Distressed and Beautiful


So, I was feeling all “crafty.”

I took plain wooden letters and smeared a touch of Vaseline on the edges (recommended by one of my crafty daughters). Then I spray-painted the letters, let them dry, and wiped off the Vaseline.

Voila! Almost-instant “distressing.” Then I brushed antiquing paint over the top—all to disguise the fact that I bought the letters at Hobby Lobby a few hours before.

But still. I like the look. IMG_8808

The colors are a bit “Christmas-y” but I figure that we all need a touch of year-round Christmas in our lives.

And you know what? The distressing seemed to bring out a certain beauty.



I have friends going through chemo and radiation treatments. They have lost their hair and their energy. Their bodies and spirits are experiencing extreme distress.

But they are beautiful. These women are clinging to the Anchor of their souls and His loveliness radiates through them.

Watching them, praying with them—encourages me and so many others. God is using the life-distressing to create something remarkable.

FullSizeRender (11)Then there’s my Sunday school class. I am privileged to co-teach a group of senior adult ladies at our church. These ladies know about distress. They are personally acquainted with sickness, extended hospital stays, loneliness, heartache, deaths of a spouse and other loved ones, despair, and great need.

But instead of growing hardened and bitter with circumstances, they agree with the Apostle Paul when he wrote:

 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4: 12-13)

These precious women are amazing.

And they are breathtakingly beautiful.

They have walked and sojourned with their Lord and have emerged as sparkling jewels.

Recently, a member of our class left this old earth and leaped into Glory to see her Lord face to face. Mrs. Katie was 99 earth-years old. Can you imagine the magnitude of a near-century of joys and heartaches?

At her home-going service, there were many tears—tears of grief and sorrow, thanksgiving and joy. This beloved woman-of-God invested in the lives of those around her. Even in the last weeks of her life and nearly blind, she expressed interest and concern for others.

And what a prayer warrior! She may have been tiny in size, but her prayers surely shook the foundations of hell. I will always cherish the honor of hearing her approach the Throne of Heaven—interceding, praising, and petitioning her Lord.

What a beauty.

We are entering the season of joy, hope, and peace. But for many, this time of “glad-tidings” is tempered with the realities of living in a fallen world.

May we remember, that for the child of God, there is purpose in our circumstances.

As we walk through times of “distressing,” will we allow the Lord to deepen our beauty to reflect His?


Have a blessed Christmas!


Leigh Ann 🙂

2 thoughts on “Distressed and Beautiful

  1. Beautiful. I wish I had known Mrs.Katie, but I was fortunate to have grown up knowing women strong in their faith as well. I know God is working on me as I go through this time in my life. But as you said, there is purpose in our circumstances. God has a plan! I love your distressed letters! What a great reminder that we have joy and hope in Christ!


    • Thanks, Jane! Yes, Mrs. Katie was very special. We talk in our class about how we will all be together again on the New Heaven and New Earth and how the hard times here will seem “light and momentary.”
      Working on the letters was an adventure. I find I need visual reminders of God’s promises…so they will likely stay up year-round 🙂 Praying for you in this new life-transition.


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