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

 

 

 

Lets Be Honest….

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I will be honest….there has, not so long ago, been a time in my life when I wasn’t being honest with myself or others. It caused a lot of pain for everyone around me and it changed my life. I have had to grapple with my choices and ponder what would bring me to a place where I would choose to live in lies rather than the truth?

One aspect of myself that  I found was, that through out my life I lacked boundaries and the courage to tell people how I saw things when I didn’t agree with them. I thought I was just being “agreeable” and keeping peace. But what I realized is that I was just people pleasing and too afraid to let others see the real me. This also reinforced my distorted thinking about myself ,kept me in unhealthy relationships and set me up for future failure.

This is just one aspect of the many journeys I have been on, but when I read Dr. Henry Cloud’s book this morning; Changes That Heal, I thought I would share some of his insights that have helped me.

Be Honest-

Be honest with one another. Many people will not be honest because they fear loss of intimacy and togetherness. in reality, honesty brings people closer together, for it will strengthen their identities. The more you realize your separate identities, the closer you can become. Telling loved ones what is really on your minds and telling others what you really think is the foundation of love.

Now that I am testing the waters in this realm, I realize that people really like to keep me in my old “people pleasing” box!! They don’t appreciate my new found freedom and personal boundaries! But it is ok, that is to be expected and will just cause further healthy change and growth.

Maybe you have not struggled in this area, but since the book, Boundaries  (store.cloudtownsend.com/boundaries-softcover-book.html) sold so many copies, I suspect that you may deal with it in some way. This is just one little honest thought in the area of being honest, but there is so much more! If this segment has piqued your interest, I encourage you to  check out these and other books to help you straighten out what maybe has been distorted in your life. Healthy thoughts make a healthy person!

We are right here walking the journey with you and would like to hear from you today!

 

The Clouds…

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This blew my mind this morning….”It is not true to say that God wants to teach us some thing in our trials; through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn some thing.” Oswald Chambers

Which leads me to ask myself the question; “what do I need to un learn?”….Oh, I could think of a lot of things!! So I ask you…what do you need to un learn? Bad habits,bad relational styles,  hang ups, addictions?

Wise man that Oswald Chambers!! After he has been long gone, he is still challenging us today. So, look at “The clouds in your life” and see them as an opportunity for change. Really nothing can change until you can change how you think about it. It is not easy, but it is possible. It might take all the energy you have every day, but as you persist, it will get easier. You will look back at some point and realize how far you’ve come!

As you enter your weekend, consider what things you could un learn and think about new things you could learn in it’s place. Here is some thing new for you to learn…..as far as summer pests go, nothing is as strong as cedarwood ! It really helps curb ticks and other bugs! We are making a new tick spray for summer using cedarwood!

What things do you need to un learn in your life? Have you ever used cedarwood? We want to hear from you today!!

Some one to blame…..

pointing finger   Connection is some thing that we all need. There are three areas  that will completely destroy that connection and those relationships that we desire if we give them any opening in our lives.  Last week we blogged on shame... Today we are talking about blame.

I can talk about this from a position of authority because, unfortunately, I have mastered it. I have shamed, I have been ashamed, I have blamed, I have been blamed through my choices and then subsequent behaviors. Unless we get to the root of the problem( it doesn’t matter what area of life we are speaking of, friendships, marriage, parenting, work relationships) it will destroy the fabric that seemingly holds relationship together.

Robert McGee in Search for Significance  says; ” Many have been broken by the false belief-those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we all tend to point an accusing finger, assigning blame for virtually every failure. Whenever we fail to receive approval for our performance, we are likely to search for a reason….a culprit….or a scapegoat. More often than not, we can find no one but ourselves to blame, so the accusing finger points right back at us. Self condemnation is a severe for m of punishment.”

Another reason we seek to blame he says; “Is that our success often depends on their contribution. Their failure is a threat to us. When the failure of another blocks our goal of success, we usually respond by defending ourselves and blaming them, often using condemnation to manipulate them to improve  their performance.”

OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!!! Oh, I see that in myself with my relationships with my children especially and I have gone to them and told them I have failed miserably here! I also see how I have done that to my husband over the years….it would be so easy for me to shame myself (because I am guilty) but I will choose to forgive myself and instead make very necessary changes.

So guilt is definitely a part of this shame and blame in our lives. Dr. Henry Cloud  in his book Changes That Heal says; ” Guilt and shame too often sends us into hiding. If we have to hide, we cannot get help for our needs and brokenness; we cannot become “poor in Spirit” and therefore be blessed. When grace comes along and says that we are not condemned for who we truly are, then guilt can begin to be resolved, an we can begin to heal.”

So if we are working toward connection and healing in our lives, we need to eradicate shame and blame from our lives. We need to help facilitate healing to others and to ourselves. Easier said than done….we all want to blame some one or some thing when some thing goes wrong, it is our nature. But if we want to live a life of healing and connection with others, we have to walk in humility and understanding.

I want to grow….it hurts. I want to be a person who is full of grace and mercy knowing all the grace and mercy that has been shown to me. I want to encourage you on your walk as others have encouraged me. Has this been helpful to you? We want to hear from you today<3