What is really beautiful to you?

Wait, how do I look?

Is my hair in the right place? I don’t really know what i’m doing here.

I laugh as I say these things while my husband takes the pictures.

All I wanted was to update my blog photo.  Photo shoots can either be a ton of fun or cause a cold sweat.

I sweat.

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This year I experienced freedom from the suffocating expectations I had placed on my body.

I stopped fussing with the details about health. In fact I let go of the idea of what I wanted to look like. I prayed for freedom through a balanced view of health.  It wasn’t until this last week that I realized this prayer was answered!

Taking pictures felt like an attack on that freedom I’ve experienced for some time now.  I ran out to the grocery store after wrapping up and realized my mood shifted and I felt bad until I captured where those thoughts were headed. I preached to myself..

No, you aren’t going to do this. You aren’t going to trade in peace for a pit.

I started recounting the moments of beauty that were true.

When wind whips hair on glossed lips and all I can do is laugh.

The hair God gave me. Styled fancy or wild, it’s a gift.

Strong legs that support feet hitting pavement one after the next.

Hot tears that run down my cheeks because of a friend’s pain.

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The smile that was thought up for me.

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I celebrate the work of His hands on the outside of my being but I know this body is decaying.  While I take efforts to care for it I know that what’s really beautiful is happening within the body.

I want us women to let go of perfection.  I pray this over your life because I know how suffocating it is.  I want you to experience peace in this area of your life regardless of your clothes size.  I want you to know you’re amazingly beautiful.

 

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..because for those in Christ you are becoming more like him. Nothing is more beautiful than that. Nothing.

What does a beautiful woman look like to you?

Is it thin legs on display in short skirts with tight tummies showing?  Or is it the face of a woman who lost her hair and eyebrows from chemo and as she shares her love for Jesus and what good He is doing in her life you can’t help but marvel at a true beauty.

* * *

Curl your hair, dress up, or let that hair fly wild and wear black sweats but don’t you dare believe your beauty is wrapped up in these things. Don’t give an inch to the lie that you are somehow less than the standard of perfection.

That standard is a well crafted lie from the enemy of your soul. He knows what confidence does to a woman.

Wear humility. Ask God for it daily and learn what it means. It’s a rare and beautiful sight to behold.

A woman who is humble is gorgeous and when we see it we know it.

I can’t do this on my own but Christ can in and through me so more than I wish for thinner thighs, I ask to be reminded to walk in the spirit and not my flesh.

For what is more beautiful?

<3

Laura

 

Our Thanksgiving

Are you stuffed after a weekend of Thanksgiving leftovers?

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We spent time with Darren’s family and had a wonderful time! I really do enjoy time spent with them. My mother in law is one of my favorite people on this planet. I don’t think a sweeter person exists. She is constantly thinking about other people and going out of her way for them.  Knowing her has been a gift.

Thursday we ate an amazing meal together.

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For Dinner we all feasted on pie. I tried the pecan and cherry and both were amazing!

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I have to back track a minute though. Earlier in the day we caught most of the Macy’s Day Parade. I was surprised to discover how excited I was to see Santa!

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Garrett and I snuggled on the couch and read a couple old Christmas books. I found them to be adorable as we gently moved through the pages.IMG_0109

Friday my mother in law and I went out shopping and had a blast. Typically Black Friday shopping isn’t my think but this was actually not bad.  We went late morning and the lines weren’t terribly long. When we stopped for a coffee treat Sharon also sent me home with a package of Christmas coffee. I’m so grateful for her.

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Did I mention it was a white Thanksgiving?!

Again, it was a wonderful time with family.

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It is now officially time to celebrate the Christmas Season! Advent, Movies, Christmas music, decorations, festive lights, hot chocolate, and cookies!

Until next time,

Laura

 

Numbering Our Days

Embrace the moment

At 25 years old I never imagined giving thought to dying.

The days still seem endless at this point.

A few weeks ago two friends from high school passed away.  It was hard to believe because both were only a year younger than myself..  One was a mother to a little boy around Garrett’s age even.  I was thinking over their life and how I loved each one. The sudden end to their lives was another reminder that what we’re doing here won’t be forever.

Another reminder was from two people who I don’t personally know.  Each shared their own battle with cancer. {It’s tricky to write this next paragraph because one has passed away and the other is still journeying through cancer. I’m trying to balance between writing in the presence and past tense so sorry if I mess that up!}

Kara Tippetts wrote a book, ‘The Hardest Peace’ that I read recently.  It really has changed my approach to life.

David Landrith was a pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Tennessee. He passed away this week after an intense battle with a rare cancer.

Each of these two share(d) a radiant outlook on the days ahead of them.  They share a beautiful hope that catches your attention. Though both honestly share about the place of pain an illness like cancer is, their hearts are at peace.  That’s amazing to me. To go through a brutal sickness and experience peace in the midst of it all.

As they each walk(ed) through the journey of cancer one thing was clear. Their faces are turned to Jesus. They both reflect Jesus so well.

I have learned a lot from each of them and ultimately their impact has brought me closer to Christ.

Death is intimidating and it’s a part of life that I typically push aside because the shadow that death casts is frightening.

Sometimes I forget to embrace this life as each day comes.

Life is precious and short.  I’ve wasted days, this i’m certain of.

The reality is that there is an end.  The hope is that what is on the other side is better.

I remember one evening laying on my bed writing and as I shared about how I longed to see Jesus I experienced an overwhelming excitement. All of creation is said to groan for the return of Christ (Romans 8:22). This is true in my case but that evening was met with a sweet reminder that  I will be with Jesus face to face one day.  Having faith without sight will not be forever!

I don’t mean to be morbid.  That’s not my intention.  But I have acted for a long time that my days aren’t numbered and I just don’t believe that’s wise anymore.

I bumped into this verse last week.  It’s changing me.

Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

{It’s believed to be the oldest psalm and written by Moses.}

I don’t think the intention is for us to walk around filled with dread.  That’s not the attitude God calls us to have at all. This message that our days are numbered (one that is talked about many times in the Bible) is suppose to revive our souls to live and love all the more!

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Embrace each moment.

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Live richly by being intentional in relationships.

Love is great in theory. Being kind and concerned with others are great ideas but how often does it really get played out? For me I know that I could be so much better at loving. Learning!

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Going back and forth on whether or not to post this I decided to be brave with it.  If you’re like me, maybe you too forget what is important.

I don’t want a tragedy in life to be what changes how I live.  Do you know what I mean?

I want to grab each day God gives and live each moment for His glory. If then something does rattle up my world then I want to have already been living how God called me to. <3

Psalm 34:1-2
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and be glad

 

Enjoy Thanksgiving this year by giving thanks for the people in your life and showing them how much you cherish them.

Until next time,

Laura