One Beautiful Thing

Life is Better When You're Intentional About Looking for Beauty

Over a year ago I started getting intentional about looking for beauty in my life. Fresh off of a season of deep loss and maybe even some mild depression, I needed something to help me takes my eyes off of myself...something that could breathe life back into the places in my heart that had run a bit dry.

Beauty inspires me to say “yes” to God. It reminds me of the goodness of the God Who made me, even when I’m surprised by life, or it hurts too much to comprehend. So I decided to challenge myself to take a picture of one beautiful thing each week. One beautiful thing to inspire me. One beautiful thing to lift my spirits. One beautiful thing that brings healing.

Life happened, and for a time I put my camera down. But friends starting asking me how my photography was going, or what new things I was learning, and started noticing that I wasn't carrying my camera everywhere with me anymore.

And then, back in February, a dear friend asked me about the One Beautiful Thing link-up and why I wasn't doing it anymore. She quoted something to me that I had expressed to her about a year earlier:

"If something feeds your soul, you ought to make time for it."

Photography does feed my soul. I'm not a professional by any means, and I really only have one decent lens. Sometimes, when life gets busy, or I'm in a bad mood, nothing looks beautiful, but taking time to document the beauty that surrounds me on any given day really does cause me to see it.

And seeing beauty makes my life feel more beautiful. That, my friends, is probably the best, most potent anti-depressant you can get...and pretty cheap too.

So I'm starting again.

To go on the beauty hunt, to search for light, to document those moments that catch my eye and cause me to think "that's beautiful."

I hope you'll join me. We'll officially start one week from today (6/10/13). Each Monday I'll work hard to post one beautiful thing that inspired me the week before, and I'll add a linky so that if you want to get inspired by the beauty all around you, you can do the same.

Beauty inspires me to say “yes” to God. It reminds me of the goodness of the God Who made me, even when I’m surprised by life, or it hurts too much to comprehend. So I decided to challenge myself to take a picture of one beautiful thing each week. One beautiful thing to inspire me. One beautiful thing to lift my spirits. One beautiful thing that brings healing.

This photo was taken with my iPhone at Claytor Lake over the Memorial Day weekend. Looking at it now, my composition eye tells me it would be SO much better if I had only moved a little so the flag was in the blue sky instead of the trees. But you know what? It struck me as beautiful, so I took it. And I was so comfortable where I was sitting that I didn't want to move. That's the essence of One Beautiful Thing.

Beauty inspires me to say “yes” to God. It reminds me of the goodness of the God Who made me, even when I’m surprised by life, or it hurts too much to comprehend. So I decided to challenge myself to take a picture of one beautiful thing each week. One beautiful thing to inspire me. One beautiful thing to lift my spirits. One beautiful thing that brings healing.

*For rules and guidelines, read here.

Buds {#OneBeautifulThing}

#OneBeautifulThing  

They're my one beautiful thing for this week friends. What's yours?

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Are you an iPhone Photography lover? I highly recommend Alli Worthington's brand new book on the topic, iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide (it's really beneficial for anyone taking photos with a phone, not just for iPhone lovers)Click the graphic below to check it out!

iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli Worthington

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Join the One Beautiful Thing community and take the challenge to see your life as the beautiful work of art God made it to be. Make one photo of something beautiful (as your eyes see it) each week and link-it up here. In your post, share the story of the photo…tell us why it brings beauty to your life and use the button below to link back to us so others can look for the beauty in their lives.

#OneBeautifulThing

Don’t blog? Share your one beautiful thing on the Surprised By Life Facebook page or on Instagram and Twitter using the #OneBeautifulThing hashtag.

Home {#OneBeautifulThing}

I've been thinking about home a lot lately. In the new book, there's a whole chapter about my home. How life in a small town brought hope and healing to a mama whose weariness went beyond the normal day-to-day weariness most of us endure. How it wrapped its warmth around her and wouldn't let go. How it held up her arms, and helped her put one foot in front of the other as she faced the most horrible news a mama can ever hear.

And as I wrote about it, described all of the things that make that home so special, I found myself wanting to go back. Remembering all the things you love about a place has a way of doing that.

#OneBeautifulThing

Here's an excerpt from Hope for the Weary Mom that describes my little town. It's from the chapter called When the World Presses In:

Narrows is a sleepy little town in southwestern Virginia. Known for its love of football and people, Narrows is home to a long stretch of the New River—the world’s third oldest river geologically speaking (according to Wikipedia) and one of only a few rivers in the world that flows north instead of south. There is one stoplight regulating traffic out of Narrows, one fast food restaurant, one amazing mom and pop restaurant called Anna’s, one grade school, one middle school, and one high school. We are the mighty Greenwave, and please don’t put an “s” on the end to make us plural. We are one. 

 In a small town, everyone knows everyone else. Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it’s not, but most of the time, the feeling of knowing and being known helps you bypass any hard feelings about it. If you make a mistake in Narrows, most of the community knows about it in time to discuss it over breakfast the next morning. They’ll have opinions about what you did and say things like, “her poor mama,” or “bless her heart,” but they’ll also be the first ones to put their arms around you when you go to the altar to repent on Sunday morning.

 The churches in Narrows are like extended family. There’s one Baptist church, one Methodist, one Christian, and a few others located throughout town, but by and large the community lives out life together. Your friends across the river won’t end up in a different school district than you, and you certainly won’t have to play against them in football. My dad probably played ball with yours in school, and my mama hosted the Circle meetings of First Baptist for yours once a year. 

We went home last weekend, cheered for our Greenwave football team (who almost had it!), watched our nephew play as a part of the next generation of football players (in the rain...that's dedication my friends), drove by my grandmother's old house, and watched the sky display that magnificent sunset on our way out of town.

It IS home. No matter how much we might love where we are now. No matter how many beautiful friends God has given us, or how deeply our roots have grown here, they'll never be as deep as they are there.

Home.

It's my one beautiful thing for this week friends. What's yours?

********

Are you an iPhone Photography lover? I highly recommend Alli Worthington's brand new book on the topic, iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide (it's really beneficial for anyone taking photos with a phone, not just for iPhone lovers)Click the graphic below to check it out!

iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli Worthington

********

Join the One Beautiful Thing community and take the challenge to see your life as the beautiful work of art God made it to be. Make one photo of something beautiful (as your eyes see it) each week and link-it up here. In your post, share the story of the photo…tell us why it brings beauty to your life and use the button below to link back to us so others can look for the beauty in their lives.

#OneBeautifulThing

Don’t blog? Share your one beautiful thing on the Surprised By Life Facebook page or on Instagram and Twitter using the #OneBeautifulThing hashtag.

new beginnings {#OneBeautifulThing}

Everything's back on schedule, school has started, the new puppy is beginning Obedience 101, new shoes have been purchased (see below), and Stacey and I finished writing the first draft of a 30,000 word book. 

A book I tell you.

A real book it will be.

One you can hold in your hands.

And underline.

And dog-ear (if you do that sort of thing).

And hand to a friend who needs hope.

I'll have a photo of the new cover to show you soon (oh, it's going to be beautiful!)

God is doing some amazing things in my life friends. Things I've only dreamed of, but couldn't handle until now. Well, at least things my heart wasn't ready for until now...I'm still pretty sure I can't handle any of it without God getting in the mess with me.

I'll have some reports and stories to share soon, but for now, I'm reminded of how much little things, like the fact that our boys always want to have the same kind of shoes, well...those things are still more than enough for me.

#OneBeautifulThing

 

They're my One Beautiful Thing this week friends, what's yours?

********

Are you an iPhone Photography lover? I highly recommend Alli Worthington's brand new book on the topic, iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide (it's really beneficial for anyone taking photos with a phone, not just for iPhone lovers)Click the graphic below to check it out!

iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli Worthington

********

Join the One Beautiful Thing community and take the challenge to see your life as the beautiful work of art God made it to be. Make one photo of something beautiful (as your eyes see it) each week and link-it up here. In your post, share the story of the photo…tell us why it brings beauty to your life and use the button below to link back to us so others can look for the beauty in their lives.

#OneBeautifulThing

Don’t blog? Share your one beautiful thing on the Surprised By Life Facebook page or on Instagram and Twitter using the #OneBeautifulThing hashtag.

when you're the slow one {#OneBeautifulThing}

Sometimes it pays to be the slow one in the group.

#OneBeautifulThing

I always get the spur-of-the-moment photos. The ones from behind are the ones I love the best because I can catch them unawares.

They're used to seeing mama with the camera around her neck now. They know it goes with me wherever I go, and they've gotten to the point in their development where I get a lot more cheesy smiles than handsome ones.

So it's better to grab them from behind.

These boys, and all of our new adventures as a family, slow and easy, laid back and tons of fun...they're my one beautiful thing this week friends. What's yours?

********

Are you an iPhone Photography lover? I highly recommend Alli Worthington's brand new book on the topic, iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide (it's really beneficial for anyone taking photos with a phone, not just for iPhone lovers)Click the graphic below to check it out!

iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli Worthington

********

Join the One Beautiful Thing community and take the challenge to see your life as the beautiful work of art God made it to be. Make one photo of something beautiful (as your eyes see it) each week and link-it up here. In your post, share the story of the photo…tell us why it brings beauty to your life and use the button below to link back to us so others can look for the beauty in their lives.

#OneBeautifulThing

Don’t blog? Share your one beautiful thing on the Surprised By Life Facebook page or on Instagram and Twitter using the #OneBeautifulThing hashtag.