Monday's Musings: Look for Beauty in the Mundane

by Mary Denman     Twitter: @MaryDenman    Instagram: @MaryFDenman

For those of you have followed my blog for a while, you know that I had a very rough time in 2013. 

I lost my mother and father-in-law two weeks apart. It took a toll on me. But it's been 3 years now. I've learned a lot during that time and I wanted to let you in on a where am I now. 

First of all, I learned that God could get me through the hardest time of my life. For that, I'm extremely grateful. 

But I've also learned to look for beauty in the midst of the ashes. In the midst of the mundane. 

Beauty doesn't always jump out at us. 

Sometimes we have to be quiet to see it. Sometimes we need to look for it. 

I want to share some of the beauty I've found in the mundane.

Recently, hubby and I were traveling home and we took a break and I saw these berries by the side of the road.

I went back to the car to grab my camera and take the shots.

Notice I had my camera in my car? Yep, I almost always have my camera with me.

A cell phone will work as well for you to be able to capture those beautiful moments.

This picture was taken after I'd been sitting for a while on a bench outside the airport in Switzerland. 

With 1 or 2 hours to fill while waiting for my husband to  pick me up, I started looking for interesting subjects to photograph.

The light on the leaves of the bushes lining the car rental lot caught my attention. And along came this beautiful blue beetle.

It was a pleasant surprise.

I can look at this shot and remember the warmth of the summer sun on my back while I enjoyed just being in Europe.

This shot is of some moss on a railing of a dock in Maine. 

The sun was rising and cast soft shadows. I love the colors and detail. Again, unless I took the time to stop, I wouldn't have seen this beauty...this mundane beauty that changes slowly over time. 

This last shot was taken in my backyard. I saw the light on this leaf. From my house, it looked like it was on fire. 

I ran and grabbed my camera and headed out to get the shot immediately since the sun was setting through the neighbor's trees and would not be on this tree and leaves for long. 

Honestly, I glance out my windows frequently when the light is beautiful and highlights the trees and plants around my house. 

Why am I showing you these simple shots? Because there really is beauty all around us. In the midst of the difficult, we have to be able to look for and find beauty. 

But it's easier to do if we make a habit of it in the good times. In the busy times. 

Then, when it rains, and the challenges and hurts of life hit us, we already know how to look for the gorgeous moments that will shine and glow in the dark times. 

White wisteria at the Italian B&B
A beautiful moment happened when a stewardess moved me and my husband to some empty seats further up in the plane when she learned my mother had just died and we had a 9 hour flight from Europe back to America. She moved us so we wouldn't have someone beside us. She wanted to give us some space to be able to be more alone. Her kind act was a little light in my darkness. 

It was when the French couple offered their heart-felt condolences for my loss. 

And when the Italian Bed and Breakfast owner on Lake Como said, "Mama Mia" as she looked at a picture of my mom. She then turned to me and said in her best English, "You've only got one mama!" She understood and that moment is etched in my brain, a small bond between two women on different continents. 

These little moments during the hardest time of my life were special, beautiful moments that I cherish. 

Each of these was a little smile and some love from God, in the form of kindness from those around me.  

As I've come out of the darkness of 2013, I definitely see more beauty around me. And I keep looking. 

Because I'm looking, intentionally, I slow down more. 
I enjoy life more. 
I notice more. 

How about you? Where do you see beauty around you? What's a beautiful moment that happened in the midst of a hard time. 

Look for Beauty in the Mundane (click to tweet)




  1. Lovely post and pictures Mary. I love to slow down a little and take pictures :) ( this last few weeks have been a little mad with decorating though). Thanks for linking up Mary :)

    1. Thanks for dropping by Claire! I hope the decorating is going well!

  2. Words of wisdom Mary! The photo of the leaf on fire is my favorite. The sun is like a spotlight! My condolences for your mother.

    1. Thanks Mary! I think of her everyday. She was a special lady. :)

  3. I believe you've found the beauty you were referring to.
    Thanks for joining up at