About the Author

Jesus writer by day. Mystery writer by night. Patricia Raybon, an award-winning Colorado author, writes on faith, race, and grace. Her debut historical mystery novel, "All That Is Secret," drops Oct. 5, 2021, from Tyndale. Join her on the journey at patriciaraybon.com.

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  1. Patricia,
    Your mother is an incredibly smart woman. She knew you didn’t need to look far to be amazed by God’s creation. My mother inspired me to have a similar fascination for the beautiful and infinite variety in God’s creation around us. Look at the different flowers – each one not only unique in color, but in form and design. The birds, just like people, no two exactly alike. Their individual markings give them character. If it rained we jumped in puddles. If it was a sunny, cloud filled sky, we looked for shapes. Fireflies were God’s fireworks. Seeking His beauty takes our mind off the mundane and gives reprieve from troubles. So true – “When we look for His beauty, trouble can’t win.” Amen.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. This mum needs to read a page out of your mum’s guide book!
    I think I was better at finding the beauty and making the fun experience out of simple things when all my children were tiny and our world revolved around home. Thank you for this written encouragement to slow down and give thanks for the beauty of every day, even if my gratitude falls only on God’s ears.
    Blessings to you!

  3. Thank you so much. What a true encouragement for me today. Life has been tough lately, and this has reminded me to thank God in everything and to see the fireflies in the rain – Gods beauty in all.

  4. Patricia, thanks for the beautiful post. Your post made me think about Isaiah 61:3, & how God gives us beauty for ashes. God knew that we would be burnt by life’s experiences. But He also knew He could replace that burnt out mess with something beautiful. God is going to turn our sorrow into joy. He speaks and it is already done. When I internalize this, I realize that “when I look for His beauty, trouble can’t last or win.”

    • Well said, Graham. God is gracious “to turn our sorrow into joy.” Thanks for receiving this message from me with such kindness. I sincerely appreciate your feedback.

  5. Oh how I long for those simpler times and for that childlike innocence … one that loved counting even when you didn’t understand the numbers or the game. Playing croquet in the back yard, catching fireflies after dusk, flying kites in the park and sipping lemonade on the porch. In our way to busy days, thank you for reminding me of a time long forgotten and much loved and in need of remembering.

    • Blessings today, Monty! The past wasn’t perfect, but God provided gracious ways to survive it. Those are ways, as you say, “in need of remembering.” Kind thanks for your warm feedback. Much appreciated!

  6. Patricia,

    You had an incredible mother. She knew how to take simple things & show you God’s beauty in it. Life is full of trials & tribulations. This world says rush around, do more. God says slow down & see all the wonders around you. See me in the smallness of life. Be in awe in the mountains, & rainbows. She made you forget the mundane & craziness of life for a while & enjoy the simple pleasures. You don’t need a lot of money to enjoy this life. Take a walk in the woods, listen to birds chirping, watch animals play. You were blessed to have such great parents who taught the values of Christ & enjoying life.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Blessings today, Beth. My amazing mother was a wonder, indeed. (So true for countless moms.) It’s an honor to remember her here today. Sincere thanks for appreciating what she taught — to stop in the storm and see God. May He bless us all today to do exactly that! Warmest thanks for connecting so kindly!

  7. This is so fitting for me today, Patricia. I was just praying this morning that the Lord would show my son His goodness, even admist hardship. To see goodness alongside grief is a sweet gift of God. One of the many gifts that are “extras,” add-ons to the main gift of redemption. He redeems us in way upon way upon way, every single day. Thanks for the reminder to open our eyes and bear witness to it. ♥

    • Thank you so much, Brenda. Your prayer for your son shows your wonderful mother’s heart. Praying with you for “eyes to see Him” even in a storm. Wonderful to connect today. — Patricia

  8. Patricia,
    Thank-you for sharing this beautiful, touching sentiment. I have a love for sunflowers; no matter the quality of their soil, they thrive, displaying their glorious rays of sunshine, signifying hope.
    I hope you all have a blessed day,
    Penny

    • What a wonderful reply, Penny. I wasn’t aware that sunflowers thrive “no matter the quality of their soil.” Sincere thanks for sharing that. Inspires me to plant some as “glorious rays of sunshine, signifying hope.” Blessings today for your kind comment. Much appreciated!

  9. Sweet Patricia,
    As well you know, I love every *beautiful* word you write, and surely, this is no exception!!! I have been thinking so much of God’s beauty of late, and how it is all around us–sometimes blatant beauty–the kind where you nearly have to hide your eyes because it is so overwhelming it can seem to blind you–and sometimes fleeting beauty–like those fireflies, it will flash by so quickly, it will almost go unnoticed. So like your precious mama, we need eyes to see beauty–to see the fleeting and flying, and sometimes the hidden beauty that can be more hard to see. I recall once writing a response to a blogger, to which he took great offense. He thought I had a bad attitude, and that I was whom you might call a naysayer, and that all I could see was what was negative and ugly in this world. I wrote nearly a full-length essay in response. He’d pushed one of my buttons. I was kind and gracious (I hope!), but I pointed that he’d misjudged me–I pointed out all the beauty I saw in God’s world, and especially in what was broken, especially in *people* who are broken (among whom I am chief). Because, in the end, the beauty of God’s creation and in man who is the pinnacle of His creation, though fallen, catches a reflection of *His* glory. And when we reflect that, we can’t help but shine beautifully like “shining from shook foil,” as poet Gerard Manley Hopkins says in his breathtaking poem, “God’s Grandeur.” And what you are so wonderfully, giftedly sharing with us here, what your beloved Mama knew deep in her soul and shared with you, is that “the world is charged with the grandeur of God, [and] it will flame out.” Your mother saw God’s grand beauty flaming in every, little thing, in the fireflies flashing in inky skies. And just think, Patricia, fireflies are free! I love how you point out here that God’s beauty is available to us all and everywhere if we will but have eyes to see. My husband bought me the sweetest card of a little girl, sitting cross-legged in the grass on an inky night looking into a jar filled with fireflies. He knew I’d love it for using in collage and that I’d see some kind of symbolism in it. I haven’t been quite sure what God was telling me. But now I know. Thank *you* so much for this deeply meaningful, beautiful piece, which gives me the meaning of the symbolism. Now, thanks to you, when I think of fireflies, when I see them on a dark July night, I will think of you and your mama, and all God’s breathtaking beauty, there for the loving and for the beholding. I can’t thank you enough!!
    Love
    Lynn
    PS The world can be an ugly place, and surely you’ve seen enough of that (as have I, in different ways and different settings). I don’t think we could survive, if we didn’t know that God’s beauty, power, love, and truth can overcome any darkness. We don’t just appreciate beauty, we must have it to survive.

    • So well said, Lynn. We couldn’t survive without God’s mercy to grace us with His power–sometimes shown to in beauty. What a glorious God we serve. Kindest thanks for letting me know how much this essay blessed you. Your insightful, honest reply blessed me in return! Peace and joy today, Patricia

  10. So true for me since my first born son’s suicide last year. He was 45. The beauty of nature soothes and comforts and helps to keep me alive….

    • Oh, dear Nancy. I’m so grateful to know you were comforted by reading my humble essay. I pray it soothes you all day. I was doubting its relevance, unsure the topic was “strong” enough to make a difference. Thank you for your kind reply, assuring me that God is using it. To Him be the glory. May He bless you with His healing and gracious love. Much peace today — Patricia

  11. I was wanting to share this “Looking for Beauty in the ….” email with a friend. Is that possible &, if so, how?

    Are we ‘allowed’ to print & share the hardcopy with another person who may appreciate this program?

    How could we email forward this to a friend?

    • And to follow up, Brenda, our team leader says, yes, you feel free to share. “As long as whatever is shared, hard copy or digital, still gives (in)courage and the author credit, it is totally fine.” Thank you, indeed, for asking and for sharing. May your kindness bless and encourage your wonderful friend. Peace and blessings, Patricia

  12. Ms. Raybon,

    Thank you so much for sharing this today. I cannot express to you fully how this has impacted me and sliced right through all the dirt and grime straight through to my heart. You and the Lord have brought me so much encouragement today and spoken very directly to some things going on in my life right now.
    You see, I have felt a few callings on my life in the past year, and I’ve felt called to make some decisions with the man that God gave me that my friends and family don’t agree with and feel very differently about. But my man and I feel strongly that this is what God is saying to do and we’re choosing to listen to Him no matter what. But I didn’t anticipate when I prayed over these decision, asking God to help me make the choice that would ultimately bring Him the most glory and show His love the most, that my close friends, sister and parents would be disapproving of it. That they wouldn’t understand. My parents have calmed down, as has my sister, but my best friends are still unhappy about it and one of them even says that he thinks God has told him something different on the matter. It has put a little bit of distance between us lately and that is honestly been really hard to deal with. I’m praying right now that we come to see some sort of middle ground, or that our interpretations of what God is telling both of us clears up so that we can see the whole picture that He’s trying to present. But it’s still hard, and the closer the time for moving comes (moving to a new town about half an hour away is part of all this), the harder it gets and the more I worry that this friend who has been so close and brotherly the past few years is going to grow distant.
    I’ve been given so much encouragement from the Lord to not be afraid, to keep going on this path set before us, and to worry about what He thinks as opposed to what others think, and He has spoken to me through so many other people, just like you today, and I KNOW that I’m on the path I prayed for, the path that He has set out for me; no matter how strange or different it may seem to those around me.
    And all this opposition is really really difficult and tough, but your message today has told me that I just have to persevere; keep going and look for the beauty through the ashes.
    So thank you, so very much, for sharing today and bringing words of grace and encouragement and love.

    • Thank you, Katheryn, for connecting and sharing today. I’m so glad this article encouraged you in your current life situation. None of us wants to make decisions that our family members and friends don’t support. Without knowing all the details, I won’t offer you my personal thoughts. I will say, in general, however, that as you continue to seek the Lord’s will, and open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, you will find His peace and wisdom in this and all life decisions. With this article, I wasn’t sure if the topic was “strong” enough to bless or encourage anyone, but I’ve been hearing from people all day saying that, yes, the article is helping them tremendously. Certainly, the overall message — to look for God’s beautiful hope, even in the midst of our storms — is positive and uplifting, and I believe it came to me from the Lord. May it continue to bless you all day and, moving forward, may you hear the Lord’s voice clearly as you take to the next steps of your journey! Much peace to you and to everyone you love! With Him in mind, Patricia

  13. Such power in the perspective we choose to put on! What an incredible example your mother was for you. I agree that no matter what the circumstances may be, there is always beauty to be found, always something to give thanks for. “Fixing our eyes on Him, we see hope.” Amen!

    Such a joy to read your words here today, Patricia! So grateful for the beauty and wisdom and lived-out example you bring to (in)courage. xx

  14. Your feedback blesses me so much, Becky. I struggled to “see” the right topic for my first (in)courage post. The Lord reminded me, first, to see Him. Wise advice for all of us! Thanks again so much for the opportunity to serve with you to encourage women who follow Him. I’m praying that happened today! Peace and blessings — Patricia

  15. Last evening my adult daughter told me to come outside and see the rainbow when she got home from work. When I arrived outside on the driveway there appeared a double rainbow. Stormy weather with rain and wind almost tornado weather here in Oregon gave beauty after the episode. Amazing how beautiful rainbows are a reminder of God’s promise that He’d never flood the earth again. He’ll never leave nor forsake us either. Another promise. My mom liked looking outside every morning. She loved her flowers and her garden and the sky. Four years ago after she died the sky held comfort in it for me on walks with my husband. Creation is His way of showing his beauty. Priceless. One of the reasons I’m a photographer! Yes I did get see fireflies when we visited friends in Ohio years ago. So cool! Thanks for sharing your mother’s passion of bringing glittery colorful brightness to your world. Lives not easy. We need to look on the bright side. Blessings!

    • What wonderful memories, Becky! Thanks so much for sharing. Your rainbow story, in particular, offers wonderful reminders — first, about God’s wonderful promises, including that He’ll never leave nor forsake us. Your mother’s lovely practice of looking outside every morning to enjoy her garden and the sky is a blessing to read also. Your photography must capture the beauty of God’s creation with great sensitivity. May we pray for the countless people who miss seeing the Lord’s wonder because they weren’t taught to look up and truly see. A godly perspective is critical, indeed. Thanks so much for sharing yours! Blessings and warm regards — Patricia

  16. Patricia, I’m so pleased to meet your heart through your words!
    The heaviness of life the past few days has brought to mind the phrase, “the world is too much with us…” (Wordsworth, I think?)….so I struggle to keep my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. But He says that a child shall lead them, so I take off my adult burdens and crawl into His lap to tell Him everything. In turn, He soothes me with His Peace that surpasses all understanding, and I regain my armor to stand in Love for His Kingdom once again. Since this world is under a curse, I look forward to the incomprehensible beauty of the New Heaven and New Earth. And while reading your accounts, the thought occurred to me, that one glorious day, you and I will share the experience of living in that Beauty together as Daughters of the King. I can’t wait to see you there amongst the fireflies, my new friend ~ <3

    • Blessings, Jeannie. It’s wonderful to connect! You are right about Wordsworth: “The world is too much with us.” Gratefully, our wonderful Heavenly Father graces us with respite moments — birdsong, blossoms, beautiful skies and, yes, from time to time, even fireflies. Thanks for appreciating these reminders by reaching out today. With thanks to you, I looked up Wordsworth’s sonnet’s and was touched by his plea:

      “So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
      Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn.”

      Aren’t we grateful for glimpses of Heaven’s glory — knowing that together, in the “sweet by-and-by,” we’ll enjoy fireflies and also the presence of the King! To Him be the glory! Blessings and warmest regards for reaching out as a like-minded friend. You are much appreciated!

  17. Oh, I like your mother’s outlook. Beauty for ashes is never a fair exchange, is it? Seeing Jesus’ sacrifice for us should give us the perspective of seeing beauty. If all you see is the ugly, then you fall prey to the enemy’s deceit. Lovely post, keep writing those memories.

    • Blessings today, Rebecca–and thank you! You are absolutely right. If we only see the worst in life, we “fall prey to the enemy’s deceit.” So well said. Sincere thanks for appreciating my mother’s wise ways for seeing God’s best despite life’s worst. With your encouragement, may God help me to keep writing those memories! Warmest regards and blessings, Patricia