New Year, New Word: Beautiful

About this time of the year I find myself in a rut.

I take down my Christmas tree. All the sparkly presents are unwrapped and put away. I sweep up the living room and sit down, mourning the loss of the twinkling lights.

It’s cold. It’s windy. And everything seems kind of boring if I’m honest.

Every year I know these grey days are going to come, so I choose a word for the coming year, giving the days an extra dose of creativity and focus. I ask myself sometime mid-summer, “What am I going to work on? What do I want to be different in my life? What could be improved? Where would I like to be more intentional, gain some clarity?”

Past year’s words have included:

Warm

Brave

Hope

Fearlessly wrong

Sometimes I cheat with two words. I don’t like rules. 😉

This year, nothing came to me, so I just let it set. And set. And set.

Still nothing.

How in the world was I going to get through the January rut when I already lacked inspiration in late summer?

Then, we got on a plane and headed to Spain.

One day, we drove up a mountain in fog so thick that I thought for sure we would be run off the road by a tiny little European coupe that wanted to come down the mountain using the same lane.

We saw some stuff, headed down the mountain, watched some Star Trek, and went to bed.

The next day, the fog lifted, and we made the decision to head back up the mountain. When we reached the top, we got out of the car and my jaw dropped.

It was beautiful.

Mountains all around us, trees, dew, sunshine – all in the same place we had missed it the night before, veiled from our eyes.

I realized that this is what I wanted to focus on: Beauty.

I wrote a book about it, so you would think the journey would be over. But that day on the mountain, I understood that this was just the beginning.

I wanted to see beautiful like this in my every day. I wanted to stop and enjoy it. To breath it in, rather than pass it by.

Laughing on the top of a mountain with our friends about fog adventures, guardrails, and the cross-cultural similarities in school field trips, I remembered things I think I had forgotten just a little bit:

Life is Beautiful.

Conversation is Beautiful.

This world is Beautiful.

I want to see those truths every day – not just in my rejoicing, but in my rut as well.

I want to see it through the violence, through the mess, through lonely, and through the mundane.

This year, my word for the year is beautiful.

I want to focus intentionally on all that God has made and done and saved and just how beautiful that is:

I am beautiful.
This world, with all its heartbreak and pain…is beautiful.
Relationship, in its complications and mess…is beautiful.
This day, rain, sun, or shadow…is beautiful.

Join me on this journey of seeing beautiful, fixing our perspective together on the One who truly makes everything, everything beautiful in His time. Where do you think we often miss beauty in this life? Tell us about them:

Name one, two, three, or more things that strike you as beautiful today and share them in the comments.

Download this Beautiful Reminders page.

List three things every day that are beautiful around you. These can be things of physical beauty, or ideas, people, experiences, anything.

Study with me! Journey through Altogether Beautiful with me. Preorder from Concordia Publishing House , Amazon  or wherever you like to get your books. There are samples at the Concordia link and look for free stuff details to come.

I can just feel it…

this year is going to be beautiful.

Above All Names – Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

John 1:1

The same Word spoken at Creation, the same Word spoken through prophets of old, this Word has come to dwell among us. He is God’s Word of love and mercy to a broken world. And not merely to the world, as we might send a text, email, or even letter, but the Word of love in our world. His name, whispered into our hearts broken by sin, brings grace and healing. When we speak His name aloud, we invite more grace into our day. Praise the Word of Life! Where can you speak of Him today?

 

Enjoy tarrying in the Word? Check out these advent calendar templates from Praying in Color –

https://prayingincolor.com/tag/advent-calendar

Jesus in Everything: Happy Holidays

It’s that time of year again!

Time for a moment of gratitude and thanksgiving…

Time for family and friends…

Time for goodwill to all men…

Time for arguments about whether we should say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas…

I’m half joking and half serious. We do burden ourselves with lots of debate about what the Christmas season should look like. In today’s podcast, Dave and I discuss our thoughts on Christmas greetings and recognizing

Jesus in Everything.

It’s meant to be humorous and fun, so throw out your favorite Christmas or Holiday greeting in the comments.

He is in everything, this Prince of Peace, this King of Kings, the Great, the Mighty, the Hope of this world – Jesus.

Please share any fun, loving, or creative ways you greet those around you during the Christmas season!