Refine Me.

When my sisters and I were little girls, growing up on the shore of Lake Michigan, we collected beach glass. It was everywhere back then.  As children we spent nearly every day of the summer on the beach and we would carry beach glass home in our pockets and plastic beach pails and clasped tightly in our sand covered hands. We were sleepy and happy and sun-tanned at the end of those long summer days.

We were treasure-keepers. 

Once home, the beach glass became our buried treasure. We hid the blue and green pieces deep in the cool earth within the woods surrounding our house. I am sure that some of it is still there, waiting for future generations of children to discover and claim as treasure again.

Beach glass results when broken pieces of glass bottles are carried out into the deep waters of the lake and tossed and turned and whipped about in the waves, year after year, until the process refines the shards of glass into soft, smooth treasure.  When I was young, this story left me feeling sorry for the pretty pieces of glass that had to tumble through the cold, deep tumultuous water, be broken against rocks and drug across sand, in order to be refined; to become mine.  I would look out across the waves and breathe deep and sigh and wonder. 

Today, as a grown woman, I know that there is nothing that refines like a truly difficult trial. If you feel lost at sea, be comforted, for you are being refined.

The storm will settle.

The waves will calm.

You will be set upon the shore, ever the more beautiful for having endured.

And oh the joy to know that you are worth the trouble.

For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

Psalm 66:10
(A post from the archives, originally written April 2009.)


  1. I love your words 🙂 I love that I can visit your blog and find a beautifully decorated room, and a beautifully worded testiment! Very inspiring!

  2. breathtaking post. you’ve really been on a roll- great posts every time I check in. this is so timely for me because I keep thinking of decisions I’ve made that have made things so difficult- how much easier my path could have been if I’d made the other choice. it’s nice to think of being refined!

  3. Oh how I needed to hear that today Erin! And I absolutely love Jennifer Knapp too! I’ll have to get that CD out…haven’t listened to it in awhile! 🙂

  4. Perfect post! I love the lyrics– very appropriate 🙂 I have been so inspired by sea glass lately.

  5. Beautiful post sweetheart. Some of my favorite memories are walking on the beach with you in Michigan and searching for beach glass. I love you!

  6. so inspiring! thanks for being faithful to Him and sharing your heart with us! I am sure He is pleasded because He is being glorified:)
    Stephanie Rex

  7. Wow…this is beautiful! Your words really blessed me today!
    I’m new to your blog, but I’m REALLY excited to look through it – looks like tons of “photographic eye candy”!! 🙂

  8. Love you, Erin.
    Jennifer Knapp is one of my favorite musicians of all time.
    Beautiful words.
    Being refined this very minute…

  9. Wow Erin this is really inspiring. I love your attitude! Do you mind if I share this with some friends?


  10. I have been feeling a bit blue the last couple of days-alot on my mind, then I read your post and was reminded that God is in control it’s just rough going thru the refining process.
    P.S. My mother-in-law gave me beach glass earrings and necklace for Christmas this year, now I’ll have a nice reminder of being “refined” every time I wear them, Thank You!

  11. I love your beach glass… I did a post on collecting and displaying sea glass… if you want to see it, it was in August 2010 on my blog…

  12. I love beach glass to (we call it sea glass!). I’ve never thought about the process that makes it that way . . . or the fact that we too are being refined in the same way. painful but beautiful 🙂

  13. I’m so thankful you re-posted this. I can’t tell you how much my heart needed to heart that!

  14. How very true. I love how He brings the beauty out of each of us in such patient ways!
    ps – I wanted to let you know that I am passing on the “Stylish Blogger Award” to you today. Every one of your posts inspire me on my journey with Jesus. Have a special day. See my blog for your shout out 🙂

  15. Erin, how you manage to do so defies logic, but your words speak directly to my heart at the exact moment that they are most needed, sweetly, and softly like a dear and caring friend who has known me forever, one who comforts and heals. God bless you and your sweet family. You are a rare and beautiful treasure indeed.

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