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Beauty in the Known

The first half of my childhood was spent nestled in the Cascade mountain range of Washington state right next to the little tourist town of Leavenworth– a Bavarian-styled village that draws in millions of visitors each year coming from all over the country and the world just to get a glimpse of the mountains in this look-alike Bavaria.

Growing up, quick trips for dinner out in Leavenworth, or to look at all the Christmas lights, or explore down at the river were normal. I never stopped for one moment to take it all in or imagine the idea that not everyone got to enjoy this as their backyard each day. And by the time I’d grown and moved around a bit and begun to understand the rareness of my experience, I prided myself in treating Leavenworth like no big deal with the desire of those who met me immediately knowing that it was all just old news for me. Those mountains? That snow? The Christmas lights? Yeah, been there.. done that.

It wasn’t until a few years ago during our trips back to visit that I started to truly fall in love with it for the first time. Waking up and looking out the window to see the first snow touching the mountains, sunsets at the river, sledding in the glow of the Christmas lights every night… all of sudden everything just took my breath away and I couldn’t imagine a time where I’d ever denied or suppressed this feeling of awe.

It’s so easy to lose our awe of the everyday beauty that surrounds us. So easy to start refocusing our character towards those those cool, casual, “whatever” vibes. But when should God’s glory manifested here on earth ever become something we just pass by and treat like no big thing?

Beyond beautiful scenery, how many of us become numb to the gifts of dear friendships and good food, special talents, the death and resurrection of Jesus for our sins, or even perfect pillows that aren’t too firm but aren’t too fluffy either?

I’d love for this to be the starting point for a conversation we can have this week about what it’s like to intentionally value and honor gifts we frequently pass by or become numb towards in our everyday lives.

Where do you find yourself ignoring beauty in your life? How do you work to appreciate it? Share your thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email at tcpeditor@pottersschol.org. I’d love to hear from you.

3 Comments

  1. Here’s an answer I bet you’ve never heard…
    I do not ignore my surroundings, and therefore never underappreciate nature! LOL 😛
    It’s really fun to stare at trees at any time during the day; trees are always really pretty.

  2. Ah, so true, Halle! I remember when we first moved to Colorado when I was six. As we pulled into our hotel’s parking lot the first day, I remember my mom (a Tahoe, Californian ski girl at heart) looking up at Pike’s Peak and telling my siblings and I, “Never take those mountains for granted, guys. Look at them! They’re so beautiful.”

    Well, when you’re six, four, and two, as we were at the time, you tend to take things for granted, and we did. We learned to ski in those mountains and geocache and sled and build snow castles, but we forgot how beautiful they were. We left CO when I was twelve, and now at seventeen when I visit, it’s unimaginable that I could have forgotten their majesty. It’s also a pattern I recognize in my relationship with God. I so easily start focusing on small aspects of His nature, but it’s so worth it to take a step back sometimes and see how great, how worthy, how much bigger and higher and other than us He truly is.

    Great article, Hal. 🙂

  3. I absolutely loved reading this! I definitely relate to being insensitive sometimes to the beauty and the God-moments that occur throughout my day. One thing I’ve started doing is journaling in order to slow down and be more mindful of the small but amazing things God does each moment, each day.