Beauty in the Storms of Life

Hey, my little blogging petunias! Hope you are having a terrific week. I am always so happy knowing you are all out there! Hello! After returning from my Sweet Escape last weekend, I’ve been busy busy busy with design work. I have several design jobs in the works and of course I am loving every minute of them! And, I’m feeling much more balanced now that I have been intentionally disconnecting from the computer at times. Yippeee!!!!!! But, lest you think that life is rosy for me all the time, it is not. Yeah, I know we have a family beach house. And yeah, I know we just splurged on a weekend away without the kids. Sounds good, eh?

All in all things are good, but sometimes in life unexpected challenges come our way to disrupt our routine and happy little existence. Job stresses, financial setbacks, relationships difficulties and illnesses can all put a damper on the fun, no? Right now my husband is making some adjustments in his career and that is really upsetting the apple cart, financially speaking! Yeah. Changes are stressful. We are not immune to these things — no one is. Life can be shining bright one day and dark and cloudy the next. We can’t control those ups and downs, but we can make some choices in how we respond to them. I touched on the subject of finding beauty in spite of life’s difficulties during our Inspiration Week (Beauty in Spite of Pain) and from that ended up writing an article on a similar topic for Christian Women Online this month. I thought I’d share it with you all.

Here is a snippet:

When I was going through a dark period in my own life, I felt that small inner yearning for beauty. Yet, beauty felt distant. All around me I felt darkness, sadness and disappointment. But instead of running to numb my wounds in a destructive way, I grabbed a hold of that small yearning as something God placed in me for a reason. I took a step of faith toward connecting to God through the beauty in life. I headed out to the…

(click here to read the entire article…)

Please feel free to pop on over to the online magazine to check it out, and while you are there I’m sure you’ll find lots of other inspiring articles to uplift and encourage you

The garden photo was my backyard at my last house. I had a great time designing the paver patio, the arbor and planting the greenery and flowers. I miss that yard terribly!

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Comments

  1. You are one of the sweetest that I have met in blogland and I hate to hear that you are going through a storm- but we all do! This is one of my favorite verses to recite when I am going through the storms of life – Matthew 7:11 ….how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
    I hope it encourages your family as well.

  2. Hi Melissa, I’ve been lurking around your blogsite for a few months now, and haven’t posted. Your article, however, touched on my passion. A few years ago, I worked at our church and we had a consultant who works with church and business leadership in helping them make the best use of their time and gifts. One of the questions we had to answer, was what are we passionate about. I was looking out a window into our backyard overwhelmed with the beauty of God’s handiwork, and thinking about that question. What came to me was that my passion is beauty. At first, I felt awkward, like, how can beauty be a passion? But as I thought more about it, I realized that God is beauty and there is nothing wrong with being passionate about that!

    I am going to be speaking to a MOPS group at our church next month about decorating and creating a beautiful, comfortable home on a small sized budget. I may want to quote some of what you wrote, but won’t do it without your permission.

    By the way, my last name is Michael….no “s”!

  3. What a beautiful yard and the garden design is wonderful. I would like to be there right now enjoying your obvious talent and perhaps a cuppa Joe :)

    Janet

  4. oh melissa, i can so relate with what you are saying here. life is always full of ups and downs. seasons come seasons go. God has a plan and a purpose…and sometimes i really wonder if those challenging seasons of darkness are really there to make us ‘holy’…? to draw us closer to Him. the darker the day, the brighter His light.

    i hope things work out well and quickly for your husband and his work….in the meantime, focus on the goodness of God and His beauty that lies within us and all around us every day.

    hugs my bff!
    shelbi

  5. Oh my gosh yes… I know it’s there.. the beauty..
    Only through God’s grace.
    I so pray my #1 son can see this as we try and sell our house and move..
    Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction.
    XO

  6. Your last yard was beautiful! Yes, life is full of ups and downs isnt it? The thing is to think positive thoughts….and the downs will be less than the ups :-)
    Hugs,
    Penny

  7. Hi Melissa, how true your words are, it’s taken me many years to accept life is like a graph, it’s never completely on one even level and doesn’t that make the good times even better! You just need to get through those negative graph lines, sure enough you’ll be into the positive lines soon enough. This is my little theory and it has worked for me.
    Also loved the beautiful serene photo of your previous back garden!

  8. Miss Melissa – keep your eyes on heaven – I know you two will get through this.

    hugs FelicityX

  9. melissa lewis - off the wall
    Twitter:
    says:

    Don’t you know it!!!

    My husband and I, when engaged, always talked about how our life together would be a “journey.” Boy is that ever true, just when we think we have things “figured” out and are committed to following the path God has before us, the unseen journey keeps on going. But, ya know, life would be so boring if it were not this way. God is amazing and we wouldn’t depend on Him the way we do if it weren’t for all the unexpected “twists and turns” of life.

    Thanks again for sharing your story and for the inspiration.

    BTW- Love your patio!

  10. Hi!

    What a good way of looking at life. I love the way you use both beauty and storms in the same sentence. And what you write is so true.

    I hope that the ocean calms down once again soon!
    What a lovely garden and Winston is so cute :)
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Susanne

  11. Hi Melissa

    What a great patio! Knowing you, everything you create is gorgeous so there is another great patio in your future.

    As far as the stress on your lives cuz of hubby’s change, I find blogging such a great relief to that…I’ll spend some tine on a blog (like yours) feel all refreshed and inspired and can go out into the world renewed!

    I’m here for ya!

    :0)
    Tara

  12. I am goint to read the whole article, Melissa! sound great. I can relate.

  13. Your article was wonderful. The connection for me between God and my garden is so strong. I never feel closer to Him anywhere else as when I am working outside. It even makes me shed tears of Joy at times. (It’s hard to explain to the neighbors…LOL). Thanks for your inspiration. :-) Rosie

  14. Melissa…you can never predict what the future holds, but I agree with your “it’s all in how you handle it” philosophy. One of my all time favorite quotes (and I’ve posted it a couple of times this week) is from Walt Disney: “Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.”

    Cassie

  15. Melissa, good article and very timely as we are going through our own very stressful time (my husbands company is restructuring). Very pretty patio btw!

    Manuela

  16. That garden is lovely! It would be hard to leave it behind. Great article this month in CWO!! Have a beautiful day. It’s snowing here again!
    Hugs,
    Cathie

  17. So well written, Melissa, both here and at CWO. And a very needful reminder. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

  18. Lovely photo……I’m so ready for Spring! Your writing is wise…..we each face trials and tribulations in our lives. It’s not the trial that matters but how we respond to it that matters.

    Beautiful and inspiring page….so glad I found you!

    LaurieAnna

  19. Such a pretty yard…..wonderful job !!

    Kathy :)

  20. mvobsession says:

    Your words couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you.
    Joan

  21. Sweet post, Melissa! I know we have all been through very dark and stressful times. Last year was that for me and even though all the pieces are not in complete order yet, I too learned to lean on the Lord to get us through the valleys, knowing that I had to completely trust Him for the answers. And enjoying the beauty around us is part of that. I have to surround myself with pretty things or I would go crazy.

    What a gorgeous backyard you had! I had one of those too in my old backyard & do miss the beauty of it. I hope to get our new yard whipped into shape one of these days.

    xo,
    Rhoda

  22. gorgeous garden….looks like its right out of a lovely garden mag!
    love your blog
    xo

  23. simply beautiful….
    for you Melissa psalm 20:1-5
    xo ~j~

  24. Hi Melissa!

    I can see why you’d miss that patio … it’s gorgeous! But knowing you, the yard you have now will be equally beautiful in no time.

    I loved your article! It’s so much more difficult to stay positive when things aren’t going the way you want them to. If we can change the way we look at our problems, then they won’t get the best of us. My motto is “give thanks in ALL things” ~ not easy but it helps me get through those rough patches.

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my paper projects! I’m glad you’re having fun with making some things yourself. We all need something to “play” with. Children play all the time and never worry whether their art is “good enough” … that’s something else for us to remember! Enjoy the process! (See? Taking some down time is working!) :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    ~ hugs,
    Lynda xox

  25. I love this yard, you must miss it very much! I am planning a new patio this summer and this really gives me some good inspiration, thanks!! xo, suzy

  26. Hi Melissa, just flying by your Nest to say hi! Your yard is beautiful, the garden is so lovely we can imagine how you must miss it, we know how you feel there.

    Life is full of challenges. Dreams and plans that we make sometimes take sudden and unexpected twists. Life is a journey, and plans may change, sometimes many times. Ours plans have changed about four times in the last ten years, quite dramatically. Hubby had ill health for a long while and several job issues but we had kept those private at the time. House changes, ill health, job changes, financial issues, there would not be many people who have truly lived that have not experienced these situations, and in some cases other horrors like trauma or violence in their lives. Faith, love and true friends, that is what helped us through. Take care sweet lady, everything will be okay. Jenn and Jacqui. xoxo

    And hugs to adorable Winston xoxo Look at those eyes!! :)

  27. No wonder you miss that garden it is beautiful.
    Alison

  28. Melissa…
    Your old patio is beautiful!
    I could sit there for hours…
    Have a blissful weekend!
    Priscilla

  29. That looks like pure bliss to me. I can hear the birdies singing. ~ Lynn

  30. How inspiring thanks bunches!
    xo
    Mary

  31. So beautiful! Very inspirational.

  32. Hi Melissa,
    No wonder you miss that garden, it’s beautiful!
    I hope things go better for you soon and i loved the information you gave, you have a way of making anything sound positive and uplifting! Thank you!!! xo

  33. nestingplacenc says:

    Hi! I didn’t take the time to read all of your wonderful comments and I’m sure it’s been said but, wow–thank you for those words.

    I am a fellow mom who loves and longs for beauty. In so many areas! Not perfection but pure beauty! Sometimes I have even been made to feel bad about that quality–like I have to have everything perfect and such. I’m sure I’m guilty of that but, I love that you pointed out that that is how He made us!

    I truly believe that the appreciation and longing for beauty is a characteristic that we inherited when being made in his image. I know we all have it but it manifests in different ways. Thanks for you article, it was so well written and such a great reminder.

    And thanks for visiting my place!

  34. Esther Sunday says:

    Thinking of you and your family during this transition time! Lovely yard. Love, Esther

  35. lovely garden. I am trying to talk my husband into creating a REAL outdoor room this year. We’ll see.

  36. Wow, what beautiful outdoor space. So peaceful looking!

  37. Thanks for keeping everything so real and for sharing the beautiful article you wrote.

  38. I love what you wrote for CWO. Thank you for sharing. Your garden design is so pretty. xoRachel

  39. Thank you for this inspiring article, Melissa. I discovered it just after a friend shared her troubles with me. I couldn’t fix her problems however, your article gave me an idea…I’m giving her a copy of your article on pretty papers with a pot of spring flowers for her doorstep (things she can’t afford to buy right now). I hope this will encourage her and remind her of the Lord’s love for her. Thank you for your blessing.
    Laura

  40. Love your old backyard, Melissa! I miss our old yard terribly, too. And I TOTALLY understand about set-backs and changes in careers. We have to walk by faith, sister! xo

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