Praise for the Miracle of Beauty

Sing a Summer Song of Praise for the Miracle of Beauty

Sunday Scripture

Labor Day weekend signals a winding down of summer, and this will likely go down in my own personal history as “The Summer of the Empty Nest.” This stay-at-home mum has had all she could do this summer to simply stay at home, and while I’ve struggled to keep up with all the things that are impossible to do from a distance (like canning tomatoes!), my eyes have borne witness to the miracle of beauty in the midst of weddings and camping trips and a visit with a far-away grandboy.

In Psalm 66, the choral conductor provides lyrics and gives the downbeat to begin my heartfelt response to tall New Hampshire pines, to Colorado’s rugged beauty, and to the familiar green meadows around this country hill.

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
    give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!

Psalm 66:1-3

With a sixteen quart kettle of spaghetti sauce bubbling on the stove right now, I’m in awe of God’s miraculous provision of food through a plot of rocky soil. Yes, I said miraculous, even though it took planting and weeding and picking and some messy business to get from round, red veggies to thick, fragrant sauce. C.S. Lewis’s observation jerks me out of my complacent acceptance of the personal power behind every day wonders:

God creates the vine and teaches it to draw up water by its roots and, with the aid of the sun, to turn that water into a juice which will ferment and take on certain qualities. Thus every year, from Noah’s time till ours, God turns water into wine!

God in the Dock, 13

The Miracle Goes On!

So, in February, when I pour this summer’s sauce over noodles or serve dilly beans with Thanksgiving dinner, I’m invited to a little reenactment of Christ’s feeding of the five thousand in which a little something was made into a lot, in which whatever was offered to God was miraculously made into enough! Can you think of any better reason to keep singing praise to a God who is never inactive, who is always at work either behind the scenes or with big, flashy pyrotechnic grace?

All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name. Selah
Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.”

Psalm 66:5

Let’s gather today around God’s awesome deeds and great power. I’ll get started on a gratitude list right here, and you can join in the comments below:

  1. A family who loves me, warts and all;
  2. Church friends and gracious readers (like you!) who show up with encouragement;
  3. The glorious fruition of a late summer garden.

I look forward to the lyrics you will add to this Sunday morning praise chorus!

Holding you in the light,

Summer spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove summons this observation from C.S. Lewis: “Every year, from Noah’s time till now, God turns water into wine.”

Hey, Northern New England friends!
I’m busily preparing a parenting workshop for the Thrive Conference, and I’d love to share the content with YOU on September 25 at New Life Church in Biddeford, Maine.

Together, we’ll explore biblical principles that inform parenting along with action steps that flow from those principles. The emphasis is on heart attitudes and the parent/child relationship rather than parenting formulas or ‘good behavior.’

Head on over to their Facebook page for more details or visit their website to register!

The fall issue of Joyful Life Magazine is out now, and it includes an article from me! Look for “If I’m Already Forgiven, Why Do I Need to Confess My Sins?” Too, my friend Sue Moore Donaldson is sharing her thoughts on spiritual growth. This print publication will orient your gaze toward the beautiful growth and change that the Lord is working in our hearts and our homes.


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41 thoughts on “Sing a Summer Song of Praise for the Miracle of Beauty”

  1. I am grateful God has brought us thus far and He will lead and guide in the days ahead. I just finished reading Psalm 66 and it was verse 16 that blessed me: “Come and hear all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul” (NASB). He works in each of our souls – such a deeply personal and loving God we have!


  2. My heart is ‘stuck’ on this one line of the old hymn…”What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer”. When we feel a nudge to pray for someone… can you just imagine the angelic scene behind the curtain? Dark shadows being zapped by the LIGHT! Thankful, thankful! A friend emailed this week asking if my family was ‘ok’. She woke up in the night with a strong nudge to pray for my sister. Actually is was my sis-in-law that was in dire need! Her son is waiting for surgery on a brain tumor, and was rushed to the ER with a seizure that night. God is so good. So many prayers went up, and continue! With summer’s end, new journeys begin. With a lot of trust.


  3. To me now at the latter time in life, thankful each day I wake, and then the day goes smoothly. I can still walk, no major illness, and have been blessed in so many ways in my life. Not thankful that my son and dil have this nasty Covid right now. Leaning on God to help it all go away for everyone as it is rampant again, and hospitals full once again. But, still so much to be thankful for.


  4. So happy to catch up with you here today, friend! I’ll add a few to the gratitude list:
    ~the way the fields beside our house turn buttery yellow with goldenrod this time of year.
    ~the teachers who are investing in the lives of my oldest two.
    ~a great new job for my husband.
    So thankful for God’s many blessings!


  5. That spaghetti sauce sounds wonderful! I can smell it now! Gardens do teach us so clearly about the care of God for every aspect of life! May your fall work at home and writing and speaking be blessed!


  6. Thankful for a gorgeous field of sunflowers we visited on Saturday, the promise of cooler weather and gratitude for a grandson who remarked, “The fun never stops,” when all I could see was a jam-packed day.


  7. I was in your kitchen with you, smelling your sauce and enjoying your heart! Canning up summertime! I love that C.S. Lewis quote! God’s wondrous deeds – one is that He brings full life in every season – even if our nests empty out!


    1. I wish you really had been there! I’m trying to pay more attention to atmosphere instead of charging through life half blind. On a day of simmering sauce, though, I don’t even have to light a candle!


  8. I’ll add a line about close encounters with the woodland creatures of our environs–the birds, squirrels, deer, foxes, chipmunks, and more. I sense God’s presence especially strong in those quiet holy moments.


  9. I’m thankful that God has revealed His presence and love to our family during a year of upheaval.
    I’m thankful for His mercies that are new every morning, that He sustains me through every day, even when I’m not very nice to others or myself.
    I’m thankful for the smiles of my boy-men and the laughter we get to share.
    I’m thankful for an amazing husband who loves me oh, so well.
    I’m thankful for friends who have held me up on hard days this year.

    PS—If ever you’re in Colorado again, will ya let me know? 🙂


  10. I am so grateful for the wonderful sunny yet cool weather we’ve been having and for my incredibly sore muscles that got me to the top of the mountain this weekend.


  11. What a beautiful post, Michele, and so true! I love the reference from CS Lewis. I had not read that before, and it really resonated with me. Thank you for being a part of Hearth and Soul. I hope this season of an empty nest gradually becomes even more fulfilling.


  12. That spaghetti sauce sounds so delicious!

    I am grateful to be alive today and for the sun to rise each day. Fall is my least favorite season, but I’m still grateful it’s here as we need the change of seasons to keep the Earth lively. #PoCoLo


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