On a recent vacation, I was walking down the beach early in the morning enjoying the sun on my face and the ocean breeze against my skin, taking in all the beauty that surrounded me. The white sand, the cliffs with waves crashing up against them, the seagulls overhead and a magnificent sunrise worthy of the 20 pictures I took in a brief minute. As I was strolling and searching the sand for seashells, a shiny green object caught my eye. A piece of sea glass. I picked it up and stared at the beautiful smooth piece of shiny glass in the palm of my hand. It resembled a jewel, an emerald. An older local lady stopped to see what I had found and she told me the folklore of the “mermaid tears.” Legendary folk tales speak of sailors lost at sea and mermaids crying for those sailors resulting in their beautiful shiny tears being washed upon the shore. Actually, a true trash to treasure story. Broken bottles of glass being tossed into the sea and overtime tumbled by the sand and waves resulting in tiny little jewels on the shore. No more sharp edges, smooth and round. A beautiful picture of what God does in our lives. Over time taking what is broken and making it beautiful.
I thanked the sweet lady for her story and continued on my walk. I stopped every 10 feet or so to gather more treasure. As I continued to pick up the glass and shells others joined me in the hunt. Then along came a young man with his cell phone close to his ear, walking briskly, and totally focused on his conversation completely oblivious to our little group searching for treasure. So oblivious that he nearly toppled over the young boy who was scooping up sand in his bucket and looking for shiny glass trinkets. His sister stood up quickly and scolded the young man. He never turned around to look. She looked at me and said, “He better slow down because he is missing all the beautiful things in life!”
I was not judging this man. Perhaps we caught him on a very stressed-filled day. Maybe he does slow down to enjoy the beauty in life. It started me thinking if I have ever given off that impression. “Hurry up – we’re late!” I have said that sentence too many times to one of my four kids who perhaps was just looking at the caterpillar on the sidewalk or was mesmerized by the shiny rock on the ground. Beauty is all around us if we take the time to notice. It is somewhat intuitive that when we appreciate beauty more, we also experience more happiness. If we are living in the rush we will pass by all sorts of beautiful things without noticing them.
I came back to the hotel and grabbed a few of my kiddos to go back and look for treasure. Along the way we enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of the sea. Upon returning to the real world where there is an alarm clock and a to do list, I am working on intentionally noticing the beauty surrounding me. My daughter and I have promised to point it out to each other so that we stop and pause and notice.
Take the time to be in the moment with your kids. You can set the example of noticing beauty. When we do we are helping them relate to and enjoy God, our creator, the true source of all that is beautiful!
How can you be more intentional in noticing beauty?
He has made everything beautiful in it’s time.
By Sherri Crandall
Wife to Rusty
Mom of 4
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Associate Director of Women’s Ministry at Mission Hills Church
Join members of the 1C13P Team for the KC HeartCORe Single Parent Conference.
Lori Wildenberg and Becky Danielson, cofounders of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, along with single parenting experts, Misty Honnold (The Single Mom KC) and Matt Haviland (A Father’s Walk) for the HeartCORe Single Parent Conference. The event will be held in Kansas City on January 21, 2017.
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