Thursday, September 5, 2013

Beauty Is Everywhere Challenge

Have you taken the "Beauty Is Everywhere Challenge? No, of course not. My Lifeboat friend Erin and her sister made it up! They've been Facebooking this challenge with each other to encourage Erin and it's been surprising to see some real blessing show up. For example, check out the YoYo...
Photo: Beauty is everywhere challenge. Something on my car broke and this nice stranger helped me temporarily "fix" it. Our temporary "fix" involved buying a yoyo at a gas station and using the string to tie it back together. Talk about good critical thinking skills!
"Something on my car broke and this nice stranger helped me temporarily "fix" it. Our temporary "fix" involved buying a yoyo at a gas station and using the string to tie it back together. Talk about good critical thinking skills!"--Erin
But beauty in widowhood? Here are the beautiful things she's learned:

12 things I've learned in the past 4 months:
By Erin Patz 9/4/13

12. Be bold, be brave, be strong. "Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you've always imagined." ... author unknown

11. Everyone has a different grieving process. Grieve how you want to grieve. Don't change your grieving process based on other's opinions or books.

10. Be happy when you're happy and be sad when you're sad. Cry if you feel like crying and don't be afraid to tell someone if you're sad. Dance, laugh, and enjoy life during your happy moments. Don't force your emotions. Find people to be happy with you and find people to cry with you.

9. Beauty is everywhere, even during the darkest days. It may be difficult to see on certain days, but there really is beauty everywhere.

8. Family is important. Hold them close, enjoy your time with them, create new memories, laugh a lot, hug them, take plenty of pictures, say I love you and mean it.

7. Sometimes people don't know what to say in difficult situations. Sometimes people will say silly and stupid things thinking they are comforting words. Just laugh, let it go, and realize they are trying.

6. Enjoy the adventure that God has you on. Be excited for what He has in store for you! Have hope and be joyful. Your journey is uniquely yours.

5. People will offer you their advice, whether you ask for it or not. People will think they know what is best for you, but really only you know what is best for you. People will also pass judgment, whether they know the storm that you're walking through or not. The only thing that matters is that you're listening to God and letting Him lead your decisions.

4. Keep things in perspective. It could always be better, but it could also be a lot worse. Be grateful for your life and what/who you've been given.

3. There are real and genuine people in this world. There are people that truly care. You want these kinds of people as friends. Hang on to them.

2. Taking steps of faith is important, even if they are uncomfortable steps and you can't see the path you're following. Just have faith and trust that He's looking out for you.

1. God is bigger than your problems, your failures, your pain, your trials, your suffering, or your circumstances. He's working things out in the background, even when you can't see the good in the situation. It will all work out, one way or another, and everything will be okay.

Aren't these great insights? Beauty is everywhere if we watch for it....  I'll bet the Lord has brought some beauty everywhere to you too. Please tell about it in the comment box today. Erin and I would love to hear from you, ferree


  1. I am a photographer,just doing it as a hobby,but it helps me to see beauty and be more aware of it all around me. Since my husband passed away almost three years ago,I have had to pursue this hobby without him,but it has brought healing,joy and life to me. God is SO good.

  2. I love your blog and your photos Ruth---I'm waiting for you to do a calendar! Put me first on the list if you ever do! I hope everyone will visit your blog too, because it's beauty is evident and showcases God's creation and goodness. I thank the Lord for you and how you share your hobby, talents and journey!

  3. These are great insights, ones we need to remember as we walk this journey, especially in the beginning.


  4. I find it interesting how everyone who grieves is encouraged to grieve at their own pace and in their own way while also told to "enjoy" the process somehow (#6). For some, C.S. Lewis' quotation from "A Grief Observed," seems more appropriate comfort. He wrote, "Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. As I've already noted, not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn't a circular trench. But it isn't. There are partial recurrences, but the sequence doesn't repeat."
    Depending on one's circumstances, the outlook may not change for a long time, and trudging through is the only option. Thoughts from a young widow who routinely changes 12 to 15 diapers/pull-ups/underwear each day and whose six young children will be requiring much of her physically for years to come and emotionally in the years following. Denying God's presence, certainly not, but not acting like one day soon it is all going to be way.
    Thank you for sharing, Ferree and Erin. Eyes on eternity, Rhonda

  5. True, trudging through is required, and it's not a land where the unicorns poop butterflys---especially when diapers are a daily reality. Life is far different for widows than what we'd hoped or we'd have chosen, and we don't have to act like it will get better, but we do have a choice to see the beauty ... or not. I appreciate your comment Rhonda---its a harsh reality, but when you look into the eyes of each of those little children I know the beauty you see will help the grief to heal.


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