Because Redemption Looks Beautiful on Everyone


For when I look like magnifying glass at the gray strand invasion and watch my aunt, Alopecia bald, walk beauty out of the bathroom,

For when I wonder how to send my daughter to Jamaica and checks come in the mail with the message, “We are honored to give and we’ll cover the rest,”

For words said wrong in the midst of blurry moments and the way they humble, open doors for healing conversations,

For the story told in my living room this week, of a teenage girl who gave up her son and the couple who adopted him.  The way they find each other, embrace tearful, calm the wonderings of twenty-eight years,

For the way a family member said these words fifteen years ago, “We wondered if you would be a good mother,” and how they stick ugly; the declaration of an uncle to me this week, “We are so glad you are in our family.”

For the years of living under the uncertain cloud of alcoholism in a parent and the way a friend says, “You are the only one I know that understands how I feel, thank you.”

For when guilt looms for not doing enough for my man and he texts to say he wishes to spend the day with me.

For when I question the message at the click of publish and someone on the other side of the world responds, “This is just what I needed today.”

For the way He takes our grit and redeems it for His purposes.

Our grit: granules of exposed beauty in the spoken and silent words of collected experience. Because redemption looks beautiful on everyone and for this, I am thankful for the grit.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)

How has He redeemed your grit this week?


 Writing for five minutes (maybe a few more) on the word Grit with the community at The Gypsy Mama today! Join in the fun.

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30 Responses to Because Redemption Looks Beautiful on Everyone

  1. oh friend. i love how you redeemed the grit. i’ve been praying for this redemption, lately, too… love you.

  2. “Our grit: granules of exposed beauty in the spoken and silent words of collected experience. Because redemption looks beautiful on everyone and for this, I am thankful for the grit.”

    I am always blessed whenever I visit your blog. You have created a beautiful, safe place here, where the grit and grime of life can be washed and redeemed. I am thankful for you, and healing words of life you speak.

    • Oh Denise, I am taking your words and putting them in my journal to remember His faithfulness in your words. Thank you so much. You are such an encouragement to me and I am so blessed to have you in my life. All is grace my friend, all is grace.

  3. “For the way He takes our grit and redeems it for His purposes.”

    So true Shelley…. thank you!

    All good things!

  4. This week my grit was nightly headaches, and the beauty found is that I was forced to sleep. He knows what I need so much better than I do! I love how you made us find redemption in the grit today. I needed to be reminded to really look for it rather than dwell in the trouble. Thank you, friend!

  5. Deidra says:

    It’s been feeling a lot like spring in my life lately. And I’m happy, because I have spent SO much time with grit in all of the folds of skin and fabric and clinging to the gray roots and spilling out of my shoes at the end of the day. He uses the grit. He redeems it. And me, too. He lifts me right up out of it and it’s like spring and I feel like dancing in the rain and splashing in the puddles because I know if it had not been for the grit, I’d be complaining about rain on my parade.

    Love you.

    • I didn’t know this, you trudge through grit well and know how to be generous and selfless in the midst of it. So glad you are experiencing spring. What a gift. I feel like I am there too, even in the midst of uncertainty all around me. It’s the grit that helps us recognize we are in spring, isn’t it? Love you much!

  6. Colline says:

    A beautiful reminder of who brings us redemption. He redeemed my grit, my determination never to give up, by giving me a loving family who shower me with love everyday.

  7. For Redemption looks beautiful on everyone. yes.
    beautiful as always, Shelly! Thank you for blessing me with your words here!

  8. Beautiful post. Thanks for this. You’re such a lovely writer and your posts speak to me.

  9. kd sullivan says:

    This is so beautiful. My grit? My grit is sand. And fire and pressure are leaving me a transparent looking glass of colored windows…for the feelings of purposelessness? Je. 29:11. for the cough that won’t go away and leaves me worn? plenty of time to write. for being home bound with no where to go and no car to go there with? also more time to write. God has cleared my schedule…I’d better get to work.

    • Kimberly, I hope you feel better and that you had a day to write and rest. Thinking about you, praying for you and let me know about the guest post on March 7. That is actually my daughters sweet 16, a very special day.

  10. Awesome! I too have redeemed grit! I love the pictures you painted here with your words.

  11. Celeste A. says:

    Grit is a good word to describe patterns of last week which seemed to run over into this week.
    Dirt is how I handled it, literally as I worked in my garden. We had two “nice” days (absence of rain) so I went outside to duke it out with spade in hand. Good therapy.
    I might have mentioned I co-lead a study group. Well last week was my turn. I thought the text important but it seemed like the rest of the group was distracted and I thought, what a waste of my time. A week later I had intended to stay home, give myself a break but, with grit, dressed and attended. Often, what needs work are my own thoughts. The gardening, well that was some good old fashioned sweating it out with my thoughts. The physical work was pretty good too.
    Thanks Shelly, I appreciate your 5 minute Friday.

    • Celeste, I was thinking about you earlier this week, that I hadn’t heard from you and so glad to talk to you today. I am also a gardener and know how rejuvenating getting your hands in that dirt can be. And I get the whole working on my own thoughts. I need help with that every day. It is stormy here today, the wind is bringing in some much needed rain from your days of reprieve. Have a great weekend.

  12. Diane Drake says:

    Checking in with you every morning through your writing makes me wish there was a date on the calendar circled in red ink that says, “Day of Nothingness with Shelly.”

  13. Jen says:

    So glad that I got to link up after YOU so I could come read this. Oh, it is so beautiful and so true. I love how you have turned each of these abrasive situation and shown the redemption. How many people will you bless with this today? Too many to count, friend, too many to count.

  14. I love this painting of redemption….found all in small, and yet so, so big moments of the grit of life.

    • Lisa says:

      for when I am sad because no one from my small group has come back this year and get blessed to be in the presence of a another group of women! Thanks for your message today!

    • Tara, thank you. When I thought of what grit looks like, I thought of all the everyday moments of my life. It’s just gritty every day and I am amazed at how he redeems it all. We are Facebook friends! Yay! I didn’t realize you live in Wisconsin for some reason. We have family friends that own a summer camp there. It sounds divine. Hope you have a great weekend.

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