Beauty is Fleeting – Guest Post by Chelsea Nenno

Here it is folks, the last guest post of the year. Thank you to all of the writers who have chosen to share their journeys with me this year. This week’s post is written by my online Pen Pal Chelsea Nenno. I don’t quite recall how we found each other, and have never actually met in person, but we have connected over blog posts and tweets throughout the year. The internet is an amazing thing. I resonate so much with her thoughts and have appreciated hearing her version of her “20 something” story. I was thrilled when she said she would share her version of beauty here. So without further ado….

Author: Chelsea Nenno

Blog: My Life in Words        Twitter: @chelseanenno

Beauty is Fleeting.  – Proverbs

A few months back I stood in the airport waiting for a friend of a friend to arrive. The gate monitor told us they’d be late. I’ve always liked the airport at night, so I didn’t mind. Three teenage boys moved away from the walkway and headed to their seats excited and… teenag-y. A gruff middle aged man walked back to his woman, slouched in the chair and threw his arm around her. An asian gentleman scuffled to the opposite end of the building where no one else was sitting.

It was the old man who caught my attention as he looked both ways then found a seat close by the crowd. His golfer cap leaned a little to the right as he crossed his left leg and placed his hands on his lap.

I figured he was waiting for an old buddy coming back from visiting his grandchildren. Maybe he was picking up his own. Nothing about him was extraordinary, just interesting.

The overhead speaker announced the flights had landed. A gray haired, gray clothed, gray attitude asked me “Who just landed?” I pointed at the screen to show her which flight, She nodded and walked off. Nothing about her made me intrigued.

Travelers descended down the escalators and toward the arrival gate. The teenage boys were the first to be seen as they stood on tiptoes eager to see their friend. The gruff man took the bag of his hipster daughter and walked toward the baggage claim. It was busy as hugs were passed and loud hello’s and men with headphones and long coats made their way to the taxi’s outside.

In the hustle, and at the corner of my eye, that old man, shuffled his way to the gate and met a tall petite dark haired woman with a french accent and an old small rounded woman with a black stylish purse. Her eyes said she was glad to be home and His arms were opened wide as he welcomed her. He embraced the older woman and kissed her right on the lips. He put himself in the middle, wrapped his arms around the two of them and walked out the doors.

Everything around me was happening so fast. I wrapped my friend in a hug as we walked outside to my car. My mind still on the little glimpse of something I thought was beautiful.

I don’t know why that was beautiful to me. I don’t even have words that describe what I felt when I watched that old man embrace what he loved, held them tight, protecting them from the cold and eager to get them home.

Maybe it was because I was stuck in a place where nothing was beautiful. The world had turned black and purpose and meaning and love and joy had all escaped from the bubble I’d been living in. I had felt like my world was caving in and all that I wanted to be good was throwing nightmares and gossip and ugly at my face. And this one little moment, this one tiny little moment, brought all the light back to my dark world.

The next day I was driving home to my parents out on the lake thinking of the old man. Something to my right caught my attention and me, the only person on the road, at the right time, saw a 60 foot tree in the woods crack, bend and fall to the ground, bouncing back up a few times then coming to a rest. All in the 15 seconds it took me to pass it on the highway.

Fleeting, was my first thought when I saw that tree. So shortly lived yet something that filled the rest of my day with anticipation for what I might see next.

I’ve always believed God has showed his love to me by the simple things in life that only He knows I would appreciate. Only He would know how much that old man would affect me by simpling wrapping his love around those two women. Only He would know how much emotion it would bring me to be the only one, in the world, to see that tree fall in the forest. Only He would know that what I find beautiful is that which most everyone looks past.

When I think of beauty I don’t think of chiseled faces, or perfectly defined abs. I don’t see color or even perfect shapes. Beauty seems to be this odd, short lived moment that happens when you least expect it. It’s as if Beauty is a living, breathing work of art that floats around and hopes that it’s not seen, and when it is, it hides quickly as if not wanting to be captured.

Maybe I’m speaking to much from my thoughts and not making much sense but what I am beginning to believe of beauty is that it’s a moment. A moment that once seen, tasted, heard, felt, it’s the only thing that keeps me wanting to search for more. It’s the only thing last lasts.

I hope that during this season of frenzied chaos, family drama, sparkly lights, and little children, you will glimpse beauty that is just for you. Just like that old man and the tree. It was just for me. I pray the same for you. May the beauty you see fill you with anticipation for more and eagerness to share it with others so they may see their own beauty too.

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Chelsea currently lives in the Pacific North West, is in school for massage therapy, works two jobs and writes in her spare time. She is anxiously awaiting the summertime and chooses to believe everyday is Friday. You can find her at or My Life In Words

This too shall pass.

Proverbs 31:10

Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

For some reason or another, Proverbs 31:10 came into my mind a lot this week. Now I do not want to get into an argument about what a woman of God looks like, or a discussion of what is honorable above other things, or even about fearing the LORD. I’m all for having that conversation, but not here, not in this space. I guess what kept resonating through my mind this week was that word fleeting.

  1. lasting for a very short time.
    “hoping to get a fleeting glimpse of a whale underwater”
    synonyms: briefshortshort-livedquickmomentarycursorytransientephemeral,fugitivepassingtransitoryMore


    Lasting for a very short time….. isn’t that a bummer? When I think about the purpose of this blog and my intention to find beauty, I never really thought about for how long those beautiful things would last. And yet, this verse, it’s so true. The beautiful things I have written about up to this point have come and gone, for the most part, or are moments, memories, nostalgic things that make my heart warm. But they haven’t necessarily been lasting things that I can keep forever, and that makes me feel a little bit sad.

    There are certainly things that I wouldn’t want to keep forever, and maybe that is where the beauty lives as well. I really don’t want to keep anxiety forever  – unemployment, insecurity, losing a loved one, watching friends move, or ‘unnamed situation I’m worrying about that hasn’t even happened yet’ – these things I am happy to move through and let go. I had  a conversation with my mom this weekend about how I am a little afraid to feel ok again – that my anxiety is up, and I’m waiting for the next “bad thing” to happen. She reminded me that yes, there likely will be more “bad things” to come, but waiting for them, and anticipating their arrival is a horrible way to live. I’m going to miss out on what’s going on right here, right now. And I can take the lessons I’ve learned in the past storms and bring them to whatever next storms may come our way.

    Really, I had a great week – Dylan is enjoying his new job, it finally stopped being windy, the weather is warming up, my tomato plants are growing! I’ve felt content, and proud of us for getting through a season that tested us in many, many ways. And…. materialistic drum roll please…..we got to register for our wedding. That was one of the oddest things I think I have ever really done. Its weird to think about asking people to buy you things, a lot of things, for your future. How am I supposed to know what china pattern I want (where, ps, do you buy china because this is missing from our registry) when we don’t even have a formal dining table? Are napkin rings necessary? Which items are sure to make a marriage last – it’s a little ridiculous. The sociologist in me was asking SO many questions about the way our society tells us to celebrate commitment. I have a hard time spending money, and asking for things, so it was really out of my comfort zone.

    Look at that supposed bliss

    Look at that supposed bliss

    Those little scanners, though, those are pretty fun. Beep – I’d like that. Beep – sure that could go somewhere. Beep – but isn’t that CUTE! Who knows what we will end up receiving, and I am thankful for those who love us and want to wish us well, and shower us with items that will bring us into this new stage of life. As we were standing in the towel isle at Target I kinda had a mini melt down. “How am I supposed to know what color I want my bathroom to be? I can’t decide this now! I don’t even know!!!!” Dylan gently took my arm and said, “this is not about the towels. We don’t have to have these forever, we just get to be together forever.” His words brought me back to reality, and we finished scanning away.

    He’s exactly right isn’t he – this process of wedding planning isn’t going to last forever. However much I don’t like wedding planning, or get overwhelmed in picking out towels, or kitchen utensils, I am only going to be standing in those isles with that scanner once. This is it, this is my life, and I want to find the beauty and enjoyment in our process rather than rush through. Because this process is going to be pretty darn fleeting. I don’t want to stand here on September 7th and tell you whew, we made it through that one.

    In an effort to make me laugh Dylan scanned one or two quirky things on the registry just to see if people are paying attention. It re-grounded me and made me smile. This little guy ended up on the list. I really, really, hope he finds his way into our lives. If you are feeling led to check out our wedding registries, make it a game to see what other items that touched our odd personalities.

    Don't worry - it's just a gnome candle. If I get him I will name him

    Don’t worry – it’s just a gnome candle. If I get him I will name him


    This week maybe my thoughts are what are beautiful. Maybe they are drawing on cliches, but I don’t really think so. I got the beautiful reminder to slow down, enjoy the process, ask questions, and find things to laugh about. And this, perhaps, is my approach to life. Because, good or bad, this too shall pass.