Why I Think You’re Beautiful

I have been meaning to tell you this for a long time. Seriously.

Why did it take so long to get written? I guess I was struggling with the honesty of it…is it too raw?  Maybe.

The crazy thing is that I haven’t been able to get it out of my head so I figured it was a sign, minus the booming voice from above, flashes of lightning and angelic song. Just a small, soft nudge in my gut that I needed to tell you why I think you’re beautiful.

The longer I tread this earth with my un-pedicured toes the more I value friendship. When I look back over the course of life I realize there are seasons of friendship. I smile thinking of those who ran along railroad tracks with me as we searched for a swimming hole, those who climbed trees with me and scaled to the rooftops of school buildings.

Those who taught me how to dance and dream.

Those who climbed mountains with me and raised children alongside my own. Those who are finding their way as empty-nesters just like us. Those who helped me navigate the often treacherous waters of the working world.

It is to each of you that I write this: You are loved.

You are unique…not in some weird miss-matched, un-kept way…more like a gem. Beautiful. Brilliant. Rare. I find myself staring at you and thinking deep thoughts about grace and purpose, forgiveness. Healing.

You know I love you, right? From the moment we met your light has warmed my heart. Your gifting’s have graced my life and I am fuller, richer for it.

Yet sometimes you ache over the lack in your life, the unfairness of it all. How your contribution to the world has gone unnoticed and unappreciated.

Don’t you see? You HAVE changed the world – you’ve changed me! Each raindrop of you that has soaked into my skin has nourished me in some way, encouraging me to be strong.

Your beauty shines. I was drawn to your passionate heart immediately. Strength was in your resolve, a willingness to bare your soul and yet afraid of rejection…common heartbeats between us. Camaraderie, friendship, validation.

You think that hardship has stolen your light. It feels like the ugly, rotten things have won. I am here to tell you that is a lie! Every day that you get up and decide to LIVE has created a depth of beauty no plastic surgeon could ever duplicate.

The impact of your life is powerful. It doesn’t come from dressing in monochromatic colors to hide the few pounds you hate. It doesn’t come from carefully applied make-up to shield the world from the pain underneath. Advertisers are wrong! The power of your life is in being YOU. How can it come from a boob job or lypo?

Beauty is in your voice. Not the timbre or tone but in the sweetness of trials, loss, love, joy that have been etched into your story. I thank you for sharing it with me.

xo

It’s Time to Quit

I sat in kitchen and wept. Hot tears coursed down my cheeks, splat, splat, splat as they hit the deep brown wood of the tabletop. I was wasted, exhausted, used up and feeling deeply unappreciated.

 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Hadn’t I worked hard? Hadn’t I thrown myself into ensuring success for everyone concerned? Wasn’t I going “above and beyond” the call of duty? Hadn’t I stepped up when no one else wanted to? Hadn’t anyone noticed??

 

Poor, poor pitiful me. I decided to quit. Stop trying so hard to do the right thing. Stop showing up. Stop feeling like I needed to be the hero. Let someone else do it, I reasoned with myself. Walk away. Let this be a lesson to you. It’s just not worth it.

 

I seemed to have bought in to our cultural standard that declares unless someone notices the job you did, the hours you put in, the sacrifice you made, you will never get ahead. Unless your name is in lights and people are moving out of your way to let you pass, you haven’t “made it”. Me. Me. Me.

 

But what does faith say? It says…shhh. Do your work quietly and without being broadcast. Be still so that you can hear God say…hey, I see what you did! I love that you made someone else’s life-journey easier. I will make sure that what you’ve done has far-reaching impact so that more people hear the message of how much I love them!

 

Our ego’s are often thinly disguised by acts of charity…how can you tell? If you get upset when no one noticed what you did and how hard you worked. So what is a true act of charity?

 

True charity is this, that we love our neighbors and love God with heart, soul, strength and mind. That we see a need and fill it without judgement, without pride, without hoopla, without calculating personal benefit. That we actually don’t think about ourselves at all, but are so moved by compassion for another’s situation that it drives us, compels us to action.

 

So, yah. I quit. I’m done with seeking praise and acknowledgement from people. I want God’s approval and that means I need to do things radically different than this culture is telling me it has to be done. No social-media campaign to advertise what I’ve accomplished. Instead, a life that shouts out my love for God in the quietest of ways, in the softest of voices, in stillness of peace. 

 

I’d like to discover what a quiet life is. Care to join me?