There’s a stretch of interstate that’s my favorite this time of year.

It’s a route we take often – the one with the gentle curve and the slightest incline that leads with nature’s gradual crescendo – and just as we round the last turn, the trees explode with the changing of the seasons. Reds, yellows, and fire-orange, just screaming His name in layer after layer of colorful hues.

“Don’t miss the beauty,” I tell them.

Those rowdy boys in back are too deep into loud talking and rock-paper-scissors to be bothered, but that spunky girl always finds a way to make sure they’re listening. “Boys!”

“Look up! Don’t miss the beauty…”

There’s a fine line between encourager and boss. Lord, channel that girl. Their eyes connect with mine in the rearview mirror, and we talk about how God gives us glimpses of His beauty at just the right time. Glimpses that remind us that He’s here and He’s good and He’s the giver and sustainer of all.

 “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts…”

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Crisp, fallen leaves crunch under our tires as we pull into the driveway. What was beauty just five minutes before is now a reminder of the work that has to be finished before winter comes. That, plus there are groceries to unload and a million and one things to do inside; and on a time crunch at that – our house would be filled with guests soon. No longer a captive admirer of the gentle curves and inclines of the road, I’m now a mom on a mission.

While I rehearse my to-do list in my head, that girl of mine makes her way up the front walk… sorting leaves into their fall color categories, noting the character and beauty of each along the way. That’s how imaginative six year olds do life, you know.

Head down and up to my ears in produce, I hear her call out to me,

Look up, Mom. Don’t miss the beauty!”

And just five minutes off of that gratitude-filled interstate, I tell her to move that rock off to the side to where she found it before I stumble over it on my way to accomplish the urgent.

“They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works…”

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“But it’s so they know, Mom,” her voice clearly frustrated, yet sincere.

“So who knows? So they know what?”

“So they know that we love Him.”  Who? All who were set to enter through the doors of our home that night.

That old rock – sloppily painted with chubby hands at Vacation Bible School and weathered by years of season changes – had suddenly become the message of her heart. Smack in the middle so you couldn’t miss it: JESUS… the Source of her gratitude. While I had spiraled into worry over cooking times and floors that desperately needed attention, she had continued in worship. While my head looked down to the tasks that seemed so urgent, her eyes looked up to the provision of a Savior.

And she didn’t miss the beauty.

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The beauty that gratitude isn’t something that we practice only when it’s comfortable. But that He’s worthy of all that we are, in every season, because He is good.

The beauty that Jesus isn’t someone that we place to the side when we have better things to do. But that He’s before all things and in all things and holds us together moment by moment, because He gives great grace.

The beauty that Jesus isn’t only found once a week through heavy doors in a padded pew. But that He’s found in the colors and the leaves and in the very rocks that cry out His name.

Oh friend, do you see Him?

Look up!

Don’t miss the beauty of who Jesus is and what He’s done for you today.

Then display Him front and center, so that others might come to know the true, lasting Source of Gratitude because of the Beauty that lives in you.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.

He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness,

and light dwells with him. “

~ Daniel 2:20-22

 At His feet,

*LET’S TALK: What beauty can you stop and thank God for today? I’d love to hear your heart in the comment section below!

{Week 1} Challenge: “Every day this week, set your alarm thirty minutes earlier than your normal wake-up time. Purposely use this time to: 1. MEDITATE on God’s wonderful works (Psalm 145:5), 2. PRAISE God for what He has done (Psalm 145:1), then ask Him to give you opportunities to 3. TELL of His power (Psalm 145:6) in your interactions with others this week.”

W1 Challenge

{Week 1} Reading Plan:
Reading Plan Image W1

{Week 1} Memory Verse:

Week 1 Memory Verse

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