More Winter Beauty + A Revelation

What’s a girl who doesn’t love winter to do when an ice storm hits? Get out in it and take as many photographs as possible. Beauty rescues my heart every time! So here you go, my friends: more winter beauty…and a fresh revelation after a week of ice-induced isolation.




As much as I prefer warm sunshine, the ice has a way of making the bare branches and dead grass look like treasures. Suddenly everything was adorned with icy diamonds and snowy pearls. My heart is always blown away by God’s capacity to create beauty out of barrenness. {He’s so dang good at it that I wonder why I dread the broken, barren places anymore.} But my greatest discovery during the ice storm was this: too much isolation causes your soul to shrivel.




And here is where I have to confess: the rest of this post has taken me forever to write. I usually write all in one sitting, but I’ve struggled to finish this one for days. I think it’s because I feel silly saying something so obvious.


But sometimes it takes introverted homebodies a long time to discover what extroverts have instinctively known their entire lives. It turns out, God was right: “It’s not good for man to be alone.” {Genesis 2:18} We really are designed to relate, connect, and live in community with others. And yet, if I’m honest, I often act as if that doesn’t apply to me because I’m an introvert…and a homebody. And you know, we need lots of alone time to recharge. But as soon as I say that, I hear God whisper the truth: alone time is meant as a recharge, not as a way of life. If you really want to find life, you’re going to have to trust that it’s not good to be alone for too long. 




It’s funny how you can read a thing, hear a thing, and even teach a thing for decades before it finally feels true. I’ve known for more than half my life that God designed us for relationship and community. I’ve even taught Bible study lessons about it…all while isolating and withdrawing on a regular basis. Perhaps that’s why I feel so ridiculous confessing that I’m just now discovering at a heart level what I’ve claimed to know all of these years on an intellectual level.


I wish I could confess my intellectual, theological pride to all those women I taught years ago. I wish I had told them the truth: that God says this thing is true, but that I’m doing that thing, and oh, how I need Jesus to break my heart wide open so that I can live the way He designed me to live! But I couldn’t do that then, because I was terrified of having my heart broken. I was so scared of pain and sadness and all those hard things, which is why I leaned so heavily on head knowledge. It felt like a safe fortress that would protect my heart from having to experience the pain of being broken.

But God…He knows His way around a fortress. And He broke right through to rescue His Bravehearted Beauty.


At the start of last week, being trapped at home with nowhere to go and no one to see sounded kind of dreamy. When city and school officials told us to stay home, I felt like they were speaking my language! But as the ice lingered and the days of isolation increased, I began to feel a surprising shift. I began to miss the life-giving connections that I’ve experienced through time spent in the presence of others. I noticed the difference in my spirit and finally agreed with God way down deep in my heart that I wasn’t made to be alone. Only the work of God could convince an introverted homebody of that truth in the place she loves best: her own home!


So let’s move out of our comfort zones today, Bravehearted Beauties, whatever they may be. Let’s fight for more life today!

With so much love,

Linsey signature 100pix



P.S. This feels almost too important to be a postscript. We all need real-life connection with others, but I’ve learned that it’s especially important for those who don’t pursue it naturally to consider scheduling it. Introverts {or those battling dark seasons of depression} may not have a strong desire to connect with others regularly, so it helps to have a few things on your calendar each week that require you to show up and be present with others. For me in this season, that’s counseling on Monday, a spiritual direction group on Wednesday, and a small group here at my house on Friday. Three places a week where I’m expected to show up. A year ago, I would’ve balked at that much “busyness.” I like empty calendars. {And depression likes empty calendars, too, because it thrives in isolation and withdrawal.} But here’s what I’ve found: showing up and connecting with your story in the presence of others BRINGS LIFE. It really does…to introverts, extroverts, and everyone in between! I hope knowing the way I’m fighting for life encourages you to find a way that works for you. Ask God to show you. He’d love to!

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  • Justine Lemmon - Oh this is so true to my heart, I learned the same lesson this past week, I’ve always thought of myself as an extreme introvert who even needs time away from my family. Linsey how did you make friends here as an introvert? I am finding it difficult to connect and break out of my comfort zone.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Justine, that’s a great question. I’ve made friends SLOWLY. And some who I thought would become better friends didn’t survive the extreme introversion that came with depression. And as much as I’d love to blame other people for not reaching out, the truth is, it’s up to me to fight for the connection I need. In some ways, I feel like I’m starting all over again this year with a commitment to do the HARD THING of showing up, reaching out, making sure that I have human interaction a few times each week. I’ve learned that it’s like a prescription medication for me. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but you have to force yourself out of your comfort zone on a regular basis. And give yourself grace when you just can’t do it on certain days. Blessings to you as you fight for life with others!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Thank you so much for your braveness in writing. Your writing is quite relatable and has been like a voice of truth speaking to some of my personal challenges. I look forward to each new post. You are a wonderful spirit.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Thank you, Ashley. Knowing there are REAL people like you on the other side of this computer screen who are every bit as desperate for truth as I am makes it easier to be brave with my writing. Thank YOU for being here with me!ReplyCancel

  • Roberta - This has spoken to my heart today. It is very easy for me to isolate and be in the presence of God in my little home on our comfy couch or on the computer posting pictures. It feels safe. Thank you for your transparency.ReplyCancel

  • Christi - I love this, Linsey. I am also an introvert and love nothing more than quietness on my couch or under my comforter. While I am around people all day at my office, I am mostly pouring into them, and getting small doses of encouragement or strength in return. I don’t have much time or energy for recharging friendships. I think it would be good for me to put those on the calendar like you said. Too much time goes by between the time I spend with a friend.

    Don’t worry, you don’t need to go back and correct anything! You’ve always been real, just in a different place in your journey then compared to now, pilgrim. We’re all in process and thank God, we are all growing closer to Him. But you’ve always been faithfully seeking Him and honoring Him with your life. Love you!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - As always…..wise, insightful, honest, compelling, and challenging. You have a gift. Thanks for sharing it. Praying your heart is sunny and warm this winter. You deserve it. God bless you. The pictures are beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara - Just this week, I have been struggling with the thought of having to ‘come out of my shell’. Not for my benefit, but for someone else – a lady I barely know, but through circumstances has ended up staying in a small room on her own – if someone does not go and knock on her door, she would never open it.

    For me the thought of approaching someone, never mind knocking on their door and inviting myself in is quite unnerving. Your post has come at the right time. I know I need to be with others occasionally or I do fall into that bottomless dark pit that I struggle to climb out of again. And yes, I know its what my friend needs too – but I guess you have highlighted the importance of moving out of my comfort zone – to help someone else. To be the person God wants me to be.

    I guess I am going to get uncomfortable for a while 😉ReplyCancel