and cling to Him. He is the one who can bring blessing from pain, joy from sorrow, and hope from crushing circumstances.

Numbers 6: 24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you:

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you:

The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. 

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