Sarah Markley
About the Author

I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play soccer. I blog daily and my greatest wish is to see women healed...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Sarah,
    What a beautiful relationship you have carved out with your daughter. The fact that she felt comfortable confessing her mistake to you shows that you are modeling Christ to her. I encourage you to keep the dialogue open. And, how true, we are so quick to heap condemnation on ourselves and on others for their mistakes, when, if we would sit a moment with our eyes open and our mouth shut, God will show us how He can bring beauty from those very ashes. Loved this post this morning…

  2. This is such a rich post! I love that you had this talk with your precious daughter–it reminded me of similar talks I had with my mom as a teen. I also love how you apply it to the guilt and accusation that the enemy tries to saddle us with after every fall, even thought all past, present and future sins are covered in Jesus if we are his. One wise thing I am so thankful my mom told me during my self-loathing of that time is this: the Godly sorrow of conviction brings us closer to Jesus for healing, but there is a different kind of sorrow that is only condemnation and should have no place in the life of a believer.

  3. Of all the things I’ve read that you’ve ever written, this one has touched me more deeply than all the others. Through the piling on of hatred, guilt and shame I tend to forget the big picture, God’s plan for me in all the falls and scrapes. Thank you for reminding me again that He’s working in it. No matter what it is, He’s working.

  4. “. . . . Brushing His fingers in the dirty ashes, trying to show us the beauty there.”
    Thankful that He tries to show me. I can feel covered in ashes and He whispers the beauty there in so many ways. So that I *see*. And these words really were a vessel to me…thank you!

  5. As the mom of two daughters your words resonate with me on several levels. It’s so easy for me to give them grace, especially in a situation such as this. And we breathe and grow and we talk. But how often do I see Jesus through my own mistakes. I don’t look to the cross…I hide from it, buried in my unworthiness and shame. And I forget that there is beauty in the middle of my ashes and He wants to scoop it all up and remind me that He’s working it for good.

    His fingers in my dirty ashes. What a great, good God!

  6. “But there is always beauty from ashes and beauty from the dust.”

    Sin, confession, repentance, forgiveness, restoration…what a perfect picture of how our lives should look like with Christ. We sin, confess and repent…and HE forgives and restores.

    Thank you for this reminder today. 🙂

  7. What a wonderful share in today’s internet and social media world. Am sharing with my daughter for my 4 yo granddaughter. Thank you and blessings to you!

  8. Love this Sarah. As someone with a daughter moving out of the house in 21 DAYS (AAAHHHHHH!!!!), I sometimes question how I’ve prepared her to go out and on in her life, embarking on the time when she begins making her own decisions. Thank you for this grace…and the reassurance that all of the conversations and questions and tears and love we’ve shared over the years have opened the door to a united heart. Beautiful…

  9. I’m so guilty of hating the mistakes, but God’s been using this year to teach me to find beauty in ashes. Right now He’s walking me through the names He has for us and letting them sink in – that I’m loved, blessed, and chosen.

    My husband and I don’t have children yet (we’re late bloomers) but I still hold on to hope. I have no idea how I’ll traverse all of this technology stuff with them and honestly my inclination is to shelter them from the ugly of the world, but I know we won’t really be able to do that and they will be stronger for us teaching them how to stand firm in this world instead.

  10. Thank you, Sarah for reminding me there IS beauty among the ashes. There was a time when I really knew this, lived it and accepted God’s marvelous grace. This past year has been difficult for me, to receive and believe that “my” misgivings really have a lesson, leading me to see God’s beautiful love among the dreadful ashes. Perhaps it a transitioning thing for me – the time and space of circumstances which God has ordained. In a holding pattern, thanking God for your heart today. Blessings

  11. Wow! Awesome. Thank You, Sarah. I Loved this entire post…

    But this one line brought me to my knees (metaphorically-speaking), because it is exactly how I have lived out my life (time for a mind-makeover):

    “Or do we hate our mistakes so much that the beauty that He is longing to show us in the ashes is lost?”

  12. Oh Sarah, yes, beauty from ashes. I have the hardest time remembering this with my own mistakes — I keep turning them over and over in my mind, wishing things did not turn to ash in my hands. Planning how to “do better” next time, even though I know God never demands a try-harder faith from me.

    With my kids, it’s so much easier to point out that this is what happens, ashes to ashes, but God will bring beauty from our mess every single time. With myself, not so easy. 😉

    Lovely reminder this morning.

  13. very nice post..truthfully written and well said..thankyou..have children too and work so hard every day on every situation to teach them to run to the Lord guilt or condemnation just love and learning and growing in God.

  14. Thank you for sharing this. I have been struggling a lot lately in my marriage and I can’t help wondering if it’s because I married an unsaved man. He accepted the Lord as his Savior just a year later, but he was never “discipled” shown how to be a spiritual leader, or even a Christian husband and father. We have gone to church faithfully since we’ve been married. But it’s a struggle. I feel he is holding me back from what I want to do in my Christian walk…. but this has helped me realize God can and will still use me, I need to keep pushing through and follow His voice.

  15. As a mama to two young girls, I am gleaning much from what you say here. Thank you for setting such a beautiful example to those who follow in your steps. Love, honesty, and welcome feelings in your home. Beautiful!

  16. It seems you knew exactly what my family is dealing with! Our family needs prayer for many things but specifically for our 19 year old daughter. We are a military family living overseas and are to return stateside in 3 months time. Our daughter has very recently started a serious (intimate) relationship with a young airman here. My heart grieves her decisions as she plans to stay here to be with him. Please pray for my daughter! She is Royalty!

  17. I have felt this way many times as a Christian. We should abstain and refrain from sin as much as possible. However, we are sinful creatures and we will sin everyday. This is a beautiful point of moving forward. We shouldn’t stay locked in our mistakes. We should use them as material for experience. We need to leave our burdens at the feet of Jesus. Thank you so much for writing this. It came at a time when I really needed it. God Bless You!

  18. A beautiful moment of grace- vividly showing how what man means for our harm worked for good for those who love The Lord . Bless you mumma for thinking and acting with discernment as a Godly woman- rather than reacting as a panicked mummy!! I pray for that same wisdom.
    Tonight your wires taught me to be a better mumma and helped my heart too- especially “That even in our sins, even in our mistakes and misjudgments, He is still there. He is always there. And He is close and good and He hasn’t changed.”
    I spoke foolishly @ work and can’t take it back and have been feeling condemned – thank you for your reminder even in my sin, my mistake- He is still there.

  19. Oh the sweet blessing in the gift of a wonderful relationship with our Lord and with our daughters, what a fantastic read and one which made me mindful of the blessings found in the beauty of the ashes ~ THANK YOU!

  20. Grateful for God’s mercy than even when we fall we can be confident in His love for us and His mercy and grace…. lovely reminder of His great love. Thank you for sharing your wonderful grace filled moment/conversation with your daughter….. I am praying for grace for my teenage son these are trying times for our children with so much coming at them from many different sources but God is greater!

  21. Sarah,

    Your daughters are very lucky to have you for a mother! That she felt comfortable telling you the mistake knowing that you wouldn’t condemn her but talk about stuff and work it out.

    This is truly a moving post! I have made many mistakes in my life and continue to do so. I am so happy that Jesus doesn’t condemn us for little or big mistakes. He forgives and extends mercy–just as you did!

    Blessings 🙂