Upside Down and Looking Up



“God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.” Psalm 46:5 NIV

It wasn’t my first x-ray.

So, when I needed some updated pictures of my back, I didn’t give my curvy spine a second thought.

Until she spoke in amazement.

“You’re crooked!”

Stunned by her tone, I slowly shook my head in agreement.

I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12. 

There weren’t a lot of options in the 70’s, so when my folks prompted the Dr for answers, his reply went something like this:

“That’s normal for a growing girl.”



Life went on and so did I.

Sure, I’ve struggled over the years with appearance, knowing that my “sit up/stand up straight” wasn’t ever going to be like a broom stick.

So, to borrow a phrase from my wise brother-in-law, 

“I was good with it.”


Sticks and stones can break our bones…

Can’t they?

…but words will never harm me.


If only that were true.

When the appointment was over, I googled every definition of the word “crooked” I could find.

Sometimes our reactions are realizations of things we’d rather not know.

I skipped over the crooked “criminal” ones until I discovered the one written just for me.

“Bent or twisted out of shape or out of place.”


That about covers it.

Ahhh, but not just with my back, y’all.

Sometimes I’ve felt bent or twisted or out of place in the daily.

You too?

Fast forward 24 hours.

There I sat in my usually happy place, on my upside down shell-collecting-bucket, feeling, well…

Upside down.

Until I looked up.

Pausing brings perspective.

Isn’t it amazing how one person’s words can shred our self-confidence in an instant?

Why do we allow others to define us, I wonder?

Yet, in the spirit of being real, I’ve done the same thing.

Haven’t you?

I’ve spoken wounding words.

Some unintentionally. 

Some not.

God, help me.

There’s hope for us all, peeps.

Pausing can change our perspective.

It puts our priorities in order.

It’s so hard to see when my eyes are on me. 

I willingly packed a stranger’s words with my flip-flops and sunscreen…

Forgetting the One who was with me all along.

When I refocused upward to my Father, meaningless words were replaced with heavenly reminders.

Like this…

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 NIV

Broken is temporary.

As the whisper of the waves soothed my spirit, a broken shell broke my gaze.

It rode in with the foam and found a resting place right in front of me.

The tossing and turning of the sea had changed it’s shape.

It wasn’t perfect.

But, it was beautiful.


Dear one, this temporary life is about so much more than how we appear on the outside.

Appearances disappear in the spectacular of God’s bright and forever love.

It’s the heart stuff that matters.

It’s the soul stuff that’s eternal. 

Man oh man, I love that.

Don’t you?

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV

Looking up uplifts us.

There’s nothing like a heavenly gaze to clear the haze.

And, in the stillness of that magnificent sunrise, I felt peace push away those pathetic lies.

The ones that chirped and chipped away at my self-confidence.

Playing rock-paper-scissors with my emotions.

Precious soul, you know those sticks and stones that break your bones?

That break your heart?

Throw them out to sea.

Gather all your upside down doubts…

Then, look up.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NIV

Beloved, don’t allow others to steal your one-of-a-kind awesomeness.

God loves the crooked and the bent and the twisted and the out of place.

He loves the whole wide world, y’all.

Looking up moves our sights from ourselves to our Savior.

When we shatter the chatter of others, we discover the only voice that matters is His. XOXO

Spread your joy,



  1. This is so beautiful Tina! And so true…I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling bent and twisted and grabbing on to the thoughts that others have had about me. I’m so glad that Jesus knows the real me and he is faithful to remind me of it.

    1. Oh Julie, I love what you said, “Jesus knows the real me and he is faithful to remind me of it.” Yes…Yes…YESSSS! How beautiful is that! What a promise. What a Savior. Thanks for sharing your heart, dear friend! XO

  2. Sis, I never understood that saying about sticks and stones…who came up with that lie? Words do stick to us and sometimes they dig roots of unhealthiness. It is easy to stay stuck, right? Refocus and remember the One who created us in His own image. Hold onto and remember His love is unconditional—we need to lean into that when we feel crooked, bent, twisted or out of place.

    Great reminder, Sis. Love you.

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