If you’re like me, you might find it’s easy to become distracted by everyday worries, responsibilities, and beeping notifications that constantly vy for your attention. The whole “stop and smell the roses” thing can become nonexistent in our lives. And yet, it’s oh so important.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the reason I’m doing what I’m doing; about my desire to point others toward beauty, and about how what we see changes us. This pursuit might seem superficial, but I think there are hints of Eden all around us; traces of God in the ordinary. Slowing down to notice them is the only challenge. So I’m offering a few simple ideas to take to heart when seeking beauty in the unexpected places.
1. Turn off technology
There are a lot of beautiful things we can see on the internet or TV, but nothing compares to seeing those things in real life. Instead of looking at your phone while you’re waiting in line, seek out something worth looking at: the flowers at the grocery store, the cute little baby in front of you, the pictures on the wall at the dentist office. You might even have to look closely, but don’t miss what’s right in front of your eyes.
Try leaving your phone at home and going for a walk (I’m dating myself, but remember the old days when we couldn’t even imagine taking a phone with us outdoors? And now we panic when we accidently leave it behind.) Power down for a while and enjoy what’s around you. Resist the urge to capture it on camera and truly see the beauty.
2. Create your own beauty
You don’t have to be an artist or take beautiful photos to to create something worth looking at. Even a well-prepared meal or a clean house has beauty in it. Sometimes it’s worth it to pull out the paints, markers, or colored pencils and just start creating something. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to be beautiful. Just looking at pretty colors and exercising your creative muscles is worth it.
3. Go somewhere new and really notice the details
It’s easy to take for granted the pretty things in our daily lives, but sometimes a change of scenery can be the very thing we need to see things differently. It might be an exotic trip to a beach resort, but it can also be as simple as stepping into a boutique you’ve never visited before or driving into the wilderness. Art museums are also great for this (especially for the self-professed artists like myself). Leave the camera behind and pay attention to each little thing along the way so you can take mental photographs to capture the memories.
4. Read a book
Your own imagination can be full of untapped beauty.The very best books paint pictures in our minds. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a big fan of reading. I love to get lost in a story or be transported to another place. Words are as important as images and can be even more powerful. And they can communicate beauty in a vivid way. Search for beauty in the books you read and for heaven’s sake, ditch the books that are full of ugliness and lack redemption. A beautiful story told with well-chosen words in of infinite value (I mean, just look at the bible).
5. Be intentional
It’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane routines of daily life and lose sight of the beauty around us. There’s value in looking up from the ever-pressing daily needs and pausing for a moment to appreciate the little things. Pick those flowers and enjoy their beauty, open the curtains so you can see the sky, listen to classical music while you wash your dishes. Fill your mind and heart with what is truly important.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Just a reminder, I would love to see the beauty you are finding as you journey through this life. Whatever it is that captures your attention, share it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #sharingthebeautyinlife. Let’s share the beauty we see to point back to our creator.
One of my favorite things to notice and appreciate is birds. Aside from just being pretty little creatures, they are a picture of God’s care for us. I created this graphic as printable for you guys and a reminder that God’s love spans all of creation.
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