Beauty: Finding Hope in Beauty, God, Hope, Life, Perspective, Uncategorized

Beauty: Finding Hope in Beauty

Lavendar at sunset

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Sometimes seeing beauty is a choice.

When life gets hard, when diagnoses come that are terminal, we have a choice. Will we purpose to look for the beauty around us? Will we help others look for beauty in their situations?

Storm clouds at sunset

We can be wrapped up in the pain, the darkness. Or we can choose to search for the beauty. In a child’s cuddle, seeing his/her heart as they seek to bring comfort. In the wagging tail of a dog, a nudge and hints for a walk or a petting. In the weed-flowers that grow in our lawns (dandelions, anyone?). That splash of yellow amid the green? They’re persistent, but they add color to the green canvas.

Brother Love

In the hum a hummingbird makes as it flits across the yard. The sound of rain falling outside the window. And my favorite sound: children’s laughter.

I am not making light of the difficulties life throws at us. And some deal with far more agony, darkness, than I do. It is easy to allow pain to discourage and defeat us when it is ongoing. But what if we choose to see beyond the immediate? To seek the beauty that filters hope through our circumstance and strengthens us to bear up under the difficulties we face?

Hawaiian waves

Daisies in bloom FB copy

Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the hard of life because it’s front and center in our thoughts and understanding. When life tosses us illness, injury, the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one . . . These are the things that demand our attention. They sap energy and joy from our days.

We can focus on circumstances, or we can look beyond them and choose to focus on the beauty God has placed around us. It’s there. If we’ll look for it.

Inchworm

Yellowstone River sunset

Beauty is all around us. When the darkness comes, we have to choose to look for beauty. Discovering beauty somewhere in our world offers hope when all else in our life speaks hopelessness.

***If you’re interested, this story about 800 pictures of beauty inspired today’s thoughts.***

What about you? What is beautiful in  your eyes? How do you find hope when life seems hopeless?

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20 thoughts on “Beauty: Finding Hope in Beauty”

  1. Such a needed post, as I sit here awake — just me and insomnia.
    😉
    But that’s okay. I’ll savor the quiet. And know that God’s in this time too … and that tomorrow will include a nap (already looking forward to that!).
    What’s beautiful in my eyes? Colorado sunrises and sunsets … the faces of family and friends … and hummingbirds, always hummingbirds. And like you, laughter is my favorite sound. And the laughter of children? Priceless.

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    1. Ahhh Beth. I’m sorry about the insomnia. But, having quiet can be good,and knowing God is right there in the moment can make it easier to endure. I have to agree—I can’t get enough of Colorado sunrises and sunsets. They make my heart happy.

      I hope you enjoy your nap today!

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  2. I love your blog for its theme of choice. It’s something I’m working on – choosing beauty; choosing Grace; choosing love…. Your reminders are always timely and beautifully written.

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  3. I guess remembering God’s promises brings light into darkness when the enemy tries to inundate me with negative thoughts and happenings. Holy Spirit leads me to the moon that shines in the night (it reflects the light of the Son)~ God always provides the way out of any murkiness. Flowers blooming in brightness, an eagle soaring, a baby bunnie, a great lion, seeing love shared, a story of courage~ all lighten my journey through the rough places. Thanks Jeanne!

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    1. Remembering God’s promises is always a good way to cling to hope, especially during the times of darkness. I love your examples of beauty, Mom! And there is a power in stories that brings beauty to the heart and to our lives.

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  4. What beautiful words today, Jeanne. Loved this so much. “We can focus on circumstances, or we can look beyond them and choose to focus on the beauty God has placed around us. It’s there. If we’ll look for it.” Amen!
    Blessings.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Beth. I had a pastor’s wife who reminded me to “live above the circumstances.” It’s not always easy to do, but it does foster peace in the heart. When we focus beyond our circumstances on Jesus, that’s where the best beauty and hope is found, yes?

      Thanks for stopping by today!

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  5. Jeanne, this post is so timely for me! I’m currently working on my book proposal, and I knew that book 3 would be about beauty and a prodigal daughter, essentially asking the question, “How can beauty bring us to redemption?” I love how God works through friends to reiterate thoughts and develop them! Love what you had to say on this topic! 🙂

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    1. Awww, Ashley. I’m glad this post helped. God does have a way of using our friends to speak His words to us, doesn’t He? I hope your proposal writing goes smoothly! I’m glad you stopped by today!

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  6. I’m all about finding the beauty God has made! I agree that focusing on that instead of our situations can help us to be hopeful. If God cares so much to make spectacular scenery, sunrises and sunsets, don’t you think He would care about thrials we are going through?

    Loved your thoughts AND pictures, today.

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    1. I love what you said, Jerralea, about how very much God cares for us. And the scenery is kind of our bonus and confirmation of that caring, isn’t it? I so appreciate your reminder that He cares about the trials we’re going through. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

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  7. I find beauty in the encouraging words of my online writing friends, and in the eyes of my dogs.

    Both give me hope and strength, when it just hurts too much to think of anything beyond quitting.

    I can’t do this all myself. I know that now.

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    1. Ahhh, Andrew, you’ve been in my prayers today. You’re right. There is beauty in encouraging words spoken as well as the comfort they give to the recipient of them. I knew your dogs would be a part of where you see beauty. 🙂 You’re surrounded by it. Know that people are praying for you. You are never all alone.

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  8. This is a lovely post.

    I try to find beauty in the small things – especially in the stillness of the day before the day when I rise to pray. These are called the ambrosial hours in my culture, and they are a time given by God and meant to be treasured in fellowship with Him.

    Through the day, there is beauty in the small acts of kindness and compassion that I may see; a gentleman holding a door open for a lady, a poor man giving food to a beggar, a soldier belaying a killing stroke on a fallen enemy and rendering aid and comfort instead. (The last is obviously not an everyday occurrence, but I have noted that it is a balm most often offered by Americans, and so I include it here.)

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    1. I love your examples of beauty. Sharing the early morning hours with Jesus makes that time of the day beautiful to me too. And you’re right. Seeing acts of kindness fills a moment with beauty. I love it when my sons are kind to each other. It almost makes up for the times when they’re trying to beat each other up. 😉 But, I digress.

      Watching someone live out kindness to another, especially someone who’s in need touches me on a deep level. Thank you for your examples!

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