Beautiful Things

Allow me to set the stage here. Paint you a picture so you can catch a glimpse of how big of a dork I am.

It’s a Wednesday evening. 6:30, and I’m in my little NYC kitchen, making a big, beautiful salad.

I was super jazzed because I had bought some ~fancy~ ingredients to really spoil myself: red cabbage, kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

I know. Frickin’ Gordon Ramsey over here.

But I had Pandora playing, as I always do in my apartment – christian station – and the next thing I know, I’m literally belting out the chorus, to Audrey Assad’s “Beautiful Things.”

And even though I’m a singer (I was the lead singer of a latin cover band as my first NYC gig, so there’s another great mental image for ya) – but even though I’m a singer, I never just belt out songs on the reg. I mean, hello…thin walls. #PrewarApartmentLiving

So, startled at the noise spewing from my pie hole, I started listening to the lyric I was repeating over and over in this song:

“You make beautiful things out of dust…You are making me new.”

Chills yet? Because I sure had ’em, once I realized what the heck I was singing at the top of my lungs.

But maybe not for the reason you may think.

You see, I had been spending the day in prayer for my mom. Being in NYC, away from her has been really hard, I’m not going to sugar coat it. Really hard. I long for ways to feel connected to her, and I’ve found that prayer helps that. So after a particularly hard, tear-filled morning, I spent the rest of the day praying for her continued healing from her stroke. And so, I’m not joking, I didn’t even realize I was singing until I realized I was belting out that particular lyric. It was the Holy Spirit, I am sure of it. Caught ya red handed there, Advocate! 

But all kidding aside, there is something that I want to say to a very special reader. —You know who you are.


Healing is a journey. Healing is a long road that can be desolate at times. And right now, you’re walking through one of those dusty stretches of road. There is a deep sadness we feel when we find that we are unable to do something that was once a hallmark of who we intrinsically are. We mourn. We grieve the loss of our ability to be who we once were.

This is a very painful chapter of the healing process.


I walked through this during my anorexia when I completely lost my personality. The goofy, fun-loving girl who would bust out funny accents and spontaneous dance parties was replaced with a hollow, unfeeling shell of a person without passion or zest or personality anymore. And during the initial phase of my recovery and healing, I was having trouble finding her. And there were days that I would grieve – heartsick that I would never be able to be that vivacious young woman ever again.

You make beautiful things out of dust.

Right now, you’re feeling like dust. Things are frustrating. Hard. Seemingly impossible. Will I ever be the same? I was once an extravagant garden, overflowing with the most beautiful of blooms, now all I can see is a hole in the ground. What will people think of what I’ve become?

You are making me new— He is making you new. 


There’s a danger that comes with discouragement. There’s a mindset that we can slip into that threatens our innermost spirit.

When we’re hung up on what we cannot do, or what is hard to do, or what we’re missing, we tend to only see those things. We’re looking down at the ground, focusing on the hole in the ground of what’s missing or lacking, and in our laser focus, we begin to think that that’s what the whole garden is like. I must be standing in a barren patch of earth.

But in your focus on that hole, you can’t see what I see. You can’t see that you’re actually standing in a beautiful garden, where succulent wildflowers are all around you. This flower: grace. That flower: humility. This one: courage. That one: perseverance. This one: peace. That one: Hope. But you can’t see it because you’re only looking at the hole.

Look up. See the beauty you’re radiating. See the exquisite blooms surrounding you.


Sure, your garden may not be exactly the same as what it once was, but dare I say, this garden is better: even more beautiful than before. This garden was built on a foundation of resilience. And your bravery permeates the air with a fragrant aroma of dignity and strength.

That’s what I see when I look at you. I don’t see the hole. I see the magnificent and beautiful garden that is you. Because He makes beautiful things.

Never forget that.

Please find the lyrics and song below.

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All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way.
I wonder if our life could really change at all.

All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come up from this ground at all?

You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us.

All around, hope is springing up the this old ground.
And out of chaos life is being found, in you.

You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us.

You make me new,
You are making me new.

You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us.



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234 thoughts on “Beautiful Things

  1. Did you watch The Shack? This post reminds me of a portion of that movie . . . I was moved by it, and your post does the same. I can relate to what you’re going through right now with your mum, my mum is far away in some wilderness of her own right now and I feel quite helpless sometimes . . . but I know that in it all, God has her, more than I could. It’ll all end in praise, for all our mums. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the encouraging post! I have been in a funk lately where I feel disengaged from things around me, especially in my quiet time with God. It’s easy for me to focus too much on what I worry I’m missing, why I feel so emotionally detached, that I may be ignoring what is around me.


    1. Thanks so much, Ellen, for sharing you heart. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers 🙂 what’s always comforting for me to remember is that even though i may feel distant or detached, God hasn’t gone anywhere, and is right by my side 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  3. God has amazing ways of refining and making something new out of us. My mom used to pick me up from school on this old scooter back when I was in kindergarten. On the way home, we would sing out loud into the traffic- ‘he’s still working on me, to me make what I ought to be. It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars but he’s still working on me. You go on and on and by the time we reach home we’ll be singing ‘there’s a sign on my heart- don’t touch it yet, it’s an unfinished heart’. Somehow that song stuck with me. When my grandpa died and mom was sitting there sobbing, I hummed this tune sitting by her. It fills the things words can never fill. God bless you and have a great week!🙂


    1. Yes He does! what a comforting thought. thank you for sharing your story – what a beautiful gift you were able to give your mom through song. there are some things that words just can’t express that music, for some reason can 🙂 Hugs and love xox


  4. Amen and amen. Btw. Took my ex (divorced now 10 years ) to east is east afghan restaurantin Vancouver which has a live gypsy jazz band on. Thursday nites . We had an awesome time and she left the restaurant completely jazzed. She wrote the next day. Such a blast from the past I really enjoyed the evening. Such a delightful surprise in every aspect .
    Never give up


  5. Good Morning Caralyn: God’s Blessings as you continue to brighten the world around you. I do believe the Light keeps spreading in a wider circle about you, and the reason that can happen is because it is not your light, it is the LIGHT of the world, Jesus Christ shining through you,

    John 8:12
    12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

    1 John 1:5
    5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

    God certainly does make beautiful things out of dust. You are a great example to each of us, “Beauty for God’s Glory”.
    He first of all creates us, He has plans for us. As some of us slip away, He never leaves us alone, and calls us to return in various ways, since we are all unique, and special in God’s sight.
    It would be great to hear you sing, perhaps you can record, and work it into one of your blog writings. 😀

    I didn’t read your good words until mid morning today, was running late it seems yesterday, and the weather seemed to be bothering this oldER body again.
    But early this morning, in my reading and writing my thoughts seemed to fit with yours.
    My thoughts:

    These are verses of truth for every woman, girl, boy, man, regardless of age, race, background. God, the God of the Bible, the Triune God, knows each of us, and knows us well, because He created each of us. God does not make mistakes, so regardless of circumstances or situations, no one is, has been, will be mistakenly created.
    Each person has worth, and God has plan and a purpose for your life. Please look to God, call to Jesus. He loves you.

    Psalms 139:13-14
    13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

    God Bless you Caralyn,
    LUV, 😀🌹❤️


    A late thought, do you skype, or face time with your Mom? Your prayer times must be so special for her, and it must be difficult having that distance separating you.
    Praying for you all.


    1. Hey George! thank you so much for this awesome response. i absolutely love those verses. thank you for sharing them with me. Yeah, i do occasionally face time with her. i talk to her every day, but i should adopt FaceTime more regularly. Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement. know that you’re in mine too 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A TV break is enjoyable when you feel it’s well-deserved, I agree. Changing the subject here, your ebook about blogging turns out to be great. It’s hard to be confident, which is how you seem in your blog, and it isn’t altogether different in your ebook, but I couldn’t have known precisely what the ebook might be like. Turns out, it is excellent.


    1. thanks for this Odell. You’re right – TV breaks are definitely beneficial! and gosh thank you so much! I’m so glad you’ve found the ebook beneficial? Would you mind if i used that as a quote? I wouldn’t put your last name or anything, but just as some feedback? Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Reading your ebook helped me think more like how you think, I would venture. If you want to quote what I’ve commented about your ebook, I am so happy that I helped in my way. If you feel the feedback could help others absorb what you’re doing, the pleasure is all mine to think you might quote it. All the best.


  7. That little part about the flowers is so cute! Sometimes we seek eloquence to communicate but it is simple things like that that inspire. 😀


  8. I was at the Mandalay Bay today in Vegas. Besides war ravaged areas its the biggest crime scene I’ve saw in America. Spanning a quarter mile. A quietness that is uncommon for the area. I met a monk and we talked. He said, well, he didn’t say much just kept saying peace, peace, peace in Tibetan. I agreed. They choose to see only goodness. Like you. Its good, healing is good.


    1. wow, that sounds like a terrifying and haunting scene. Yes – peace 🙂 Thanks for saying that, Kenzie. Yeah peace and healing is so needed in this world. it’s what i pray for every night. Thanks for sharing this experience with me. Sending big hugs xox


      1. One sad thing, if there was a life ending event there would be a “doomsday sale” people would party until it ended like, Pompeii or London during the Black Death. I think, that’s where the 50 Shades of Grey masks came from. One happy thing, some that are saved will make it to Heaven regardless. So, what do you do with all this pain? All this, uncaring? I like your approach, salad. Not to be facetious, but it is lovely.
        We cannot take on an uncaring world, alone. So, don’t. Do, what you can.


      2. Agree. Our taste buds know the sweet and as our tongues work it through we might find sour or salty. In the movie, Rain Man, she tells him to kiss her like he’s tasting something sweet. Our brains react to good food like a great kiss. From, what I remember. Haha.


  9. Another great post. I’ve not read the comments, so I apologize if this has already been pointed out. I’ve not hear the version of the song you mentioned, but I am familiar with Gungor’s version. I heard the song for the first time several years ago at Catalyst right after Gungor released it. I’ll never forget how overwhelmed I was by the performance of the song and the power of the lyrics. I actually have a link to Gungor’s version in a post from a while back – “Dust” –

    Thanks again for the post!

    Blessings to you!


  10. God is so amazing! This post brought tears to my eyes remembering where I’ve been and who God has made me now. It is deeply humbling. The really incredible thing though, is that my post tonight is supposed to be about being a garden and one worth protecting! Thank You for the inspiration (do you mind if I quote you and link to this post)?
    Another song, I’ve found healing and helpful when going through rough times is Heart of Worship by Matt Redman. Much love Sister keep healing!


  11. Just 💙

    I’m saving this post for the time which may come again when I relapse into depression. Thank you for the beauty, realism & hope in your writing. X


  12. I’ve been meaning to look through your blog foreverrrrrr and was finally able to get the chance to today. Thank you for sharing your testimony with us, it was truly uplifting and encouraging. I will be looking into your blog more! Keep on shining light for Christ sister!


  13. Yesterday was a pretty bad day for me, and God used my brokenness to crack up new potential in me I didn’t think I was ready for. Amen, He is powerful, He is loving, He is the Almighty One!


      1. He most certainly has 🙂 He used the brokenness I felt to allow me the choice of choosing humility. I plan to write further of the experience I am talking about, but due to past pain and lack of trust I’ve given people in many years, I’ve built up walls of struggling to allow others to help me (in the few times they do), I’m not used to it. But God used my pain I felt yesterday in my chest, and was like, “Nope, kid. This has to stop. You want Me to help you? I’ll use the pain to break you more than you can handle so you will admit the truth.” And when I was able to admit it, immediately relief, assurance, and peace filled the emptiness I felt in my chest. It was gone. Thank you so much for your care!! 🙂 ❤ I thought about you yesterday when I was having a hard time.


  14. Everything you said about mourning who you once were, and losing that personality to an illness– I completely understand that, for reasons I can’t discuss right now publicly; but, I am writing a book about it, so I know that some day I will go public with it. It is a deep grief, to ourselves and to those who love us. Praise Jesus for making beautiful things out of us– for making all things new. 💕💕
    Love you, my sista in Jesus.


  15. 1. Audrey Assad– YESSSS!!!
    2. Been struggling myself but with Jesus’s love- I will heal day by day GRACE♥️🙏🏼💖


  16. Love and prayers for you and your mom ❤ God certainly is a magnificent craftsman! Only He can repair His creations once they are broken ❤ Well written!


  17. I couldn’t sleep last night with these worries on my mind. I thought about who I used to be and worried if my best days were already behind me. I laid awake for hours with the burden of my wasted days keeping me from sleep. I needed your inspired words tonight. Thank you for sharing them. God isn’t done with me yet. Who am I to think that the best isn’t yet to come?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for this. I can relate. I had very bad burnout several years ago and totally became this numb shell of my former self. I lost my sense of humour, and previously I was a bit like you – goofy and fun loving. The realisation I hadn’t done any of the fun and silly things I used to was what opened my eyes to the burnout, and I believe ultimately saved me from hospitalisation. I’ve had to make peace with the fact I’m never going to be my pre-burnout self again, but I know God used that awful time to sharpen and refine me into someone new. Much aroha (love) to you as you’re missing your Mom.


  19. Great post. I believe we can heal through the love we have. We can all rise again from when we hit lows in our life. The garden is always beautiful if we look at it as beautiful. Love your quote ‘when things get – warriors are born’ inspirational.


  20. Hi Ana!

    Thank you for being one of my top followers!

    Aside from Captivated Child, I am also one of the administrators of Today Collaborative Blog

    This story is just so beautiful that I am out of words on how to tell you how it just hits my heart. I hope you would consider sharing stories like this in our site to influence, inspire and impact our readers by telling about your today. I know the world is looking for inspirational people like you to look up to.

    We hope you would consider accepting this invitation!

    You may contact us via Facebook at



  21. Thank you for posting this, not because it made me cry… which it did but because it perfectly describes my life right now. Hugs!


  22. You are so wonderful and more so with everything I learn about you A LATIN COVERBAND SINGER OMG!!!! I SO WANT TO GO TO CASA LATINA, FIND THE CONGAS IN THE BACK, AND HAVE YOU START SINGING!!! Ok, cool off. 😉 No, I know what that is like. I used to run a lot, I haven’t tried lately because my right foot doesn’t seem to like it anymore, but now I bike 3 + miles a day!! You are are beautiful, you make and do beautiful things and bring out beauty in all around you!! Love and hugs and I’m serious about Casa Latina, El Barrio Music Center or what, next spring!! x0x0x0


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