The summer issue is in full swing. Articles have been finalized (thank the Lord for authentic writers and incredible editors who have spent hundreds of hours poring over all the words you’ll be reading). Design has begun (wait till you see what our photographers came up with for this issue – we’re blown away!).

It might seem as easy as 1,2,3 but let’s face it, real life isn’t. In what may appear to be a simple process, hurdles have been jumped, knees have been scraped, and we’ve rolled in the mud once or twice. Team bonds have been strengthened, but only after being tested with how we handle challenges. This is real. This is who we are. This is Shattered.

And there is so much beauty in it all. So many reminders of the need to extend grace, of how we don’t have it all together. And the biggest reminder of Who does.

We’ve been learning right along with you. When we focus on the bigger picture, the biggest perspective of what we are a part of and the hope and encouragement we are able to share with you, that’s when we see what really matters.

For me, it matters when I get up in the morning and my first few moments. Confession: I turn on the TV, have my coffee and catch up on the snippets of  “news” on morning shows (really, how much “news” is on those shows by the time I get up?). But there are moments lately when I start by having a minute with the One who made the day waiting to unfold before me. I want to go to the fountain so He can pour more of His perspective into me for the day ahead.

And I want to have the willpower to actually do this, not just think this. It’s a nice thought, but really, it’s harder to get in the habit of actually doing it. Good intentions never result in anything productive for anybody. Would you pray that I would be able to do it? So that when the day’s challenges do come and I’m in the middle of a frustration, that moment will remind me of what’s really important.  That I have to be poured into if I ever expect to be able to pour out something that can be more powerful than me running on empty, trying to sputter out something from a tank that’s run dry. Nobody benefits from sputtering fumes.

So when you see the summer issue in all its glory next month, remember. Remember the challenges. Remember the hurdles. And remember, it is one more display of the incredible ability of our ultimate Designer to make beauty from the mud of life as he pours out His grace on every page.