You know, I've always been a thinker. Sometimes I wish I wasn't. It's part of how God created me, but it comes with its advantages to be sure. I am highly logical and capable of looking deeper into issues to try and see the essence of truth. Now, with this ability also comes the need for empathy and compassion, and these are things I've only truly learned in the last few years. Thankfully, I'm still learning.

On the other hand, I do struggle with being able to let go. The more I think, the more analytic I become, which usually causes me some degree of distress. My husband is wonderful at taking what comes and then moving on. He doesn't think on things any longer than necessary. He processes through them, comes to a decision or conclusion, and then has peace. But I am both my mother's and my father's daughter. And we are much less inclined to stop when we're ahead.

Today, however, the sweetness of my ability to think and ponder and wonder and dream has given me some comfort. Despite all the ugliness that's cluttered my Facebook news feed regarding politics and religion and the age old conservative vs. liberal argument - as well as the devastating news that the father of a high school friend was killed during a shooting at his store today - I find that God has granted me some peace in the middle of the mess.

My heart was feeling heavy, and I finally just logged offline and decided to take a walk in my backyard with Bella. I prayed for the family who has now lost a father and friend. I watered my growing carrots, and marveled a little over the fact that beauty can co-exist with tragedy. Perhaps, this is how beauty overcomes tragedy: it refuses to die just because the ugliness of the world is still at work. I studied the way our wooden fence is now weathered with dirt and rain, and how resilient little ivy plants keep coming back to climb between the posts. I talked to Lucy, and she kicked her little feet against my fingertips.

One day, when she's a bit bigger, she and I will play in the magic I hope she, too, finds in our backyard. I'll teach her how to draw the honey from a honeysuckle, and I show her how to make flower garlands from the little ones that grow in the grass. We'll pick pecans up from the ground when the leaves turn brilliant colors of red and yellow and orange, and we'll sell them at the farmer's market and make pecan pies for Daddy. We'll build a rope swing for her and push her back and forth, and I'll let her dress up in my clothes and pretend like she's characters from her favorite books.

I know I can't take all the bad things out of the world for our daughter, but I can fill up her life with as much good as possible...so that one day when she finds herself facing tragedy or fear or mess, she will remember the sweetness of God's beauty.

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