A Perspective of Love

Today was fabulous! We spent the morning touring the beautiful campus of The University of Tampa. We fell in love with the campus, but not the price tag! Y’all college is crazy expensive! We have 5 planning on going to college. I think I need a new career just to help pay for it! But back to the point here…This amazing campus is smack in the downtown area of Tampa. It backs up to the River Walk on the Hillsborough River. But you do not feel like you are in the middle of a city at all. The campus is so intimate and green, with huge old Spanish moss dripping trees. I didn’t take nearly enough photos of the campus, but we were busy listening, looking, and just being in the moment.

Being there made me start to think about perspective in our lives. Especially with social media being in our faces all the time. We spend so much time trying to create these perfect life moments. When in reality, everything around us is a gigantic disaster. The girl with the most perfect photos, may have the lowest self esteem. The mom with the perfect instagram account, may be in a horrible or abusive marriage. We never will know what is the reality of those perfect photos. We do all know that no one on this planet is perfect, nor do they have a perfect life. We all have issues, faults, we all have failures and messes. Why do we allow others to make us feel inferior or insignificant? Why do we let that make us try to create some false impression of who we are and how we are perceived? Life is too short to be phony!

This morning we were on a college campus in the middle of a city that felt like a story book that went back in time. This afternoon we sat on our private beach at our hotel on the Tampa Bay working on our tans. We literally are right beside a busy highway with pretty abundant and loud traffic. I went on a walk on a gorgeous water side pathway across from our hotel this evening. On one side there was ocean water, amazing birds, trees, and boats. On the other side, was the highway. Some areas smelled really bad, there was tons of trash that had washed onto the rocks and hung off the low hanging branches. This whole day was about what perspective I chose to look at and take in. I opted not to focus on the large city buildings and traffic all around us (but not through, no through streets are on the gorgeous bricked paved streets of UT). I focused on the astounding architecture from the 1800’s, the oldest building in Tampa. Hand carved doors and curved ceilings, hand painted murals astounding statues. The ancient trees draped in moss, colorful blooming trees in vibrant greens, yellows, reds and purples. I focused on the excitement of my daughter seeing the potential future she may chose. I looked at and took in all the beauty around me. I saw all the not so pretty things, but they were not what I wanted to focus on.

Today, I hope you chose your perspective based on your reality, not the phony reality you want everyone else to see, but the beautiful reality that is around you. Your life is beautiful, worth living, worth love and an important part of our world! You are significant! Your perspective is important to show. Chose the beauty, or chose the ugly but be real. I am posting pictures of my actual moments, view from our room, and views from my walk. Each one of these one is looking to the left and one is looking to the right. And one of our beautiful girl, just because! Pick your perspective, look right, look left, or look forward, but never look back!

Galatians 1:10 "Am I trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people. I would not be a servant of Christ."  

By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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