Beautiful Things


We see it and wrinkle our nose. We see it and grab a rag. Sweep it away. Suck it into our vacuums. Make it disappear.

Because dust means dirt. Dust means allergies. Dust means neglect. And we want those things to go away.

The title of this post is the title of a song. Have you listened to it? It’s called Beautiful Things, by Gungor.

The chorus goes like this:
You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us.

I’m obsessed with it. The melody is beautiful. The words, even more so.

But mostly, I’m obsessed with it because I want this truth to saturate my stories. Each and every one. The breath-taking, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing truth that Christ can make beautiful things out of the dust.

He redeems the utterly broken. Breathes new life into the forgotten.

I recently got the content edits for my contracted novel, Beneath a Velvet Sky. In case you’re not a writer, content edits are the first of many edits authors go through when they work with a publishing house. These are the big, comprehensive edits. One of the questions my editor asked had to do with my main character’s career.

Bethany is an architect.

My editor wanted to know why. She wants my readers to know why, too.

Because I didn’t choose this career for her randomly. I didn’t throw a bunch of jobs in a hat and pluck out architect. I had a reason.

Bethany wants to design big and beautiful things. She wants to associate herself with grandeur. She wants to put her name on impressive creations. To be able to point to them and say, “See that over there? I made that.”

Only she’s stuck in renovations, and renovating old buildings isn’t what she had in mind when she signed up to be an architect.

This isn’t random either.

Because God wants to show Bethany something. He wants to show her how much renovation matters to Him. He wants to show her that He’s in the business of renovation too.

He wants to show her that He can take the filthy, neglected, unbeautiful things of this world and make them beautiful. Make them new.

Like a situation.

Or a heart.

Or a life.

He renovates them every single day. Every single hour.

He wants to renovate hers.

He wants to renovate ours.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7

Let’s Talk: Have you witnessed God’s renovation? In what ways has He renovated you?

*Picture by Mat and Raviremovetweetmeme

15 thoughts on “Beautiful Things

  1. Gina Conroy

    Beautiful post! I love the Gungors! I remember first hearing Michael Gungor lead worship at his father's church when we were looking for a church home and I knew instantly I wanted to go to a church where they worshiped like that!! Have you heard "Ancient Skies?" Love that one, and did you know he has a church in Denver?

  2. journeytoepiphany

    This song reminds me of a really old one, called Something Beautiful.

    The words are definitely better than the melody, but here they are:

    Something beautiful,
    Something good
    All my confusion He understood.
    All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,
    But you made something beautiful out of my life…

  3. Holly

    Very well said, my dear! This song got us through a pretty dark winter…so glad it's ringing true for you, as well.

    Hugs and love (will call sooooon!)

  4. Slamdunk

    Inspiring post Katie and thanks for sharing your testimony.

    I never do enough reflecting on God's intentions for my life–I appreciate the reminder.

  5. Katie Ganshert

    Funny thing Marji – the theme was always there, sort of. But it was waiting to be found. It wasn't until my editor asked me the question that I realized her choice to be an architect parallels so well with the overall story.

    I'm so glad you think the story sounds like a great one!

  6. Marji Laine

    I hope your publisher loved your answer! It seems to carry the whole theme of your story and it sounds like a great story.

    I connected with this post claim the verse from Psalms where the Lord makes beauty from ashes.

    Inspiring. Thank you.

  7. Jennifer K. Hale

    I should have read this before I cleaned my house this morning. I might not have attacked the dust with so much vehement frustration. πŸ™‚


  8. Janna Qualman

    Katie, I like this post. It is a beautiful thing. And I like hearing about your specific ideas and reasons behind why you've written her this way.

    That's a gorgeous song.

  9. Erica Vetsch

    Lovely post, Katie. And I'm sure you're going to make an even MORE beautiful thing out of BAVS. πŸ™‚

  10. Lacie Nezbeth

    Amen! I'm totally obsessed with this song too! LOVE IT!!

  11. Krista Phillips

    Yup, definitely being renovated! Sometimes it's fun to go back and look at each year of my life (well, skipping the early few) and seeing what I've learn, what God has done each year. Every year has SOMETHING big I can point to and say, "WOW, I got through that and I learned SO much." Somedays I think it'd be nice to take a year off from maddness. But then, some of the years the things are GOOD FUN things too. And I don't want to take a year off of that. Plus, that would be a boring year! Sometimes renovating is hard, because it involves tearing down and rebuilding. That's the toughest!

    LOVELY post, Katie! THANK YOU for sharing!!!!!!!

  12. Wendy Paine Miller

    Cool song! I can see why you're hooked.

    This is why I renovate furniture. I see something others don't in the ruins.

    Praise God He sees anything…anything in me.
    ~ Wendy

  13. Jessica Nelson

    That's so awesome about Bethany! Love it!
    Yep, I've been renovated and the construction is still going. LOL

  14. Jessica R. Patch

    Love the post, Katie. We are but dust. Blows my mind how He thinks that's beautiful. But He does. It makes me think of that song by Francesca B. (cause I'm not attempting to spell that last name) Beautiful Beautiful.

    Every time you talk about your book, it makes me want to read it even more. So excited for you!

  15. Heather Sunseri

    That is a beautiful post, Katie. I love how you teach us something about your character, make us think about God's intentions with each and every one of us, and how you made me think about my own character's intentions.

    Loved this!!


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