No Ordinary Moments: Discover Grace in the Small Things

Time quiet and peaceful is a gift in today’s crazy, cranked up world. Fast paced is the new normal, and time alone breathing deep the beauty of God is a rare thing. Rare like today. An afternoon out of time, toes in the sand and eyes filled with sun glittering on water.

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I bask in the beauty of water that reflects sky, with waves set by the eternal hand of God. Never stopping, never pausing to rest, waves keep meeting the shore in a partnership that never tires, never forgets, never overlooks. I drink in life as I am nourished by grace. Worship of the best kind.

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“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all  the days of my life. To behold the beauty of the LOFD, and to meditate in His temple.“–Psalm 27:4

 

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“If you don’t give yourself room to breathe, you won’t give God room to move,“writes Randy Alcorn in a recent article.

I walk along the edge of the shore, enjoying a hunt for treasures small and lovely. I search the sand for shells, sometimes whole, but mostly bits and pieces. Glimpses of what was once whole, these shell-bits are broken by the pressure of waves or crunched underfoot.

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Though marked and shaped by time, these fragments display a beauty of shape, color, and texture that speaks with a quiet richness that so many miss. Whether broken or whole there is peace in the small things.

There is so much we miss when we’re too busy to look past the tasks and problems of a day. Bits of shell on a beach remind me to breathe, to quiet my soul and enjoy God in the moment.

IMG_8161 IMG_8162 To notice art in the small things, majesty in the ordinary moments, I must slow down and truly see. Maybe that is why I love beach combing so much. It is time that I give myself permission to meander with eyes intentional. It is time to remember there are no ordinary moments when God is in it.

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Time to look for the small treasures that are easily overlooked, half covered by sand. There is a place in my heart that appreciates, even treasures, the grace of a shell. Gathered one by one, collected in bowls and jars, I keep these reminders of God’s presence in the details.

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My thoughts turn from the physical to the spiritual, from the seen to the unseen. Beauty in the small things. God moves through the simplicity of a shell, and grace sets rights my soul.

How seldom do I look for, or even notice, the small but beautiful fragments in myself or in others? Trained to work for the whole, to accomplish big and impressive, it is easy to overlook the small graces and the steps of growth. Easy to discount the ordinary moments and loose sight of the God-glory stamped in us all.

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These bits of shell remind me to relish the little movements and achievements. It is far too easy to criticize the small, seeing only the absence of the whole. Too tempting to miss what I lack rather than rejoice in what I have.

When I elevate the importance of what is missing, what is still in that secret place of not yet, the incompleteness begins to look like failure. Abundance and growth, being in process becomes a place of scarcity when I cannot see the unique beauty of the bits and pieces.

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Judgments rise up and I toss aside the fragments, devalued and imperfect. Unfinished or broken, my definitions become decrees in this place of longing for the whole. Why do we have this sin-born, faith-lacking tendency to define a small slice of time, one action, attitude, or effort and judge what we think we see as the end result?

One step along the way.jpgWhy is it so easy to look at one step along the way, mistaking it for the destination?

As I wash the sand away and place my small treasures in my pocket, I am reminded to appreciate the simple, imperfect steps toward wholeness and growth. Grace to appreciate what is rather than find fault with what is not.

Reminded to take life fresh and look for grace like a treasure,  I have breathed in the pleasure of God that is found in these quiet spaces.

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Today I celebrate the small graces, the bits of beauty, and steps of victory. With sand on my hands, joy in my pocket, and peace in my soul I am restored. Living large in the beauty of the moment I discover the extraordinary.

 

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It’s easy to discount the ordinary moments and loose sight of the God-glory stamped in us all.

Living large in the beauty of the moment I discover the extraordinary. 

If you enjoyed this post, please share on Pintrest and Facebook. How have you discovered the extraordinary in the small things?

Today I am linking up with SimplyBeth, an amazing military wife blogger,  Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart, and Laura Connell, The Weekend Brew. and Missional Women

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24 Comments

  1. Oh friend, this is exquisite! I just wrote a post for Five Minutes for Faith about stepping out to find the beauty that God has give to me.

    • Ginger Harrington

      I loved your post at Five Minutes for Faith this week! Thanks for the kind response to this post–it was such fun to work on this one. Praying God encourages you with sweet blessings in all that you give to others.

  2. Ginger, that was a beautiful post of thoughts and discoveries and pictures. Thank you for sharing your meditations on the beach. Makes me want to go now! Haven’t been in so long. But I know I can appreciate the quiet beauties wherever God has put them, and I love being reminded to delight in the small steps of grace and growth. Thank you, Katy

    • Ginger Harrington

      I’m so glad you have been blessed. Thanks so much for chiming in and I hope God surprises you with great joy in small things this week!

  3. What a blessing your words are! Our world and society have become so filled with immediacy and rapid fire social media that we often forget to look at the simple, ordinary things around us and find God in them. Thanks for a beautiful reminder. I’m your neighbor at Holley’s today.

  4. Great post, as usual, and I loved all your beach photos!

    • Ginger Harrington

      I have been thinking of you and the Hubbs so much as you approach some big events coming up. Love you tons, Sister!

  5. This is just beautiful, Ginger. Your photos have me looking forward to heading to San Diego in a little over a week. But more than that, your words have me wanting to slow down to see God in the ordinary moments. Thanks so much for sharing with Three Word Wednesday. Blessings.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Hope you have a great time on your trip! San Diego is gorgeous. Thanks for your gracious comments. I have enjoyed discovering new bloggers on your link up!

  6. How great! The pictures were profound in taking me to where you were going with your words. And I actually FELT relaxed in reading and looking at the photos. This feel and rhythm of this post reminds me of Ann Voskamp’s writing in One Thousand Gifts. Calming and picturesque. Thanks so much for this!! It was a special read!

    PS – your seashell pictures reminded me of when I went on mission to France and got seashells on the shore…I want it made into something I can wear and always remember the beauty of it! Thanks again!

    • Ginger Harrington

      Your gracious comments blow me away. Thank you for taking the time to share this encouragement. I am honored to be compared with Ann Voskamp. I so love seashells–they are all over my house in the summer. Blessings!

  7. Having just been to the beach with memories fresh in my mind, this post reminds me of all the reasons that I visit the beach. I love looking for God in the ordinary moments of life because He in return supplies us with extraordinary grace moments. Blessed to be visiting you from The Weekend Brew.

  8. I loved this, “Grace to appreciate what is rather than find fault with what is not.” Amen! I also loved the thought of shells, broken and whole, some cracked under the pressure of waves or feet. Oh there is a message that goes deeper there for me. How often do we feel cracked from the pressure? How often do we feel stomped on? Yet – how treasured we are by our Creator. He only sees us as whole. he wants us to see ourselves as whole because of him.

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  10. This is a beautiful post – both in words & photos. Powerful question —> “Why is it so easy to look at one step along the way, mistaking it for the destination?” May I remember today, I am still traveling. Grateful to have stopped here this morning! Blessings!

    • Ginger Harrington

      I’m so glad you popped in for a visit and received a blessing to take with you. Thanks for letting me know you were here!

  11. “Why is it so easy to look at one step along the way, mistaking it for the destination?”

    So true. Over here from Indebted Mom’s blog. Beautiful post. So much easier to spend time with God in the beauty of creation. The daily struggles seem to melt away when looking at the bigger picture – no matter how small. I once found a small seashell, one of those spiral ones that was so miniscule, it was about the size of 3 grains of sand but yet it was identical in perfection to the larger seashells of the same type. My eyesight was much better then and I stared at it for a long time as I lay on my towel on the beach. I saved it, finally putting it in a baggie once I got home but I don’t know what happened to it now. That was about 15 years ago, but your post brought back the memory.

    • Ginger Harrington

      What a wonderful memory. Someone once gave me a perfect, tiny sand dollar as a reminder that God is in the details. I kept it for a long time until it finally broke. Thanks for stopping by today!

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    • Ginger Harrington

      Thanks so much for recommending my post on your blog! I am honored that it has resonated with you and I hope your readers will enjoy it as well!

  13. This, my friend, is just all kinds of wonderful – and filled to overflowing with some of my favorite things! And this line: “When I elevate the importance of what is missing, what is still in that secret place of not yet, the incompleteness begins to look like failure. Abundance and growth, being in process becomes a place of scarcity when I cannot see the unique beauty of the bits and pieces.” Oh my goodness, yes! So vital to remember! Thank you for this!

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