Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Being Real and Real Beauty.......

Of late, it seems the airways are back at it.....defining "BEAUTIFUL" for our young women and even those of us who are progressing in age! Personally, I feel extremely blessed to be a woman today. Being a woman, being whole, being healthy~ both emotionally, physically, and intellectually~is not always easy but if approached sensibly, we can arrive in a good place. A truly beautiful woman feels good about herself on the inside(her heart or soul). Her life is filled with positive images and positive relationships. It has taken her a while to get there, most often. There are people who sometimes tatter and tear at life and unknowingly at times rip apart the image that God imagined. This can begin many times in childhood and progresses through preteen and teenage years and then on into college and perhaps even adulthood. My heart breaks for a girl or a woman with an image of imperfection and feeling that this will keep her from fulfilling her dreams. I admit, there were times I too struggled, but nothing compared to women today (of any age). The constant need for celebrity updates, the latest fashion trends, magazines with flawless images (which are perfectly airbrushed) add to this trend of being less than beautiful. My prayer and my desire is to see young women and older women return to the right places for their definitions of beauty and happiness. There is nothing like a real example of beauty. If you are a Mother and have a daughter, she looks to you for this image and definition. Words have a lasting impact. A beautiful woman is known by her physical appearance and includes the facets of voice, countenance, and personal qualities that make her who she is. When we look at her we see her as someone unique and special. If you struggle with self-image let me urge you to turn to the Bible for God's definition of beauty. "Look to HIM and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed". Psalm 34:5. Beauty comes from surrounding yourself with the right people, right images and thoughts and the right words. We have to protect ourselves from wrong images and people who seek less than our best. Please do not let another rob you of your joy! Joy and gladness can fill your heart daily when you take the time to fill your spirit with uplifting words, soothing music, and the nature around you! Add a little laughter and you are there!!! It is refreshing to breathe the air and look UP to the ONE who formed you and made you, YOU! Psalm 139

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Building A Life With Others.....all in the timing!

Just about two years ago, a sweet friend of ours was diagnosed with cancer. He was a Godly man with a beautiful wife and three amazing children and one grandchild with another on the way.  He was a man building a life for his family each and everyday.  Quickly with this news, people were praying and hoping and expecting a miracle for healing. But, in just a few short months, our friend was called home to Heaven for an ultimate healing in the presence of God. 

 D. L. Moody once said, "Next to the might of God, the serene beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence for good."  

Our friend, Doug, was a good man. He had done everything right. He was a professional man, a dentist, and devoted his life to caring for his family.  He was loved by everyone who knew him.  His son was my son's very best friend growing up.  Steven spent a lot of time with them at their house and on vacations. Their son, Scott spent a lot of time at our house and on beach vacations also.  Naturally, his wife, Vickie and I shared a friendship as our sons made this so easy. After Doug's passing, we began to have a "girls time" with two other fun friends who we love about three times a year! Let me tell you they are special ladies! We are all within a few years of each other in age and also we had attended Bible studies together. On one of our visits, one of us said, "we should all go on a trip together"!  Running ahead of ourselves with determination and lots of talking, we decided we could do this!

  Now, two years later the dream will become a reality! We started planning this because of what Vickie was going through and the bonds and love we all share are precious because of the sensitivity of her loss.  God's timing is so important in life.  We can run ahead but as life unfolds, one day at a time....well, to me it's just better. Who would have known all those years ago that the bonds that our children had made as friends would be the glue that now would move us forward today.  Truly, we should ask God to help us in everything we do and especially in the timing of being a friend.  For several months, I have poured over the plans for our trip. I have searched for our hotels, our trains, and even a few of the places we will visit and see.  We will begin in London and get to visit with Kara and Phil and then travel to Bath, England and then on to France.  We have a schedule but we plan to enjoy the time together and not rush or insist on seeing more than we are able to see. The joy of seeing England for the first time and spending time with my precious daughter Kara will always be a blessing and a design of God's timing.  The pictures below are from my first trip...a gift!  I have a feeling Doug will be looking down on us and smiling about the timing of this trip for his sweet wife, Vickie! Everyday is a GIFT!  Don't wait to make that call or write and mail that card and appreciate your family and your friends!  Have a blessed day dear one!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Goodness in conversation and a grateful heart....

Beauty found in nature and the natural, unattended beauty of earth's creation is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind! In His wisdom, God gave us such an inspiring and beautiful world to live in! The natural colors of the stone, wood, flowers, and fabrics used above are so beautiful to me and extremely calming. Decorators are using less and less of color and more and more of natural creams and whites! I so enjoy helping other people create homes that are comfortable and beautiful! I like to do this because the home is where my heart is! The beautiful people that live inside your home look to you each for inspiration too!!! Who inspires you? What inspires you? Where do you search for encouragment and direction when you need an answer? Do you turn to a trusted friend? I love the adorable picture above of the two friends sharing conversation and a cup of tea! What is better than wise counsel? As we are about to begin a new week, let me encourage you to arrange your days so that you create an environment in your home where others are loved and nurtured. A house decorated with LOVE is the most beautiful! Before the day begins, you and I have been given a clean slate! Thankfully, it is calm early in the morning. Turning toward the Lord gives direction (not perfection) for our day. We can begin each day by rejoicing in Him and being thankful for all the blessings around us. As you begin your new week, may I share with you a passage from His word than sustains me daily as I look to Him for guidance. In His way and In His time, He truly is able to make all things in our lives beautiful! From the scraps of our lives, He is making something beautiful....even inspiring. "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every sitaution, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable~if anything is excellent or praiseworthy~think about such things." Philippians 4:4~8 May your week be blessed and may your home be a haven or blessing and peace!!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Changes Around the House....

Throughout our home I have made a few changes over the past few weeks.  No real purchases were involved, only a few changes of a few pieces from one room to another and changing window treatments from one room to another.  I always find inspiration in my home from books that I read or from inspiration from our travels.  I also find inspiration from people.  A kind heart, a warm smile, and a sincerely good person warm my heart as well! I am finding in life, it is the goodness and honesty found in the heart that most often warms a person's home.  The weather has been dismal in our area but in our home it has been beautiful and bright because my family lives with me!  Live your life and let your love of life overflow into the hearts of others!  Everyday is a GIFT!