Purposeful Faith

Beauty in the Cracks of Life

Cracks of Life

Usually, I am prepared for the big breaks. I arm my heart with truth and prayer to beat the all-out smashes of life, but it’s those small cracks, those unexpected issues, that so often send my heart in an emotional tailspin.

Last week, I went on my 10-year anniversary trip. My expectations were higher than the empire state building and all signs were directed to fun.

I drew a line in the bright sandy beach that said “all my eggs are in this vacation basket, nothing can mess with this.”

Vacations are off-limits, aren’t they?

Then, my blog internally crashed.
Email after email couldn’t resolve it.
Four different people couldn’t find a solution.
My husband had various concerns of his own.
The kids were waiting for fun and I felt like there was work to be done.

I knew I had a choice, I could see the big issues in my sight, or I could fight fright to grab hold of God’s might. I chose to fight – to see the great God above me rather than the issues before me.

And, it worked, for, a bit..

…until God whapped me upside my head.

Yes, you heard me right, my friend.

As I entered the pool like the cool, calm and collected “faith in Jesus” girl that I was, I giant bird pounded my head with the speed of a world cup soccer kick.  Apparently this crazy bird thought my bun was nothing less than a tasty soft bun.

Whap! My head seemed to spin with the velocity of all that was coming at me.

And it was in this moment that my hands fell by my side, the tears broke through my face and my heart was cracked wide open. I asked,“Lord, why are you hitting me while I am down? Do you not care about me? What is it that you want to get through my thick skull!?”

Dang. We can fortress ourselves up like Jericho, but still, the cracks find their way, don’t they? They break us down and shatter our worldly and emotional well-being, leaving us saying, “God, how did I end up here? Why did you leave me?”

We amp up our lives with God in the big,
but his volume can seem low in the little. 

Why bother God with something we should be able to handle, right? 

God loses his “needed-status”; he becomes our opponent, rather than our encouragement.

And, this brings me to my patio…(this will all tie together, I promise you).

I first noticed this:

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Abundant dirt in the place where abundant flowers were supposed to reside. So much for nursery promises.

But, then God unveiled this:

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Flowers all throughout the little cracks of my patio.

Flowers, not contained or restrained, potted or predictable, but simply flowers sent on a mission from God.

These flowers helped me see beyond my toddler-like demands of expectation, to see God’s best working ground is in my foundation – in the grime, in the dirt, in the cracks.  

This is the soil where he grows beauty. It’s the soil where things bloom. It’s where the deep roots of faith are sowed.

How often do I take for granted God’s gentle cracks of beauty,
because I am too caught up in the pot that contains no flowers?

How often am I so dead set on my plans,
that I miss God’s desire to spread his seed beyond me?

In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world–just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. Col. 1:6

Fertile soil is a powerful breeding ground for the message of Jesus Christ, it says, “Your will be done, Lord, not mine.”

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Lu. 22:42

Cracks are God’s holy ground.

Our cracks, turn us back to say, “I need you Jesus.” They bring us into his presence. They call us in by name. They set us on our knees. They focus our thoughts on his Word. They humble our hearts into receptivity.

Great seeds of life-growth take root, not always as expected, but in a way where Christ is reflected, where love is invested and so we are redirected.

Ultimately, the cracks launch Christ’s arrows of love straight into the dry-soil of our deep-set emotional issues.

The question is – will we view the small flowers in the cracks as buds of his glory
or will we keep our eyes dead set on what we deserve?

Will we allow attacking birds and cracks in our perfect lives to become messenger’s
of God always-redeeming story – the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Beacons of the great work that God is doing in us.

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. Is. 60:1

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#RaRalinkup Crew – I have decided to open up guest posting on my blog.

Here is how it will work for now:
guest posts will go live the second Wednesday of: January, March, May, July, September & November.

Please submit your posts by the last day of the previous month (Example: if sending for January, please send to me by Dec. 31) to be considered. Some months, I may choose to do a compilation of various bloggers posts. I may also post this compilation to Crosswalk.com as a “What’s Hot in the Blogosphere World.”

So get on my contact page and send your posts in! I can’t wait to see what you write and to highlight your work on Twitter, Facebook, to readers and to all our #RaRa friends.

I haven’t done this before, in part, because I don’t want anyone to feel bad if they are not chosen. I can’t choose everyone, but I am entrusting your feelings to God as we go through this process. Please, always know, you are deeply loved and so valued by me.

Submission details.

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purposefulfaith

Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a “Cheerleader of Faith”, Kelly’s greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

Read more about Kelly

57 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Dear Kelly, in response to your question, I choose to see flowers in the cracks but may not be easy to focus on them but it is worth it in the Long run!
    God Bless you heart and your family, thank you so much for the link up.
    Lest I forget, A Big Congrats on your anniversary. May there be many more joys and celebrations in your life as you continue to do His Work. May God prosper you and your family in many more ways than you expect.
    Sweet Blessings

  • Cracks are God’s holy ground. Amen! God has nothing but joy when we allow Him to fill in our own cracks with His grace, forgiveness and strength. What a blessing it is to recognize the cracks as you did and to open them wider for God to step in. It’s amazing what God will do to get our attention sometimes!!! Hope your day is blessed!

    PS Glad your blog is working again. That is my worst nightmare. Hang in there!

  • “Dang. We can fortress ourselves up like Jericho, but, still, the cracks find their way, don’t they? ” Oh yes, they do! I could so relate to high expectations (for your vacation) crashing down. And how beautiful that God’s grace springs up through the cracks in our sidewalks. Love, love, love this, friend. 🙂

    • Yes, those dang expectations that always pop up! They come to get me sometimes, Betsy, I’ll tell ya! May we just rest in the love of God, instead of our hopes! Thanks for your comment!

  • Your description of the bird and crying…I could do nothing more but shake my head in acknowledgement. Lord, I’ve been there! Not allowing birds and cracks to shake my foundation today. Until they do…and then I’ll get right back up and turn my gaze back to Jesus. Your reminders are so important Kelly. When your website crashed and birds attacked and the husband may not have gotten it, you never gave up. Thank you:)

  • I so love this. I never thought of it that way and it makes so much sense. A light bulb just turned on in my head. God just smacked me in the head with your words. Thank you my friend. I’m also glad to know I am not the only on with a pot of dirt and no flowers.

  • This: “How often do I take for granted God’s gentle cracks of beauty, because I am too caught up in the pot that contains no flowers?” Me too, my friend! I can totally relate. I’m so glad your blog is healed and sorry you had to go through that stress. How exciting you are now offering guest submissions! I definitely hope to submit something in the coming months. I’m always encouraged here, Kelly.

  • What a powerful analogy, Kelly! Yes, we can be so busy staring at that empty pot that we think should be growing flowers, that we can miss the beauty of what God is doing through the struggles. So true, sweet friend! May we see the beauty in what He is doing in our lives!
    Blessings and hugs,
    Kamea

  • What a powerful analogy, Kelly! Yes, we can be so busy staring at that empty pot that we think should be growing flowers, that we can miss the beauty of what God is doing through the struggles. So true, sweet friend! May we see the beauty in what He is doing in our lives!
    Blessings and hugs,
    Kamea

  • Powerful words here. Thanks so much for cheering me up and encouraging me today. Thanks for opening guest post submissions I will try to do my best! Have a great week!

    W/Love,
    Tayrina from TGAWrites

  • Kelly, I love this: “Ultimately, the cracks launch Christ’s arrows of love straight into the dry-soil of our deep-set emotional issues.” Beautiful writing as always sweet friend!

  • A wow! comes to mind concerning the bird. Wow! Those emotions came through, loud and clear. (I think I felt a few, too.)
    “God loses his “needed-status”; he becomes our opponent, rather than our encouragement.” Isn’t this the truth?! I hadn’t thought of it in that way, Kelly, but you’re right. It paints the frustrations of life in a whole new picture. It reminds me of who the Team Captain is and that he’s on my side even in the midst of tough times. Good post. 🙂

    • That stinkin bird. Ha! I don’t want to get angry at God. It’s the worst sort of blame game. Oh, how blessed we are that he pours out grace no matter how we act. Many blessings to you today Kristi as you live for Jesus.

    • Thanks Stephanie. He has a left a picture of real life growth in my mind that will certainly be a helping crutch to hold on to when things break down. Let’s be fertile soil in the cracks of life!

  • mmm … love this, Kelly. and i’ll remember it as I walk down my own path … for there are always unexpected cracks that seem to spring up out of nowhere.

    and He is present in it all …

  • I also have a high expectations. One of our (husband and I) worst fights ever was on vacation in Italy a few years back- we were so mad, we were about ready to push each other off a cliff…. yeah…fun times. And I totally live in the cracks. Thanks for your twitter-riffic pursuit of me and encouragement and #RaRaLinkUp.

  • Kelly, I absolutely love it when I happen upon something blooming in the cracks on my own patio, and what a joy for it to happen to you after that long string of unfortunate events! Thank you for sharing what you are learning from your cracks … it’s both helpful and encouraging! And congratulations on 10 years of marriage!

  • Hi Kelly!
    Happy Anniversary to you! I’m glad you made plans to celebrate, you should revel in your joy. I am sorry about your trials though. It’s so wonderful that you can see the positive aspects of challenges. And that you can bloom in those cracks after all!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

  • Truth straight to my heart: “How often do I take for granted God’s gentle cracks of beauty,
    because I am too caught up in the pot that contains no flowers?” I pray He opens my eyes to reveal His hand working in me. Thank you, Kelly, for an encouraging word. Wishing you two a belated Happy Anniversary!

  • “Ultimately, the cracks launch Christ’s arrows of love straight into the dry-soil of our deep-set emotional issues.” So much truth here. The control freak/perfectionistic issue would be mine. I’m not sure how you accomplished enjoying your anniversary with all that going on, because I’d have a hard time with that one. Only through Christ, right?
    The picture of your flowers through the cracks really brought it home.
    Thank you for this post, and thank you for the link up each week!

    • Thanks Ruthie for your comment. I am delighted that you found much truth here. I hope it can settle deep down into your heart today. Let’s be expectant of what God wants to do through us and for us in those cracks of life. Much love and thanks for joining me today!

  • “Usually, I am prepared for the big breaks. I arm my heart with truth and prayer to beat the all-out smashes of life, but it’s those small cracks, those unexpected issues, that so often send my heart in an emotional tailspin.” That is true, Kelly. We work so hard preparing for the big things that might happen that we aren’t ready for the ones that slip in and can bring us down. May God help all of us to see what He is teaching us in the small, ordinary things. I pray that He will help us remember that we always need Him – for the little things and the big ones. Hope you have a great week and may God bless!

  • Kelly, I loved this post. It is so easy for us to get caught up in our own pity parties, isn’t it? But those cracks are indeed God’s holy ground. I forget that so often. And I think many of us forget that. One of my favorite Christian bands is the group “Jars of Clay.” I love how their name came from the Bible verse that talks about cracks in clay jars. I also thought of the song “Free to Be Me” by Francesca Battestelli because they are so honest. “Cause I got a couple dents in my fender, got a couple rips in my jeans, try to fit the pieces together but perfection is my enemy. On my own I’m so clumsy. But on your shoulders I can see I’m free to be me.” (If you haven’t heard this song, go take a listen!)

  • Stopping in from Word Filled Wednesday. Hoping you enjoyed NY (my old home state) and your anniversary. What a way for God to get your attention, LOL. How did I not know about RaRa Link Up? Just put it on my list. Love it when God fills in all the cracks of our life with His beauty. It then begins to creep into some of the other areas that may have needed our attention – He sneaks up on us that way. I just love Him.

  • A great post Kelly – I was thinking about a similar thing yesterday as I thought about Paul’s thorn, the ever present enemy and the way in which it kept him humble before God – helps to look at our cracks in a different light 🙂

    • Tania, it sure does. I bet you Paul would not have been the man he was without that little thorn to keep him focused, humble and on point. Much love today! Thank you for leaving a comment; I love hearing what you think.

  • Sweet Kelly, I have surely been there. Maybe not with the same details, but definitely with the same emotions. Sometimes it takes being walloped before we can see what God is doing. Praying we will learn to see Him more clearly–through it all. Blessings, friend!

  • I was so blessed by this post and your thoughts on cracks where God brings in life. “Our cracks, turn us back to say, “I need you Jesus.” They bring us into his presence. They call us in by name.” Thanks!

    • Thank you so much for this comment; your words bless me. May God continue to show up big through all your tiny cracks in life. I pray you can rest in the knowledge that he is shaping everything for your good.

  • LOVE this—> “Ultimately, the cracks launch Christ’s arrows of love straight into the dry-soil of our deep-set emotional issues.” I love it when folks like you take the lens to the level of seeing God in the everyday, small moments. That is so much where He resides. LOVE! Tweeting and pinning! Blessings from #EspressosofFaith!

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