Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beauty Is As Beauty Does

Photo by Chelsey Pollon, Kensington, PEI, Canada

Beauty is such a subjective emotion. What might be beautiful to one may not be beautiful to another. Yet, there is no doubt that everyone finds sunrises and sunsets beautiful beyond anything we can imagine or create on our own. I think of them as God’s fingerprints, his own DNA artwork on a mega canvas. I also think about the fun He must be having when He is in His creative mode forming and re-forming shapes and colors in order to give His earthly children such visual joy.

The above sunset photo taken by my niece Chelsey has extraordinary meaning to our family. You see, our mother loved sunsets and she also loved daisies…both of which were spoken about during her eulogy. Captured one week after our 90 year-old Mother’s death, we saw it as a message from God telling us that He had welcomed her into his heavenly realm because of her belief in Jesus as her Savior. This special sunset shaped like a daisy was her “new address card” posted by God himself.

But while there is much natural beauty found in God’s creation, there is also characteristic beauty found in human nature. Some people have it and others do not. Our mother had a beautiful character and she was always attempting to teach her special characteristics to her ten children in subtle ways.

"When we were fussing and fuming about our ill-fitting, unfashionable hand-me-downs, Mother would often say, with a raised eyebrow, “beauty is as beauty does” and leave us alone to contemplate what she meant. This had a way of pricking the conscience, that “thing” God had placed inside of each person to help distinguish between right and wrong." Excerpt from Island Girl: A Triumph Of The Spirit

In a world that is filled with strife, selfishness, social and cultural changes, it is not always easy to follow our mother’s motto and to act accordingly. “Beauty is as beauty does” is an internal voice that comes from and through God telling us to love one another as He loves us, to be kind to one another and to treat one another as better than ourselves. It stands as an extremely powerful force. Try it sometime when you are facing difficult situations.

“Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us” 
Psalm 90:17 (NIV)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Country Roads and Alluring Paths

As a young girl, I loved walking along country roads. Often I would discover these paths that led down through muddy, murky ditches, up over hills, through dark, shadowy wooded areas or along sand dunes lined with marram grasses leading to the beach. The paths always called my name. A sense of adventure is what I had. I was intrigued by everything new and different. I felt I would not be satisfied unless I knew what was on the other side. Often I would run to the top of a hill just to have a look and see ~ amazed by the world beyond.

I was curious as to who made these paths. Was it a local traveler taking a short cut into the ditch and through the fields? Was it a deer, some cattle, perhaps a horseback rider, or perhaps it was a wild animal like a wolf or a fox? Maybe it was a hunter. Every possible thought stirred my youthful imagination as I explored these alluring paths wondering all the while if I should travel on someone else’s path.

As I matured, other paths called my name: the path to enlightenment and education, the path to a career, the path to marriage, homemaking, family and motherhood.  And, like the young girl who could not be satisfied unless she explored each and every one, I did the same thing in adulthood challenging myself to full discovery.

Eventually I learned that we, as women, don’t have to have it all.  We don’t have to travel on someone else’s path to find complete satisfaction or to have full discovery. I learned it is ok not to know what is on the other side and to contain our sense of wonder. I learned that every path was not meant for us to explore and discover; that some paths are not within God’s plan and purpose for our lives; that some paths can lead us into difficult circumstances, heartache and failure.  The paths that are meant for us to travel are filled with God’s amazing love, mercy, grace, joy, wonder and guidance.

“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” 
Psalm 119:9 NIV.