“Get a picture of that boulder!” interrupted my husband. The excitement in his voice yanked my attention away from the breathtaking waterfall. I matched my gaze in the direction of his eyes, expecting to find a thing of beauty. Nothing in that direction moved me. We entered into a sort of I Spy game.
“Which boulder? Where is it?” I inquired.
“To the right of that big tree,” he directed.
The hunt went on for quite a while. Part of the problem: what he found beautiful looked like a huge rock to me. I finally realized which boulder took his breath away.
Beauty certainly IS in the eye of the beholder!
I kept my opinion to myself and snapped the picture.
What do you find refrigerator-worthy? My aunt places snapshots of sunsets on her frig.
Most parents display their children’s school work. Like me. Years ago, Chris’ test papers decorated our kitchen. Learning came easy to him, so he earned a multitude of A’s. Each one found a place of prominence on the refrigerator.
Then one day Chris got a low grade. Mostly for not following directions. He presented the paper to me in tears.
“Why are you crying?” I asked.
“I’m afraid you’re not gonna love me anymore.”
“Oh, Chris. NOTHING will ever change my love for you. Nothing.”
Chris mistakenly interpreted my pleasure in academic excellence as a measure of my love. I assured him of my love. But his comment made me rethink which papers were refrigerator-worthy. Only the ones which demonstrated great effort were awarded a spot with the comment, “I love you because of who you are. Let’s celebrate your effort.”
How ‘bout your parenting? Do you feel it wouldn’t qualify for a place on a refrigerator? Are you hard on yourself? Is your child’s mental illness (MI) making you feel like a failure? Do friends, relatives, and educators feed your personal assessment? By judging you on your child’s behavior? You’re probably not alone. Many of us focus on our child’s performance rather than our own effort. No wonder we feel unworthy of joining the refrigerator representatives of success.
Do you think there’s nothing beautiful in how you manage your child who has MI? Shift your criteria from what you can’t control to what’s within your ability to demonstrate. You’ll find beauty in your endless effort, unconditional love, and heartfelt prayers.
Celebrate the impact you have in your home. You light a dark mood with your joy. Turmoil that invades your home can’t rob you of God’s peace. When MI causes conflict between family members, you appeal to the One who can intervene. Trusting the Mediator, who reconciled mankind to God through His death, to heal relationships.
Outsiders define good parenting by what they see. Without knowing the challenges you face. Thankfully, the Bible challenges us to be God-pleasers rather than man-pleasers (Galatians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:4). Align your definition of beauty with the biblical definition. What pleases our heavenly Father?
“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory (Psalm 149:4).”
He loves you for who you are. You’re a child of the King. Amazing!
“…The prayer of the upright pleases him (Proverbs 15:8).”
Your prayers delight Him. Imagine that.
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 147:11).”
In spite of insurmountable trials, you maintain your hope in Him.
What’s beautiful to God? You are.
What’s beautiful about God? He’s patient and longsuffering. He’s accessible. He’s on the throne. He’s never changing. He gave His only Son to die for our sins. He sent the Holy Spirit to live within us.
There’s undeniable beauty in God’s power displayed in creation. We find beauty in His Word and promises. We experience it in His sovereignty and power. We depend on His abundant hope and perfect peace. And rest in His unconditional love and faithfulness.
We anticipate the ultimate beauty: His promise of heaven where there will be no more MI or tears.
Reflect on the beauty of God as you listen to Phil Wickham’s song ‘You’re Beautiful.’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfhb0_tmrbc