Do you ever just feel like the world is a big, ugly jacked up mess? I do. Usually after watching the news. (Which I try to avoid without becoming Amish.Cause it would pretty much require take that conversion to be truly free of the 24/7 news cycle.) Honestly? Avoiding the news because it’s ugly is kind of sick. I suppose that sticking my head in the sand (though- I love the sand.) and hiding from the atrocities, abuses, overwhelming needs and injustices of the world isn’t very helpful.
Instead- I watch. I lament. I pray. I do what I can, to make a difference.
And then? I look for beauty. For me? Beauty brings hope. Hope of God’s presence and continued work in this mess of creation.
In order for me to find beauty- I like to use my camera lens. It helps this ADHD type chick focus. On several levels.
I like to draw close and find beauty in unexpected things. I spent some time this morning- doing just that. I wandered around my yard like a crazy woman, getting way up close and personal with everything from the hostas of epic proportions to trash and weeds and an abandoned nest or two.(If i comping about a rsh tomorrow it;s probably soon ivy. Remind me.)
Anyway- the beauty filled the broken places in my heart with reminders of God’s presence.
I returned to the house.., a little less burdened.
Then? I started getting ready for my day. This involves a LOT of appearance management. Actually- since I’m Italian I’d say it also involves some safety precautions. I shave my legs so that kindergarteners, toddlers and pets aren’t lost in the tangled forest of leg hair gone wild that would be unleashed on the world if I didn’t.
Then comes the face. God lord, the face. I am “blessed” with an abundance of hormones. Which means: I have been in a constant state of either puberty, PMS or now (Oh Joy) Peri-menopause since I was 12. Interpretation: I have had a giant zit coming on or healing up somewhere on my face for over 30 years. Add to that- the new joys of hair spreading to places where it’s never been before- and you get the picture. (Sn I finnly had a handle on the unibrow…. ugh.)
Wrinkles? Chins? Check. double check. One eye requires some creative make up contouring to help make it look a little less like it’s drooping down my cheek. (Which it is. Lazy eye, I has it.)
My hair now involves coloring -not just for fun… but to protect others from being blinded when the sun hits my roots.
This morning, in front of the mirror, I stood – criticizing and correcting and endeavoring to make myself less scary and- more beautiful. As I did, I thought about many of the truly beautiful women I know…. “I wish I had her eyes.” “Man, her hair on my head would be fabulous.” “I wonder how much dryer change it would cost to get lips like hers?” “Too bad I can’t wear contacts.. because that color of blue eyes is just swoon worthy. (Umm My rule: any money found in the dryer goes into momma’s piggy bank -wonder woman piggy- of course. I consider it a tip. This funds anything from book buying sprees to permanent lip liner. I suggest implementing this rule immediately. Especially if you have working kids who don’t empty their pockets. Just saying. )
Fluffing hair, layering on primer and foundation and liners and glosses…. I thought about my walk in the yard…
WHY is it so easy for me to see such beauty in nature and be so filled by it…. and yet- so threatened and envious of the beauty of other women? I try to replicate it with tips and tricks….and pinterest tutorials. The truth is— Wishing I had so and so’s lips, hair, eye color, legs, butt or boobs….. are really- forms of envy.
Weirdly enough- I’ve never been envious of a flower. Or, an animal, or a weed or a nest. I just appreciate their beauty. Deeply. (Although that one time? The smokey eye attempt that involved false lashes? Kind of bird nest looking.. but totally un intentional.)
Yet…. aren’t we EACH God’s creation? HE calls us his handiwork. I doubt The creator/artist of the universe creates ugly. He’s kind of got proven beauty skills. Duh.
I wonder what would happen if I started seeing and enjoying the beauty in myself and others the way I do the beauty in the rest of creation?
I might just finally be able to stop comparing and competing and start complementing and fully enjoying the beauty of ALL of God’s creation… including me.
Just something to think about…… let me know where you find beauty….!
What if we saw each other like we do the rest of creation?????
Here is some of the beauty I found today….
The nest has served it’s beautiful purpose.. Robins have taken flight. The nest is now is covered in poo. nd still beautiful.
Weeds in my lilacs. Beautiful little purple shooting starts… probably poisonous. somebody should take care of those….
A blooming shrub from my flower bed (I use the term “flower bed quite loosely here… it’s mostly weeds.”
I know I know.. more weeds… But they are beautiful.
These remind me of beautiful handcrafted lace… in reality? Weeds.
Tiny bubbles of blueberries ripening…. beautiful. The hope of sweetness to come…
More blueberries- because its not ALL WEEDS.
Our anniversary willow….
Another nest both used and abandoned…
the beautiful Japanese maple that reminds me how colorful and delicate life can be…
The hostas that I can’t even kill. And that remind me of the beauty of tenacity…..(Side note: anyone local want some hosts- come and get em. Before they eat one of my pets.)
A pallet I’m “weathering” for a pinterest project……. (In theory.) The patina that’s developing is loverly.
A verse that hangs in my foyer as a mantra of my heart.
The beauty of a crushed kindle screen…..a reminder of fragility and the beauty to be found in brokenness.
The dirty stove knob that shows a family well fed and loved…
Yup. Stuck on meatloaf, leftover from last night’s dinner…. a beautiful reminder of the blessing of having enough. And the joy of feeding my family… (Not so much of doing the dishes apparently- cause it’s still in the sink. “Soaking” which is mom-code for: being avoided.)
So much beauty. None of which makes me feel less than, or more than. None of which compiles me to measure up or down. It simply causes me to pause and enjoy.
Lord Jesus, Help ,me to stop the vicious cycle of comparing, competing trying to measure up…and insecurity. Help me to see the beauty in, and of ,others and to pause and praise you for it. From beautiful eyes to beautiful hearts, passions, talents and skills…. help me see your handiwork and honor it…. including the beauty you’ve created in me. In Jesus’ name amen.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. From Psalm 139…
Der friends- so you sometimes feel ugly? Less than? wish you were more talented like “so and so?” Me too. Let’s work together to see the beauty in each other and remind each other of the truth. If there is beauty in garbage and weeds, there is surely beauty in each of us. Let’s stop treating things as beautiful and people as comparables…. You are loved you are beautiful. Just as you are.
PS I’m not stopping the root dying…or leg shaving… just saying. 😛 Let’s not get cray cray. This barn needs a little paint. And I don;t mind painting it… Im; just so over the stupidity of finding beauty n trash while I ignore the beauty in the treasure God created…. yes. even in me and my bundt cake butt. 😉