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Do you recall when this song was revived and sung in churches around the early ’90s? With the upcoming new year, I feel the invitation to allow that song to reverberate in my soul. It is a season to embrace the beauty of . . . all things . . . bright . . . and beautiful. On this last statement, I wonder and reflect. All things? Really?

Beauty in all things. Hmmm. For me, it’s something to consider.

When my son was learning to ride a bike without training wheels, I found joy only in the idea of achieving my goal (I can honestly say, it was my goal and not my son’s). I had been coaching our son. It sounded something like this, 

“Just try.”
“You won’t be able to do it unless you do it.”
“You have to jump on there!”

My coaching seemed to do anything but encourage him, so I gave him some space and started to continue on our trek. 

For a reason I can no longer recall, I was pushing my husband’s bike instead of riding my own. The seat was way too tall, yet the coach in me wondered what sort of example I was setting by keeping my own two feet safely on the ground. I did not feel comfortable jumping on that bike and going for it, but I wanted to show myself and my son, “I can do it. So can you.” 

I ended up riding while standing and ultimately was able to sit on the edge of the seat and push the pedals with the tips of my toes. I even rode that bike up a hill despite my lack of preparation or properly fitted equipment. It wasn’t my son’s achievement I ultimately became content with – it was my own. Though I had and exercised the skill I wished for my son, my perspective shifted and I found something new to find joy and contentment in. 

May this season allow you to discover all things bright and beautiful. May your weary places be filled with relief and rest. Merry Christmas to all Joyful Journeys Counseling followers!

This revised post was originally published in Thyme Magazine. Jennifer authored her column, Chipped China, from April 2020 until November 2022.

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