Have you ever gotten so used to something in your environment that you forget it’s there?
Do you have consistent parts of your daily routine? How does repetition change the way you see those activities, for example, a commute you make so often they all blend together?
Sometimes small details go unnoticed, especially when days get hectic.
Beauty is Everywhere
Have you ever traveled and found yourself reflecting on the beauty of your trip once you returned home?
I recently traveled to Colorado to visit family and found myself continually enjoying the beauty of the nature around me. Specifically, I found myself appreciating being surrounded by views of mountains. It so starkly differs from the Minnesota views that exist at much lower elevations.
I love the beauty of Minnesota’s natural resources, and I also love seeing beauty in other places. But I realized how much more aware I was of my surroundings because they were something that I don’t often get to see.
My cousin and I went to Rocky Mountain National Park to hike, explore and look for wildlife (from a safe distance). The views of the mountains were so fun for me! And they prompted me to think about how I perceive the views I see out my windows daily at home.
Just a couple of the stunning views I enjoyed while visiting family in Colorado. These were taken in Rocky Mountain National Park
Do I think about my drive the same when it’s a view I get to see every day?
That thought started me on a journey of wondering where I could find the same experience of beauty in my ordinary environment. And how to continue to notice beauty in the ordinary of my everyday routines.
Finding Beauty that Gives Joy
Sometimes we get so used to something in our world that we forget to notice its beauty. This brings to mind the practice of gratitude and how developing a daily practice of gratitude is so good for our mental health.
It also brings to mind how God talks in the Bible about giving us our daily bread. This daily bread can relate to physical providence, but it also applies to emotional and spiritual needs as well.
God has made this world so intentionally. And because of that, there’s beauty woven into so much of the world around us! God is also so intentional with us. I believe when we see beauty in our ordinary lives it’s a sign of God’s love for us.
The Bible also talks about how the flowers of the field are dressed gloriously and fit for a king. While this talks about trusting God for provision, I think it also shows the beauty in the details. How God means for us to take time to see the beauty in the details of the world around us.
How to Search for Joy and Beauty in the Everyday
I’ve started being more intentional in looking for these little moments. Some people call these a “glimmer” that can infuse joy into our daily lives and ground us—even if we are experiencing stress or struggle.
These are the daily small moments that shine through and turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.
And for me, these moments often are nature-themed in some way.
Whether it’s the sunrise on the way to work, a beautiful flower pushing up through the cracks in the sidewalk, or dew drops on a spiderweb on the railing as I leave my apartment building to go to work.
The mundane can be sacred, and it can be important to combine those areas of life in our minds. Just like we don’t have to wait until we’re in an organized service to engage in worshiping God, we don’t have to wait to appreciate nature until we’re out of our normal lives and environments.
We can see it every day. In choosing to notice small glimmers of joy and beauty throughout the day, we’re choosing to cultivate a practice of small moments of worship scattered throughout the day.
This practice helps continually remind us of God’s goodness and presence. When we train our minds to look for those beautiful details and connect them to a practice of gratitude and worship, we’re training our brains to “meditate on things above” (Colossians 3). To include God in the day-to-day moments instead of disconnecting our life from our faith in those moments.
Don’t Wait for the Next Big Trip
I may not always be able to plan big trips. Or get away from life to be in the wilderness for long stretches at a time. Most people, like me, have responsibilities like work and families that have us engaged in our daily lives.
Rather than waiting for the next big trip, how can we take the wonder we’re used to experiencing in other places and look for places to experience that wonder in our daily lives?
I know for me, sunrises and sunsets never cease to amaze me with beauty. They leave me feeling joyful and even giddy!
I always listen for the first thunderstorm of spring, because I don’t hear thunder all winter long. So for me, it’s a sign the seasons are really turning and spring is here!
Finding Joy and Beauty with Others
This is also a great practice to teach to kids!
Kids are already so curious and so apt to notice details. As we introduce our kids to God and the enjoyment of being in nature, we can show them these little moments in life are moments to choose worship and express gratitude to God for the beauty of the world He’s given us.
These brief but impactful moments of encountering God’s beauty in the world and love for us also remind me of the importance of child-like faith. So when I practice them with the kids in my life, it makes the wonder of the moment that much greater.
These glimmers can also be shared. Do you have a friend or accountability partner to whom you can send pictures of your little moments? Or if you know special things that make their heart glad, how can you be watching to send glimmers to the people you love?
How can you look for beauty in places that seem mundane and might be overlooked?
Where can you find the beauty of nature in your everyday activities?
Here are the verses I used in the article in case you want to reflect on them further:
- Colossians 3:1-2
- Matthew 6:11
- Matthew 6:28-31