Thinking of beauty

Like many Chinese families of our generation, Au and I gave our children Chinese names with the appropriate prefix for their generation. We invited Au’s parents to choose suitable names,  using the prefix “thinking of” which had been pre-selected for this generation from a couplet written and displayed a long time ago on the wall of the Au clan village hall in China. So each of our daughters has part of her name that means “thinking of”.

One daughter was given the name “thinking of beauty.” In considering her name, Au and I chose a verse to cherish as we raised this daughter –

whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

All of our daughters are now adults and this post isn’t really about our children. Instead, this post reflects on what it means to think “of beauty”.

Many of you have heard of my hobby, crocheting, and how I’ve picked it up again during the pandemic. I’ve begun a simple collection of crochet yarn from friends I’ve met and places I’ve traveled – bamboo cotton from Cambodia; multi-colored crochet thread from Kuala Lumpur; quality wool yarn from a friend in Germany; and the rich reds, mesmerizing magentas, and flaming fuchsias of the colors loved by the peoples of the Mekong River. And I’ve been crocheting gifts, crafts, clothing, and toys for grandchildren. Recently, I’ve been led to consider why I crochet and what I hope to accomplish.

I’ve been meditating on “what is beauty” and here are a few things I’m pondering:

  • I notice an increased awareness of beauty around me and an increased desire to search for beauty in everyday places.
  • I have an increased hunger to create beauty in my surroundings, and especially in my crocheted crafts – searching for ways to highlight beauty in the ordinary things of life.
  • I find myself looking for the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise things in my life and in my relationships with friends, family, and strangers.

What role does beauty have in your life?

Do you have a story of discovering beauty even amidst life’s biggest challenges?

This coaster for hot plates made from 3 yarns reminds me that “a 3-stranded cord is not easily broken”
This blue and yellow motif was created just as the war in the Ukraine began in Feb 2022 and reminds me to pray for those experiencing loss in the Ukraine – and from violence across the world.
This potholder reminds me that the unwanted scraps of yarn, leftover from completed projects and now purposeless, are like the ones overlooked by society but given new life and purpose through the love of their Creator.










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1 thought on “Thinking of beauty”

  1. Yes, Eunice. Beauty is elemental to God’s story in us and around us – I think it is one way we rest when we take beauty in or make something beautiful. I think it is why we share the love of gardening! Gary and I took a trip to the US Pacific Northwest, and I share some of the JAW-dropping beauty in my blog –
    John of the Cross – wrote:
    I did not
    have to ask my heart what it wanted,
    because of all the desires I have ever known, just one did I cling to,
    for it was the essence of
    all desire:
    to hold beauty in
    my soul’s

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