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Finding the beauty

Sally - beauty in snowHave you ever noticed that encouraging others to find the good, the positive, and the lovely and focus on those things instead of the petty, the disturbing, and the tragic is often met with criticism? It is somehow lacking compassion and superficial. Somehow ugly is more real than beautiful. Not in my world! It isn’t always easy to find the beauty that surrounds us, yet it is critical for our wellbeing! As I think about the people that have profoundly influenced me for good, those I seek to emulate, I realize that they share this one thing in common: they live in world where beauty is real, a world where they rejoice each day with thankfulness to God!

Many times social networkers are criticized for sharing the positives more than the negatives. The masses cry out for the ‘real’ – the venting, grumbling and complaining – often in a need for validation of their own feelings. Those who don’t share the negatives are apparently misleading the public about their lives. Somehow, by avoiding grumbling, complaining and venting statuses – one is failing to let others see the grit and grime (literal or figurative) — thus guilty of misleading people about life. Life is perfect statuses are the topic of one diatribe after another. In this reality, pictures of homemade goodies, smiling children, loving couples and written tributes declaring good days, loving friends and happy moments are presented as a façade hiding a life of self-delusion, dark secrets, or (in the very least) superficial reality.

This is my reality. When I take selfies with my husband or children (is it even a selfie if there are others in it?), or post pictures of our baking or our home, or write a study or an article, I am not saying, “My life is perfect! Hear me roar!” I am sharing happiness and joy. I am writing from my heart. I write because I love to write. I write because I love to share.  Sometimes I may share struggles and grit and grime, but that is usually more often when the situation arises and I am speaking to someone about specific issues or dealing with a topic that is weighing on my heart. Venting in prose about petty daily struggles isn’t edifying, encouraging or therapeutic for me and actually has quite a negative effect – it only feeds the wolf within that I want to starve (see Cultivating a Joy-filled Heart). If I have a problem, I discuss it and fix it (with help, if needed) or, if there isn’t a solution, I suck it up and deal. Sometimes it is quite challenging to find the good in the midst of the irritating, frustrating and annoying. We may need help finding it! Find a fellow beauty-seeker! I’m so thankful that my husband is my best friend and helps me when I’m on a quest to find the good (or when I need to be directed to start one)!! more »

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