Turning 50- Beauty Much Deeper Than Skin.

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                                                                                     facial by Doug at Simply Skin in Clarion, PA

 

 

Wow! I used to think people were so old when they were fifty! I mean, in 5 years I could live in a 55 and over community like my parents used to…that’s so weird!

Here I am, it is what it is, I am what I am! I went to the Chiropractor the other day and he said; “Aren’t you so glad you started taking care of your self when you did, it shows! You don’t look older than 35”! I love that man!!

Seriously, I have learned that I do care about how I look but over the years it has come with much more balance than obsession. Many years ago a wise Christian woman told me that a smile was the best thing any woman could ever do for her face- a free face lift! I have been practicing that ever since!

I have recently been thinking about what I have learned over my life. In the last three years alone, I have learned more about myself than I could ever convey.  But some high-lights have been; Aromatherapy, Human Behavior  and Autism. I have done this  through classes and certification, living with my son, working in the field and personally working with therapists.

After playing the drums and piano most of my life, three years ago I started learning guitar  and returned to taking voice lessons again.  I have been working on pieces that are so challenging, I want to scream and throw them in the fire place!! I hate how uncomfortable and irritated change can make me feel, yet I desire to grow, and that takes incredible effort.

The most profound lesson I think I have learned in the last three years can be best conveyed by a story in Shauna Niequist’s book, Present Over Perfect. Shauna conversed with a man on a ferry ride  and he shared with her that he was skilled at making people “feel loved in an instant.” His business started out with genuine love and creativity and he loved spreading the message every where he spoke- he was extremely successful. He gave every one he met his best attentiveness and energy! But along the way, “he lost the ability to demonstrate real love to the woman and children who were at home”, and he eventually lost them.

The story of this man angers me because I have been the man, and I have also been charmed by the man! The story scares me because we can “loose” something we once had.  We save our best and turn on our energy for those who do not know us so well, not those closest to us. We get very good at being charming with relationships that are in the outer sphere because we simply do not want to express more effort learning better tools for intimacy at home.  I almost lost my soul in such an experience and I know of many who have. That is a very important lesson to learn, and yet, I am keenly aware of how capable I am of repeating it.

That made me think of a weighty scripture that has always grabbed me. Proverbs 31:30-31 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

Fearing the Lord will produce something of value, something lasting, pure and true. It has benefit, not just to the person who fears the Lord, but to others who have been recipients of the good works. It multiplies and ripples out in ways that make others want to give thanks for that person. In contrast, when we are charming and deceitful, it only serves self, scratches the momentary itch but at the same time makes self hungry for more, and can potentially ripple into a wake of destruction and ruin.

I am 50. I have been changing, growing and learning life altering lessons among other things. I want to be beautiful…but in ways that are much deeper than skin. In ways that are life giving and nurturing, today and forever<3

 

 

 

Addicted To The Chaos

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Like this page from  Shauna Neiquist’s, Present Over Perfect says, when we are addicted, it is damaging to us. We keep running back to the “false comforter” in what ever form that is, be it a person, a substance, work, busyness, etc., and it does comfort for a minute but it is in a vacuum. What ever comfort we get at the moment is over shadowed by torment the rest of the day…the pull of it is almost unbearable, but it destroys from the inside out.

As we head into a new year, I pray that I would be free from the things that have held me captive and I pray it for you too! Maybe you need to slow down and you know it, but keep putting that off. Maybe you need to cut off an un-healthy relationship and you know it, but you are passive-waiting for a better relationship to come along. Maybe you are addicted to something that you cannot seem to live with out. With man, any of these things can be impossible to over come. But With God, all things are Possible! Emmanuel, God IS With US! And NO ONE, loves you more than Him! The false comforters will destroy us; our minds, our emotions and our relationships. Come to the true Comforter, The Prince of Peace, who is able to do above and beyond what we can ask or think.

Blessings to You in The Name of Jesus in the New Year! True Health to your mind, will and emotions! I am right here, journeying with you, and I would love to hear from you today<3

The King of The World Came as A Baby

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What kind of God would send Himself into the world as a baby? So fragile, so in danger, so completely dependent, born to a willing teen age girl who knew she would face rejection from a shame-based culture. A short blog could not fully answer the question, but it is worth pondering and discussion.

God could have chose to send a full-grown, muscle laden warrior into the world to overthrow the  dark realm and take His own to Himself….He’s God, He can do anything! But a baby? Why? God, had so much trust and peace to place himself in the womb of a human, don’t you think?

The Bible says that Jesus was “tempted in every way as man.” Jesus, grew up from a baby to a boy, from a boy to a man and  experienced every thing we do. Frustrations, anger, lust (and joy)….but He never committed sin in any of it.  God put Himself in the place of vulnerability and learning like a person, just like we have to do so He could relate to us and so that we could come to Him boldly, knowing He understands.

He came to a woman, one of the lowest of the lows in that culture. Revealing Himself in the most intimate of ways to her. Showing His tenderness and vindication, championing women over and over raising them up in a culture that devalued their existence.!

Revealing Himself to Kings! Why would rich, notable kings travel such long distances to pay homage and give gifts to a baby born to a poor couple in Bethlehem? Think about it, what if that happened today?

Revealing Himself to the Shepherds! Again, another sect of society that was thought of as dishonest, foul-smelling, no bodies. Yet, He filled the sky with angels in their presence to herald the coming king, lying in feeding trough under a star!

His closest friends were ordinary people, not the elite. He reached out to the prostitutes, those with health issues that no one else would touch, and those with embarrassing, non-desirous jobs.

We often think God will be the first one to throw stones at us or “have the ceiling fall in if we darken the entrance of a church”, but that is a lie that has been perpetuated. He is our number one advocate when all turn against us. He is the one that makes all others throw down their stones while saying to us, “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” He is the one waiting at the end of the drive, with His arms open wide, while the house is stirring, creating a delicious feast for a returning child who has wandered far away from His goodness and blessing.

So, this Christmas, while these “festivities” are swirling on around us that have little to do with the reason for this season, take some time to stop and pause and consider why God would send His only son in this manner. I pray that He will reveal Himself to you in personal ways, as is His custom. He is the true gift, an eternal treasure, and wise (wo) men still seek Him! Have a very Blessed Christmas<3

 

 

I’m Doing The Best I Can

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“Mom, why didn’t you tell me the oatmeal was overflowing! Mom! Mom! Mom!??? Mom, why didn’t you tell me the oatmeal was overflowing? (I remain supernaturally quiet). Mom!! Why are you ignoring me?” Assuming everything in the universe that is wrong has been caused by yours truly...”Mom why didn’t you tell me….”

“Dorian, when you put food in the microwave too long, it  heats up and overflows.” “Oh!” he says, as if he has truly learned a new concept. A few minutes later…”Mom, why didn’t you tell me that the oatmeal was overflowing?!!Mom! Why are you ignoring me?” ( I thought we just had this conversation a few seconds ago and he accepted my response as a reasonable answer?) “Dorian, when you put food in the microwave too long, it heats up and over flows.” “Oh!”, he said.

Here is an actual excerpt of a 5 minute conversation we had the other morning at breakfast. This is very typical.  Of course the oatmeal isn’t always over flowing, but the intensity and seeming insanity is commonly overflowing. I am not sure why I have been chosen for such an enormous task as this. One which requires such superhuman love! I have not always dealt with it wisely and definitely have tried my hand at escape. Sometimes I think, after all of the education I have sought out, the prayers that I have prayed, the multitude of counselors and therapies we have implemented, that some how we should reach a plateau called, Easier! I am realizing that to get to the other side, you have to keep moving through, keep doing the next right thing, keep going through. Some times I let my son and my self down with how I respond but there is one thing I am sure of… I am doing the best I can.

The Father of Lies

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The devil was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Holy Spirit, lead us and guide us into all truth and expose where any lie with in us exists. Make us sensitive to it and give us the power to eradicate it from our lives.

Who We are Becoming in The Process…

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“We usually focus on what we are doing or where we are going, but God’s primary concern is who we’re becoming in the process.” “It’s not about being in the right place at the right time; it’s about being the right person, even if you find yourself in the wrong circumstances. Success has nothing to do with how gifted or how resourced you are; it has everything to do with glorifying god in any and every situation.”  Mark Batterson; The Circle Maker

Challenging and just what I need to hear this week! I pray that those words wash over you with all of their truth and help to build you up and re build you as you become the person you were created to be… in the process. Have a great weekend.

Cultivating Silence

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“Try to practice silence as much as general courtesy permits. Silence encourages God’s presence, prevents harsh words, and causes you to be less likely to say something you will regret. Silence also helps you to put space between you and the world. Out of the Silence that you cultivate, you will find strength to meet your needs.” F’enelon

All that I will say, (in the spirit of being silent) is that I wish I would have read this early in the  morning, before I engaged in an argument with my son:-(