I’ve always enjoyed keeping diaries and writing in journals, but I’ve never been a fan of plain notebooks. I love pretty journals with flowers or birds on the cover and colorful pens. I can’t help it. It’s just the way I’m wired.
My latest journal was chosen for a purpose. I need the reminder to “Live Beautifully” every day.
When my husband abandoned me and our family to move to another state with his girlfriend, my self-esteem was shattered. Life was everything but beautiful. I felt ugly, worthless, and unloved. I wondered if I would ever heal from the brutal wounds of a broken heart.
Life felt ugly. I struggled to see beyond the mounting bills I could not pay and the chronic health issues that escalated due to the stress I was under. I could not stop thinking about my husband of 34 years being with someone else while I spent another night at home alone.
I felt robbed of the life we were supposed to have together now that our four children were grown and on their own. This was to be our time alone to travel a little and enjoy just being together. I wanted our home to be a place of stability for our grandchildren in a world filled with broken homes.
Shattered dreams were the only thing I could see as I looked at my life. I felt angry and depressed. I felt like my life was over and there was no hope for the future. Every day I woke up shrouded by a cloud of darkness.
I did a good job of pretending everything was okay when I was around others, but inside I was dying. I thought how ironic it was that the man who promised to love me forever was the very person who hurt me more than anyone else in my life.
Being rejected by the love of your life and replaced by someone else will destroy you – if you let it. I spent years living in a dark pit of depression until the pain of staying in the pit was more than I could bear.
Sometimes rock bottom is the best foundation to build a new life on. I knew I had to change my way of thinking. I knew God did not want me to focus on the ugly stuff and waste my life living in a pit of despair. I needed an attitude adjustment.
Scripture confirmed that I needed to change the way I was thinking.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (Philippians 4: 8)
I started to think about what was lovely and beautiful in my life:
- I am saved by the grace of God, and he will never abandon me. As I read his promises in the Bible, I am reminded of his faithfulness and how much he loves and cares for me.
- I have four wonderful kids who would do anything for me.
- I have four grandchildren and another one on the way. Their smiles and hugs are priceless treasures that can brighten even the darkest days.
- I live in the mountain surrounded by God’s amazing creation. The beauty of the world he made is always right outside my window.
- I have a great family and fabulous friends who are always there for me.
- I have a work-at-home job that I love.
Some of the simplest things in life are the most beautiful:
- The infinite beauty of nature-falling snow, flowers blooming, a blue sky, billowing clouds, stars, birds, a warm breeze, the arrival of spring, the colorful leaves in autumn.
- The smile of a baby or the laughter of a child
- A warm cup of tea or hot chocolate sipped in front of a fireplace
- A letter or card from a friend
- A compliment or word of encouragement
- A home cooked meal
Life is about choices. We can’t change the fact that someone hurt us, but we can change how we react to the hurt. How we think plays a huge role in whether we find ourselves living in a pit of despair or living life beautifully. I still have bad days, but every time I think a negative thought, I am learning to replace it with a promise from God.
What will you choose to do today to live your life beautifully regardless of your present circumstances?