When Your Perspective On Platform and Message Changes

by | Jan 17, 2013 | Uncategorized


Noon on Sunday comes fast when church starts at 4pm and you sleep in. I trade pajama pants for shorts to walk on the beach before showering. It’s Junuary in the seaside village I call home: Blue skies, chirping birds, pelicans hovering low in single file and a gull floating like the sea is his raft and the hands of God rocking.

I know this is a rare gift, like snow falling in summer.

I’m mesmerized by the beauty of this endless horizon; stutter to a halt on the weathered walkway leading back to my car.  Linger for one final look.

Like a father pushing his hand into a child’s back to lead her, He nudges me to keep walking.

So I do.

With a camera strapped over my shoulder I continue, crouch down to photograph a message sticked in the wet sand. As I frame the shot, I feel Him say, “This is why I wanted you to keep walking, what I wanted you to see. It’s my message to you.”


Breathless for a minute on a vacant expanse of beach, I watch waves crest, stretch frothy fingers toward my toes and curl back into the sand leaving scattered shells of perspective.

Fulfillment is finding your sweet spot. That platform where you soar high above the crowds with an endless horizon of possibility because you know a God that loves you like this.

A pelican expands his wings, glides above the water at eye level, tipping his elongated beak down toward the water, and hesitates like a woman changing her mind in the mirror.

If God allowed that pelican to catch every single fish he dove after without failing, he would be too fat to fly. Grounded by an insatiable appetite.

We’re not meant to catch every fish, or the eye of every reader, or the heart of every man. Just those he gives us. And that is enough.


I kick the sand off my shoes, turn the key in the ignition and these words from a Kelly Clarkson song on the radio become my prayer when I hear them: “You’re teaching me to see beauty in everything.”

“Yes, you are, aren’t you?”

“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”(Hebrews 1:10-12 ESV)

Linking with Emily Wierenga at Imperfect Prose with the prompt: Encourage. Because this walk embodies the word for me.

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  1. Michele {A Life Surrendered}

    And this walk, the one you invited us on, too, embodies the word for me also. Beautiful, emanating His love and grace, fragrant with love’s offering.

    “Those He gives us… yes, that is enough.”

    Love you, Shelly.

  2. Celeste Allyn

    Thanks Shelly.

  3. Lynn Morrissey

    You are linking with “imperfect prose,” (which site I have not read), but there i s *nothing* imperfect about *your* prose!! It is breathtakingly exquisite. Thank you for these gorgeous words, but moreover, for this reminder: that the platform is His. We need not fly high to try to reach it. We just need to be obedient to scatter shells and let the tide of *His* love sweep them to His desired destiny–to however many beachcombers He may have in mind to gather them. Oh Shelly, I cannot tell you how privileged I am that God has led me to your beach of benevolence and beauty and blessing!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh, you will love Emily at Imperfect Prose and you will meet her at the Jumping Tandem retreat. It’s a beautiful community of writers there. I’m on her team of writers this year and thankful she asked. Thanks for sending Floyd over Lynn. WHo needs marketing when they have you? Love the way you love me, steadfast and generous. Thank you. And btw, I thought this was the message He gave me on the beach, but part two came today on another walk and I have to say, it may the most important thing He has said to me in awhile. I’m on an adrenaline rush today, swimming with all it. Can’t wait to share it, hopefully tomorrow, God willing.

      • Lynn Morrissey

        OH my! And I can’t wait to read it. It’s as if the Lord is just bursting through your life right now, with a fresh, breathtaking gust of His Spirit! Hold on! You are in for a wonderful ride. I’ll check out Emily, and so glad whenever I can lead others to your writing world. You see things differently from anyone I know, and God has uniquely gifted you. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to share you with the world! It is pure pleasure! Can’t wait for the retreat (or advance, as the case may be)!

  4. ro elliott

    If God allowed that pelican to catch every single fish he dove after without failing, he would be too fat to fly. Grounded by an insatiable appetite.

    We’re not meant to catch every fish, or the eye of every reader, or the heart of every man. Just those he gives us. And that is enough. Shelly, I love this…wonderful truth.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’m glad it spoke to you too. Grace, that’s all it is.

  5. Danelle

    Are you surprised that I love this? I have chills thinking of how you felt seeing those words written in the sand. And the pelican analogy? That will stick. As usual, you encourage me. Always and always. Xoxox

  6. Sylvia R

    This post soothes like, well, fragrant anointing oil. “We’re not meant to catch every fish, or the eye of every reader, or the heart of every man. Just those he gives us. And that is enough.” Yes. (Smile) It is such sweet blessing when we settle into this peaceful truth! Increasing blessings to you, Shelly!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      His words to you. He gave them to me standing there in those quiet moments and its no coincidence that those are the ones resonating with readers today. Amen and Hallelujah!

  7. Jody Lee Collins

    Shelly, I’ll echo Michele above, “those He gives us…yes, that is enough.” The toughest self-battle I’ve fought this past year that I’ve been writing online has been with comparing myself to others. God has been refining my focus, reminding me of the borders of the pasture He wants me to graze in, eating the food He gives me and sharing it with the ‘sheep’ nearby. Be who I am where I am for those He’s given me to speak to, however small and close that is. It has been very freeing.
    YOURS, too, is a beautiful voice right where it is and I so love hearing it.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Jody, your words are a sacred echo for me. He gave me part two of this message today on another walk and can’t wait to share it. And I didn’t know there would be a part two, didn’t expect it. But isn’t that how God is, He loves to surprise us with His presence.

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Jody, I hear your heart too. I just wanted to say that God spoke to my heart a couple months ago, showing me that each of us, as writers, is to reflect some aspect of Him. He was showing me that He is so vast, that even if everyone wrote, she couldn’t possibly exhaust the vastness and glory of God. Keep shining HIs light! He’ll direct it where He wants it, and others will bask in the light you reflect.

  8. Elizabeth Stewart

    Encouragement from God Himself. There’s none better!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      When I try to think of what would be a greater gift, more fulfilling than being in his presence, I can’t think of one single thing.

  9. Heather Kopp at SoberBoots.com

    The perfect post for me tonight. I’m a fish caught. Love your words Shelly, and the heart they reveal.

  10. Mary Gemmill

    This post was a real blessing to me today- thanks!
    What registered loudest was: We’re not meant to catch every fish, or the eye of every reader, or the heart of every man. Just those he gives us. And that is enough.
    TRUTH = for sure- but I needed reminding:)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, we all need reminding don’t we Mary? I know I do.

  11. Joy Lenton

    A truly beautifully written post resonating with grace and encouragement. I could sense the scene as you describe it and virtually taste the salt-tanged air. Kelly Clarkson’s words “You’re teaching me to seebeauty in everything” apply so well to the ugly situations we face as well as the outwardly lovely.
    “We’re not meant to catch every fish, or the eye of every reader…Just those he gives us. And that is enough” are words that nourish my soul to offer the bread and accept it becoming a crumb to sustain another lost sheep.
    Thank you so much for your lovely reflection. May many eagerly devour the crumbs offered here as I have done. Bless you Shelley, for in your obedience in pausing and noticing you have given a great glimpse of His loving heart.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’m not sure I can take any credit because the best words are His. It’s why that same phrase seems to resonate in the comments. They were His words to me, for you too. Thank you for your encouragement here and on Twitter, it means a lot to me.

  12. Mandy

    A beautiful post that reminds me that He gives us what we need. Love the prose and beautiful pictures that add warmth to a very cold day. Learning to see beauty in everything.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      We are having unusual spring like weather here on the island and I’m outside in it whenever I can be. Like now as I type this comment back to you. #thankful

  13. wynnegraceappears

    Shelly, a beautiful picture from a beautiful encourager. Sigh….I am walking alongside you and hearing our God whisper all along the way. The way he does that…extravagant love. Thank you for being an encourager back not so long ago when I was crawling..maybe I still am…but crawling faster 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      If I offered you any consolation or encouragement, I am grateful Elizabeth. It seems you have found your way quite well. It’s good to see you at Imperfect Prose today. Your words are lovely.

  14. Jo Inglis (@Piano_Jo)

    Hearing God’s whisper in the everyday, the words in the sand & the pelican, so precious. Thank you Shelly for sharing these refractions of His love with your creative heart.
    Jo x

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Jo, thankful you stopped by to let me know.

  15. floyd

    Wow. That was awesome… and beautiful pictures. Lynn was right, glad I’m one of those you’ve caught.

    • Lynn Morrissey

      Hey, Floyd, I told you so!! And I hope readers will visit your blog, too! http://theregoi.com/

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Floyd so glad Lynn brought you by for a visit. It’s great to meet you. She is my greatest unpaid, unexpected marketing plan. Love her generous heart. Thankful for your generous comment.

  16. Dea Moore

    The elusive “sweet spot” of fulfillment is found when we surrender to the nudging of the One who so desires us to SEE “I love you” written on the world. Despite the decay, he scribbles his love letters everywhere—sometimes on the horizon, sometimes on the ground. Awesome encouragement, my friend. I so needed a walk on the beach in Junuary. Thanks for taking us along.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It’s been an amazing gift Dea, this spring like weather in the middle of winter. And I got part two of this message today. I cannot wait to share it. He is blowing me away I tell you.

      • Dea Moore

        That’s so awesome. I can’t wait to read it 🙂 Sorry we sent the cold blustery winterish stuff east to mess with your Junuary!!

  17. Michelle DeRusha

    A beautiful read this morning, Shelly. Thank you, Lovely.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      So glad you stopped by Michelle, always brings a smile to see you here friend.

  18. Amanda B. Hill

    I love the image of the pelican eating every fish and not being able to fly. That’s such a beautiful thought when things don’t always go our way. As usual, you inspire me. Much much love.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It’s funny how God can teach you a lesson in a random unexpected moment on a casual walk. I could’ve never thought that up on my own. Honestly. I’m wearing the necklace you sent me for Christmas today (Instagramed it) and you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Love you!

  19. Maureen

    I love, love your perspective on platform, your lesson of enough. What a joy! And, to think that it is not because I am not doing enough, not doing the “right” things, but to release it all into the Lord’s hands. His enough. That the platform is in soaring and security in His love – oh, amazing. I still have much to learn – thank you for sharing your lessons.

  20. 4gilbert1

    I needed these specific words at this very minute.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      God loves you enough to give what you need when you need it. Yes?

  21. Shannon

    Beautiful!! Thanks for reminding me why He has asked me to do the things He has. Beautiful post!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanking God for the clarity you found in the words He gave me.

  22. Kati Woronka

    What a story full of encouragement! What peace I sense in the experience! That is definitely a scene of God 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, a scene of God I happened to walk in on at just the right time. I’m so grateful to share it.

  23. Beth

    Beautiful, powerful. Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks for reading Beth, its nice to meet you recently. Glad you left a comment.

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