Encouragement Faith Life

Broken Shells

I have really struggled to write since my dissection and TIA. I have what health care professionals call brain fog – concentration on some things – is hard for me. Hopefully, not everyone around me notices, but I know.

Believe it or not, the drivel that I post really takes some time and thought to even reach drivel level writing. I write, re-write, edit, trash and start over. Then, there is the technical side of publishing it. It isn’t hard, but the thought of it all makes it feel like my brain itches in a place I can’t scratch.

Writing almost hurts physically now.

Last Wednesday night, my son-in-law taught a message to the youth group on commitment. He talked about how we are known by what we are committed to. People are known by what they are willing to put in the work and get done.

So, the next morning, I was sitting here at my table way before the time that I have to get up and praying that it would get easier. Maybe if I put in the work, I can be known as a writer who is committed to sharing the truth that even though Jesus loves us, we all struggle sometimes and maybe, just maybe, I can encourage a few people.

So, here goes…

This summer, Russell, Caleb and I went on a short vacation to Gulf Shores.

This is us parasailing – an activity that includes one of my for real fears – heights and a kind of fear – water. See, that dissection was good for something!

There were a lot more shells there than on the beaches we have visited in the past.

I have always enjoyed looking for shells and have wanted to make cute crafty things with them, but have never been able to find perfect shells so I just put them in a jar with sand and that was the extent of it.

Nifty little jar of broken shells.

This year, as I wandered down the beach picking up pieces of shells and thinking about how I wished they weren’t broken, I had one of those light bulb moments.

SIDEBAR: I am not bright enough to light my own bulb. When I say I have had a “light bulb moment”, what I mean is that I believe the Lord has given me a clue. I believe he speaks to all of his children and gives all of us clues, we just don’t always listen.

Back to the beach…as I picked up shells and thought, “Oh, I wish this one wasn’t broken! I’m sure it was pretty. Look at the colors. This one must have been huge…” It occurred to me that just because they were broken, it didn’t mean they weren’t beautiful, useful, to be appreciated, be applauded, be celebrated, be________________….whatever you want to put in that blank.

So I started gathering…

I collected the ones I liked broken or not. I even got Russell and Caleb to get up and go walk the beach at low tide to pick up more because according to the internet, low tide is the best time to gather shells. Low tide was 2 AM.

SIDEBAR: The shells were not any better at 2 AM but the memories were wonderful.

I brought all the shells home, washed them and sorted them, did a little You Tubing on how to drill a hole in a shell – not terribly difficult, but more so than I had imagined – and made a wind chime.

The point you ask?

Stop chasing perfection. We are all like shells. Some people have been hit hard and are broken and have sharp edges. Some people have been left in the sun so long, their brilliance has faded. Besides the things that life and just being human throw at us, and even if we don’t want to admit it, without Jesus, we are all broken by sin.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t always try to be and do our best but I am saying stop thinking it has to be perfect to be celebrated. We should celebrate the little things, the everyday things. Celebrate the pieces, the colors, the memories, the things that have come apart so that other things could come together…

My wind chime made from parts and pieces.

Dear Lord, I ask you to bless the person reading this right now. I ask that you take their brokenness and show them blessings they receive from it. Remove anger and resentment and frustration. Give them hope for today and a thankful heart for tomorrow.

And after two mornings and one afternoon, I have produced drivel. Thank you Lord!

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43 thoughts on “Broken Shells

  1. Thank you for the message Misty Diann. God picks up the broken pieces and uses them to write our life-masterpiece!
    Lindsay Crain spoke at our church Sunday morning about Victory in Trials. And he said “wisdom is the ability to see life from God’s point of view.” He also quoted a stated from a woman whose husband had experienced a massive stroke. Instead of complaining, she asked “pray that I’ll have the wisdom not to waste all this.” Oh, that we would all live our lives with this attitude.

  2. Thank you so much Misty❣️❣️❣️Beautiful as you are ! I’ve been really struggling and Christ’s words through you have spoken down deep❣️

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