The Beauty in Becoming

Everyone likes ‘before and after’ photos. You know the ones. The before the diet and after the goal is reached; the empty canvas and final painting; or the blank page and the completed essay.

You know what’s not so popular? The photos that show the road between the start and the finish. That’s where the real work is done. It’s the day to day struggle to become healthy or create a work of art. Those days aren’t very flashy. They don’t spark rounds of applause. They’re messy and sweaty and sometimes they don’t show much progress at all.

But to Our Father they are beautiful.

He can see us working; putting up with the pain, the challenge and the rewrites. We are his beloved children, and all he sees is his children learning and working hard to succeed. It just warms his heart.

I remember a college science project that had to be completed to pass the course. I had to get two kinds of microorganisms on one slide. Everyone else seemed to breeze through it. Oh how I tried. Day after day I’d mess up again and again. I’d get one on there, and then flood it right off the slide trying to add the next.

On the last day of class I finally got it right. My teacher reviewed it, said “Good job”, and promptly smeared the slide with his thumb. (I suppose that was so no one else could use it?) I didn’t care, I was so glad to be done.

I didn’t see it then, but the time between the clean, empty slide and the smeared one was holy. I was using my skills, staying on task and not giving up. I know that the Lord was looking down on me, smiling and cheering me on. How he loves to see his little ones use their gifts!

The fast-paced, “get it to me now” mentality encouraged me to skip the joy and beauty of the creative process. I got too caught up in the assignment and the end result. I had no patience or appreciation for the stories and lessons that the middle steps want to tell.

If your project is in progress, try to enjoy the process. If you are frustrated, take a step back. Look at all you’ve done to get where you stand today. There is a holiness and beauty in every step you’ve made. It might not seem like anything is coming along very fast or very well, but that’s okay. Your Father thinks you are doing a great job. Your determination and perseverance reflect his own his own Spirit, and the things that you learn along the way will serve you well.

We all want to finish our projects. We want to complete the job or project that has been given to us by God. I agree that the beginning the project is exciting, and reaching the goal is thrilling.

I just don’t think God wants us to miss the journey. There’s beauty in becoming.

 

Join me at Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook

 

88 thoughts on “The Beauty in Becoming

  1. You are so right Ceil, the journey really is as important as the arrival at the goal. So much time is wasted just hoping for the end result – every moment of the journey can be rewarding and if not always joyful, can be a learning process. Andrina X

    • Hi Andrina! Well, you are right about it not always being joyful. My slide preparation was not a happy thing. But I was learning about patience along with technique, so both were important.

      I hope not to waste the lessons I can learn in the ‘middle’.

      Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

  2. Amen! and Amen! πŸ™‚

    Stopping by from counting my blessings and so glad I did!

    We all need to embrace the process… because you are so right, there is beauty in the becoming…

    great post

    • Hi Danise! Thank you for skipping over here from Deb’s blog!

      It’s a funny thing that I really never thought that all that work was very helpful. But I know now it was. There’s so much to benefit from everyday, not just in the splashy start and finish line.

      So nice to meet you! I look forward to getting to know you better.
      Ceil

  3. Thanks for this much needed message, Ceil. To enjoy the journey is sheer gift, a grace to savor instead of solely aiming toward a set goal.

    What glorious vistas, what compelling invitations, what deep relationships have we completely missed along the way …

    Love to you, dear friend!

    • Hi Linda! Wow, you sure have a way with words! Yes, so much is missed if all I do is race from start to finish. After all, more of life is spent in the middle than at the two ends. At least for me anyway.

      To enjoy is a gift. Yes! It’s a gift we have to remember to give ourselves.
      Many blessings tonight my friend,
      Ceil

  4. Ceil, this post was so encouraging! I think that if all of us just stop and realize that we are doing our best then our goals would be the icing on the cake. We really do need to enjoy the journey in becoming whatever we are destined to do.

    • Hi Verona! I think I’ve heard of a saying like “the journey is it’s own reward”, or something like that. I think that’s what you’re saying. I know that I spend more time ‘getting there’ than starting or arriving. Might as well see all the lessons and blessings as I go forward!

      Have a restful night πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  5. I really needed this message today. Thank you for this reminder that the journey from and to is just as important as arriving there. I tend to get impatient and frustrated when things don’t go as smoothly or as quickly as I think they should…but you are so right…there is much to be learned along the way. We need to trust God that He is guiding us step by step even when we can’t see the way clearly. This is so good. Thank you.

    • Hi Pam! Thank you for your kind words about the post. I need to remember this myself, as I also get a bit frustrated at my slow pace. But a slow movement is actually a grace. There’s more time to savor and rest in the lessons and blessings of the journey.

      Nice to see you today my friend!
      Ceil

  6. What a wonderful analogy, Ms. Ceil!! So often I try to hurry thru the part of the journey you’re talking about and just can’t wait for whatever the trial is to be over!!! I just need to slow down….breathe….and take in the scenery!!! πŸ˜‰ HOPE you have an awesome week!!

    • Hi Deb! I think you bring up good point. Breathing through the harsh journeys is a hard thing to do, but just as important as the easy ones. I like ‘take in the scenery’. That’s a perfect way to encourage me to notice and thank God.

      You have a great Monday my friend!
      Ceil

    • Hi Victor! Best of blessings on your new writing project! I can’t imagine how many starts and stops there must be in a big job like that. I hope you will be able to appreciate the path, even though it’s hard at times. I know you’ll do a great job πŸ™‚

      Have a wonderful, wordfull Monday!
      Ceil

  7. A beautiful post and reminder to enjoy the journey and not just concentrate on the destination. God is teaching us all along the path and we would miss many blessings if we are not watching for His hand….

    • Hi Nancy! That’s right…he leads and helps me learn in every phase of my life. And I do think that I spend more time in the ‘middle’ than I do in the beginnings and endings.

      May I always watch for his hand!
      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  8. “There’s beauty in becoming.” Oh my–that’s a great truth, Ceil! Much needed, too. I look back over my 50+ years and think I should probably have “arrived” by now, but no, I am still becoming. And that is beautiful too. Thanks, friend!

    • Hi Lisa! I know what you mean. Why can’t I seem to ‘arrive’? Oh well, I think part of being a follower of Jesus is accepting that I am in constant rebirth. The closer I get, the more I realize I have so much more to go.

      That’s okay. It’s all beautiful!
      Have a great Monday πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  9. Ceil that is a beautiful story. I never looked at my journey in the way you just described. I agree that the beginning of the journey is exciting and the end of the journey is relieving but always thought the middle of the journey is usually stressful. From now on I will have a different perspective of my journeys and remember I am never alone in these journeys. God is always walking right beside me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Leslie! Well, I agree that the ‘middle’ can be stressful, that’s for sure. But knowing that God is right there really helps take a lot of that out of the equation. I know that I spend most of my life becoming, so I might as well get comfy there.

      I like what you said. “God is always walking right beside me.” I love that!
      Have a great day walking with the Lord,
      Ceil

  10. Love this, Ceil! As you know, I’m all about the “Journey!” Sometimes I can’t wait to get home but I want to be a finished “work in progress” when I get there. So, it’s one step after another plodding along …

    I love your idea that the work we are doing to get there is “holy.” I’d never thought about it before in that way.

    • Hi Jerralea! I don’t think that I thought about the becoming as being anything special until I became an adult. After all, the world wants to see projects done ASAP. It’s never about the journey, it’s all about the end product.

      I’d rather see it all about connecting to God and resting with him.
      Nice to see you today πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  11. There is beauty in the journey is one we too often miss because we set our sights on the end goal. I have done that many times myself. I loved your words that God does not want us to miss the journey because there is beauty in the becoming. Lovely words to read and embrace this evening! Blessings!

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for your kind words about the post. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who hurried and ignored the message of the ‘middle’. It’s much better to see beauty in those steps too.

      Happy Monday!
      Ceil

    • Hi Lulu! I think you boiled down the post to a wonderful sentence. Thank you! It’s important for me to see God in all things, even the in-between times. Maybe especially there.

      Thank you for you kind words Lulu. I appreciate you πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  12. You are so right! Every step along the way is important. I’m slowly learning this lesson. Hope you are doing well. God bless~ Lisa :0)

  13. You are so right Ceil. We often get so focused on the goal we forget the joy of the journey. I know I do. I have determined to focus on the journey, to enjoy what is left of my life to the fullest. To laugh. To play. To jump (not literally). To keep my eyes open to all that is around me.

    • Hi Bill! Yeah, I’m not a jumper anymore either πŸ™‚

      Of course you would already know the joy of engaging in the moment. I hope to join you in that. I can get to buried in the chase to the goal that I don’t stop to look around. Gotta keep reminding myself that where I am, He is too!

      Have a peaceful afternoon,
      Ceil

  14. I really needed this message this morning, Ceil. I’m off spending a few days with my husband so keeping this comment short but so grateful God led me to stop by here before starting our day. Much love. xoxo

    • Hi Beth! Thank you for stopping by on your way out. I’m glad you will have some fun time with your husband. Especially since it’s going to get very cold around here in a few days. Brrr….

      Much love to you too my friend,
      Ceil

  15. You are so, so, so right, my friend. There IS beauty in becoming. . .

    I love visiting you, Ceil, because I always learn something new and am encouraged in my walk with the Lord.

    Love and hugs to you!

    • Hi Stephanie! We have known each other for a long time Stephanie. I am always happy to visit, and to see you here! Thank you for your supportive comments, and your gentle faith. You inspire me too.

      Hugs right back!
      Ceil

    • Hi Lux! I like that thought about ‘wedging of the clay’. I’ve never heard that before. All that cutting and kneading to get to the finished product. I can really see that!

      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

  16. AMEN!
    This is something God started really impressing upon me when I published my book- to enjoy the process, to reflect on how far I’ve come and to not judge “success” by worldly standards.
    Since writing it, He has continued to challenge me to embrace the moment, to live in the here and now and focus so much on the future. I have a tendency to rush life and He’s showing me that I miss so much by doing that.
    I’m thankful that He’s been slowing me down. Life really is much more enjoyable going at a slower pace.

    • Hi TC! I would think you have a special relationship to this theme because of your experience writing your book. How wonderful that you hear the Lord telling you to still embrace the moment. He is ever the same!

      I’m still working on stilling my mind. It does tend to race. I know I will enjoy life better when I am at peace.

      Have a blessed evening!
      Ceil

  17. I am so greatly encouraged by this post. I recently heard of an opportunity that I was absolutely “sure” came from God. It was a perfect fit for my time schedule, my desires, and my writing. I kept feeling Him tap me on the shoulder to go say something to the people involved in the opportunity. So, I did. And got a “thanks, but not now” response. I felt crushed. It had sounded so good, so perfect. Now, maybe God is not saying no, but maybe it truly is a not yet. This is beside the point. For now, He is doing something in me, a process of preparing me for something. I must not miss the lessons because of my urgency to come across the finish line!

    GOD BLESS!

    • Hi Sharon! It is so exciting to hear how God is working in you now. I’m sure it’s a ‘not now’. Maybe you just had to get your name out there. But truly, just the fact that you are so plugged into his voice! That’s the real gift.

      Thank you for sharing a little of your story here. I know that you have talents that God wants to use πŸ™‚

      Have a great night my friend,
      Ceil

  18. So much truth in this post, Ceil. I am not usually very patient either when it come to working on certain projects…I just “wanna git’er done”! Thanks so much for this persceptive on this matter…it’s just like our Christian walk…it’s the ups and downs from the the moment of salvation that strengthens that relationship! Have a great week, friend!

    • Hi Debby! I think it definitely is like our walk with God. I don’t want to run ahead of him while he stops to point out the flowers! He is in every moment of my life. I need to quiet myself enough to be present to that.

      Thanks for the visit! You have a great week too!
      Ceil

    • Hi Cecelia! I’m so glad to hear that. Isn’t it wonderful how God brings us together to encourage? How blessed we are.

      I hope you are feeling peaceful on your way.
      Ceil

  19. We are all about the finished product, aren’t we? We have been doing a study this fall that has focused a lot on how God transforms us. Your post speaks well to that idea. We won’t arrive until heaven, but should enjoy the journey(even the painful parts) as God pulls up roots of ugliness and grows HIS fruit in us.

    • Hi Susan! You are so faithful to the studies Susan. That’s so great. How nice that this theme fit into your lesson. ‘Becoming’ is being conformed to Christ, or growing into the person he needs us to be. That’s so true. And there is great beauty in our efforts.

      Nice to see you today πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  20. This post was very encouraging for me! I am getting so frustrated with myself lately. I have projects that are unfinished, especially a book I’ve been writing. It has taken so long and I start and then stop. I think lately I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself that I am missing the joy of the journey as I write. Thank you Ceil!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie! I remember you writing about compiling a book. I know that’s not easy, especially with you working full time. It can be a lot of pressure!

      I’m glad you can start to see some grace and beauty in this time of preparation. I hope to see that too in my own life. I spend most of my time in the ‘middle’, so it’s time to see it in a better light πŸ™‚

      Happy Tuesday my friend,
      Ceil

  21. Oh Ceil… this is just so powerful and I just love your example of your science project.

    The process IS so edifying… as it should be. We are such goal oriented people- and oh, how often I lose sight of the significance of the steps and turns along the way.

    Thank you for this, Ceil. I love your heart. <3

    • Hi Chris! Thank you for your kind words about the post. I so appreciate you!

      To be goal oriented is good, we need to get to the finish line at some point, but why do I not spend more time sinking into the grace of becoming? It’s time to be more at home with the process for me.

      I love your heart and your writing too my friend,
      Ceil

  22. It’s great to set goals and to work towards them. But sometimes we can get so focused on the future that we never really live in the present. I love your thoughts here about enjoying the process of becoming.

    I think a great thing to do is to celebrate the small wins. Those help us to enjoy the process and to be motivated to keep going, too.

    • Hi Loren! Thank you for your visit today!

      That’s a great idea, I really like the celebrating little steps. Each step closer is a good one, why not enjoy the path? Thank you for that thought πŸ™‚

      I look forward to getting to know you better!
      Ceil

  23. Ceil,

    I’m so glad my parents taught us that the journey was one of the greatest adventures and also a part of our family vacations. This has always stayed with me. Love this message, Ceil. It is so important to have this attitude in life. It isn’t just about the endings.

    • Hi Kim! What a great way to introduce the idea of becoming! A road trip is a perfect analogy. Your parents were good teachers. I know that life is so much more than the beginning and the end. It’s time to get comfy with the ‘middle’ and enjoy the ride πŸ™‚

      Have a great Tuesday!
      Ceil

  24. Joy in the journey! It’s not always easy to find, is it? I feel like that’s probably THE major lesson He’s been teaching me along this crazy road I’m on. I have a feeling it’s one where we’ll always be in the process. Thank goodness for grace along the way. Love His gentle patience with us. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Crystal! I think authors really feel the weight of the ‘becoming’. Ideas and words flow but get jumbled and have to be edited…the endless checking. I am sure it’s crazy! It’s so great that you know that grace is coming your way along the path.

      He is patient, and asks us to be that way too. Not only patient, but joyful πŸ™‚
      Nice to see you today!
      Ceil

  25. So true and so well written! This is EXACTLY how I feel about my book. It has been a long process and certainly not always a fun one. More like exhausting. It’s out of my hands now and into the hands of the editor and publisher. I won’t see it again until I am holding the actual copy in a few weeks. The before and after are quite amazing, but if only everyone could have seen all the work that went into the in-between….

    • Hi Marcia! Thank you for your kind words about the post. I’m so excited for you! No more endless rewrites and reworks…Wow!

      You have worked so hard, and God was with you the whole way. What a grace to know that you were carried in the sweat and burning the ‘midnight oil’.

      Thanks for visiting! Can’t wait to see your new baby book πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  26. Hi Ceil! This is so true. The journey is not always pretty, but it is where we are made. That is the whole point of the journey. That is where the good stuff happens. What I love most about this post is that it reminds us to appreciate and live in today, even before we reach that goal line. I love fall. I love fall so much that I am looking forward to it the moment temps start to warm in the spring. I caught myself doing this last year and realized that I was wishing away a lot of my life waiting for fall. I am learning to enjoy the beauty in all of the waiting rooms of my life. Beautiful post, my friend. xo

    • Hi Topaz! Again, happy belated birthday to you!

      I like how you said that the journey is where we are made. Boy, is that true. Slowing down is a gift, and I am praying for it so I don’t miss anything. (I like fall too.)

      God give me the grace to sink into the grace of the waiting room.

      Tuesday blessings,
      Ceil

  27. I forget about the middle all the time–thank you for the reminder to savor the growth and not just rush to the end. It’s a skill I need to model to my students and my own children–that taking the time for the holy of building character through trying and changing.

    • Hi Anita! It is a wonderful message to pass on to the younger generation, great idea! Lost in the message of winning and losing is the message of ‘becoming’. I know I sure missed out on that message.

      Have a peaceful evening πŸ™‚
      Ceil

    • Hi Dayle! Thank you for your kind words today. I think I want to enjoy the path more because I realize that’s where I spend most of my time. In travel!

      Have a blessed Wednesday,
      Ceil

    • Hi Wanda! Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger! I need the reminder myself. I certainly spend more time in the middle than in the start or finish…might as well see God there and listen to his message of joy for me.

      We’ll work on it together. We’ll get there eventually!
      Have a restful night my friend,
      Ceil

  28. Hi Ceil!! Loved this post!! Yes, enjoy the process….knowing that it’s all a part of God’s great plan! It so reminds me of Philippians 1:6…” Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. Blessings my friend!

    • Hi Michell! Ooooh. I really like that Scripture verse. It’s perfect for this post, thank you!

      Every step of the way has its blessings and blocks, all overseen by our loving Father. Let’s step confidently and follow the grace always πŸ™‚

      Have a wonderful Wednesday my friend,
      Ceil

  29. That is where our real lives are lived isn’t it – in the in between, the becoming. It IS a beautiful process – thanks for the reminder of that Ceil.

    • Hi Mindy! I know that’s where most of my life is lived. I guess I might as well enjoy the ride. I’ll learn a lot about myself, and hopefully learn to become a better person too.

      Nice to see you! Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

  30. There was a story I once read about a caterpillar going through the process of becoming a butterfly and how you can’t cut it out early or it won’t fully transform. I think that captures this post perfectly. We must grow and become stronger, but it’s a gradual process, so it’s important to remain positive.

    • Hi Stephanie! I like your story about the caterpillar. Even if I want to hurry along any progress, it won’t help. Every bit of the journey is important. I think I’ll remember this little example for a long time.

      Thanks for sharing it!
      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Dee! Yes, the journey is worth it, just as you said. It took me a while to see that, but I really think it’s true. If I have to pass through it, then God has a message for me.

      I pray I will always have patience as I travel!
      Nice to see you today, thank you for visiting

  31. what a great reminder and illustration and I loved reading all the comments too. lots of lessons here. My mom would tell me don’t wish your life away – enjoy the moments. so often I want to get it done, accomplished, crossed off the list instead of lingering, appreciating the process. Thanks for helping me notice today and the view from this moment in time.

    • Hi Jean! Welcome back!
      Your mom sounds like a wise woman. Being in the moment, and being comfortable there is something that I’ve had to work on. Journeys are one step at a time. I don’t want to miss what God has planned to show me!

      Have a restful night my friend, great to see you again!
      Ceil

  32. Ceil, this post has so much truth packed into it! It is so very true. We can be in such a hurry to finish or get to the end while truly every single in between moment is the very place God is looking to meet with us. A beautiful message & I am grateful you shared it! Blessings!

    • Hi Joanne! Thank you for your kind words about the post. I’m trying to enjoy the ‘middle’ more now, because I seem to spend a lot of time there!

      Nice to see you today! Have a lovely weekend,
      Ceil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *