Life storms, Ocean, Seashells

Broken Pieces

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I spent some time this week picking up seashells on the beach. The truth is that I did not pick up even one whole shell. I collecting shards of seashells, broken pieces of what was once wonders of nature. So I contemplated what I would do with the broken seashells, and I determined that I would create a piece of wall art with the shell pieces.

My favorite shells, in fact, are the broken ones, the ones that have been dashed against the rocks and coral and yet somehow made it to shore. If you’ve never seen a broken shell, you’ve never seen the full beauty of a shell. If you’ve never seen a broken Tritan’s Trumpet shell, you’ve never seen the winding beauty of the core of the shell. If you’ve never seen a broken Cowry Shell, well, you’re missing an unusual work of nature.

You see, even though they are broken, the pieces have beautiful markings, each one a different pattern, each one colored differently. In fact, because you don’t have a perfectly shaped shell, the colorful markings become the focus. I think I can create something beautiful by putting together these broken seashells.

It is also true of our lives. We often find ourselves broken, having to do the best we can to gather the broken pieces of our selves and create something beautiful. Fortunately, I have learned not to discard the broken pieces of myself. I have learned, instead, to pull together my brokenness and re-create a worthy self.

We don’t get through this rocky, stormy life whole. But we do have every opportunity to make something beautiful out of our broken pieces. I hope you will do just that.

Grace, healing, Inspiration

Grace! Amazing!

 

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The grace of God . . . I receive it continuously, but even after all these years, I don’t understand it. I am on the beach today, one of my favorite places in the world. The gentle surf, the vast sky, the sunrise over the ocean is grace to me, given by a God who deeply cares about times of re- creation and spiritual refreshment.

We who are Christians sing about grace often, and one of our most beloved hymns is “Amazing Grace” written by John Newton and published in 1779.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

The words of the hymn touch me beyond words, reminding me that, though I am undeserving, I receive the gift of God’s grace every moment of my life, through the calm and through the storm. It has always been enough to get me through. I love the words of Anne Lamott about grace:

I do not at all understand all of the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

My gift to you today is a YouTube link to a gorgeous arrangement of “Amazing Grace” performed by Noteworthy of Brigham Young University. Let it lift your spirits at: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Mtpk4jeVA