Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beauty I Can Keep

October of 2014 is a good time to start writing again. I finally want to... but where to pick up from? Well, if I were sitting down for tea with an old friend like I occasionally have the chance to do as life whisks by, I would start with the basics. I'm still married, the family is well. We still live in the same place. I'm still homeschooling. I'm still working on the house and have business plans...still homesteading with farm plans. I turned 40 this year- an age I used to think was old, but no longer do. There was a long period in my life where there was constant change- dramatic, often exciting, sometimes stressful swings and shifts. I'm happy to be at a place where I have embraced steadiness. Stability has a beauty all its own. I read a book called "Captivating" (yes, I know book titles are supposed to be underlined, but I still don't know how to do it in Blogger OR separate paragraphs anymore apparently) several years ago- a good book. It talked about how every woman's core question is, "Am I beautiful?" "Huh," I thought. "That's not the most important thing inside of me. I have deep, soul-mind-spirit things that are at my center... WAY more important to me than beauty." However I can admit now that being beautiful is, I realize, important to me. One of my favorite books is The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. There are lots of reasons, but the reason I bring it up now is because of the lady in it. I'm not a person who follows heroes or idols, or celebrities.......... but this lady is a rare example of someone worth emulating. She glows forth the love that is within her and it overflows to everyone and everything around her. She is a mother to every child she meets. She causes men to desire their wives more, not her. And of course, the Love and Light that is in her is not "the triumph of the human spirit" that Hollywood worships or any variation of human love. The source is Love Himself, Christ Jesus, the Light of the World. Being a woman in this time and culture.. this porn-laden, superficial, debased culture.. is not easy. That is a whole other topic for another day... but certainly aging as a woman in this culture can become emotionally debilitating if you let it. In a society that literally worships fake, fleeting, female physical beauty as a primary God, is it any wonder that so many women despair at this stage in their life? God says that it is not the outward adorning, but the gentle and quiet spirit that is of great value in his sight. One verse that I had the foresight to take hold of as a teenager and young lady is this one in Proverbs 31: Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised. And I must also add, that the countenance of a woman who has God beaming out of her is always beauty to behold. If you've ever been privileged enough to meet a rare old true saint, you know what I mean. That's the kind of beauty I've been looking toward all these years, and I don't have to buy products to get it. I have to let God continue to shape me inside. Sure I want to reduce wrinkles and firm up. But blessed, so blessed, is the woman who invests in the beauty that cannot be taken from her- the glowing countenance that comes from being in God's presence and being filled with his joy.

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