Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Creating a Beautiful Life

Sometimes in the middle of life not turning out quite how you expected it, you can get bitter. When you get past bitter, you get sad. Then resigned.

You accept it. You don't like it, but life is what it is and everyone else is destined to have what you want while you sit there--forgotten, unworthy, useless.

Have you been there?

Then something else happens. You poke your head up and see blessings you'd overlooked in your laser-like focus on getting what you want. You see little ways the hard times added to your journey, how they provided opportunities you may have overlooked.

And when you get through bitter, sad, and resigned--you might start to believe the dream isn't dead. There will be no logical explanation for this. Life hasn't changed for the better. In fact, it might be worse.

You read passages like Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him," and you get it. You really get it. You know deep down in your soul that He will come through for you. Maybe not the way you originally thought--but He wants good things for you.

And you look around at the random, odd things that have happened to you on the way to achieving your dream, and you see His hand in it all. And you think, yeah, maybe God is smiling at me. Maybe He's giddy about what He has planned. Maybe this dream of mine will come true.

God has created a beautiful life for me. I'm living it now. It is not perfect, but it's perfect for me. I don't always appreciate it. But every day I come to God in prayer and I trust Him. His Word seems new each time I read it.

I've been a lifelong Christian, but until seven years ago, I didn't pray about my nitty-gritty daily needs and worries. Sure, I prayed general prayers. But my writing journey brought me closer to the Lord, and I started reading wonderful non-fiction books about Christianity. They made me realize how important praying is for ALL aspects of my life.

The more specific I get, the less stressed I feel. Beautiful!

If you're in a bitter, sad, resigned season, I feel for you. Really. I know. I've been there--I still go there sometimes. But I hope you'll look up and see the beauty of God's blessings. Pray. That's the key to creating a beautiful life.

What do you take for granted?

(My list could go on and on--our health, home, clothes, paychecks, food, safety...)

Have a terrific day!


  1. Sometimes as I have my quiet time, God reminds me to step outside, or look at the window because I take His faithfulness for granted and I am reminded how truly faithful He is to bring the sun up every morning in a glorious spray of beauty. Not one is the same. He could have brought the sun up with no color, but He wanted us to see His beauty and His faithfulness, and not take it for granted!

    I loved this post so much! An abundance of encouraging words here today, Jill! Thanks!

    1. I take the sun for granted all the time! You're so right. We're surrounded by beauty every day. All we have to do is look!

  2. "And you look around at the random, odd things that have happened to you on the way to achieving your dream, and you see His hand in it all. And you think, yeah, maybe God is smiling at me. Maybe He's giddy about what He has planned. Maybe this dream of mine will come true."


    Crazy thing is, sometimes I take those random moments for granted. I revel in them in the moment, but then later on, I get caught up in the details and to-dos and forget the awesome things God has already done. I love those verses, though, in the Old Testament that encourage us to remember the things that have happened and the ways God has already been at work.

    Probably the other huge thing I sometimes take for granted--my day job. It's a pretty great job at an amazing ministry, but I forget to be thankful for it way too often.

    1. I take so much for granted, Melissa! I must have the attention span of a fruit fly! It warms my heart to hear you love your job. I know you bless a lot of people through it. :)

  3. I'm trying not to take anything for granted now.

    I've learned that everything can stop happening pretty quick, for me or those I love, and I don't want to lose a moment of kindness that I might have given.

    When I was a hard man, I thought the lyrics from Jewel's song, "Only Kindness Matters" was for weaklings.

    I was wrong.

    1. Beautiful, Andrew. It's sad that so many attributes are rewarded that really shouldn't be. Why do we devalue kindness while celebrating greed? Yuck!

  4. Bitter...sad...resigned. That's a familiar progression for so many. Reading through your post, I found myself muttering, "It's a good thing He makes all things new." And that takes faith to believe. The verse you quoted made that clear that "without faith, it is impossible..." So many things are impossible without God. I pray -- regardless of the countless blessings I take for granted -- that I can arrive at the end of each day able to say what Paul did: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." As long as I have kept the faith, the bitter-sad-resigned progression won't win the day. And for that, I'm grateful.

    1. Yes. Everything you just said--yes. We don't have to sit in bitter-sad-resigned! How blessed we are!!

  5. Last spring I read Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts devotional. I started keeping a list of things I was thankful for. The idea behind this process is to learn NOT to take anythigng for granted. I have started 2014 by beginning anew on another list for this year,

  6. "My life's not perfect, but it's perfect for me." LOVED this. And it's where I need to be on a day-to-day basis. No, life isn't perfect, but those imperfections sure can be beautiful when you see how God uses them.


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