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Finding Beauty in the Difficult Seasons

I texted my friend Lisa this morning, encouraging her not to miss out on this bike-riding November day with temps in the ‘50's! 
Her response was that she couldn’t make it out today due to a prior engagement, but to make sure I take some awesome pictures on the trail. She knows that photographing while riding is one of my favorite things. 
I headed out on the trail on this gloomy, cloudy, very grey November day with a goal of finding something beautiful. 
Being a fair-weather bike rider, it is easy to find beauty on the trail in the heat of the sun in the Spring, at sunrise & sunset in the Summer, and during the leaf-changing vibrancy in the Fall. 
But ... cold weather. Grey Days. The Winter season. Not so easy. 
This is my first November bike ride ever, and I started off today finding it a challenge to even see something pretty.
I realized that, in this difficult & cold season, that I’m going to have to look hard to find the beauty that is surely hidden on the monotone, November Nebraska trail. 
It’s easy to see beauty in things that are obviously bright & beautiful… but much more difficult to find beauty in the grey, the cold, the covert - in the hard stuff.
I actually then prayed to God and asked Him to show me at least one beautiful thing on the trail today. I looked up right after that prayer and saw this lovely family walking my way. 
The mom and dad were chatting with each other, the kids were smiling & laughing, and their dog was exploring off of the trail. That was the most beautiful thing I had seen on the trail today. I stopped and asked them if I could snap a picture of their beautiful family. 


For me, a girl who thrives in the sunshine & all of the freedom & joy that it brings, the winter season is a difficult one. 
It’s the same with life. I much prefer the easy, laughter-filled days of coasting downhill while the breeze blows gently in my face & the sun keeps me warm. I prefer that over days where the journey feels more like an uphill battle. But the uphill ride makes my leg muscles stronger, my heart pump faster & builds stamina. The difficult seasons are turning me into someone new. Someone who can survive the Winter’s journey … as I look forward to the Spring!
Thank God for that!



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