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Beauty is Arising

Springtime is here, and life outside our windows is beginning to awake from winter’s slumber. The birds are waking me up with their songs, bears are roaming our neighborhood after their long disappearance, flowers are pressing their way up from the cold ground, and my son’s allergies have been jerked out of bed by nature’s alarm clock.

Springtime is sensory overload for me. In a good way, though. I love to discover the daily progress, and watch new leaves unfold, smell the perfume in the air from blooming trees, and revel in the unveiling of life after winter’s grip. Life is being restored, after a much-needed time of rest and recovery.

Springtime is such a beautiful time to me. Even more so this year. Winter has been long, cold, and often lonely. But it has been a time to turn inward towards my heart; to discover, reflect upon, and address those empty, lifeless places. I have allowed  my Savior to tend to those barren, wintry places in my heart, and he is bringing up beauty. Just like spring.

Beauty. What do you think of when you read or speak that word? Something lovely to look at is what typically springs to my mind. A woman’s face, flowers, or a sunset. But according to Dictionary.com, “Beauty” is defined as “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).”

Now, I’m not heading off to enter a beauty pageant. There is much more to beauty than meets the eye. Beauty is about the essence of someone, or something. Beauty is what he has placed in each of us, and for many, it is buried beneath layers of dead leaves from autumn, snow packed forts we have built to protect from harmful intrusion, and words and false beliefs we have taken on as truth in our lives. The good news is that it is buried, not gone. Retrievable. And guess what – God‘s shovel is, well, you should just see it. It’s amazing. And he is desperate to use it FOR YOU- he wants you to be who he created you to be. Ephesians 4:1 says “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” He has given it all to us; we just have to let him tend to the garden of our heart.

He is waiting to bring springtime back to your heart. To unbury the beauty that waits beneath the layers. To bring restoration to your heart, and move you into the life he has called you for. Encountering beauty allows us to take a deep breath and say “it is well, with my soul.” There is indescribable peace that accompanies accepting his love, and loving who you are.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I have thought a lot this week about Jesus being crucified for us. For Me. For You. It was such an inconceivable horror he faced, yet he allowed it so we can have life. Not just walking the earth, breathing air life, but LIFE…. Beauty, peace, freedom, joy. In all things, we can discover the richness he has to offer us, but we need to be willing to accept the beautiful essence of our souls. He has empowered us with the greatest gift of all: choice. We have to mentally place aside all the things we layer on top of our hearts – failures, weight, finances, guilt, and shame. We have the choice to accept him and love him with all our heart, mind,  and soul, as said in Matthew 22:37.  Or we reject him, at least to some degree, when we reject ourselves.

He paid the ultimate price for the freedom of our souls. He can free our beauty. Jesus himself is the ultimate beauty risen from the pit of hell. Will you allow him to free the wintry grip on your heart; to reveal the beauty he placed in you? I hope so; there is such peace in waking to the birds each morning, knowing he thinks I am beautiful. And that I will live a life worthy of the calling I have received.

Have a BEAUTIFUL, blessed Easter!

-Erika

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About Erika Chowning

God-crazy, and sometimes just a bit crazy, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers. I am a Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be in the middle of God's creation, adventuring and exploring, laughing, dancing, playing and whatever else fun I can find. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is so short to be too serious, but there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

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