Patches of Pretty: Focusing on Beauty Instead of Brokenness
Focusing on beauty instead of brokenness is a blessing and a gift we can give to others and ourselves. Recently this happened to me in the middle of my least favorite month of the year—February.
I love Valentine’s Day, and I love celebrating my younger son’s birthday, but the rest of the month is a test of endurance for me. It’s the month we usually get storms, illnesses, and power outages.
The dark days of winter play havoc with my emotions.
It’s a challenge to think or believe the best about anything during the gloomy sky days that shower down rain, rain, and more rain.
This February pitched us a curve snowball of record-breaking proportions. Our poor trees bent over with the burden of snow cast on them. The willow tree suffered the most damage. One of its main branches broke just enough so it hung limp at a 90 degree angle from normal. All it needed was a gust of wind to finish it off.
And February, being what it is, delivered hours of wind gusts and barrels of rain that swiped the snow off the willow and swished the snow off the lawn to reveal brokenness. Large branches lay at the foot of its parent tree, and several weeks’ worth of snowfall and rain desecrated the circular driveway; it became a mucky mire laced with tire ruts.
I stood at my back door and stared at the storm’s aftermath while cold air chilled my face.
Specks of white caught my attention. I peered closer and recognized drifts of snowdrop flowers sprinkled across the grass beneath the desolate willow. Both the fallen branches and the tire tracks had missed crushing the dainty spring beauties.
The brokenness surrounded them—cupped them—like a beggar’s hand holding precious crumbs of bread.
And then I saw it. I saw the blessing of focusing on whatsoever is worthy of praise. I saw the beauty of February. I saw that thanksgiving in the winter is more rewarding than thanksgiving in the fall.
Thanksgiving cups and savors the crumbs of mercy that fall in times of trouble.
*Focusing on beauty wards off discouragement,
I grabbed my camera and took pictures of the patches of pretty.
And when the sun broke through the gloom of gray just as my thankfulness sliced through the melancholy that had been in my way, I crouched down like a worshiper as I clicked more shots of the gifts breaking through winter’s ground.
The soil may freeze solid like the floor my knees have knelt on morning after morning, but beneath the surface is a safe place where hope hides and waits, and matures to spring up as answered prayers.
Joy comes after the mourning and weeping rains of wintry supplications.
It’s a promise. It’s a sure thing because the Creator of spring says so in Psalm 9:10 (NIV):
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD,
have never forsaken those who seek you.
He never ever forsakes us.
He always hears our prayers.
And He wants us to always focus on the beauty, on the best, in each circumstance.
Philippians 4:8 reminds us:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Oh dear friends, let’s focus on the best and leave the rest with God. Let’s ask Him to show us what His will is for each of our life challenges. And while we wait for His answer, let’s search for the patches of pretty in each circumstance.
When discouragement threatens
To flip my life upside-down
I will take refuge in the Lord
Who puts my feet on solid ground
And when disappointment darkens
My sky with gloomy gray
I will kneel upon the earth
Because hope rises when I pray.
Wendy / 2017
Blessings of Beauty in Brokenness ~ Wendy
What patches of pretty have you recently noticed while focusing on beauty instead of brokenness?