beautiful: a shaded life made glorious by grace


Our previously weed-strewn garden is bare, save for a brave flower or two poking through, unhindered now by the crowded entanglement of dried vines,  drooping stalks and knee-high grass.

There’s a strange beauty in the barrenness that precedes new planting and flowering to come. Maybe it’s because it signals a needful breathing space between one stage and the next. A holy pause in which to collect our grateful thoughts.

Our souls have flourished joyfully in the Easter resurrection celebration. And now? Routine is slowly replacing rejoicing, work commitments tend to dull the wonder and unseasonably cool winds make us shiver with a kind of sadness.

Because winter may be at an end but spring is still an emerging season. Though hope presses us to look for signs of resurrection in our souls and all around, knowing we will discover them if we search hard enough.

Sing with his beauty

Our lives are cursed shade

But God has made everything

sing with his beauty



Glimpses of glory

You can’t steal beauty

A cursed world will still retain

glimpses of glory


Like us, plants are beautiful but cursed, fragile and flawed. They begin with stunning splendour and then they fade, wither and die. Their glory may be fleeting but they also bloom again, season after season, when conditions are right for them.

And we have eternity written into our hearts. We are made for more than our earthly frame would suggest. We receive new, resurrection bodies, just like Jesus did. We will live on.

For now, we reveal glimpses of God’s glory, with His light and life within, and as we blaze bold and shine for Him.


Beautifully freed

Jesus took sin’s curse

from us on the cross—now we’re

beautifully freed



I’m linking my haiku with fellow poets who have been inspired by this week’s haiku challenge prompt of ‘Beautiful&Curse’, given by our Poet Master, Ronovan. Just click here to read the great posts being shared… 🙂

16 thoughts on “beautiful: a shaded life made glorious by grace

  1. Joy, I love all your haiku and the photos, too! And this: “We are made for more than our earthly frame would suggest.” Amen! Thank you for your delightful poetry and your reminder that Jesus makes us free.

    Blessings and hugs! Love you my sweet friend. xoxo

    • Gayl, it means a lot to me that you should say such sweet things about my haiku and photographs, especially as the images are all my own, albeit a bit digitally enhanced! God is training me to see beauty in the everyday and I try to capture things close at hand if I can. The butterfly image was taken a while ago at my youngest son’s home. It came into the conservatory and stayed still long enough for me to take some photos. I smiled when I read your haiku and saw your butterfly images this week. They help to remind me how God gives us wings of grace, by which we can fly free from the chains of earth. Freedom is part of our heritage in Christ but we so often fail to receive it to the full. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear encouraging friend! xoxo

  2. Dear Joy,
    Your words bring tears to my eyes today, as I ponder these precious truths:
    “You can’t steal beauty
    A cursed world will still retain
    glimpses of glory”
    Oh how these words speak so well to all that is happening around us! This world, cursed as it is, still retains God’s Glory, to point us to HIM. I love your Haiku and photos today, Dear Friend. I am eagerly waiting for the Lilies of the Valley in your first photo, to open here. They are just peeping out of the ground now! May you be blessed with more glimpses of God’s Glory today! Love and Hugs to you! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, I hope they were healing tears for you. Life can be very cruel indeed and we need reminders that our victory is already secured in Christ. Even our daily struggles, aches and pains can feel so confining and constraining, yet within each day we have access to whispers of grace and threads of God’s goodness unravelling toward us. I see evidence of those things whenever I read your words. I am also eagerly waiting for white bells to ring out from the folds of greenery as the Lily of the Valley reveals her crinoline skirts to the world. The scent alone is lovely, isn’t it? I also lifted my eyes heavenwards this evening and glimpsed twilight descending. It lifted my heart and inspired a few poetic words. I love the soft restfulness of day’s ending commencing. Love and hugs to you, sweet friend! xoxo

  3. Oh Joy, those flowers alone brought beauty into my day. Your haikus did, too. It’s so amazing that we are “beautifully freed.” Thank you also for helping me to see how there is also “beauty in the barrenness.” Love and hugs to you!

    • Oh, Trudy, I know! I spotted the pink flowers bravely holding their own in a sea of mangled greenery and weeds, and decided to capture an image just before they were history. But what a gift to spot some beauty in the garden once it was cleared! Those red and yellow flowers (any idea what they are?) can now breathe easily and have spread themselves wide. And the flame roses were an unexpected present for me from Phil after he returned from a brief trip to the city. How thoughtful he is! I had flame roses in my wedding bouquet and have had a soft spot for them ever since. I guessed the words “beautifully freed” might find a home in your heart, dear friend. Let’s try to fully believe and receive them, yes? Love and hugs to you! xo ❤

    • Thanks, Nancie! I think your reflection on rest helped influence and inspire these words. As I pondered on the need for a holy pause in the space after Easter, I began to think about how resurrection hope is evident in the beauty of spring, a flowering after winter hibernation and stillness. Our souls need it just as much, don’t they? Bless you, my friend! 😊💜

    • Thanks, June! I’m grateful for the gift of words during a busier week than usual. I have to strike while the inspiration and energy irons are hot! Bless you, sweet friend. xo ❤

    • Hello Vashti, welcome to Home Church! Pull up a pew and let’s worship together. I’m deeply touched by your sweet words, and oh so grateful if you feel this is a “soothing and inspiring” place to visit. It has far more to do with the way God inspires and works through me than anything else. My hope and prayer is for all who stop by to feel warmly welcomed, befriended and encouraged. Thank you, lovely friend! xox ❤

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