Girls

My word for 2016 is BEAUTY. I’m more than halfway through the year , and to be honest I’m feeling guilty that I haven’t spent more time studying the word. That’s right, I was sitting right here thinking about it and feeling bad when…. You guessed it… Lightbulb moment. I’ve been LIVING my word out right, and out loud . I started the year off by affiliating myself with BeautyCounter, a non-toxic skincare company, and in May I moved into my beautiful dream home. The word Queen Esther has been spoken over me twice now ….  It’s big and scary and a little overwhelming. She was beautiful , and pure of heart , and powerful. She was as brave as any man. Damn it, she was a queen!  Esther’s in today’s world will be feminine and proud of it . We will come to the understanding and ownership of the theme of beauty in our lives . No matter our size, or the number of friends we have … The beauty that was created for Eve and passed down to you and I … remains, and it is powerful. It’s powerful in the home , and it’s powerful in the workplace , it’s powerful in our highschools and youth groups , it’s powerful even in our doubt. 

   About 4 weeks ago I started watching YouTube videos ,mostly about beauty. I searched to find women my age , women who are embracing their differences , sharing their experiences and building tribes . ( Ms gold girl is my favorite )Yes, it’s about makeup, and so much more. I started to feel like I was wasting my time, but the Lord , ever patient , reminded me of my word . Beauty. I’m still learning . I’m listening . It’s ok to love beauty, we were created for it. So take your place , you standing at the oven , wearing pjs , and you the one who has gained a few pounds , take your place even though you are not 24…. Take your place . The place created for you by the Lord of all creation . You are beautiful . Inside and out. And here is a tribute to some of the most beautiful , powerful women I know .


Cast a shadow

What a season of change I am in ! Let’s catch up…Man child has gone to college, he doesn’t live with me anymore. This has been more brutiful (beautiful/brutal)than I had imagined. And big blue eyed girl is driving… which leads me to lion boy who is growing at warp speed, he is in high school. A big public high school . And he is winning ! Killing it. My heart almost stopped the week that all these changes took place . My two littles ( I use that term loosely) drove away together and I fell onto my bed and thanked the lord for the pain in my heart. As I’ve learned , HE always responds to grattitude.  He was gracious enough to tell me something . And I wanted to share it with you there in the grocery store, you there letting go of your college student, or kindergartner , you wondering what in the world you are supposed to do now . The lord whispered this …. MY LOVE overshadows all of it. Your pain, your tears of joy, your shopping to fill up that spot, your wandering heart, your ugly and your beautiful…all of your comings and your goings. MY LOVE casts a shadow so GIANT that your whole life is covered. 

And that was it , simple and stunning . I am in a season that is NOT a mid life crisis, it’s mid lifeAWARENESS. I am resting, and laughing. I am loving and letting myself be loved … Extravagantly. Amazed by the coolness of the shadow the Lord’s love has cast on me .  

Good news on a good Friday 

Sometimes it doesn’t look like I want it to. This life, this love, this walk. I’ve always known what I wanted , I’ve wanted to be a worship mother, to lead a family, not a congregation . And it’s been hard . The seeds I plant , and the songs I write seemingly , go unnoticed . It takes time and perseverance and rain . Boy, does it take rain . The melody of my life has been a sacrifice to the one who made me and to the one who put this desire in my heart . I’ve poured time and energy into my family and I’ve spent nights asking for the Lords hand to guide me . I’ve been disappointed and emptied out . Only to find HIM there in that desolate place . Only to have him fill me up again and again .   

Gatekeepers

As women we are the gatekeepers for a great number of things . This week I felt like a light came on for me in one of these areas. I decided to educate myself about the products that I allow on , and in my body. I am a self diagnosed product junkie, hell bent on aging as best I can . How could I have neglected to find out the  real  cost of some the items that I rely on daily ? Not the expense, but the cost. The cost to my hormones , my thyroid …. My health. Products with fragrance are hormone disrupters. I don’t know about you , but my hormones don’t need any help in being unpredictable , and all over the board . This goes for my teenage daughter too. It’s my job to decide what comes into my home . Laundry detergent, cleaners, body lotion,deodorant ,  soap … These are all things that I can control . 

     So why wouldn’t I ? I am excited about this , it makes me feel like I’m doing my job ! I also love the idea of passing the information on to others . You know better, and then you do better . I’m aligning myself with a company on a mission . Beauty Counter . I’m so grateful for their mission . Better beauty . 

Shift change

Or something like that. Things are shifting . One of my sons in particular makes fun of me for getting so excited and intense over New Years . I ask the Lord for a word for my year, and then I read ,and study ,and pray and often tell long, drawn out stories at the dinner table about what I am seeing and learning through that word . 

This year, maybe more than any previous… I feel a real shift. It’s a shift in my way of thinking , a breaking down to get to breakthrough . I’ve had plenty of breakdowns , but the shift is causing me to be able to see the breakthrough ! 

Relationships are changing , friendships are changing . I feel like I am looking through a different lens . Some of it is hard , and it will take some getting used to and some grace . I am excited about the newness . I am eagerly anticipating this year and all of its bittersweets. Adam will graduate , and Belle will be sweet 16. I am claiming that , SWEET 16 . Hahaha ! 

I can either white knuckle it with them , or I can hold on loosely, trusting that the same FATHER that held me ALL the days of my life , is holding them too. 

I’m not checking out. It’s just time for a shift change . 

2016 …and my word.

I think it was 3 years ago that I first asked the Lord for a word for my new year. It has become a tradition that I look forward to. It makes Christmas passing not seem so bad ! Last year I asked Him for a word, I heard bird…hmm. I thought it was a funny word for my year , bordering on silly. The wonderful thing about asking the Lord for a name , or a word is that you don’t have to do the work. I sat back and let him lead me . From the beginning of the year , right up to the end…He was teaching and showing me birds, feathers, flying, and nests. The year turned out to be like the most beautiful tree with branches growing in every direction. I’m so grateful, and always amazed. 

      This year I started asking and listening around Christmas Eve. I know there is no time frame, but I was really hoping the Lord would see that I wanted my word before New Years! Of course He knows me inside and out , and He is a good father. I heard my word (quietly, softly) in that week that falls between Christmas, and New Years. It’s a magical week of looking back, and looking forward at the same time. A week of hope, a knowing that everything is new, a reminder of God’s gift . Beauty . Um, no , clearly I’m hearing that because I’ve been reading fashion and makeup blogs all day. Beauty. Really Lord? Can you imagine Lord , me saying to people that you gave me a word for the year and it’s … Beauty ? I actually argued with the maker of EVERYTHING , the Ancient Of Days. Lord, what vanity ! But He is so good, His patience with me is unending . I slept on the word, I rolled it around in my head. Beauty. And then He said , “imagine the things I want to teach you !” I am overwhelmed at the possibilities , but I know a few things for certain. First, I have been on the path leading to this word for several years now. The path to understanding worthiness, and self -love , even self-care ( making time for myself , even though there are 3 teenagers that all need different things from me). 

   I am diving in , I’m eager to hear and read , and talk about , and look at , and cry because of … Beauty . BEAUTY in art, in nature , from ashes , between the broken and the bliss, on the mountain , and inside my own heart. Oh the places we are going to go this year ! There will be tributaries that break off from this river of beauty , there will be eye opening revelations , and minds changed this year. And in all of it , I’m going to find the beauty.