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The Beauty of Less

We all want to live beautifully, but everything we pursue to make our lives shine will leave us hollow- everything will wear out and need replacing. We can spend our lives pursuing more, or follow the example of Christ and take a step back. There is such beauty in having less.

Beauty captures me.

For as long as I can remember, I've been in this constant place of noticing, longing and even striving for some aspect of what beauty entails.

I'll admit, at some points in my life, what I was reaching for - and even living - ended up not being as beautiful as it first seemed. And yet, at other times, I experienced such incredible beauty birthed from moments and situations that I never would have expected - had I not paid attention to Gods beauty in them.

Being in the beauty blogging and YouTube world, I've come to know more than ever, that the search for beauty and contentment will never be found in a cream, in a foundation, or even in that perfect mascara. It's the reason we keep searching and trying and testing. It's the reason there are millions of products and millions of beauty bloggers, each sharing the newest and latest and best...only to be overshadowed by something or someone else just days - sometimes even hours later.

We think more is the answer, and yet no matter how much we have, it never seems to be enough.

We get so easily distracted and caught up, that we don't even realize how far we've gotten from experiencing and noticing the true beauty and contentment that life - that the Creator of it all - has to offer us.

But really, don't we tend do this in all the areas of our lives?

We go in search of more things and stuff because someone else has it, we take on opportunities simply because they're offered, we sign up because it's what's expected...
We go.
We do.
We add on.
We pile up.
We get busy.
We get caught up.
And all the while, we miss out.

We don't even take a second to stop and notice that what we take on and what we take in, begins to own us.

We become a slave to our stuff and our schedules, working to keep it up and keep it going, and we become stressed, unhappy, exhausted, and most importantly distracted from God's beauty and purpose for our lives. We find ourselves mindlessly running this dizzying hamster wheel, and somehow we don't even remember getting on it in the first place.

We see so often throughout the gospels, that Jesus intentionally steps away from the crowds, from the busy, from the serving and teaching and tasks, into solitude and lonely places so that he might pray and seek after his Father's will.

Sometimes it takes stepping back from it all to fully see where we are and what we've come to value, to truly get the perspective in which we need to make changes going forward. And I know for us, it wasn't until recently when we got away to the Pacific Northwest for two weeks as a family, that both my husband and I realized just how caught up we had become.

Without even discussing a thing, God began doing a work on each of our hearts, showing us clearly just how we were missing the beauty He had intended for our life, and how things needed to begin changing.

The very night we got back home, we took a long hard look at our stuff, our lives, our calendars, our to do lists, and activities, and we asked ourselves: How does this serve our purpose as a Christian family: which is to know, love and serve God with everything that we have?

We first got busy making a list of our family goals and desires, and then began to make a list of changes that needed to happen in order to put our focus back to where it needed to be.

We cut things out, added new things in, and learned how to say 'no thank you' when opportunities or stuff came up, that while seemed fun, we knew would ultimately serve in distracting us from what we believe God wants for this season of our life.

"Be intentional" became our motto along with "Less is the new more..." and continually we bring each task, activity and purchase up against the goals and hopes we have for our family.

We still have so far to go and many more changes we hope to make, but even just taking these first steps of allowing and embracing simplicity in so many areas of our life has brought us more contentment and joy than we'd ever expected.

For as long as I can remember, I've been in this constant place of noticing, longing and even striving for some aspect of what beauty entails.

And like I said, the Lord, in only ways He can do, continues to use unexpected beauty to capture me.

The beauty of less, the beauty of intention, the beauty of simplicity, which all ultimately unveils more clearly the beauty of Him... it captures me.

I admit, what we were reaching for...and even living...ended up not being as beautiful as it may have at first seemed. And yet, in these seemingly small changes, we have experienced such incredible beauty birthed from moments and situations that I never would have expected - because without all the clutter, we can more easily see that God is so clearly in them.

Summer Saldana







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