How Ugly Leads to Beautiful

Beth Demme Blog, Finding Joy 2 Comments

Woman Smiling In Front of Brick Wall

I spent the week pausing to #NoticeTheBeauty around me. This particular week blended the last of my family’s summer fun with the beginning of a new school year. The busyness made it the perfect week to intentionally notice the natural beauty around me and the beautiful moments in my life.

I noticed the natural beauty of fawns feeding in the field behind my house. I was overwhelmed at the incredible color of a deep pink crepe myrtle. I sliced open a tomato and stood in amazement at the St. John’s Cross inside. (Click here to see it.)

As my children launched into a new school year, I basked in the beauty of … them. I said prayers of thanks for their incredible energy, love, and joy.

I invited you to share your stories with me, and you did!

You told me about seeing natural beauty in the form of green grass after a hard rain, a hummingbird who paused to look you in the eye, and a watercolor sunrise that seemed to be painted just for you.

You told me about beautiful life moments like a baby girl reaching out for you, a husband making you laugh, a teenager who was surprisingly kind, and an elderly stranger whose smile radiated peacefulness even as he struggled to walk.

Each shared story was a #NoticeTheBeauty moment for me. It was wonderful of you to share your life–and wisdom–with me. It helped me be more aware of the beauty in my own life.

Your sharing was also a tangible reminder that God answers prayer. I started each day asking God to help me notice the beautiful, and each message was like God speaking directly to me saying, “here’s what I want you to see today.”

It’s been a great week, but it hasn’t been perfect.

In a week when I was intent on seeing the beauty and maximizing the happy moments, the ugly still happened.

The ugliest moment of the week was when I closed the garage door on my husband’s car. The garage door scratched and dented the roof of the car and pulled the satellite radio antenna off, leaving a chunky hole.


I sprinted to my husband’s side, apologies pouring from me at unprecedented speed.

I went from apologies to excuses and then to accusations (why didn’t the garage door sensor work!?). All followed up with defensiveness (it’s not like I did it on purpose!).

My silent prayer went from “help me notice the beautiful” to “hey God I prayed this would be a week of beautiful moments! How could you let this happen?”

Eventually, I worked my way back around to confession and my loving husband worked his way around from anger to grace and humor.

He teased me about how I wanted him to get a new car anyway. He laughed about how much he would enjoy telling the story. And then he told the story over and over, and his friends teased me, too.

The car is still damaged, but the relationship is uninjured. The chunky hole in the roof is ugly, but receiving my husband’s forgiveness has been beautiful.

I wish I had not damaged the car, but it’s good to be reminded of how beautiful imperfect moments can be. The ugliness of my mistake led to something beautiful.

You saw it, too. You saw it in the beautiful color of the grass after a rainstorm and in the smile on the face of a man who could barely walk.

Beauty can exist in hard, imperfect moments. Our challenge is to notice it.

Have you noticed it? What is surprisingly beautiful in your own life? Tell me about it in the comments, by e-mail, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Comments 2

  1. Pingback: But God Prayers - Beth Demme

  2. This is such a great reminder Beth for me. I’d like to be more intentional and pay attention to the beauty all around. When I have really rough days – I have this cute little puppy that makes me smile. My heart feels so good with my cute little friend.

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