I wasn’t going to end my vacation this early. I just finished the first draft of my novel and didn’t have time to write a blog ahead of time like I usually do. Writing ahead allows me to come back and edit, making for smoother reading without so many typos and cleaning up my tendency, toward, comma – happiness,,.

But God woke me up with a message.

He brought to my mind the pampas grass outside my bedroom window.

Every time I look at it, I think of God. The light touches it holy. Something about the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAway it reaches toward the sun gives me a dose of peace. I often pray when I look at it because I know God is never apart from His creation.

If it reached toward others of its own kind, I would focus on them and make comparisons. Where does it lack fullness… is it as tall as its cousin in the neighbor’s yard?

But the light hits it so lovely and it always points to the Son. It reaches toward the sky with such grace, I know that it lacks nothing.

If its arms lowered to peek at its cousin, it may forget to rise up again because the cousin next door is oh so beautiful. Maybe it would forget to stand up straight because the cousin looks so abundant, every arm in place, a perfect curve on top.

Its beautiful arms slouch. Heaviness presses them down until they no longer receive the nourishment from the sun; the center lays empty, exposed to the world.

And it withers – it’s beauty darkens, drains into the earth. It catches the loose branches blown from the neighboring yard and stuffs itself full of another’s beauty, but instead of glowing, it lays heavy in shadow.

Friends, if you lean too heavily toward the world, it will strip away your peace, your self-esteem. You don’t need the curves or abundance of your neighbor. When you shine with God’s glory – when you stand tall in the beautiful way He made you – others will see it true. If you reach in the right direction, you will point others toward His perfect peace.

If we point toward God, our daughters won’t feel like their self-worth lies in the eyes of guys. If we reach toward our creator, our sons will see true beauty, and marry girls that shine with God’s glory.

If we let God be our focus, our children will know how to mend the broken places.

God is endless grace. He blows in Fall to clean the dead branches away, and wraps us with Spring, making us new again.

And He says, “Rest in Me, grow toward me, My beautiful creation. And I will bring you peace.”