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. 

 

 

 

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