Why the name “Beauty and Concrete?” I really love intentionality and depth behind names.

After Joel and I were married, we stayed in Fayetteville, AR, where we also graduated from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig), for two years. North West Arkansas is seriously gorgeous. Lakes, rivers, mountains, hiking, kayaking, camping, there’s-a-forest-in-my-backyard type gorgeous. It was so easy and automatic to look around and just simply be thankful for the beauty right in front of my face. I could open my blinds stare into the woods while I read and drank my old-lady cup of hot tea so easily finding peace while having my chat with God.

Then we got a call from a friend asking Joel to come on staff with Young Life…in Katy, TX. Oh, how I loved to visit my in-laws in Katy, where Joel grew up, and see another, different style of living. To poke my head in, say “Hey, Y’all!” and think about the possibility of living there dreamy. But to really pick up, leave life in AR, and have to rent a U-haul to drive 10 hours South?? Hmmm. Nevertheless, we felt in our gut, it was what needed to happen. So we did. July 2013, we became Katy(ites)? Kat(onions)? No idea. Suburbanites nonetheless.

And, man, was it rough. I am not even sure if “rough” is the right word. In a month, we experienced two deaths in the family, Joel’s grandmother and my mom. Seriously?? I just moved away from friends, my family, and anything I was familiar with, while trying to find a job of my own. I was aching for the common peace I so easily found in the nature I loved that I felt God so close in. And I found myself in the west side of Katy, (the side with very little landscape), where you can literally hear the highway no matter where you are, and less than 20 feet away, give ‘er take, is another building.

It turns out, the same beauty that I craved so was still there, just not as obviously. And God was still there. But beauty takes on new forms. Even in the concrete.