A few weeks ago, our youngest daughter Lydia fractured her foot chasing a lizard.  Yes, that’s right. She fractured her foot when a granite countertop toppled over as she jolted to grab a lizard from behind the slab. The granite landed smack on top of her little dainty foot.

Ouch, right?!

She’s always been the kind of kid that just brushes off her bumps and bruises. She’s tough. She’s resilient. She won’t let pain keep her from having a good time. 

Last week, I wrote about my mom’s character as we celebrated her ringing the bell! My mom is always upbeat, always positive, always thinking of others and being helpful. I see those same traits in Lydia. 

Mom won’t let sickness keep her from enjoying life. Lydia won’t let her broken foot keep her from enjoying life either! They are both inspiring to me as I tend to be the person who is looking at what is broken and trying to fix it. They are able to find the joy in the broken things.

This past weekend Marshall’s mom and dad were able to come and visit us. Our first visitors in Florida! Saturday and Sunday we spent several hours at the beach. We were hesitant to go because of Lydia’s foot with her on crutches. But Lydia convinced us she would be careful and it would be okay.

What a delightful time we had! I was elated as I watched our little girl spend hours hunting for seashells and coral. For hours she giggled and waddled on her belly like a seal from place to place hunting buried treasures. For hours she rolled around on the shore with the waves crashing over her.

I was mesmerized by her. 

I was amazed by her attitude. She didn’t complain, she didn’t fuss or demand to go home. She was present. She made the most of her time on the beach – even though it was not her ideal day at the beach. She would have rather been boogie boarding, body surfing and snorkeling. 

She didn’t let her wound keep her from being present. She didn’t let her wound keep her from  enjoying what she could participate in. 

I have learned a lot from Lydia since she hurt her foot. I think we all have. It has brought us together even more as a family as she has needed extra help up and down the stairs and carrying her backpack and lunchbox. 

But this weekend her attitude and presence taught me to not focus so much on what isn’t happening or what I can’t do, but stay positive and focused on what I can do. Joy is found there. Joy is found as my focus turns from what isn’t happening to what is happening. What is working. What is going right. What is good and fun, and lovely.   

This weekend I learned the joy of looking for buried sea treasures with a broken foot and all. I learned that if you sit still long enough there is much beauty to be uncovered, dug up and captured as the waves roll in. I learned the importance of making the most of every opportunity. 

Lydia gave me another glimpse of life in heaven. She showed me a picture of “his kingdom come.” God’s kingdom is here and now. God’s kingdom is made manifest in the sheer joy of a little girl making the most of her time at the beach.  

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1: 8&9)

The smile on her face was filled with the inexpressible joy. So were the sounds of her giggles and the excitement in her voice about the shells she found. Every aspect of our day together at the beach represented the complete fullness of God’s creation. Joy, peace, celebration, love, hope, joy and laughter.

Thinking about her, and looking at this delightful picture of her stirs up emotion for me. It stirs up the reality of a good, good God. It stirs up the sense of hope and peace. The simplicity of a life well lived. Even at age eight, Lydia understands how to live a joyful life, a positive life, a life focused on the good.

These are the moments we must capture and hold on to. These are the moments when we bear witness again to the goodness of our God. 

God is everywhere. He can be found in all things. Look around. He’s in rock n’ roll. He’s in movies. God is in the sound of the waves washing on the shore. He’s in the beauty of the mountains. The majesty of the trees changing into their fall colors. God is in all things. 

Ephesians 4:4-6 says, There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

God is over all things. He is through all things. And he is in all things. We just have to look to find him. I believe Lydia found him in the sand, in the shells, in the waves. I believe I found him in the smile, giggle and joy of a little girl with a broken foot who made the most of her day at the beach.

How are you viewing life these days? Are you seeing all that you can’t do and what is not moving, working or changing? Or are you able to stop and feel the sand between your toes, notice the smile on your childs face, or hear the laughter of your friends and family? 

Can you look at the positive, what is going well and let the good drown out the noise of what isn’t going as well as you had hoped? Can you let the inexpressible joy of the Lord be made known to you as you look for him and seek his presence in all things?

Looking for hope? Check out Cup of Hope Daily Video Devotional!