Monday, July 21, 2008

Random Beauty

Beauty from ashes...you know that's my "life verse". It's what I am waiting for. The other night I realized again, quit waiting and count the beauty now. That's what I plan to do. Tell of the beauty...thus far. Had I not gotten sick, had my marriage not fallen apart most of this beauty would not have occurred. I am still holding to that promise for my marriage but I want to share the beauty along the way.

David (my son) left on his mission trip to Mexico a couple weeks ago with a heavy heart. You would never know it unless you were his mother. He is a kid with a permanent smile upon his face but I knew his heart was heavy. He hurts for me, he hurts for his sister and he hurts for himself. I had prayed that God would just bless him in a huge way and that he would come back changed. Well, boy did he!! David had an amazing time. God worked on him while he worked on building a home. All of the beauty from this cannot be counted because it will be life-long. But for now I will tell you this, David sent a text to his dad. That is huge. That is the first contact that David initiated in 5 months. I'm not saying anything more will happen, but to me that is beauty. Here are a couple pictures of my son, in whom I am well pleased.




Now to give equal time to all members of this family. The other beauty that God has brought forth involves my daughters. Yes, that is plural. Even though P belongs to Don from his first marriage, I still call her my own. Awhile back I told you that was a long story, so here is the short story....Don and his first wife divorced when his daughter, P, was less than 3. He moved many many states away and never saw her again. (He did all the "right" things, child support, etc. but no contact). Our children had been in contact with her over the computer so last Christmas I invited her to come and stay with us. Even though she hadn't seen her dad in 17 years, she came. Isn't God AMAZING!! This summer she came back and stayed here. She feels like the kids and I really are her family. There's no relationship (yet) with her dad but it will come. In the meantime what beauty to have another daughter and for my kids to have an awesome older sister. Here are Ellie and P. Beauty, huh?


Now for some other random beauty....believe it or not before my illness I really did not spend time on the computer. I did some work on it and I emailed but I would have never spent time on it for pleasure, to read blogs and certainly wouldn't have thought I could "meet" friends. What a surprise!! God has led me to help facilitate a Bible study online with a forum that has over 200 women. Through that I have met some of the most amazing people ever. We are sharing, taking off our masks, getting real, praying and finding freedom. And God is letting me be a part of it all. Beauty. I've seen women really leave their pasts behind, others have cried out in loneliness and found friends, old ladies are learning to type again (ha), addictions will be overcome, God is so good!! I'm not saying this is happening because of me, I am saying that God is showing me beauty in the midst of my ashes. And I love Him for it.

Don't wait for the storm to clear. Don't wait for the wounds to be completely healed. Start looking around now for the beauty. It is there. Let me tell ya, I would not trade the beauty God has bestowed on me and my family over this past year for anything. Not even my health.

Beauty from ashes.....




32 comments:

Nicole said...

Sheryl,

I've been wondering how you are doing. I'm glad to read this post. Sounds as if you are doing okay with Jesus. So good to hear your last few sentences.

Blessings,
Nicole

Suzanne said...

Isn't it just such a God thing when you can see the beauty during a time that is painful in so many ways? God is using you in such an amazing way! Thanks for continuing to let God work through you to touch the lives of others and help them to see how good God really is!

Kim in NC said...

Hey Sheryl,

Your faith and your strength never cease to amaze me!

Brought me to tears to hear that David contacted his dad.

Praying for you and your beautiful family.

Kim

Jenn @ Casa de Castro said...

Somehow your post reminds me of Scott Krippayne's song. "Sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child." I used to HATE storms, but my dad taught me to look for the amazing power of our Creator when I'd see thunder clouds form and lightning flash in the sky. He taught me that so I wouldn'g be AFRAID of the storm, but in so doing, he also taught me to actually look for God and His power IN the storm. That translated to the storms of life and how God can use the rain to refresh my soul and use the lightning and thunder to get my attention. Now I don't hate storms. I just look for God in them, just as you looked for and found beauty in the work He is doing in you and your children.

Praise God!

Laura said...

Sheryl,
Tears flow as I read your post. Our situations may be different but yet are the same. The struggle is what it is but what God is doing within us and through us is just amazing.
One thing that I have learned that through the toughest times the closeness that I am to him is so special and its through these times that you know who YOUR GOD is.
He is faithful and awesome and today I just praise him.
I don't know how to get through this storm right now but all we can do is hold his hand.. He is the master of the seas!

Mary said...

Loved the pictures! It is good to not only read about your children but to see them! I know you are proud of each one, and rightly so!

We rejoice with you in the good news concerning David and how God is working through his hurts.

I love what you said, Sheryl. .
Don't wait. . . don't wait. . .
Start looking around NOW for the beauty. It is there. A powerful message for all of us. And what a glowing testimony.

I love what I read from "The Perch"

mary

Kimberly said...

You're children are beautiful, your daughter looks a lot like your picture! Thanks for letting God use you to speak to others and encourage them to "Choose Joy". :) Thanks for being my encourager. I am glad God placed you in my life! Have a great evening!

Love ya much,
Kimberly

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Sheryl,
This is a beautiful post just like you and your heart. Sometimes I feel so far behind where you are. I know we are not to compare but after a year of being without beloved I feel I should be ahead more than I am.

I am where you are in seeing the beauty in the midst of all those ugly ashes but I can't get the view of the ashes out of my heart. Does that make sense?

I love seeing the beauty from your eyes. I think it is so precious how you have embraced your stepdaughter and she's embraced all of you though she's never been a "part" of it all. That is so amazing. I know great things will come eventually with the contact David made with Don.

God is a brewin', yes He is.

He's a brewin' up a wonder blend for both your life and mind. But you are SO right, we need to enjoy the time of brewin' and not just waiting for that first delicious sip.
Love ya, friend.
Paula

A Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Sheryl-
How nice to see the faces of your precious children! I am thrilled that God is working so mightily your son’s life and the effects are so – so obvious. So sweet to invite your step-daughter to be a part of the family -your acts of kindness will never be forgotten. You have such a beautiful heart that is full of love. You are amazing.
Beauty from ashes…I love it.

Ang baylis said...

Dearest Sheryl,
Beautiful. Just absolutely Beautiful. This whole post gave me the chills. I am not kidding. If I had to tell you what was the most touching? It would have to be the fact that David texted his dad. Beautiful.

Beauty from ashes...
Love you,
Angie xoxo

p.s. Thanks for bringing me to tears tonight.

Cheryl said...

Sheryl,

That was truly a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing!

I'm thrilled to hear that David had a life-changing experience.

Your heart is so beautiful to call P your daughter. A lot of people would have problems in that area.

Blessings!
Cheryl

Joyfulsister said...

Hi sheryl,
I didn't start blogging too until I had started treatments, but I'm also glad I did, I have met wonderful sisters like you during my blogging journey. Your children are beautiful, keep living, laughing, and keep loving, the best is yet to come. Hugz Lorie

Yolanda said...

Sheryl,

You have a BEAUTIFUL FAMILY! Inside and out, just look at the radiance of those smiles! And I love the joy that Christ is putting deep down in your heart that bubbles up onto this awesome post.

Love and friends,
Yolanda

UL Cards Fan said...

Dear Sheryl,
T h a n k s for the shoutout!
Writing through tears makes it especially hard for the typing challenged. I love you. LINDA

Debbie said...

Sheryl,

I quickly looked at your blog last night, but today I stayed a little longer, read a little deeper, and loved a little stronger. May God continue to use you, in all areas of your life. I am particularly thankful we met! You, my dear, are a great encourager! Beauty from ashes, love it! Praying for you and your family.

Love and Blessings, Debbie in Tennessee

Amy said...

Praise God...... Isn't He so good to us, even when we don't see it. I know you are so thankful with the work He did with David on the missions trip.

Technonana said...

Sweetie... I am so happy for David.. God will heal his heart.. no matter what his father does or does not do!!! I just love this post... what a difference God's love can make!!!!

Jenn said...

Everytime I read your posts I am uplifted. You are an amazing lady! What a beautiful post.

s r said...

Oh yes! I can't say it any better than these ladies who are so eloquent & share dearly! In particular, Scott Krippayne's song about God either calming the storm or calming His child is absolutely AWESOME. How true each & every time for those who seek Him!!

Thank you for your reminders, that beauty from ashes can be REAL + PERSONAL for everyone. Praising Almighty God through our only Living Hope Jesus! --Susan T.

Fran said...

Sheryl...
So beautifully written! So perfectly true. I'm so happy for your children...all of them. God is doing great big wonderful things in all your lives.

Have a wonderful day!
Big hugs,
Fran

De Anna Morris said...

Thanks for sharing. I loved how you point us to look for the beauty among the ashes of our lives. This would be the same as "In everthing, give thanks".

I needed to hear this.

cheryl said...

I jumped over here from LPM hope you dont mind. I loved your blog! I went through a very rough divorce 6 1/2 years ago after 21 years of marrage. But God has blessed me so much since. I have a son who went through alot of saddness and feelings of rejection as did my 2 daughters. 2 years ago he gave his life to Jesus and man what a change ! He is in Thailand right now and has been all summer. He has decided to go into full time missions after college. One of my daughters is in India right now for 2 weeks. She and her new sweet Godly husband are youth ministers at a local church. God was quick to bless me after my husband left us. He has given me a wonderful godly man who I cant imagine ever living without! Definitly beauty from ashes!

Kim said...

What a BEAUTIFUL post....and what a BEAUTIFUL family!!!!

You are SO right...God does make BEAUTY out of ashes.

Be blessed friend.

Kim~

Susan said...

Sheryl,

Each time I come over here I see more and more beauty abounding in your life and in the life of your children.

You give us all so much HOPE!!

Thanks for sharing your journey with us all, our lives are so enriched because of it.

I was thrilled to read about your son's mission trip and the text message!! Wow...

He is one handsome young man! Yes, his life will never be the same.

Your daughters are both beautiful!!
(Just like mom...)

Your plate is full, and your heart is so pleasing to the Father.

I'm so blessed the Lord allowed our paths to cross!!

They that wait upon the Lord ... shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Keep holding on my friend♥

Earthmommy said...

This is such a vital message. We can waste our lives waiting for what we think is "beauty", while we miss out on the miracles happening all around us, every single day.

Nicole said...

Sheryl,

I tagged you. Visit my blog for instructions. I decided to tag you amd know more about you because you inspire me in the midst of your trial. I look forward to learning six random things about yourself.

Hugs and Blessings,
Nicole

Dancin' Wallflower said...

Sheryl,
I had not read this blog until this AM after we talked last night! I never knew that beauty to ashes was your favorite verse. It still amazes me how God puts all things together. It is no accident that our paths crossed. I cherish our friendship!! Love ya girl to the stars and back!!!
Kim

Jenn @ Casa de Castro said...

Sheryl,

There's a little something for you over at my blog. :)

Amy said...

I have left you a little something special over at my blog...... Thanks for Blessing me.

Amy said...

would love to chat with you by email.
Amy041774@yahoo.com

Terra Hangen said...

Hi,
I read a post of yours at Amrita's blog today, and came over to visit your blog.
How wonderful that your son had a life enhancing experience on the mission trip.

Tightening the Corset Again said...

I am most inspired by the testimony in progress... it's one thing to proclaim that you had faith once you've arrived.. I wanna see people who are trusting Him while still in the midst of the storm! You are already a blessing to me and I just found your blog an hour ago!