I don’t need an excuse to celebrate. I will come up with any reason to load the kids into the car and go get ice cream. I have no problem declaring that a random Tuesday is movie night with popcorn and candy. I love living outside the lines of normal, regular, and ordinary. I want to raise my kids to see the world in wonder. I want them to climb trees and have picnics and chase a lizard into a mason jar. I want them to chase hard after beauty. I want them to feel beauty, warm on their skin and under their toes. I want their souls to stir alive the way God is turning the earth just to bring the world joy.
Spring was slammed for us: birthdays, sports schedules, projects. My husband’s pastoral leadership role required all of his attention. All of this made my soul thin. I was always planning ten steps ahead. How do I get to school pick up and Target? How do I prep dinner when I’m at football practice? How can I nap the baby and do Amazon returns? I was hard-pressed just to make sure all the kids were alive and fed. One evening my four-year-old daughter wanted to put on a performance. She was spinning in the living room while I put dishes back to their “bed” for the 100th time, a task I do with dread. She insisted I come watch. I put her off. Annoyed, I responded, “I’ll be right there. Hold on. Seriously, calm down — I’m coming!” And it hit me, at the sink, with my fingers dipped in suds and my body so exhausted I could barely manage multitasking: I didn’t like who I’d become. What happened to me? I felt so lost.
I stopped chasing beauty. I stopped delighting in glory and glitter and ordinary light dancing across my kitchen wall. I was short, irritated, and uncomfortable with my crammed schedule. In that moment, I didn’t cancel my plans or back out of my commitments, but I did turn the water off. I dried my hands and picked my heart off the floor. I went and watched my daughter swirl and twirl to Taylor Swift. I couldn’t change the reality of my life, but I could allow God to change the way I saw it. I could allow Him to shift my focus and uncurl my need to control. I lost myself along the way. I lost myself in measuring up and even to ministry. I lost my wonder.
I don’t want to miss life. Life is so short. I don’t want to miss children dancing and flowers swaying and friends laughing. I don’t want to miss God’s glory. I see Him in the movement of pool water at morning and rippling clouds and the fog outside my window right now. Life might always be full of to-do lists and unfinished laundry — I’m okay with that. But I don’t want to ever stop chasing beauty. I don’t want ordinary things to be ordinary because they aren’t. Nothing is normal. Life is a radical, mysterious, paradoxical place. I don’t ever want to grow tired of onions sizzling on the stove or the mountains motioning me up to God.
We get to be beauty chasers. Today, look for God in the ordinary. Let Him resuscitate your heart back into reality of His love for you. Love knit this earth and every breathing being into radical existence. If you’re feeling numb, overwhelmed, press down and undone, or lost— chase beauty. Chase beauty because it will always lead you right back to the Creator.
Chase beauty because it will always lead you right back to the Creator. -Anjuli Paschall: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Of all the things I regret in life, I never regret the times I put down the basket of laundry, wiped my dishwater soaked hands dry, or let the dusting go in order to play with my kids (or watch them spin and twirl). I will always remember playing a duet on the piano, shooting hockey pucks, watching a princess dance, and looking for shapes in the clouds. I don’t remember the countless hours spent on chores – somehow they have faded into the woodwork. We ALL need moments of beauty and what better harbingers than our children? Lovely!
anjuli paschall says
You always bless me with your kind responses. thank you!
Michele Morin says
How good of God to embed beauty and intricate creativity in creation (like a Divine Scavenger Hunt!) so that we could find it and be amazed–and refreshed. So many times I’ve been rescued by the sighting of a splash of color in my garden or by the sound of birdsong through an open window. God is lavish in his goodness to us!
I love the way you spotted beauty!
Beth Williams says
Life is so short. This world is noisy, busy with its go go go do do do. Like Jesus we need to slow down & seek out the ordinary. He gives us a sunrise & sunset each day. I enjoy looking at the mountains or walking with hubby. It’s the little things in life that matter most. Sure our lives get busy at times, but we need to be intentional on stopping & watching or listening to others. Go see a movie, catch a bug, dance with your kids. These are stuff of life & the times they will remember most. Bonnie Gray wrote a book “Whispers of Rest 40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul”. She has practical ideas on how to destress from life. Some ideas include taking your children on hikes & enjoying nature. Listen to waterfalls or the sounds of nature & God. God commands us to “Be still & know that I am God”. We owe it to Him, ourselves & family to heed that command. Lest life pass us by & we miss it.
Be Still and Know I am God is one of my favorite passages. Thank you for this lovely reminder.
Anjoli, thank you for the reminder to chase the beauty. I marvel at the beauty of the sunrise as I drive to work in the morning. Once there , I get so lost in all the things that have to get done that day. I rarely leave my desk during my 10 hour day. Today I WILL go out for a walk and see the beauty of freshly washed flowers against the wet grass (it has been raining for several days) and enjoy the day. Thanks again for the reminder.
I Hope you enjoyed your walk! Looking up at the sky always changes me.
Thank you! I needed this so much today.
Noreen Whittemore says
I am feeling somewhat lost at the recent passing of my best friend, my sweet, wonderful, Godly mother…. she was 89 years young, but such a blessing to my world.
Looking for beauty, so that l can remember how much my Savior has this.
Your mum is in your heart as you are in her heart she is waiting for you to embrace you once again. Please pray for my daughters to love me again , they are young 27, 29 right now they believe they don’t need my love, i miss their voices i miss their hugs. They both are very far from god. I know this happens to some relationships , but we were so close then college, boys came into the picture and i lost them, what is a mum to do?
I am so sorry for the grief you are walking through right now. I pray God brings you deep comfort. May beauty comfort your soul.
Thank you Anjuli for the reminder how important it is to chase the beauty, to witness this moments with our kids trying to tell us something or show us something for the millionth time when it seems we are busiest. Life is too short not to take the interruption stop what we are doing and watch that dance or listen to that story….it’s more important than anything else truth be told. I need to do more of it.
You are welcome. Chasing beauty always changes my perspective. I hope you find joy today.
What a lovely way to put this Anjuli! Thank you! It’s a perfect time to think about this as we are about to start summer. Thank you for you thoughtful perspective. Love you friend!
Love you, friend!
K Ann Guinn says
Thank-you for this beautiful and timely reminder.
Priscilla Reynolds says
The opening paragraph made me smile. Every once in a while when we have all had a down day we have gone to Publix to get one of their “fancy cakes” and eat it for dinner. I was informed by one of my boys this weekend that I was the only mom they knew that would do this. (Along with a reminder that it had been a while since we did it.) Being happy and feeling blessed comes from enjoying the little things in life.
Thank you Priscilla!
It is always about the little things. They bring so much sparkle to life!
perfect inspiration …i am a person who loves to ” be outside the lines “, I love to do random things with my kids too and I feel God SO much more in living in this way. sure we have obligations but I refuse and fight against the world’s theory of ” do more be happier”, when did that take over the world ?? my friend Anna runs all day 6am till midnight running with things that’s she is involved in..sadly she will never see that light dance across the kitchen wall and feel God in her home.
my heart is so much for calm and peace in our lives rather then running in chaos. Actually Jesus brings us peace but as a jew their living theme is shalom( peace).
shalom my friends..balance it out !
It is so hard to slow down. I hope I can stay in the slow lane. I don’t want to rush all the beautiful moments. I am so glad you’ve found a pace that being you peace. Blessings!
Richella Parham says
Love this! I’d like to be a purposeful beauty chaser along with you. I love the way you put it: “God is turning the earth just to bring the world joy.” Joy is important to God, I think; that you for the reminder!
Thank you, dear. I am 33w pregnant and I am potty training my 21mo toddler on my own bc my husband is off on a business trip. I lost it today I needed the right perspective and I failed. Many many thanks for this timely message ❤️
I feel alone. I’m 57 my kids are mad at me my husband is drinking , I’m the only one praying, and god is silent. Trying to find hope in the “waiting” but its tough, i have the support in my church, i have a few friends, but having a broken family is something I don’t want . Not sure what happened for this family to grow into such a sad state. Any thoughts?
Thank you for sharing your heart. I am so sorry for the long and painful season you are in. I just finished reading Ruth. Your heart break reminds me of Naomi’s. I wish there was a simple answer, but I pray your can cling to faith in Jesus through the suffering. I pray your kids turn their hearts back to Christ and your husband finds sobriety. God is with you. He is with you the way He was with Naomi and Ruth. He will not lose sight of you, friend.
Barb Hannah says
My girls are grown. Your sharing reminded me of a few memories. My husband’s sign in our kitchen, “Please excuse our mess today…it has to wait…we’ve gone to play!” Singing at the top of our lungs into hairbrush microphones with my daughters. Buying a hot tub (needed for me after fibromyalgia diagnosis) that had to have a step/seat area for my 3 year old to play & be with me. We make choices every day…choosing time with my children/my family = priceless. Still making memories & time with those I love a priority. Thanks for sharing! Smiles Barb