The Beautiful Un-Beautiful

I wasn't planning to write a post this morning.

I was planning to be at the Minnesota Children's Museum with my college roommate. Our little girls were going to play and explore, we were going to chat and drink coffee. It sounds simple enough, but to us Minnesotans mired in the quicksand of cabin fever, just escaping the house is a huge thrill.

Looking forward to the day made it easier to get out of bed this morning. (Trivia: I am never happy to get out of bed.
Never. Mornings make me cranky.) I put on a cute maternity shirt. I made sure I had time to get all my morning work done before we left for school, since I knew we wouldn't be back until afternoon. And since the morning o' fun at the museum would undoubtedly be exhausting, I was also counting on a long nap for both Teyla and Mommy upon our return.

But as you've probably guessed by now -- because, hello, I'm typing, and I don't have the patience to type anything more than a Twitter update on my cell phone -- it didn't happen. My friend had to cancel due to sick kids. So after we dropped Connor and Natalie at school, Teyla and I turned around and drove home through the fog and the gray of a dismal March morning to a day full of nothing.


Just a few minutes earlier, Chris Tomlin's "Holy is the Lord God Almighty" had blared from the radio. Natalie and I sang along, but I had to snicker at the line, "The earth is full of His glory."

Because I see it on a spring day when the landscape is a thousands shades of green. I see it on the winter morning when God's breath paints every object with fairy dust. I see it on the summer mornings when the air is fresh and the lake sparkles. I see it in the fall when the trees blaze red and orange and the sky is so crisp it hurts.

But today? When the sky is leaden and the landscape is a smear of brown grass, muddy puddles, dirty snow and freshly revealed litter? When I face another day of solitude at home with nothing but Little People to distract me? When I know Corey's leaving tomorrow on yet another business trip, leaving me to solo parent again for rest of the week?

Yeah. The earth doesn't feel so full of His glory. It feels broken and boring and dull.

But you know what? Even as I hear those thoughts echo in my head, I know they are lies. It might be what I see with my eyes right now. But 2 Corinthians says I should "fix my eyes, not on things that are seen, but on what is unseen."

And you know what's unseen? That today, Tuesday, March 9, is a gift. Today, I woke up in a warm house that protected me from last night's mist. I woke up to a hot shower and clean clothes (that even cover my belly, bonus points). I woke up to three healthy kids and one growing babe-in-uetero. I fed my kids a healthy breakfast and drove them to school in a minivan that's comfortable and functional (and cool because I rock it). I might not be focusing my eyes on those hidden yet unspeakable luxuries, but the truth is -- they are there.

Also unseen? The intangibles, like the love of my family and God's grace made new every morning and Biblical hope for my future.

So instead of letting myself get sucked down the drain of grumbling and whining, I'm going to choose to fix my eyes on the gifts.

And you know what? I even have a few visible reminders of the beauty of the unseen.

Even the un-beautiful can be beautiful with God.

The title of my post was inspired by Stephanie's musings in The Journey of Me and Her: On Dancing and Beauty. This post is also part of the quest to see God in the everyday with Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chatting at the Sky.


  1. amen.

    His gifts, His beauty is everywhere when we choose to see it.

    we are really are more blessed than we could ever imagine.

  2. Oh Amen. This is the toughest time of year to actually *see* the earth as full of His glory. But you have determined here, in this beautiful post, to rejoice always. And blessed are those who look just a bit harder for the beauty, for they shall find it!

  3. I clicked over from a link in Mocha With Linda's sidebar, This is an encouraging post. I tend to get "down" in rainy or foggy gray days -- add to that disappointment, and I probably would have been a very unhappy camper. Yet we're so blessed in so many ways -- even on gray days.

  4. I really admire you finding your way into this perspective. It's super hard to do.

    I don't think I've been here before, although I think we have a lot of mutual friends. Nice to 'meet' you. :)

    And? I rock a minivan, too. ;)


  5. Kelly, this is so beautiful. I really needed to read this because here in Chicago things are just as gray and brown and muddy and dreary. It just sends me to my very last nerve. Thanks for sharing that verse--I'll be thinking about that this week.

  6. So sweet! His beauty truely is everywhere! We are so blessed! Have a great Wed!


  7. the skies here have been bluer than blue... but we still have the brown grass and the dead leaves (burnt from the frost.) seeking the beautiful can be a struggle in the midst of disappointment. good for you for continuing to seek and to find. and that face! cute!!

  8. Sometimes I wish it would not take me so long to remember, "Hey, I have a choice this day!" Good post.

  9. Hello! First time I ever read your blog and the first post I read is all about the beauty unseen in a dismal grey day! Well, I live in South Dakota, and let me tell you, I hear you! I can barely see across the street today and was listening to those lies. But not anymore. Thank you, thank you, and I will be back to read more!

  10. This was beautiful. I hate that I just now go to it, but I'm so glad I finally did.