A crown of beauty

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

My daughters and I were watching television the other day and stumbled onto “Toddlers in Tiaras.” We were riveted – much like being forced to watch a train crash – you know what is going to happen but you just.cant.turn.away. It was frightening! I’m not casting judgment on these people or their children, but I can’t imagine doing that with my girls! Piling fake hair on their heads, gluing on false eyelashes, applying more makeup than I would ever wear, and inserting a mouth piece to hide their gap toothed smile. (There is just something wrong about a toddler with dentures, do you agree?)

In direct contrast, this reminded me of a dear sister of mine that was getting her three year old daughter ready for a dance recital and had to put makeup on her for the first time. After it was applied, Abbi held the mirror up and said, “Look at you!” To which her daughter replied, “That’s not me. I’m prettier.” Good girl!

Our quest for perfect beauty is so misguided. Peter understood, beauty is from within, a gentle and quiet spirit that fears the Lord and leads others to Him. This is what God finds precious, and this is the kind of beauty that I am investing my time and energy in with my own daughters. I want them to be women of grace and integrity. Soft women that are compassionate and real. They are naturally beautiful – it’s the soul stuff, the heart beauty, that takes the most work. I know. I’m still working on it. I’m praying for me and my girls to be awarded a crown of beauty to lay at His feet…so much better than a tiara with rhinestones. 🙂

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

I should have known last night as I begged my head to stop hurting so I could sleep that the morning might not be much better. But I’m an optimist with great faith and so I believed that I would wake up to a better day. I didn’t.

I woke up at 3:00 AM and could barely walk to the bathroom for the dizziness – which wasn’t all that surprising, that happens after a migraine. I consider it a headache hangover. Then I woke up again an hour later, nauseous and still dizzy, and the next hour, and I realized that as much as I didn’t want to, I was gonna have to call in sick. I did so, and after tossing and turning, went to sleep. Terrible.

I woke up a couple hours later with a kiss from my precious husband as he said goodbye and wished me better. I smiled and rolled back over. My whole body hurt. Even my skin was sensitive. My 8 year old, who’d crawled into bed earlier this morning, rolled over and kicked me and put her feet on my chest. Ouch. Horrible.

My phone went off. A teenager was missing, hadn’t been seen since last night, would I please pray? Well, of course. I did. I checked facebook and felt slighted. I repented so I prayed and asked God to remove any unclean way in me and thought to go back to sleep. My flesh ate at my heart. I was mad at myself for my reaction. Then another text, one of my loved ones was hurting, scared, frustrated, and I was feeling her pain. I talked with her. I prayed for her. I prayed for myself…I was angry. In the midst of that another text – they found the boys car and phone but he was still missing. Ugh. No good.

I was talking to God begging for His protection, His wisdom, His guidance for this poor boy and his family. I knew He was listening. I knew the angels were circling. No matter what, I knew that boy wasn’t alone. Then a notification from twitter… a tweet. Don’t you just love when the enemy sends a message that threatens to deflate your faith the very moment that faith is most required? Yes. And so he did. And so it did. And my daughter followed it up with her attitude and selfishness and bold and mean accusations, and whatever hope I had for a turn about was eaten up in self pity. Very bad.

Then, I heard His voice. I completely expected anger and disappointment and impatience. I expected what I was feeling to be mirrored back at me, but I was projecting and He was consoling. From deep within my soul I heard His voice and He said, “Let it go.” I answered, “But the (blank) and the (blank) and there’s ….” The voice interrupted again, “Let it go.” I argued, “But Daddy, I’m (blank) and (blank) and…” This time is was louder, “LET IT GO.”

He knows best. He created this day. It’s a good day. Or, it will be.