The Thrill of Hope is for Sex Too

O Holy Night is one of my favorite songs at Christmas. This year it reminded me our hope in Christ also includes the renewal of our sexuality. As men, we desperately need hope here. O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,  It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world […]

Why do we keep having the same fights?

We’ve been married twenty-three years and we keep having the same fights. I questioned a few things in the beginning, but just hoped they would get better in time. I now fear there will be nothing left between us once the kids leave. It is said love is blind. We often get married with the best […]

Will I Ever Get Over the Shame of My Sexual Past?

I know I am forgiven, but can I ever get over the shame of my sexual past? I do not believe any of us makes it through life without some experience of sexual shame. We often hide this part of ourselves believing our sexual desires are somehow wrong or just not normal. We hide because […]

The Difficult Road to a Championship Marriage

Why is marriage so hard? If we love each other shouldn’t things just click? Did we make a mistake in choosing to marry each other? The experience of marriage can be hard and this is in part by design. While marriage is not meant to make us feel miserable and hopeless, it is part of […]

Embracing the Bittersweet Transitions of Life

How exciting it must be to get married, to see your kids leave for college, or to finally reach the time of retirement! All true, and yet these times can also bring sadness. The transitions of life are often bittersweet. While there can be great anticipation as we move into the next stages of life, […]

Become a Marriage Mentor

It’s exciting and mildly terrifying to start this path of marriage. I love my parents, but wish we had someone to talk to who wouldn’t try to parent us, and who could also be more personal than professional counseling. A young couple embarking on the journey of marriage would benefit greatly from having an older […]

Beauty Hunting

Become Good Soil
January 28, 2014

A professor once reminded me of the need to be intentional about seeking beauty, especially when counseling in the area of abuse and trauma. During each class break she would post pictures from Cute Overload, a blog featuring various cute animals. While the fury animals didn’t always stir my soul, the point was still well taken. We need regular reminders that beauty exists.

Even in a world of indescribable pain, suffering, and brokenness, profound beauty remains. And beauty reminds us of God’s infinite goodness.

To be sure, in the midst of terrorist attacks and the death of love ones it is easy to have our attention arrested by such overwhelming negative events, not to mention cancer, sex trafficking, past due bills, and that gnawing sense we have to prove our worth by staying busy.

Even still, beauty and joy are available if we have the eyes to see.

And so, beauty hunting is an apt description. We need beauty to heal and restore our souls, but we must often hunt for it.

Spend some time beauty hunting today. Where will you look? How will you open yourself up to beauty around you? Check out the linked article above for some ideas to get you started.

‘Only two things pierce the human soul,’ Simone Weil wrote, ‘One is beauty. The other is affliction.’ She was right.  Beauty is unique in its power. Not only to pierce the human soul, but even more to unlock it so that Love can come in and hope can win.

Beauty Hunting - Dr. Corey Carlisle

For the last few weeks I have played this song on repeat many times over. There are seasons in life in which the soul is weary and we feel broken down and tired, as if life is just one big merry-go-round. During these times it is good acknowledge the ache of our souls while also reminding it to rise up. Our faithful connection with each other in Love gives us the hope to do this, even a thousand times again.


Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:11

On Hope

  “In Christ alone my hope is found.” We sing these words and declare them as true, but it seems we practice a very different story in our daily lives. This comes in part from not fully understanding what hope is, and also our tendency to attach it onto unfulfilling things. Frequently we use the […]


On a recent retreat with some friends it rained, a lot. After looking forward to getting out of the office and into nature, I was not a happy camper when I realized it was going to rain all weekend. There is something restorative about being outside, and  my soul desperately needed restoring. I thought: Really, […]