Three years ago, when the pandemic began, I wondered how to respond to those first days we were shut up in our homes. Fear, anxiety, and disbelief overtook me. I didn’t know when things would be normal and reasonable again. As days went by, the situation worsened.
I spent a lot of time in Psalm 90:12-17. Three verses significantly impacted me:
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
17 May the beauty of the Lord our God rest on us.
God asked me if I could be content with the days He’d given me, even with being shut in my house with an uncertain future. He invited me to number each day with importance and to let His beauty rest upon a wearisome situation.
10 Tips to Beautify Your Life
The idea of God’s beauty resting up for me, my family, and humanity became a prayer I still pray three years later. In the early pandemic days, this prayer was answered by sunrises, sunsets, sunshine, and simple pleasures I hadn’t noticed when I was busy and caught up in life’s troubles.
In 2023, it’s still answered by ordinary moments, beautiful experiences, and timeless values. Here are ten tips I’ve learned beautify your life in an increasingly ugly and dark culture.
1. Redefine beauty. Picture what God’s beauty encompasses instead of the world’s definition of beauty. This includes intrinsic values, nature, simple pleasures, relationships, and many other examples of God’s goodness and character.
2. Look for and acknowledge God’s beauty. Be curious about seeing the redefined examples of beauty in your day. When you experience it, pause and say a prayer of gratitude. Beautiful sunrises or more hours of daylight are recent ones for which I’ve stopped and thanked God.
3. Create beautiful spaces. Create pleasant visual spaces at work, at home, in the car, or outside. You don’t have to spend much money to do so–be resourceful with what you have! Some of my favorite hacks are pretty pillows, pieces of greenery tucked in spaces, and simply rearranging a room, a corner, or my desk so it works for me and is aesthetically pleasing
4. Bring delight into your ordinary routine. Are you driving to work? Create a playlist of songs that make you carefree and peaceful. Eating lunch or supper? Ask yourself what would make the experience feel special, then do something extra to make it happen. I often think of where I’d enjoy eating, then go there, whether it’s just outside on my patio or looking out a window when it’s cold. Another simple thing I do is put my food on pretty plates. Don’t have pretty plates? Buy one or two inexpensive ones at your favorite discount store. You’ll feel like royalty.
5. Get together with a friend or loved one you enjoy being with. Perhaps you do it impromptu, or you schedule it. Just do it!
6. Explore or observe nature. Grab a cup of coffee and watch a bird in your backyard tree, or listen to him sing. Take a walk in a local park, or sit on a bench near a body of water. Build small rhythms into your day or week, and let God show you His beauty revealed in nature. During the pandemic shutdown, I spent much time outdoors “watching” nature instead of television. Another world opened up to me that I was too busy to notice before.
7. Tend your heart. Our internal state of affairs often dictates how we see everything around us. Is it hard to see beauty because your life feels grey, black, or blue? If you’re struggling with finding joy, peace, and beauty, cultivate your heart, mind, and emotions so God’s goodness can grow. Make an appointment if you need to talk to a counselor, coach, spiritual director, or friend. Life’s troubles don’t go away, just like the pandemic did not quietly disappear. We must choose to beautify the parts of our life we can’t control: our thoughts, beliefs, actions, and feelings.
8. Pursue God. Nothing will change your mind and heart more to see God’s beauty than resting in His character, promises, and Word. Psalm 90, Psalm 37, and Psalm 16 are chapters I love to read and meditate upon to turn my mind and heart to God’s goodness.
9. Seek light rather than darkness. Does the news, social media, or modern movies leave you feeling dark or down? Shut them off, limit your exposure, and seek uplifting media and experiences. Read more books, listen to more music, and text people encouraging words rather than fill time with modern media. Seek the light and be light in a dark and depraved world!
10. Be beautiful. Redefine your image of what personal beauty looks like. Dress in clothes that make you feel happy and good about yourself. Declutter your wardrobe of has-been clothes and keep those you look forward to wearing. List staple wardrobe pieces that make your favorite clothes more versatile. Purchase them at minimum cost from thrift or consignment stores or on sale at your favorite retailer. Get a new haircut or pedicure. Or simply smile!
The pandemic has taught us many things. Letting God’s beauty redefine my life has been a primary lesson I have learned since 2020. I’d love to hear your additional tips for beautifying your life!
Father, may your beauty rest upon us. Could you show each reader what that looks like for her? Amen.