Day 20: Beauty in a broken world

Today marks the vernal equinox, the first day of spring (though some of you may have celebrated the start of meteorological spring at the beginning of the month). From some of the photos you’ve shared on social media and from stories you’ve told me, many of you live in a place where spring flowers have been blooming for weeks. I’m still waiting for my daffodils to bloom, though several neighbors have open daffodils already.

What animal sightings conjure up spring for you? For me, one such animal is the rabbit.

A cottontail stays still until I glance down at my camera.

While cottontail rabbits don’t hibernate, spring makes them more active, at least at times when I’m outside to notice them. I see them hopping about and begin to think of the Easter Bunny.

I believed in the Easter Bunny for a much longer time than most other childhood institutions (second only to the Tooth Fairy) because it never occurred to me that Dad would drive home during Sunday School to hide Easter eggs and then drive back to church to bring us home. Perhaps it’s my fondness for our family’s Easter traditions that makes me look for rabbits with joy in the spring. And perhaps because not much is blooming yet, the rabbits haven’t yet frustrated me with their garden dining habits.

Join me in the hunt for beauty?
Where do you see beauty in a broken world? Want to add your own images during the 31-day journey? If so, feel free to comment below with your Instagram handle, and tag your Insta posts with #beautyinabrokenworld. You’ll find me there @pixofhope.

When the (holi)days pile up

Did August zip by in a blur as fast for you as it did for me? Here we are in a new September, a new school year already underway. Soon enough (or maybe not soon enough if you’re living through a heat wave like I am), the days will turn cool and crisp, leaves will fall, and children will dream of costumes for trick-or-treating.

What follows is the headlong tumble through November and December, and before you know it, plastic eggs and marshmallow chickens will decorate store aisles.

Walking by a neighbor’s house earlier today, I had a horrible reminder of how quickly the holidays can pile one on top of another:


Santa and ghosts and the Easter Bunny, oh my!

I am not even making this up. (!)

Other than straightening and cropping the photo and adding a watermark, I did not alter the photo. Do you see the scared Thanksgiving turkey peeking out from behind one of the trees? I felt like hiding, too.

I drove past the house on my way out of the neighborhood so I could take pictures. This is a view from the other side.


There’s even a birthday cake in the shadows for an extra “holiday” into the mix. Happy Merry Thankseastereenmas, everyone!

When I walked by this morning, I thought, “Garage cleaning?” Maybe they were testing all the decorations to make sure none had holes?

As it turns out, someone in the house is celebrating a big milestone birthday today, and I guess her family (and friends, too?) decided this would be the perfect way to announce the occasion.

I’m grateful all of our celebrations don’t happen at the same time and not only because of what the big celebration would mean for our neighborhoods. I like holidays spaced out with time to anticipate, prepare for, and enjoy each one in its own special way.

I’m also grateful that my family celebrates birthdays in a quieter way.

In case this post has stirred a little whisper of panic in your heart or head about the approaching holidays, let me arm you with this Bible verse:

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

—Matthew 6:34

Each day has enough trouble and, I would add, enough to celebrate, too, without worrying about the holidays lining up on the calendar ahead.

I have a long line of loved ones’ birthday celebrations coming up, all before I even have to think about buying giant bags of candy, and I hope to celebrate each one without worrying about the next. What’s the next special occasion you’ll celebrate? And do the holidays ever feel like they pile up on you as these pictures suggest?