Little Space, Big Perspective

Oh NYC, how I’ve missed you!

I came in for a shoot this morning, which finished early. Placing me smack dab in midtown in the afternoon; right before the mad dash of suits leave the office for the day and clog the streets with over polished dress shoes and designer menswear.

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It’s was one of those New York spring days that you dream about when you’re snowed-in in February. Warm in the sun, with just the right amount of breeze to keep it comfortable.

And so I walked.

Took it all in. The different people. The smells. The various languages I heard bellowing from the storefronts. I was back.

There’s a way that New York makes you feel so small. Minuscule, looking up at the sky scrapers soaring one higher than the next, as though competing to pierce the sky. Meanwhile you’re just triumphant if you don’t get run over by foot traffic.

And yet, in the same breath, the city fills your sails and offers the possibility for greatness. For the realization of dreams. You can be anything or anyone you want to be here.

And as I was walking, I began to realize, that God has really been working on my heart in that last department: of who I want to be.

Because the truth is, over the last four months, helping my mom has been shaping me into who I want to be. Who God wants me to be.

I’ve discovered parts of my spirit that I didn’t really know existed. Things like, patience. Things like, flexibility. Things like, taking the back seat. Things that New York couldn’t teach me. Sure, New York taught me other things – like determination, perseverance, independence, confidence, scrappiness. Things that have forever positively changed who I am.

But this time at home is refining those things. Polishing them. Adding to them.

And I can tell. I can tell in how I am present, walking down the street. Literally stopping to smell the roses. Acknowledging a fellow pedestrian with a smile. Being filled with gratitude for the horns and the dog walkers and even the scaffolding. I mean, I even smiled at the GreenPeace sidewalk solicitors!! It’s as though the NY grittiness had been sanded away these past four months, revealing the tender heart once more.

God wastes nothing. I’ve learned that over and over and over again in my life.

He will take a season of strife and pain, and transform you through it. Day One is much different than Day 90, because each day, God equips you with what you need going forward for that day. It doesn’t necessarily get easier, it just gets different. A good different.

Before my mom’s stoke, my greatest fear was that I would lose one of my parents before it was “time.” You know? And I’m even getting choked up just thinking about it. But the thought of not having one of them in my life was enough to bring me to my knees.

Living through this past season, I’ve had to face that – a fraction of it, sure – but every day, just waking up and saying, Lord, get me through today. Lord, help me to not fear the present. Help me to not fear the future. Help me to appreciate the small details of the now. The things I do have. The gifts that are in front of me, that are given to me by You. Lord, get me through today. 

And He did.

He got me through it by transforming me.

And it’s just so interesting to experience the reverberations of that transformation, here, in the city that first set my heart free.

It’s just…interesting to be here with a transformed heart, being free.

Sometimes all we need is a little space to get a big perspective.

God’s funny like that.

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

189 thoughts on “Little Space, Big Perspective

  1. Have you noticed in the Bible how the wilderness is a place of communing with God; a place of renewal, teaching, transformation and protection? It’s a repeating theme in both the Old and New Testament (which makes sense because the New is found in the Old and vice versa). I’m not saying that your home town is the wilderness per se, but compared to New York it’s kind of wilderness. Plus walking with your mom in her desert-like experience is also a kind of wilderness.
    And while I am dazzling you with profoundness can I also add as a reminder that God has been shaping you from the very beginning, you are the sum of all your experiences. Why? Because your are his beloved child; you have never been unloved.

    1. Hi Brad! That’s so true – I do feel that connection in nature, for sure. It is a place of transformation indeed. hahah yeah, ohio is *definitely* more wilderness than trees! Just the other day, my dad and I were watching out the window as two deer came into our backyard and were drinking water from the pool!! And you’re so right – God is *always* at work. That’s another big perspective right there 🙂 Thanks again. big hugs xo

  2. “Sometimes all we need is a little space to get a big perspective.” And sometimes the reverse. (A big space for a little perspective. There. That should clarify what I meant. 😀 )

  3. I love walking on this journey with you through your writing. His restoration in action, transforming our hearts and minds and then revealing that to us through things that have become familiar to our life. ❤️

  4. I wish I had the words, ( and I’m an author! ) to tell you how proud I am of you. You are being blessed in a mighty way! God’s Holy Spirit is so close to your heart now. You are such a blessing for your family and in addition, an inspiration to those like me, who somehow ( what am I saying?,I was God guided to find your blog! My daughters are your age! I will continue to pray for you and your family and know God is revealing His wonderful,plan for your life! Thank you for sharing your walk of faith!

    1. Oh Rick, You are so kind to say that. thank you. I am seriously so touched by this. I think you’re right – God is always with us, but is especially close when we are going through a challenging season. And thank you so much for your prayers. Know that you and your family are in mine too:) You are a blessing to me! big hugs xo

  5. I love NY and this post is such a beautiful combination of feelings for the city and faith. Inspiring. <3

  6. God is funny like that! Can you hear his chuckle? I love His sense of humor…Keep listening and writing. You are a blessing! Milly

    1. Thank you!! haha yes He is! I like to think that I can hear His chuckle in the coincidences of life. That and when I look at a funny looking-animal, like a penguin or something 🙂 haha thanks again Milly! 🙂

  7. Love your new photos, the one in the blue top is really beautiful. How far you’ve come. Just like your writing they also reveal how you are going from strength to strength. Well done BB, God Bless.

  8. You always find the positive! That’s a great gift. I enjoyed listening over at Patreon. Where the cool people hang out! 🙂 Random thought: Your title made me think of Robin Williams as the Genie in Aladdin – “Phenomenal Cosmic Power!!! Itty-bitty living space!”

    1. Hahahaha oh my gosh Jeff, that is hysterical!! It is my humble opinion that that was Mr. Williams’ best role. Thanks so much, can wait to read your thoughts over on Patreon! You rock! Hugs x

  9. Dear Caralyn:
    This is just what I needed to read. I’ve been knocking myself out getting my teaching ministry materials together, including doing the videos out at Love Returns, and nobody is paying any attention yet. I mean, I’m freaking explaining the book of Revelation! Give me a break – isn’t that important to anybody?!?!?
    And then you bring me this little piece of patient celebration. I love those moments that the Most High delivers to us – seeing the world from His perspective. How does Amy Grant put it in “Better than a Celebration?” That struggle to overcome is so pleasing to Him – the ultimate human grace.
    So I’ll do the video tomorrow night, and count that moments when my head catches on fire as 100,000 views!
    Brian

  10. Oh – and one more thing: sure you’re going to break some hearts with your beautiful self?
    Sorry, I have to get one tease in or it wouldn’t be a BBB blog post.

    1. Hi! Thanks for the question. I’ve lived in NYC for about 5/6 years. My mom had a stroke back in December and so moved home to Ohio for the last 4 months to help her. I’m back now for a quick visit. Hugs and love xox

      1. That’s excellent, she should be proud of having a daughter like you.

        It’s really a big blessing. It’s a responsibility, that many fails to fulfill.

        So full marks to you for it.

        I can only pass my kind words for her good health.

  11. Your words are so profound. I needed to read this today. I’m going through a very hard period in my life at this time. My trust and faith in God were almost dead about a month ago. I think I’m slowly starting to trust again. But I’m nowhere near where you are.

    It’s interesting to see your perspective on big cities like NYC. I’m from a big city, born and raised. My famiky and I lived there because we had to. Everything you mentioned is a reason why we left once and for all when we got the opportunity. We couldn’t stand the valleys of steel and concrete. We were going deaf by the noise. We wanted a slowler pace and we didn’t want to swim through oceans of people in a hurry. But with that said, there’s still a beauty in big cities that you want find in quieter areas. I think it’s just different.

    It’s funny because I always felt small in the mountains and going there had always given me a perspective of how small we are and how flitting life can be. Big cities oppress me. I have to take then in very small dosis.

    Loved your post. You’re an inspiration. ♡

    1. Oh gosh, thank you so much. I’m so glad this resonated with you today. And I’m sorry to hear you’re walking a challenging road right now. Hang in there friend. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Yeah I love the mountains too. Skiing is one of my favorite things in the world. Sending lots of love xox

      1. You’re welcome. I’ve been scammed too hun. Couple years ago I tried to help someone I met online. Just transfer funds, wasn’t supposed to be any money from myself. I even waited a week after the funds hit my account to make sure they were good. Everything seemed peachy, so away it went. Two months later the bank charged me with $2500 in bad transfers. It sucked so bad. But lessons learned and move forward.

      2. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9English Standard Version (ESV)

        8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

      3. I’m sure you’ll enjoy my latest blog. I have enjoyed every one of your blogs I’ve read. I think you will enjoy some of the others. You’re an inspiration to many. Or at least me.

  12. I think that sometimes perspective is everything! When God gives you the opportunity to see something from another view….that is where amazing things can happen.

  13. The truth of how God changes us came into my heart afresh today. I want to thank you for your beautiful ways with words (sanding the grit off the city streets). Thanks again.
    Carol Flohr Giles

    1. Hey girl! Yeah, the city just kind of gives you a layer of callousness. I love the city, but it does have that effect. Hope you have a beautiful weekend and thanks again for sharing my posts on your site! Big big hugs xox

  14. I am so wonderfully busy that I need to catch up on your blogs this week. You have such a wonderful connection to the Holy Spirit and how we can grow and transform to what God wants us to be. I hope your mom is doing okay. Thanks again for your work. God bless you!

  15. I wrote this last month it may help you: I woke this morning feeling incredibly lonely and it was almost painful. Oh, I expect to be sad, but the feeling of loneliness has its own and subtly different kind of pain. I love Pat so much and she loves me so much and now she is in heaven and physically gone. It is an awful feeling. I yearn for the physical her. I want her back. I miss her. I need her. I need to talk to her about mundane things like what she wants for dinner or what needs done around the house or other mundane things. And she is not there. She is not there physically. I am lonely for the physical Pat. I thought I was going to go first – usually the husband dies first. Interestingly in this void of loneliness is when I feel most in contact with the spiritual Pat. After one knows somebody for 48 years, they can typically tell when they are close. This is true for Pat’s spirit as well – I’m aware of the presence of the spiritual Pat inside me and near me. I talk to her but she answers in feelings. I feel her love and peace. The thing is I’m not at peace. She has “… the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” I don’t yet. Sometimes our peace crumbles because we’ve placed our trust in our loved one, our spouse, always being there for us instead of completely in God. Okay I’m guilt for not putting my complete trust in God and instead depending on Pat always being there – definitely a case of US and GOD. I must begin to trust God more so that we, both Pat and I, can build a strong trust relationship with God that will restore my peace. I have to start on the journey to GOD and US! Oh, God I believe, help me in my unbelief. Pat, I love you forever!

    1. Wow thank you so much for sharing this. You’ve got me all choked up. This is absolutely beautiful. God is getting you through this incredibly difficult time. And I pray that you feel that peace of God which passes all understanding. Praying for you friend. Thanks for this xox

  16. Wow! What a post. Hope your shoot went well and your work exceed your employers expectations. Caralyn, Have you ever really left New York? To me it does not sound like New York is any less a part of you no matter where you are.

    Keep growing strong my friend, God has many rooms much larger for you to explore. I am just glad you are an Explorer. I returned to you, XO you have so kindly and freely given to me. I guess I am not very good at this part of cyber friendship yet.

    Your fellow student,
    Denny

    1. Thank you so much Denny! I really appreciate that 🙂 And wow, what an awesome perspective. I think you’re right t- it will always be a part of me, just like home will always be a part of me 🙂 So glad we’re friends 🙂 big hugs xox

  17. Thanks for being so vulnerable in your writing! I love how God slowly chips away at all the junk we’ve piled on ourselves, and allows us to discover those new parts of our spirit that you talked about. Your tender heart is a thing of beauty, and I really look forward to reading about how the Lord continues to reveal himself to you in these sweet romances.

    1. Thank you so much Shannon! i appreciate that. you’re right – there is always a new part of our spirit to uncover, and how awesome that God is always at work, transforming and growing our spirits. 🙂 big hugs to you xo

  18. Hey BBB,
    I definitely understand where you’re coming from when it comes to needing to slow down and appreciate all of the beauty and wonders that exist in this universe which God created. Just today here in Scotland I was admiring how spring leaves have begun to unravel, and how much difference that makes in the wind. In the winter, the wind will whistle right through the branches, but in springs, it’s like the earth is taking a deep breath every time. It’s very relaxing.

    As I was reading your post I also wanted to say that you shouldn’t sell yourself short on the effort and thought training it takes to bring yourself to this point. Absolutely God is right there with you and knitted your soul to be uniquely you, but he also gave you the will and intelligence and drive to get here and is so proud of seeing you use what he gave you. God has equipped you, and you have wielded that equipment. It’s a beautiful symbiotic relationship, and as much as you rejoice and thank Him, he is rejoicing and thanking you for listening. That love and strength, and support, and determination is a two-way street! You are awesome AND God is awesome.

    1. Wow, Scotland! that’s so awesome. thank you for sharing this experience. you’re right, God gave me the strength, and helped me to put one foot in front of the other. thank you for saying that 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  19. My favorite quote from this “God wastes NOTHING”. So TRUE!! He literally uses all the things in our life and finds ways to speak through them. He is doing some incredible things in your life bit by bit.

    Lovely.

    -JV

    1. Thanks JV. Amen – He wastes nothing. and therein lies the hope. And comfort. And the oomph to persevere 🙂 Thanks for your kind words. you’re always so positive! you rock, my friend. big hugs xox

  20. “God wastes nothing” <– this statement is very strong, absolutely true, very close but extremely people often did not recognize this. I'll copy those 3 words then paste it to my family and friends. Thx for remind. God bless…

      1. I’m waiting…Besides, by now your blog seems to the-monologue-of-the-woman-who-wants-love-but-can’t-find-it. Less and less about eating disorders. But that’s beside the point. I feel like there is certain satisfaction achieved in an intimate and sexual relationship, as marriage. At least in my experience. My dad never married til 45, never dated til 44. Never had a girlfriend even so much as. So he told me. At a restaurant 3 days ago, I asked my mother what garnered interest of him to her. That was interesting. Dad says he had never met a woman who could handle his lifestyle, til he met her, but she’s quite a very spirited woman, even still at 70. I asked her for her birthday just over a week ago, what she wanted. She wanted twice as much time. What, 140 years! I said. Well, I think she meant she wanted the world have 24 hours more per day or make all of us work twice as hard so she can get all done she wants do. I asked my dad how he ever got involved with such a “busy” woman. He said that she wasn’t that way when she married him. I wish you well in your love life. Good luck. I could go on all day about my love/marriage experiences, but I don’t want to bore you with all that. With all the kickboxing you do, why don’t you just put some guy into submission, where he can’t tap 0ut til he gives you what you want, ring, or commitment, whatever, I dunno…? I’m just an observer. I don’t really like to get too involved in other people’s situations, just stir the flames when I can. I don’t believe in giving to others what they will never give back in kind. That’s why I kinda like to keep a distance from people, in general. The greatest unhappiness in life is unrequited love.

  21. Thank you Honey! Enjoy the time in New York, with your new found perspective. Doesn’t it feel peaceful? You have experienced one of your life’s defining moments and it has changed you as it was meant to. Growth is never easy. I concur with thearrowpreacher, your family is lucky to have you. God Bless!

  22. Love that last quote, I was scared almost sick the night before starting one of the best experiences of my life, and I was terrified before becoming a Christian; and as you can testify to, that’s what brings you to life. So very true. Also, I love this post, it’s great when you realize you’ve changed for the better after months of not being sure where you were going.

  23. I like the gif of the office worker penguins letting out 😀

    My family now consists of my mother….in her 90’s…so I fully appreciate the knee buckling feeling about considering a parents death. But once we look at that fear….it becomes less harsh, less overwhelming. I hope you and your mother have a lot of time together as she is re-created in the post-stroke world

    And yes, it doesn’t get easier but it does get different. Or we get different. I will say, there’s a portion of me that rebels against the “transforming” description only because I think it gets overused in the evangelical circles. I know the reference (Rom 12) but I think often it is letting us use a part of us that we’ve always had, but didn’t know.

    Anyway….I’m glad you got back to NYC and were able to feel the vibe of the city in a new way 😀

    1. haha thanks! i love penguins! i think they’re so cute! oh gosh, i’m sorry that you can so personally relate. you’re right – using a part of us that we’ve always had but didn’t know. i love that. thanks again xox

  24. God Bless your every day being both now in in the future to come. God Bless all you have done to get to this point, both in moving yourself forward and helping your Mom and Dad in their recent time of great need. God Bless the light you shine above NYC. NYC is fastly fading the faces that once graced it. Its quickly becoming so minimalized that there won’t be so many of the various personalities and characteristics left except for those who walk around craving only Dunkin and Starbucks and schmoozing among the suits. Shine your beautiful light above that and keep NYC’s uniqueness breathing and believing so that someone so wonderful as you can not only be the epitome of its beauty, but also continue to be inspired by what there is to offer there. Can’t wait to get there myself in a couple months. Ps, what are you presently shooting? xoxoxo

    1. Oh MiguelTio, thank you friend. you are always so kind to me. you are a light in my life! I was just shooting some internal videos for a tech company 🙂 haha hugs xox

  25. This post is exactly what I needed today in the rough season I’m in! Thank you for your gift of words! You are truly a blessing to me! When I’m in NYC next weekend I’m really gonna stop and take in the beauty that is life even during the tough times! Xo

      1. It was a true statement, but kind of precise.
        As well as encouragement, I was thinking this morning, that the church needs peace and community, and which are strengths of yours.

  26. It is so wonderful God reaches out to us. There is a song by the Christian band FFH, called In this Moment. No matter where we are. No matter how big or how small we feel. God will always seek us. In the quiet. In the loud. When we are humble, and when we are proud. May God continue to open your eyes, soften your heart, and strengthen your faith. Always, 🙂 T. R. Noble

  27. When I lived in NYC, I would attend the Easter service at St. Thomas’ (doubter that I am), then walked up through Central Park. The day was always delicious, warm, and full of the colors of Spring, a season of transformation.
    Oscar

  28. You write so incredibly well and encourage so many! It’s amazing what God produces through pain. I truly believe the greatest of miracles is the one in the heart! You seem like a wonderful daughter and I can’t imagine how pleased our Savior is when He watches you serve and love your precious mom! Blessings to you, sweet one and carry on!! You are so gifted!
    “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope…” Romans 5:3-4

  29. Love this article.I like how you can articulate your emotions and feelings and make others “feel” your experiences while bringing us into your world and even teaching us, a little at a time. of His word.
    As always, let God shine through 🙂

      1. With all of your followers and the articles that you put out – I should be thanking you for stopping by and reading my posts. I am truly humbled 🙂

  30. Amen. On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 4:05 PM BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “Oh NYC, how I’ve missed you! I came in for a > shoot this morning, which finished early. Placing me smack dab in midtown > in the afternoon; right before the mad dash of suits leave the office for > the day and clog the streets with over polished dress shoes a” >

  31. Oh Caralyn! How the Lord delights in you – and how you lift my spirits with every.single. blog entry! You are truly such a blessing to so many, and I am so priveleged to count myself among them! Keep pouring Him out into the blogsphere! 🙂

  32. Pardon my intrusion Miss. I am new to blogging, and not one to bring attention to myself, which quite honestly is why I commented on this post of yours instead of your current post. Still, I wish to tell you how much I appreciate your words and testimony. I too appreciate the heart all of these posts come from.

    Kindest thoughts,

  33. I believe in God too. 25 and the spirit brought us undeniably together at 21 and was raised agnostic but im so blessed to have gotten to know Him, His love, and have a relationship with our heavenly Father. And im a recovering heroin addict and in recovery for anorexia and bulimia. You’re beautiful and I love your blog. Also I’d kill to be in NYC. I want to move to Brooklyn so bad but I can’t afford to exist. Haha. Keep up the writing love God bless

    1. You’re story is so inspiring, Aibon. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. Yes! We are so lucky to know His love and saving hand. Hang in there friend. Know that I’m praying for you and cheering you on in your recovery. Rock on!! ❤❤❤

  34. Such a beautiful, encouraging, uplifting post. And I LOVED the vivid descriptions of NYC! It’s on my bucket list. 🙂 You are so strong!

  35. I just want to say I totally connect with your perspective in life and about God! I love reading your posts and thank you for sharing! I also wanted to thank you for always liking my posts! I can always count on you to do that! Even if you don’t agree with my writings lol , I have no idea but I appreciate you so much and wanted you to know that!
    Your sister in Christ 💜

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