Tuesday, May 20, 2014

When You Want To Be {Truly} Beautiful

I felt like my Mom this weekend, pushing a stroller through a small town and taking in shops and flowers and houses. I remember how she used to walk slowly when she looked at gardens, likely taking mental notes and just drinking the beauty right in.

As a kid, I didn't realize that beauty doesn't always just happen on it's own. I wanted to run fast, make elaborate plays and messes and experience the world just as it came, without ever noticing that someone was making it a safe and lovely place. Adults seemed a bit boring, by contrast. Content to sip tea and leaf through seed catalogs and spend entire glorious weekends pulling weeds and fertilizing lawns. Hardly glamorous.

My Mom appreciated beauty because she knew it didn't happen by chance. She knew God made everything beautiful and good and humans set right to work messing up the whole deal. The older I get, the more I realize it too. That the natural state of things will always bend toward weeds and decay, ugliness and sin. Someone has to be the beauty-maker. My Mom was that, in our home and in our lives.

As I spent a weekend away and had some blessedly quiet moments on my own, I thought about my role here. My job as a Mom, an educator, a wife. There are so many different ways to approach it, as varied as the women who take these jobs on.

I want my life and my work to come from a place of love, steeped in intentional beauty. Love is a choice and beauty doesn't just happen. We tend to think of those words are fluffy and soft but they can be hard. Difficult. You have to pull a lot of weeds to keep a garden lovely. You have to die to yourself bit by bit to truly love. You have to be committed to the work to reap the rewards. The effort we put into making our physical selves attractive should never be more than keeping ourselves heart-beautiful. You can't just put a vase of flowers in a dirty room and call it good. There's so much more to beauty than pretty. Beauty is raw and rare and rich. Beauty is love lived out. They go right along, hand in hand.

That's the way my Mom did it. Loved beautiful. Lived love beautifully. Walked along garden paths with a toddler by the hand and a baby on her hip and pulled weeds, one at a time, in a tireless commitment to the bigger picture. Day after day after day. She worked hard, embodied both love and beauty and still does, every day.

That's the beautiful woman I want to be.

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  1. just love everything said here.....really needed this encouragement
    .......you are such a blessing!!!!!!!

  2. That was a lovely post friend, and just the perfect encouragement for me in this season! Thank you.

  3. you haven't seen hard work pay off until you've weeded a huge potato field. that was what we did with my grandma. many times. well worth the effort to have her scalloped potatoes for dinner. She loved making them for us, we loved helping her to do it. seemed like a fair deal all around. And I'd like to think that's how I learned how love moves.

  4. "I learned how love moves." Oh. yes. What a wonderful education you received!

  5. It's good to "see" you here again! Glad you liked this one :).


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