About Beauty

 

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I am an aesthetic person. I like the way things look, how they feel, how they make me feel. I notice how the sun sifts through the curtains in the late afternoon, the way the sky tinges with the slightest blush on a cold winter morning, the feel of the soft knit sweater on my skin, none of these things are lost on me. I am aware of them all. That is the way God made me. I fully expect that the place that Christ is preparing for me will thrill my senses.

Friends would laugh at me when we’d go shopping. I’d go through the aisles, ohhing and ahhing over the patterns on shower curtains and have to run my hand over the high thread count bed linens and plush sofa pillows. I was drawn to it all, like a moth to the flame. I am a candle connoisseur. I like the warm scents of cinnamon and spice, also when the weather turns warm and my lavender begins to come alive once again, the smell of springtime. I see the small tight lines that were painstakingly stitched to create the quilts that I have collected over the years. There is beauty in so much….if one takes the time to notice.

 

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I appreciate beauty, whether it is fabrics and colors, God’s paintbrush and textures of nature, or the color of someone’s eyes. Beauty doesn’t have to be perfect, in order to be beautiful. I have been honored to spend a majority of my life working with those individuals that the world would not call beautiful. Limbs that are deformed and don’t work as intended, flat facial features, faces without symmetry, voices that might not speak at all, much less utter sounds that form words. I’ve watched individuals cry because the typical sounds of the day cause pain to their delicate sensory systems….but, there is beauty in the midst.

Sometimes beauty comes in ways that are least expected. The world calls beautiful, perfect facial symmetry, good hair, straight teeth, and a flat stomach. God says that those things don’t matter. It is the beauty of the heart that concerns Him. Hands that grip to lift another up. A lopsided smile, for no other reason except that the sun is shining today. A baby’s giggle. Words from a friend that encourage. A dinner prepared for family. Unfolded laundry still in the basket, that will eventually get done. The smell of freshly brewed coffee permeating the kitchen on a cold morning. Even scars that tell a story, beauty from ashes.

God’s beauty is never ending.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7  NIV

The Beauty Of Forgiveness

Cover of "Forgiveness"

Cover of Forgiveness

He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness! She did a terrible thing to me. Why should I forgive her? He hurt my feelings. She said horrible things.

Most of us in this life have had things happen to us that we feel we really don’t deserve. People have treated us poorly.  They didn’t do what they should.  They shouldn’t have done what they did.

I’ve heard myself say the words, “I will never forgive her for that”. She hurt me. She doesn’t “deserve” my forgiveness. I hate her.

With those words, the bitterness started to grow, like a vine around my heart. It was slowly choking out the ability to forgive. It was always there with me…like poison that I kept drinking–even though it hurt me.

The truth is that the “unforgiven” rarely suffer like the ones holding onto the bitterness. The one who demands payment for whatever sin was committed against them, suffers much more.

I can’t tell you the exact moment that, that changed for me. The moment I forgave her for the awful things she said about me. Things that weren’t true. My forgiveness wasn’t showy. As a matter of fact, she never even asked me for my forgiveness. She never begged me to forgive her. It was never like that. I don’t know that she even remembers what she said to begin with…….but, I did. So, I was the one to make the move. To forgive her. In my heart.

You know, when you forgive someone it is does not always mean that you “forget” what happened. Our minds don’t work that way. Forgiveness isn’t about forgetting, forgiveness is about “letting it go” and moving on. Bitterness only hurts the one harboring it.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Dawn, does not get it. My hurt is too great. The offense too horrible. I cannot forgive. Ever.”

And you would be wrong. I do get it. I know. Believe me, I know. And you can forgive. It is a choice. Not easy, but  definitely not impossible.

Like I said, forgiveness is not about giving something to the other person. (unless he/she asks) Forgiveness is about YOU being able to rid yourself of bitterness.

Most of you know me (especially those of you that have been reading my blog for a long time). If you were to meet me you’d see that I am a wife and mom. Teenagers can drive me nutty.  I look sort of average. I like wearing tennis shoes. I shop at Walmart. I enjoy reading. I have a soft spot for dogs. I love my family. If I don’t get enough sleep I’m a bear. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes my sense of humor shines. Above all else I am a Christian.

The reason that I am able to forgive is NOT because I am special…because I am not. I am no different than you.  The reason that I am able to forgive is because, you see, I am one of the forgiven. When Christ took my place and hung on that cross, He cried out, “Father, forgive them!” Christ knew that one day I would exist. That my heart would be dark with the feelings that it harbored. That even if I tried to be good, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have it in me. And yet, He forgave me. He didn’t have to. I surely didn’t deserve it. I didn’t even appreciate it.

But, I am grateful for a loving, compassionate, just, and holy God. God tells me in Psalms 103:12,

New International Version (©1984)
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Because God first forgave me, I am now able to show forgiveness to others.

What A Wonderful World

Earth and North America from Space

Image by IronRodArt - Royce Bair via Flickr

 

How many times do we stop in our busy lives…really stop…and enjoy the world that God has created? HIS handiwork is a beautiful thing. Each season brings beauty of its own. I am constantly amazed at the beauty of trillions of sparkling stars in the onyx night sky. The sight of falling snow quietly blanketing the world, reminding me to slow down. The green of springtime, the color burst of Fall. Rainy days, and hot sticky nights.

It truly is a beautiful world.

 

Louis Armstrong knew something about beauty.

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

(George Weiss / Bob Thiele)

 I see trees of green, red roses too
 I see them bloom for me and you
 And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

 I see skies of blue and clouds of white
 The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
 And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

 The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
 Are also on the faces of people going by
 I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
 They're really saying "I love you"

 I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
 They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
 And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
 Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

 Oh yeah

 

The Perfect Moment

The Beautiful Life

Image via Wikipedia

Some days are better than others. Sometimes I feel as if life is flying by and I’m left standing there in the middle of the living room–wondering what in the world just happened. I’m sure you’ve all had days like that. Right?

On some evenings when everything is going as planned it is a beautiful moment to me. A lull in the storms of life. I have a wonderful dinner in the oven, the snow is falling gently outside, the light from the candles I keep in my front windows spills out onto the snowy ground, the kids are quietly working, my husband and I share a joke, I have everything checked off of my to do list for the day, I finally have time to just sit back and relax…..a beautiful moment in time….when everything is perfect.

If you are anything like me, you love those moments. They might be few and far between, but when they happen…well…they are just beautiful.

Life Is Beautiful

There's nothing like a beautiful sunrise to st...

I’m beginning a new, week long series at my blog. One I hope you will enjoy reading.

My blog entry from yesterday was very true. Life IS unfair. There are difficult times that we all go through in this journey, called life.

BUT……this series will be different. This series will be about the beauty found in everyday life. The special moments– that transcend the hard times. My hope is that  we can all take a moment to appreciate the things in each of our lives, that make life beautiful.

Beginning this series will force me to take the time to observe and appreciate the beauty in the every day. I will be more aware of the little things (or not so little things) that cause me to smile. I’m excited about it. I’m ready. Life really is beautiful…and I want to share it with you.

 

The sun was just creeping up over the horizon as I walked into the kitchen this morning. The blue, early morning  light made the kitchen glow. It is a beautiful, quiet time.  Soon the sky was filled with pinks, purples, blues, and reds. The sun never lets me down, as it shares it’s painted colors, boldly splashed across a dark blue sky. At my house the sun comes up over the vast expanse of  a farm field that is busily “sleeping” this winter. I like looking at the space that surrounds me. It makes me happy that I escaped the close quarters of city life.  Even though the fields are brown right now, I know that there will be life in those rows of dirt in a few short months. It reminds me that life goes on.

The field across the road from me, and directly in my view from the kitchen window…are my neighbor’s llamas. Life is new in that field. I see the small, baby llama with it’s mama. He (or she) looks like a brown cotton ball with teeny stick-like legs.  There is something that mesmerizes me about the llamas. I could sit and just watch them all day. It is my little section of the animal kingdom to quietly observe. I hope my neighbors decide to keep llamas forever. I’d be so sad if they left.

I would love it, if my readers would take a moment to write down something that makes life beautiful for them…the comment doesn’t have to be long….or it can be. It is up to you.  Help me to see life’s beauty through your eyes.