Like Mother, Like Daughter

Have you ever been just drawn to something?

And I’m not talking the bakery case at the grocery store. Or the shoe department at Nordstrom.


I’m talking, a soul pull. A spirit attraction.

Ever since I’ve been home during my mom’s stroke recovery, I’ve discovered a little place in our house that I keep finding myself sitting in. Just ending up there.

It’s a little sitting area in front of the fire place, and focal point of this nook is a beautiful painting of Jesus. It’s called the image of the Divine Mercy. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

But I’ll often find myself sitting, just looking into the eyes of Jesus in this painting.

Now, to be honest, I’ve never really considered myself a “religious art person.” I mean, I think it’s beautiful and great for, say, a church, but I don’t know. I’ve just never really given it much contemplation.

Until, of course, now.

And I was sitting in my little chair, looking at the painting, letting Jesus’ face make an impression on me, when my mom came in and sat next to me.

“You know the story behind this painting, right?” 

And, truthfully, I didn’t. I know we got it a long time ago, but I just figured my mom’s bible study class gifted it to her as an end-of-year teacher gift.

I got this when you were going through your anorexia.”


I looked back up at the image, and I swear, Jesus’ eyes were looking at me even deeper. Piercing me even more knowingly.

My eating disorder took a toll on my family. It pushed everyone involved to their breaking point. Tested their faith. Shook their foundation.

And during those tumultuous years, my mom spent a lot of time over at church at the adoration chapel praying for me.

She felt out of control. She was watching her little girl waste away and there was nothing she could do. She felt her hands were tied.

And so one day she went and talked to our beloved family friend/priest. And he told her to go get an image of the Divine Mercy.

And so my mom went to our local Christian shop, and wouldn’t you know, as she was pulling up, the owner was unloading a large, beautiful canvas painting of the Divine Mercy. She said, “I’ll take it,” before they even got it in the door.

But my mom told me about how this image got her through a lot of really challenging days when I was sick. She would pray, looking at the comforting face of Jesus.

She was scared, out of ideas, out of hope. And the thing about the Divine Mercy is that at the bottom, is the phrase, “Jesus I trust in You.

That’s what the Divine Mercy is all about: Trusting in Jesus’ goodness and mercy when all seems lost. When life is scary and your soul is going through a period of unrest.

Jesus I trust in You.

That was the phrase that got my mom through her terrifying season when my anorexia was raging.

And now, when the tables are turned, this phrase has been my source of comfort and peace when I’m scared, and searching for hope and courage.

Jesus I trust in You.

He never promised us an easy life. But He did promise us that He’d always be with us, to give us comfort and strength.

I should have known that there was significance to this image, in how my heart and spirit were being drawn to it.

Leave it to Jesus to show up in the most meaningful of ways.

I guess, it’s as they say: Like mother, like daughter.

What are you drawn to? What brings your soul peace? Is there a certain song, or a verse?

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374 responses to “Like Mother, Like Daughter”

  1. St Faustina is one of the great 20th Century Saints, along with the newly canonized Francisco and Jacinta. There are others of course. The Love Our Lord and His Blessed Mother have for us is not some philosophical abstraction. They feel our pain and want us to draw near Him. God love you, as always.

  2. When I read at what time in your life she got the painting, I was like, “Oh, snap!” It’s an encouraging picture, and just like your mom, you found yourself starting to lean on Jesus and trust Him. Beautiful story <3

  3. Super inspiring story! It’s crazy how things work out like that. Faith finds its way to help through even the darkest times!

    And, while I can say I’ve been rather busy lately, following your journey is really enjoyable! Thanks for reading my posts so frequently as well!

  4. fear not, for I am with you;
     Isaiah 41:10
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
    I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  5. Mothers and Christ do such great work! You have such a gift in the way you share your story. Thank you! The sunrise and the natural music of the morning bring my soul peace. God gives me the opportunity of another day. Keep up your great work!

  6. I love how Jesus draws us ever closer to him, it’s so sweet and totally shows how he pursues us even in the midst of trials. A verse that is always on my heart when I think of Jesus and his love and all is Hebrews 10:36 “patient endurance is what you now need so that you will receive the promises according his will. ”

  7. Amazing Grace and more modern Every Praise by H. Walker , download a live version …any Sam Baker song and please read his bio. I always like Gravity by Shawn McDonald. Pastor, you have written a beautiful sermon here and inspiring testimony. Suggest the week before to your congregation to bring tissues and get ready to praise Jesus!!! If you wouldn’t mind, I have a question on my blog I would appreciate you commenting on. Say hi to your Mom. Your family remains in my prayers. Thank you, Pastor! You have been annointed with the gift of attracting people ….I can already imagine you attracting people for Jesus! So proud of you! And your blog readers may now say, Amen!

    • Thank you so much Rick! Oh I will definitely look those songs up. Oh my gosh you are too kind to say that. Thank you. And sure! I’ll definitely check it out and let you know! Thanks for your incredibly kind words. You’re a blessing to me!! Hugs and love xox

  8. Right order this time I hope.

    Isaiah 41:10

    fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
    I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  9. This evokes something that came out of me during Monday’s Bible study on Isaiah 40:31-35.

    The power of the Most High cannot reach you if you do not believe that he cares.


    When the command of the Lord comes over you, it is not like being commanded by a person. A joyful energy fills you, and you see that what you do fulfills a wonderful purpose, and reveals a meaning in you beyond what you ever could imagine. When it happens, there is nothing that you would wish more than to do as you are compelled.

    • And something else interesting. When I read these words:

      I looked back up at the image, and I swear, Jesus’ eyes were looking at me even deeper. Piercing me even more knowingly.

      My heart felt as though it had caught on fire.

    • Thank you so much for this Brian. I love this thinking. You’re right- we have to believe that He cares – and He does. Thanksfor stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  10. This is such a great story! I wonder how many things in our lives have a great story that we never ask about.

    For years, I have been drawn to the the song For Miles by Thrice. These lines in particular – “And on that day when we look backwards / We will see, that everything is changed / And all of our trials, will be as milestones on the way / And as long as we live, every scar is a bridge to someone’s broken heart / Open the wounds and share them then soon they start to heal” I love that last line. I have always been drawn to this song, but especially recently as I’ve been sharing about my alcoholism and sobriety. After I shared the story publicly, I had no fear of talking to people about it. I’ve found that people really open up when I share. Either a “me too!” or “I don’t struggle with that, but I have this other addiction.” I have found so much healing through it all.

  11. Your sense of being drawn to that image before you knew the full story of how it came to be in your mother’s house reminds me of something Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me . . .” (John 6:44). John Wesley called it “prevenient grace,” grace that goes before, the grace of God that’s at work in us eliciting a response even before we know it’s there (one of the ways in which God remains so mysterious). Even before you felt drawn to the image, many graces must have conspired to create that moment, bringing the painting to the dealer at just the right time to be encountered by your mother, bringing your mother to that place just in time to be encountered by the painting. What can anyone do better than stand in awe at how God works in our lives? [By the way, you write well, and I appreciate what you’re doing with your blog.]

  12. As someone else said, I go to the Psalms for help when things are going bad. I think it is wonderful how the picture of Jesus helped your mother and now you. My mom had a picture of an angel protecting children on our bedroom wall. I loved that picture and still think about it once in awhile.

  13. This is a wonderful story you’ve shared, and it’s an example of exactly what I mean when I tell someone that everything is connected. In fact, you can see it in science; everything is connected to everything else in some way. There is nothing that is disconnected or existing separately on its own. Everything serves a purpose to everything else. And it’s great to hear stories like yours in which you’ve discovered a connection you weren’t aware of before.

    Heck, even in my feeling of disconnection, I still find connection. For example, I have depression. When you asked what am I drawn to, I could only think of the last two lines of a song by Aurora called “Winter Bird” (look it up on YouTube or go into my Bio on my blog page to find the video; it’s an absolutely gorgeous song). The last two lines are: “All I need is to remember how it was to feel alive; I need to remember how it was to feel alive.” This is a reflection of the disconnection I feel from everyone and everything (even God, who I feel has abandoned me or was never with me in the first place), yet from this disconnection, I can connect with people who have similar feelings. I can help them to see the good in their lives and see how things can get better for them. I can help them to see how they are connected to others and give them some kind of hope. I feel like a star all alone in distant space, whose light inevitably does reach worlds that are light years away and grants the wishes of those in need. I’ve actually helped bring people together while still remaining apart. But this is something I don’t mind; it’s okay that I’m alone. If I wasn’t, I would likely not have the motivation to make sure that others aren’t alone. And in this, there is purpose for me and what I go through; there is connection through apparent disconnection.

    Of course, I could be wrong about all of that. Haha. I think I’m wrong a lot. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Gabriel! I really appreciate that. I couldn’t agree more! Everything serves a purpose to everything else. AMEN!! Thanks for sharing your story and that passage. I am so moved by your story. Hugs and love xox

  14. Honestly you do, just getting to know you on your journey really lifts me ❤ seeing the photos of yourself on your posts especially when smile just melts my heart ❤ your beauty isn’t just physical its spiritual too 😍 any way enough of me mushing over you x. Hope you and your mum are well ❤

  15. What a beautiful picture! And your story behind it gave me goosebumps.

    And this would be my special song (especially this particular version). The words just speak to me.

  16. I’m sorry you and your family had to go through so much. I had a roommate that used to play the organ at a few churches in New England. He would practice singing and playing. I liked his playing more, haha. My brother, changed his life with church music before his death. I liked his singing more than his playing.

    • Thanks friend. Wow, what a powerful story. I’m so sorry to hear that he is no longer with us. Gosh that’s tough. I’m glad he found the peace in church music. Thanks for sharing that Kenzie. Lots of love and hugs xox

      • When I was five, I was staying with a pastor. He told me if I stayed in my pew that he’d finish with playing, “You Are My Sunshine.” I didn’t know he always finished with it. Every time I hear it though, I don’t know. Just happiness. It’s a silly song.

      • When I lived in Seattle, I had a crummy job in hospice. I was training so I could go back to Arizona and maybe, get to see my kids. I would go to the Seattle Art Museum and stare at his paintings. They have a whole religious section there I’d walk through. When I lost my kids in my divorce I really connected with the visuals of religious paintings. Transformation. Sacrifice. Resurrection. When I couldn’t see them it felt like death. I’d go to work, everyone was dying. I still don’t get to see them and somehow I’m blamed for that also. So, I pick up my brush and paint.

      • gosh, that just breaks my heart. you’ve got quite a story, my friend. i’m glad you have that outlet to feel and find some peace. i’m just so sorry that you’ve had to walk that journey. i’ll definitely pray for your situation. big hugs x

      • I’ve always liked Job 14:7. When my youngest daughter was sick. I sold my business to get her better. I didn’t think twice about it. When, my other one tried to take her life. I sold my other business to keep her in the hospital. The therapist actually said it was my fault. I’m a terrible father, sure I’m no Danny Tanner. Job, talks of hope after the tree is cut that it becomes food for the new sprouts. I believe, I’m the tree and I had hope for my new sprouts. I did not take from them I just let them grow. I knew what it was like to grow up with nothing so I worked hard to make sure they didn’t know that feeling. They won’t know until they are cut down for new sprouts.

  17. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it. I just started learning about the Divine Mercy image and Mercy Sunday and all of that a couple weeks ago. My friends at the parish had to fill me in.
    I know I’ve said this before in your comment section, but honestly, I really love reading your stuff. I’m glad you’re getting a book out. You’re good at this. 🙂

  18. Such a beautiful post!! Thank you for sharing this very private experience, I’m so glad you believe in Him! You look fabulous by the way, so healthy and radiant! ❤️

  19. Any time I see religious art, particularly a classic Jesus shot like this my immediate reaction is like ‘Oh brother…as if’ because they make Jesus look so….pathetic, haha. I mean come on, that’s not Jesus.
    But then I have to ask myself, what IS Jesusp0

  20. I just want to say that I’m teary-eyed after reading this. That’s mind-blowing that your mum bought that picture in the thick of your anorexia and now you’re drawn to it and you didn’t even know why at first. The work of God is truly amazing sometimes. I think I’m drawn to nature a lot. It speaks to me and soothes me.

    • Oh my gosh, you are so sweet. Thank you. I’m sorry it made you verklempt! I know isn’t it just so incredible?!! He really is amazing. Yeah nature does that for me too. The deep blues and vibrant greens– its incredible to experience His masterpiece 🙂 hope you have a beautiful evening and weekend! Big hugs xox

  21. *thanks wordpress for posting my comment before I’m done*

    What is Jesus? Not that painting, maybe, but certainly the comforter behind it, the prince of the peace it brought your mother–and now you. If I can see Jesus in the people around me then I guess it isn’t too far of a stretch to see Jesus in a painting of, well, Jesus. (:

    Thanks for sharing this gem Caralyn. Some people might think it’s weird, or somehow I don’t know, extrar-Christianly to attach sentiments like this to places and things but the truth is any of us attach sentiment to places and things that bring our spirits closer to other people so why not Jesus? I don’t doubt for a minute he’s got his favorite spots to just sit and be with you.

    Anyway, that turned into a little bit of a rant, what a surprise ;D

    • Haha oh gosh sorry about that!! That’s such an powerful thing to ponder and pray about. That’s true – Jesus *is* in everyone around us. What a beautiful thing to remember. Gosh, such comforting and encouraging words. Thanks again Carson. You’re a great friend! Have an awesome weekend xox

      • Haha, cameras indeed. When I was little watching stuff like the Visual Bible I used to wonder how they had been there to film it waaaay back then.

        Just serves to remind me, he will not be satisfied without being seen, heard and felt, there will always be an open channel because he loves us too much and paid too high a price not to let us live in his silence. Mmmmmm…..

        And have a wonderful weekend yourself (: It’s Youth Conference weekend for me and I’m beginning to get a *little* excited 🙂

  22. Beautiful article!! Really interesting. I believe at times of need the religious figures come forward to comfort us. I wasn’t always a believer in religion but since my own experiences with it I now am. May Jesus protect you

    • thank you so much Mick! I really appreciate your kind words. I think you’re right – there’s something so comforting about a beautiful image of our Lord. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with me. big hugs xo

    • oh gosh, Regina, I’m so sorry to hear that about your situation. i will definitely keep her and you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. hang in there. big big hug s xox

  23. That’s my favourite painting of Jesus too. 🙂 I have an image hung up in my room, and I have to admit, His Divine Mercy has got me out of more troublesome times than I can recall!
    I’m so happy you and your mum find peace in it too <3 Thanks for sharing. xx

    • Thank you so much my friend 🙂 Yeah, isn’t it an incredible painting?? There’s something so powerful about His eyes in it. thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  24. My draws move around a lot. Sometimes they are playing either my tbone or congas. Sometimes its art, sometimes poetry. Sometimes just laying down alone and taking in the silence if I get a chance. Its also prayer too. Have you ever heard the one called The Jesus Song? Its in the Breaking Bread Music Issue (and many other music issues used by Catholic churches). We sing it often as a Communion Meditation. It has those very words Jesus I trust in you. Hugs and so much love you!! xoxoxo

  25. I’m deeply touched by your post that I want to book a flight now just to hug my mom. Now, I miss her even more. Thanks for sharing! You’re beautiful inside and out. xxx

  26. Psalm 74:3 Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
    1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
    Death of a beloved lays waste to us. Thankfully, God is never overwhelmed by the ruin in our lives. Instead God’s loving steps are always turned toward us in love, walking alongside us in our pain, heartbreak, confusion, and loss, covering us with grace and mercy. Amen.

    • oh my gosh those are such wonderful verses. thank you so much for sharing them with me. I love that image, of his grace and mercy covering us. amen indeed. hugs ox

  27. I love your post.. very touching.. I haven’t prayed in days.. I feel so good, and i want to pray this evening 🙂 Thank you..

  28. Such a beautiful, beautiful post. I believe He is using the painting to speak to you and let you know He loves you! You were the reason I posted the entry I just did! That verse, Philippians 4:13, Philippians 4:6-7, and Psalm 143:8 are my favorites, and they have helped me through a lot. Never forget how much He loves you and how special you are to Him!! He is with you always!

  29. There were songs, my mom (before she passed), and my bible. Now, it is the Spirit of the Lord himself, whom I’ve discovered lives in me, and makes his presence known when I need it. I love this post. I’m glad your mom is doing well. She is blessed to have you with her.

    • Thanks for sharing this Tony. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. You’re so right – the Holy Spirit lives in you. Thanks for your kind words about my mom. Big hugs xox

  30. This things that brings me peace is honestly spending time with my friends and family. My favorite worship songs that bring me peace: Here Now, Hillsong; It is Well, Bethel; and Touch the Sky, Hillsong. Honestly I really enjoy being alone, listening to worship music and talking to God and being in his presence.

    • Hi Shay, thanks so much for sharing that! I completely echo what you’ve said! Spending time with loved ones, and then being quiet and getting lost in worship music!! those are my happy places as well where I feel closest to the Lord. thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  31. There is no better way to be like your mother than to share faith. All the prayer that went up for you when you were in trouble is now borne out in all you share and spend yourself for your mother. God’s faithful even when we are faithless (2 Tim 2:13).

    And you will see God’s faithfulness going forward. In wonderful ways that you can’t imagine. Because people are still praying for you. And like I said, He’s faithful.

    • oh my gosh, that is so beautiful. thank you, my friend. I am just so grateful for all the prayers and kindness for my mom and my family and I . it has honestly been such a blessing. God’s faithfulness is overwhelming. Thanks again. You are a gift in my life! big hugs xox

  32. Honestly, I was feeling down about my appearance just a second ago, which hasn’t happened in a while. Although I’m also not usually fond of religious art for personal reasons, this post helped me settle right down. I wish you both the best 🙂 God will be there for you all the way, walking you right through.

  33. First, that kitten made me laugh out loud! I enjoyed this. Very much! I can only imagine the goose bumps that must’ve grabbed you when you heard that painting helped your mom…help you! I’ll bet it strengthened your bond with her even more.

    My comforts are over at Patreon.

    • Thanks so much, Jeff! Yes! the goosebumps were poppin!! haha but seriously, God’s mercy is incredible. looking forward to reading your words of wisdom. sorry for the delay in recording — i was bombing an audition — hence the lack of pep in the sound quality…haha…oh well, just gotta let it go!! 🙂 big hugs xox

      • Not so much wisdom as just accepting your invitation to share where I find comfort. I especially hope you like the song! The recording was fine. I’ll want to hear about this audition, though!

      • Please don’t apologize! It’s ok. I just saw your response there, and I’m glad you liked the verses and the song. It IS like a feather floating up; the way the bass comes in along with the chimes on top – beautiful. I like the image of Jesus you present; devastated THEN delivered. Isn’t that how it goes? Audition: no one bats 1.000, right? Maybe you didn’t do well enough to get the job, but I’m sure it wasn’t a “garbage fire!” You have a great weekend too. I sure am looking forward to it! Blessings to you!

      • Haha thanks again Jeff. Yeah, I’ve just gotta remember that God must not have wanted me to get an acting job here in Ohio because he’s got something else in store for me. Hmmm. 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  34. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I testify…Jesus what a powerful name it is 😊 Blessings, I will keep you and your mom in my prayers.

  35. LOVE THIS. LOVE IT! I’m not sure if I have a religious image but I do have one and every time I gaze at it, I find myself asking, “Take what they will and do what they must. But, DO NOT let that kid die.”

  36. There’s lots of strength in the faith we have towards God. If God draws us back then he also lifts us up in some or the other way. This story was interesting, good, thoughtful is well. I always love reading such stories. And as far as the question you’ve asked right at the end is concerned, Justin Bieber’s songs bring some peace to my soul. Anyways, a very good post keep going!

  37. And yet again, another one of your posts has brought tears to my eyes. God acts in mysterious ways. I happened to find your blog my accident. And the more I read your entries, the more I feel He is speaking to me through you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ♡

    In my case, it’s always been the Virgin Mary. I have a small image of Mary Untier of Knots near my bed. I have found myself looking at it many times, not thinking about anything at all. It brings me peace.

    I also have a small statue of Mary holding a Baby Jesus of maybe 5-6 months that was given to me by the nuns at my school when I graduated from kindergarten. They gave one of those to each one of us girls in the class. It’s called María Auxiliadora. That was the name of the school, too. They lost their hands by now, but I love it. And the last one is a small porcelain face of the Child Virgin Mary on a small wooden plaque that my mom had specially made for me when I was a baby and that she hang from one of the walls in my bedroom. I passed it on to my daughter when she was born.

    The Virgin Mary has always been my refuge and solace in my worst hours. I can certainly relate to finding Their company in the presence of images. I owe Mary, St Jude, St Cajetan, my Guardian Angel, St Anthony, San Ramón Nonato, the Little Flower, and St Benedict the Abbott some miracles in my life.

    Forgot to mention that soon after being served divorce papers, I found the Sleeping St Joseph devotion and I got a statue for me and another one for my mom. We both keep them on our night stands and it makes us think of each other before going to bed. I found comfort in that devotion when I most needed it.

    Thank you once again for sharing your experiences, thoughts, and words .

    • Oh gosh thank you so much! I’m so glad this hit home with you and that our paths crossed!! Gosh what an incredibly kind thing to say. I am so touched. And yes, I love looking at our mother too. So much comfort and peace to be found with her too:) thanks for sharing your heart. Hugs and love xox

  38. Really enjoyed reading this post & the explanation of how your mom acquired the painting. I’m a former Catholic so this one is familiar to me. I like it and one very similar called Sacred ❤️. About 10 yrs ago, out of nowhere, I felt the need to see the Sacret Heart image cuz I hadn’t seen it in like 30 yrs. I found it in a Catholic store, bought it, hung in my home office & stared at it for days, listening to hear God. What was the msg to me? I loved seeing it but didn’t understand until recently it’s about gaining a deeper revelation of His love. Everything flows from how Jesus heart is impassioned for us. We can love others w/His passion but we must first be set ablaze by His love for us. So maybe that is why you’re drawn to it. Jesus is speaking. 💕

    • Hi Kathryn! Oh good! I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Thanns for your kind words. I love the Sacred Heart image too! And wow what an awesome story. I love that — we must first be set ablaze by His love! Amen! Thanks for sharing this! Hugs and love xox

  39. The Divine Mercy is one of he most moving images we have of our Lord! There are so many hymns that bring me comfort, but the Magnificat tops the list. Just the first line is one that I sing to myself often in hard times. “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in my Savior for he looks with kindness on my lowliness and all ages will call me blessed.”

  40. Your mom is an inspiration, just like you. When tired of the battles, I am drawn to nature. Growing up on a farm in rural SW Michigan, being outside in a field or a hike or a wood alone brings me back to purity and the presence of God faster than anything. And when I can’t, I get alone in the dark with my piano and play for Jesus, maybe write Him a song. That brings me back to remove distractions and remember hope. The painting you shared is beautiful and I am inspired to find one despite my (like yours) hesitation shall we say in getting religious art. But that painting means much more now. You are good at bringing out the more meaning of a thing or situation. That is another of our gifts. 🙂 ❤ Hugs!

  41. All day today as I am drained yet find healing in my own writing, I have this God gave me; Be Still and Know that I am God. I have purpose for everything under heaven. Nothing is by chance. It is the Mystery of God’s Will. Sometimes revealed immediately sometimes not for years. For we strive to live a life after God’s own heart. So people see Him in us. I am a recovering alcoholic. Almost 4 years of chains broken. My kids suffered greatly at my selfish demise. God still had a plan so greatly purposed in all of it. Be still and know that I am God! All day today! Thanks for sharing your heart ❤🙏☝

    • Thanks so much Lisa! Oh wow I love that saying. Be still and know that I am God. Amen to that! Thank you for sharing your story. Four years is an incredible accomplishment! Way to go!! Hugs and love xox

      • Thank you I have quite the story. Grew up in church, and I knew God. Just was very wounded in my marriage, and instead of turning to God I turned to alcohol. I married into a large church family. A P.K I had known since the fourth grade. Married at 20. Never hold a man higher in regard to God. He was my everything and he could no wrong in my eyes. I might as well have been that Omish wife who submitted to his every saying (not knocking that) just saying. I did not have a mind of my own. So when he fell as humans do my life came out from under me. Instead of being strong, I fell too. Their was no salvage of us. We are not even friends to this day. 18 years of marriage. As much as his failings wounded me greatly I get it. We are human. We are not in our heavenly realm yet. We are constantly battling the world. He just has stayed there. I pray for him all the time. I am remarried, because biblically I was released from our marriage. God has given me a new breath of life. As well as I knew him before it is ten fold now. We serve a mighty God. My favorite is grace because I bask in it daily. He saved a wretch like me. Anyways I could go on and on. That is why I write. Blessings, and keep on keeping on for He knows us and always has best at heart even when we can’t see it.

      • Oh gosh thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am so sorry that you’ve had to walk that journey. But you’re so right – a mighty God indeed. So glad you’re basking in His grace. Hugs and love xox

  42. Wow. You are an amazing artist with this new form of communicating through words, pictures, film, and animation. I think you realize that you are blessed beyond bones. You are beautiful, talented and have found a spiritual depth and maturity that only those who suffer can reach. Because of this your physical beauty is complemented and superseded by your spiritual beauty. That particular glow you give off in your photographs is not a trick of lighting. It is the inner shine of the Holy Spirit emanating from you. That beauty will be eternal while your physical beauty will last but a moment.

    You are a 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 woman:

    3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

    You are so right we are all recovering from something. Your sharing your recovery journey is comforting to many. Recovery is a never ending journey. It is like sanctification. We strive for perfection but never achieve it; yet, in our striving we are made new.

    I hope that you have thanked God for your suffering. It has made you more Christ like. Like grape vines, we must be pruned. Pruning is painful to the vine but it makes the vine more fruitful. Through your pruning you have become abundantly fruitful.

    A Scottish Theologian from the 1800’s by the name of George Matheson wrote a popular hymn called ‘O Love That Will Not Let Me Go’. This hymn was written during a time in his life when intense sadness and heartbreak threatened to overwhelm him:

    “My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn.
    I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses. But never once for my thorn.
    Teach me the glory of my cross, Teach me the value of my thorn.
    Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of my pain.
    Show me that my tears have made rainbows. Amen.”

    You are making rainbows for your readers.

    May you continue to grow in your faith and may your thorns be mainly behind you.

    God bless.

    • Gosh this is such an incredibly kind note. Thank you so much. I seriously have no words to say how much this touched my heart. I love those verses and hymn. Thank you for sharing them with me. I hope you have a beautiful evening. Hugs and love xox

  43. Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:
    “Because we’re all recovering from something.”

    I have reblogged posts by Beauty Beyond Bones, BBB, before.

    Here is why:

    And I was sitting in my little chair, looking at the painting, letting Jesus’ face make an impression on me, when my mom came in and sat next to me.

    “You know the story behind this painting, right?”

    And, truthfully, I didn’t. I know we got it a long time ago, but I just figured my mom’s bible study class gifted it to her as an end-of-year teacher gift.

    (Comments are disabled here as usual. Thank you.)

  44. I love reading all your posts! My favourite scripture that brings me peace is from Proverbs 3:5&6 which says… ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart do not depend on your own understanding in all your way acknowledge him and he will make your path straight’. Many Blessings, Grace. Xx

  45. So BBB, this is what I read yesterday: For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. from 2 Corinthians chapter 4. This passage is speaking so powerfully to me right now, In fact there is more and it’s even better! But how apt that our bodies are weak and fragile like clay jars holding great treasure. This piece of scripture sums up your whole post – I stand amazed!

    • Let light shine out of darkness. Oh my gosh what a beautiful sentiment. I absolutely love that. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. So moving. Hugs and love xox

  46. Ha ha, the cat… and the picture – wow…
    What brings my soul peace? Clear thought, about time, people and place (as a theologian). And some action… doing
    …and music has been a part of that 🙂

    • Haha thanks David. Yeah I thought the cat was pretty great. Those are all great things! And I love music too! It really hits me on a soul level. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  47. I love when we start to see out of our mothers’ eyes… I feel like some of our own pieces start to fall into place. What a gift ❤️

  48. Thank you, Caralyn, for sharing this story, which, for me, yes, is about trusting Jesus, but, too, about your mother’s faith and hope and love…and yours.

    As for what brings my soul peace, among many things – songs, Bible verses, and the like – there is one, perhaps odd, remembrance and reflection to which I return again and again. That is, Jesus’ fulfillment of his destiny; one that involved his crucifixion and death. I find present and eternal comfort in this, for, as I seek to follow him, I am given to acknowledge and accept that my peace may not mean – and oft doesn’t mean – an absence of conflict or trial or tribulation, but rather always entails an inner tranquility that come what may, when, where, and how, my soul is held fast and secure in the Lord. Do I struggle to hold on to that idea, that belief, that reality at times. Yes, of course. Nevertheless, the comfort it provides, I have found, abides.

    • Thanks so much Paul. I really appreciate this thoughtful reply. Wow what a powerful thought: the fulfillment of Jesus’ destiny – it’s hard to even fathom he anguish and pain He endured, and then to remember that He chose to take it on for you and me…just wow. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  49. When I was little I was drawn to this room in my grandparents’ house. I learned later it held a “shrine” to Christ. Long story short, my great grandmother made a promise to God to build a “shrine” to him (And this thing was huge) and worship at it everyday if she allowed her child (my grandfather) to live. He obviously lived and this shrine was a massive collection. As a baby I was fascinated by one particular piece: The Infant of Prague. I had a fascination with his hands most of my life, trying to draw saints with the right hand. “The left hand encircles a miniature globe, surmounted by a cross, signifying the world-wide kingship of the Christ Child. The right hand is extended in blessing with the first two fingers being upraised to symbolize the two natures of Christ, while the folded thumb and last two fingers touch each other representing the unity of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.” I haven’t thought about this much until now. BTW that side of the family was very Siciilian, which is why I think the shrine came in to being. It must be a Sicilian/Italian thing.

    As for a song, my newer blog is named after “Til the Love Runs Out” by One Republic. It has many feelings about it. Someone close to me used it has his anthem while going through chemo. It symbolizes the love for God and accepting His Plan. Also to keep fighting “til the love runs out” or His love is gone- which is obviously never. I decided to use it as one of my anthems too and have it tattooed where his scar for the chemo port goes. It’s inspiring.

    Sorry for the long response, but this post hit home. Thanks for your awesome blog! *hugs*

    • Oh wow what a powerful story. Thank you for sharing that with me. I’m definitely going to good the infant of Prague when I finish this comment!! Sounds really intriguing and beautiful. Gosh, what a powerful witness you have. Hugs and love xox

  50. Yes, Jesus. I trust in you–I rarely understand, often don’t like what’s happening, but I do trust in you.

    As always, a great post! Thank you.

    • Thanks Mary! Yeah, I’m finding that I’m telling myself that more and more often! I trust in Him, not my own limited understanding. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a beautiful weekend! Hugs and love xox

  51. I too discovered a picture of Jesus ( or at the perfect time the picture found me). I looked deeply into Jesus’s eyes of compassion, ignoring hostile, indifferent, curious and uncaring eyes and expressions of those standing around him. I was drawn to looking into those eyes of love,which spoke to me more than words could and got through to me during dark days when I felt useless and hopeless. Despite what others thought I knew I was loved.
    Julia x

  52. Dear author of BBB,
    Thanks for this post and for finding time to stop by at Wise and Harmless Poetry blog.

    After reading this post I think it is a good reminder, particularly to Christian people that God more than just exists, He loves us! =)))

  53. What a beautiful story! We are from the “low country” along the southern coast. When I’m feeling depleted I feel myself drawn to the smell of the marshlands.

  54. I could cry if it wasn’t because I’m currently at work… This is something I just talked about my blog today as well. God has definitely never left your family’s side and this you’re a testament of that! What a strong and beautiful girl you are, keep on going!!! Can’t wait to read all your blog posts! 🙂

    • Oh my gosh, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad this hit home for you. Yes! He is always by our side. What a comfort that it. Thanks for stopping by! Big hugs xox

  55. First off, sending nothing but positive thoughts and prayers your way and wishing your mom a speedy recovery. This really hits close to home for me. When my father was in ICU for half the year, I put my faith in God and trusted that he had a plan for my father. It was the hardest thing that I ever had to endure in my entire life; my faith was tested day in and day out. But throughout it all, I never wavered and my dad is on the road to recovery. You truly are a strong person for sharing this, thank you so much!!!

    • Hi Mark, thank you so much for your kind words and prayers for my mom. I’m so sorry that you can relate so personally and I’m so glad to hear that your dad is doing well. I will definitely keep him and you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and love xox

  56. I did a cross stitch picture of a little child on Jesus’ lap. It is very complex and took me about six months. It hangs next to our bed and always brings me comfort.

  57. “Make me listen to you in the morning, of your loyal and perennial love, for in you I have placed all my trust in you! Tell me the way to go, for I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8

    I love the sparkle of your eyes Caralyn !!!

  58. I am drawn to likeminded and honest people. You know the people that say exactly what is on their minds and force people to take it or leave it. There is something great about someone that is transparent that gives me hope.
    “Love is my only addiction” that quote fuels my faith never in the best moments but in the worst of moments. It allows me to keep my eye on the destination.

  59. Taking care of my Mama her last few weeks here @ home with hospice checking in, I spent the nites at her side. Praying the rosary, especially the Sorrowful & Glorious mysteries – asking for the ‘grace of a happy death’ for my Mama – comforted my heart. Those middle of the nite prayers were answered. As my Mama took her last few breaths, all five of us (my siblings & I) gathered round her bed singing Amazing Grace. She had such a look of peace… and I know one day we’ll see her again!

    • Hi Virginia, thank you so much for sharing this. gosh I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. gosh, my heart just goes out to you, and my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. what a beautiful last moment your mother had with her family. that was such a gift you gave her. yes, therein lies the comfort: that we will all be reunited again one day. sending so so so much love xox

  60. Beautiful post. I admire your willingness to be vulnerable about your own emotions. It’s not that easy on the internet where any stranger can criticize or demean your experience. I also appreciate the imagery you use. Spot on!

    I myself haven’t done religious art in a while. But, you may have just inspired me!

  61. Another piece of the puzzle is revealed. I love you friend!!! Jesus is the source of all our strength… God bless.You can officially move past the moniker of BBB. It should be changed to beyond beautiful because of the blood of Christ…

  62. Your story touched my heart! You and your mother experienced grace!
    I have several versus that will come to me. Today the verse that touches me especially now with so much unknown is Philippians 4:6 “don’t worry about anything, Instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. I hope this blesses you! prayers for your Mothers continued recovery.

    • thank you so much friend! yes! we really did experience His grace. Oh wow, that is such a powerful verse. thanks for sharing it with me! and thanks for your prayers! big hugs xox

  63. So much message and power in that…..
    The hymn “Amazing grace” does it for me… And we recently taught the pupils in the elementary school where I teach. Not in a religious type of way though but we hope that as they grow older and walk down the path of life, they will remember the words in the hymn and pray it gets them through trying times and challenges which they are bound to face because it is life.

  64. Caralyn,

    I’m drawn to a host of things too long to mention here, but a few of those are greenness, forests, the sea, mountains and skies because I always see God’s face in natural beauty, stories and poetry because they somehow embody God’s amazing way of speaking, biochemistry and ecosystems because they reflect the painstaking intricacy of God’s work, close friends I can trust and who have a story to share because they’re God’s gift to me, my wife and daughter because they’re the better parts of me and give me hope, smells of baking because I’ve always loved home and hearth, Celtic music because it draws me close to the Shepherd I love, I can go on and on. And you can continue to add 2 and 2…

    I love the verses ‘The Lord is my strength and my song’, ‘He prepares a banquet for me in the very presence of my enemies; He anoints my head with oil and my cup overflows’, ‘Your name is like perfume poured out’, ‘Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on yourself and learn from me because I’m gentle and humble in heart’, and many more that God has spoken over my life, that continue to give me hope.

    I’ve been reflecting a lot on preciousness and all my current posts are on this theme. I’ve recommended people visit your blog in my latest post because of the way your blog fits so perfectly into today’s post’s theme. I trust you’re fine with that.

    You post reminded me of the start of the Moravian mission with Count Zinzendorf’s encounter with a painting of Jesus called ‘Behold the Man’ and his drastic change after that. Art is quite wonderful, isn’t it?

    Love and blessings to your family and to you,

    • Hi Indi, wow, thank you for this beautiful reflection. i so agree, being in nature and experience the majesty of His creation really makes you feel close to the Father. And i love those verses. thank you for sharing therewith me. i especially like the one about being weary and burdened. And thanks for passing on my site to your readers. that really means a lot. what an awesome theme you’re writing about. very powerful. hope you have a beautiful weekend. big hugs xo

  65. Just know that painting is really not Jesus or really represented of Him. No where in the Bible does it say to make any likeness of Jesus. The Bible doesn’t even us enough physical details to make a rendering of Jesus.

    Moreover in Deuteronomy 4:15-19

    15 Keep therefore your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire: 16 Lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male or female, 17 The similitude of any beasts, that are upon the earth, or of birds, that fly under heaven, 18 Or of creeping things, that move on the earth, or of fishes, that abide in the waters under the earth: 19 Lest perhaps lifting up thy eyes to heaven, thou see the sun and the moon, and all the stars of heaven, and being deceived by error thou adore and serve them, which the Lord thy God created for the service of all the nations, that are under heaven. (Douay-Rheims)

    Notice that He also said no image of any male or female.

    In Isaiah 44:9:

    9 Those who make an image, all of them are useless,
    And their precious things shall not profit;
    They are their own witnesses;
    They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.

    I believe spirits are behind idols and that is perhaps why you felt a pull to be near

    God bless.

  66. I have many mantras that I say to myself, but the phrase I keep in mind is, that everything is impermanent. That helps me stay in the present.

  67. I”m not a religious art person either; I’m glad that one struck you!
    My go to used to be Jer 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope” Then one day the minister talked about how that verse was a promise only to the Jews at that time in that circumstance. Needless to say that bummed me out totally….and I’m not sure I agree with him because of what that would say about a LOT of scripture :/ Now I tend to go to a portion of the long form of the serenity prayer…”Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time..”

    Stay good sister xo

  68. Im new to wordpress and being a bit selective about who I follow. I’ve only read one post of yours but loved it. A read with some real depth of heart. Look forward to reading more.

  69. I have so much things I would like to share that brings me comfort so I hope you do not mind my many words. I will share three things.

    My first is a text:
    Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. When I realise that nothing else is required of me in this life except to fear God and to keep His commandments this brings me such peace in a world that demands so much of you. When the world becomes demanding and overwhelming I can focus on this text and realise that my saviour ask nothing more than I fear Him and keep His commandments.

    My second is another text:

    Matthew 6:19-21

    19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

    20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
    The lie that the world tries to sell us that we need to get and get and keep getting to secure for our future and work until you drop and rat race against your fellowmen just to ensure that you do not come to want or become destitute can push one into depression if they do not know the real truth that God calls all that men see as achieving and moving forward nothing but laying up treasure here on earth, where everything is temporary. This makes me want to work more towards the kingdom of God, to lay up for myself treasures in heaven where everything is permanent. This gives me joy and lift any anxiety this world places on me. It helps me to trust my future more fully in the hands of God and not in the hands of my own achieving.

    My third is a poem I found called “The fellowship of the Unashamed .” I don’t know who the author is but it is absolutely powerful. Focuses me back to what is really important in our short sojourn here on Earth.

    The Fellowship of the Unashamed

    I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”

    The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.

    The decision has been made. I am a disciple of

    Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down,

    back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present

    makes sense, and my future is secure.

    I am finished and done with low living, sight walking,

    small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,

    chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

    I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position,

    promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by

    presence, lean by faith, love by patience,

    lift by prayer, and labor by power. My pace

    is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my

    road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few,

    my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought,

    compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back,

    diluted, or delayed.

    I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the

    presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy,

    ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander

    in the maze of mediocrity.

    I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until

    Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know,

    and work until He comes. And when He comes to get

    His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.

    My colors will be clear.

    • Wow, thank you so much for sharing these beautiful passages. They definitely embody hope and peace and comfort. thanks again for passing them along to me 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  70. Having been reared in a Baptist tradition, I found the visual imagery of our church to be somewhere between empty (the church was a modern style by 1970’s fashion, looking like an auditorium) and harsh (a full-emersion baptismal pool and cross int he center of the stage, two symbols of death). I find much more connection in the Catholic tradition of images of Christian stories and themes represents in sculpture, paintings, stained glass windows, etc…. as you can probably tell from some of my long-winded posts about Roman church images. Furthermore, having seen Christian art in many places that we have traveled & lived, this art can be transformed to reflect the people for whom it is made. Then, there was the 8×10 nigh-light of the German Jesus that hung in our hallway looking into my room. I don’t know… that was rather creepy, that light brown haired guy whit blue eyes staring at me all the time. Must have been that Baptist thing about keepinng track of your sins, for surely that is what you must be up to. 👁

  71. I love your blog! I had an ED for five years and I saw the toll that it took on my mother. My brother gave her a hard time too, but she said that she’d rather deal with his issues a thousand times then watch me go through that again. It’s such a mentally debilitating sickness. I’m glad that you’re doing better!

  72. I just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Awesome Blogger Award. I understand that not everyone chooses to be a part of the award nomination process. I just wanted to show thanks and appreciation for your work. Thank you for giving back so much to those around you! You are truly a gift!

  73. This post isn’t really about mothers or daughters.  It is about the significance of what we do day to day and the impact those efforts have to the lives of our loved ones in the future…

    “He never promised us an easy life. But He did promise us that He’d always be with us.”

    Or maybe it IS about mothers and daughters, because what you are addressing…what you write about day to day…will likely be a source of healing for your daughter…in the future.

    Christ will always be with us. “Always.” That is not just today and tomorrow. That is an indication of eternal influence. Your mother’s purchase of the painting changed eternity. Your writing of this essay changed eternity. Keep it up. It is healing eternity.

    Healing eternity does not just heal the future; it also heals the past.

    • Thanks so much for this beautiful reflection. Amen -Jesus will ALWAYS be with us. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words words. It really means a lot. Hugs and love xox

  74. As I don’t believe in “coincidence,” I have to believe this is a “God moment.” The link I just left on you blog “Something’s Gotta Give” has a video series about the Divine Mercy that is fascinating! You won’t want to stop watching. Thank you for another beautiful piece.

  75. What Brings my Soul Peace? Hmm, when I’m stressed or something I often listen to classical music, like James Newton Howard 😍 I love his music❤ And something else: your Blog ist gorgeous😱I love it! I hope i was able to answer right to your question, because i’m from Hamburg and don’t understand thaaaat much english but I tried😏😂

  76. What am I drawn to? God and the Psalms. Thanks for sharing your story. I pressed this on my site. Wanted to Share on LinkedIn but didn’t see that button. Thanks for sharing your story.