21 August 2011

Five Minute Friday: Beauty


For many years I was under the impression that true inner beauty, that of a gentle and quiet spirit, meant that I had to become un-vivacious and turn into a dull, mousy slip of a woman. However, because the Bible commends a G & QS (my abbreviation for 'gentle and quiet spirit), I began praying about how to develop a G & QS while still being myself.

I am not a slip, dull, or mousy. I am headstrong, a hoyden (one of my college professors even told me I was the definitive hoyden: 'a bold and unruly girl." I took it as a compliment), vivacious, energetic. Blunt, sometimes pushy, controlling. But not dull. Never dull.

I began asking other women about the G & QS. Mostly I asked my peers, other college-age women in the same place I was in. I started observing older women around my, trying to figure this thing out.

Still, I haven't figured it out. But in the near-decade since then, I've been through many adventures. Some were grueling and wore me down to a nub. Others were exhilarating and carried me to heights I never dreamed. All, in hindsight, were God's gracious answers to my prayers about developing the G & QS. I was learning to let go (forced to let go!) parts of my Self I held dear, parts I never thought I'd release. I was learning new lessons and new skills, traveling to deeper depths of repentance over sin and anger over injustice than I knew were possible, tireder than I thought I could be and still getting up the next day to do it again.

And God has traveled with me.

Perhaps my body is still un-remarkable, but I see my inner beauty reflected in the people around me, and I am beautiful.

Five Minute Friday: Whole

The whole enchilada. A whole new world. He's got the whole world in his hands. Whole is an adjective, a word used to delineate or narrow the meaning of a noun.

So what? Why delineate? Why narrow? Why specify? Well, because that makes the noun better. It clarifies what is being communicated. It gives more structure.

I myself hate being delineated. I don't like being limited or narrowed. I want to be free as a bird, happy as a clam, a true rolling stone. But that's not the best thing for me! My task is to be specified and focused. A focused spray of water is more powerful. A focused beam of light? More powerful than a saw. A delineated woman? More lovely than the morning.

Oh Lord, may I be wholly yours. Delineate me, limit, narrow, focus me. Make me powerful to wield your double-edged sword to make everything you've given me to be wholly yours.



Now my boy is 5 months old. In the last few weeks, he and I have developed a rapport. We had a last-minute trip to Pennsylvania to visit my grandpa, one of Baby's namesakes, and spent all kinds of time together in close physical contact. In the midst of routine-free days, his only 'routine' was to be with me.

I am amazed that he knows me and loves me. Not that I feel unlovable, but that someone who wasn't even in existance a year and a half ago, who wasn't even outside me just six months ago has grown into someone who knows "Mamma" and is comforted by her presence. He has a personality. He has emotions. What a delight!