Even though New Year’s Day was two weeks ago, it seems like I’m still hearing people talk about the big changes they’re going to make this year.
The biggest change in my life over the past year didn’t come about because I wrote down a half-dozen New Year’s Resolutions or picked a meaningful word for 2013 (although I did). It didn’t come about because of some awesome book that I read or even some great sermon I heard.
It started when a blogging friend issued a Beauty Captured challenge — a challenge to post a picture of something beautiful on my blog every day.
I started carrying around a camera and looking for something lovely in the world around me. I became a different person. I changed my focus, and my life is better for it.
I slowed down.
Instead of rushing into one appointment or another, I take my time. I took these two flower pictures when I was walking out of a hospital after an appointment.
I notice beauty.
I’m not always able to take a picture of the beauty I see around me, but I recognize beauty far more often than I did before.
I stop and take pictures of sunrises and sunsets, the days when the mountains look especially pretty, flower buds, and full moons. Often when I’m driving, I can’t stop to take a picture. I still notice that it’s beautiful.
My children notice beauty, too.
Lauren sometimes points out flowers so that I can take pictures, and Addison pointed out the perfect shape of the splat surrounding the egg I dropped while making breakfast last week.
I thank God.
Every time I look at the mountains, notice a particularly blue sky, or appreciate the brilliant colors of an American flag waving in the breeze, I thank God for the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place.
Is the beauty I find specific to our location? Perhaps some of it is. Really, though, I think every location has its own beauty. Sometimes I just have to search for beauty.
Cristi homeschools her three children wherever the Air Force sends her (currently in Arizona). If she had to describe herself in 25 words or less, she’d write: Follower of Christ. Military wife. Homeschooling mom. Allergy-friendly cook. Aspiring photographer. Chauffeur. Blogger. Runner. Friend. And much, much more.
Her blog, Through the Calm and Through the Storm, started as a way to record her youngest daughter’s wait for a heart transplant and continues as a way to record all the crazy days she loves.