Each week, we write for five minutes, freely, on a one-word prompt. We write quickly, then post, a flash-mob linking together at Kate Motaung’s site. It’s fun!
This week’s prompt:  TURN

If I’m honest I’ll have to admit that I want a turn to be beautiful. I want my turn … to be attractive and glorious. If I’m honest…

I push that away, telling myself that it’s pride and self-absorption to want those things. So, I pray for humility and turn toward Jesus in repentance and in need of help.

But it’s deep within me. It leaks out no matter how many prayer patches I slap on. This desire for beauty refuses to stay in the shadows, and refuses to back down.

I’ve learned, from experience, much about what makes me unattractive: over-extending, pushing, overselling. Too much work, too much rest, too much fun. Too much me.


Beauty is elusive. I can’t deny wanting it, but the way to it is mysterious … and I worry if even going there would be wrong.

Perhaps I should take my cue from the trees in this season of turning. They have so much beauty, and yet it’s because they are, in a way, dying.

They wait for their time of perfect rest, then their inner beauty turns itself out.

They know when enough has been done, and they are effortlessly attractive.

In their least-productive stage of life, they are at their height of glory.

They are still, quiet, and yet boldly  colorful.

I notice that their reach is not for grabbing or grasping. They hold their beauty out loosely, letting it go to the wind… trusting that there will be more in the next season; a faithful offering that points away from self. 

The tree stands as a quiet reminder of Whose image I bear. The tree subtly points me to the Way…

I long for beauty, because He, who is all beauty, breathed life into me.

I cry out for glory, because the Glorious One knit me together and wove His heart into mine.

These desires are not shameful. They’re from the Tree Maker; the only One who could use a tree to bring life through death.

In trusting stillness, my intended beauty will be revealed.

And when I’m dying to myself and my turn, I’ll experience glory.

The Beautiful Way is not in denying my desires. It’s in the turning toward Him to fulfill them. And like the tree, it was there all along:

A fall tree, a testimony of finished work, offering all that I long for.
A tree, full of death, ushering me into glory, beauty, and life.

15 thoughts on “Turn

  1. Linda@Creekside November 7, 2014 / 4:14 am

    Hi Karen … Don't you love how His creation reaches out and touches us gently, teaching us the lessons that we need to take to heart …

    Appreciate your words … and oh, those photos. They've captured my heart!



  2. Summer Floyd November 7, 2014 / 4:32 am

    i really connected with this. i feel like all women have that heart cry somewhere within even if its manifested in creating beauty in different avenues and areas of their lives. its something we carry deep within us. I have been praying lately (instead of like you said – ignoring it or slapping a bandaid over it) for God to heal me from those things that make me think that i'm somehow not enough. We are made to be beautiful like you said because we are image bearers. Its intrinsic to who we are. I have to say that the most enjoyable women i have in my life are not arrogant and conceited but neither are they mousy and self loathing. They are confident in their own skin. They know they are loved and have something to offer. I loved the photos!! Sometimes I think we are so serious trying to fix us that God just wants us to enjoy Him. Love realized makes love bloom on the inside.


  3. vernetteoutloud November 7, 2014 / 4:35 am

    Hi there Karen, I just want to hug you through my computer. This post resonated so deeply with me. Because this line “I long for beauty, because He, who is all beauty, breathed life into me.” is everything. Such an honest post.


  4. jviola79 November 7, 2014 / 1:06 pm

    This line so struck me – “In their least-productive stage of life, they are at their height of glory.” Perhaps even in our lives, when it seems we are least productive, we are yet producing much for His glory. So encouraging this morning!


  5. Debby November 7, 2014 / 1:40 pm

    Beautiful, as usual. The poetic way your words mine a deeper truth. As jviola79 said, I also was struck ny the truth nature shows us that beauty can be at its most glorious at the end. Thanks Karen, for your thoughtful insight.


  6. Lynn Morrissey November 7, 2014 / 6:47 pm

    Really *beautiful* Karen, and it amazes me how much you say and how deep you go in five minutes. In last year's Xmas newsletter, I wrote about how I want to go out in a blaze of glory like the autumn tree. Thank you for blazing beautifully for Him!


  7. Carol Bovee November 7, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    I have never thought about the quest for beauty in quite this way before, so thank you for something new to process! Loved it!


  8. Jeanne Takenaka November 7, 2014 / 10:29 pm

    The first thing I thought when I clicked on your picture at FMF to read your post: Karen has such a beautiful smile. No lie!

    But, I love how you took the quest for beauty and took it deeper. Sometimes beauty shines most brightly when we are dying—to ourselves and our desires so we can take on the image of Jesus. You have given me good things to ponder as I head into this weekend.

    Beautiful post, Karen


  9. blestbutstrest November 8, 2014 / 4:01 am

    I love this! I need to remember that it's ok to be a tree–beautiful in God's time, used for his purpose and never grasping or seeking glory for myself.


  10. Karen Brown November 8, 2014 / 2:36 pm

    Amen, Summer! Great thoughts! Thanks for stopping by~


  11. Karen Brown November 8, 2014 / 2:37 pm

    And I want to ((hug)) you right back for leaving such encouragement. Thank you!


  12. Denise November 9, 2014 / 8:41 am

    Wonderful thoughts and reminders of what true beauty is, and how we look in all the wrong places. He has made us all beautiful in His sight; there lies a unique and authentic beauty in everyone of us to share and bless others with! Blessings Karen! Thank you for visiting me at Refine Me! ♥


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