Your Life is Beautiful {& a giveaway!}

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Sometimes, in the dark days, we have to look hard to see what's right and beautiful. But it's there. #SurprisedByLife

Beauty waits for the eye of its beholder. We have to look for it to really see it.

I find beauty most often from behind the lens. Wearing a camera around my neck somehow causes me to stop and look for beauty more than I do without it. I'm not a professional photographer by any stretch, but I'm finding that photography coupled with a passionate desire to really see my life as the beautiful work of art God has created, is healing me.

Beauty inspires me to say "yes" to God. It reminds me of the goodness of the God Who made me, even when I'm surprised by life, or it hurts too much to comprehend.

The hurts we endure as women often cause us to close ourselves to God's beauty, don't they? They make us believe our lives are ugly, boring, dull, mundane. We wonder if God really is good after all, and close our hearts to believing in His love for us...maybe even closing our hearts to Him altogether.

We start saying "no" to God in the little things that are easy to hide. Reading His Word, prayer. And as our hearts become more and more numb it becomes easier to say "no" in the big things, until the time comes when we find it hard to discern His voice at all...find it hard to believe Him at all.

No one is exempt from being surprised by life. Things don't go the way we'd planned. Hopes get dashed. Dreams die. And God doesn't seem so good anymore.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

All it takes to turn a life around is one choice to believe.

One moment of clear determination to believe in something good. One act of sheer will to see the beauty around us can start an avalanche of faith. Try it and see?

#SurprisedByLife

(Feel free to pin the graphic above, but please link it back here).

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Today, I'm launching a brand new online space...a new blog called Surprised by Life where I'll lead women in saying "yes" to God and help them look for the beauty in their lives. It's a place for women to heal from the hurts of life, learn to trust God again, and choose to see their lives as the beautiful creation God made them to be.

To celebrate, we're giving away this beautiful necklace created especially for this community (necklace says "my life is beautiful.") from the Better Mom sponsor, Grace Tags.

#SurprisedByLife

To Enter:

1. Share glimpses of the beauty of your own life. This week get intentional about seeking beauty in your life by taking snapshots of what you find and sharing them using the #SurprisedByLife hashtag. They can include:

  • Your children (because moms who find the beauty in their children will be better moms)
  • Trips
  • Sunsets
  • Spring beauty
  • Sports activities
  • Flowers
  • Your home
  • Book quotes
  • Bible verses
  • Or really, anything at all that you find beautiful

2. When you've captured your beautiful pictures, share them via social media.

  • Share them on Facebook at the Surprised by Life page.
  • Tweet them on Twitter  using the hashtag #SurprisedByLife
  • Share them on Instagram using the #SurprisedByLife hashtag.
  • Pin them on Pinterest and then share them at the Surprised by Life board.
  • Share them in a blog post and link them up at the bottom of this post.

3. Come back and comment here telling us how you shared.

The contest will be open all week, but you can keep sharing your photos at any of these places as long as you like. You can watch for mine there too. Enter as many times as you'd like.

You can also take 20% off of any size order at Grace Tags this week. Just head over and use the code: lifeisbeautiful at checkout!

How about it friends? Will you start saying "yes" again? Look for the beauty with me.