Tuesday, April 14, 2015

True Beauty and Adversity - Guest Post

Yesterday we planted several lovely little plants in our front flower garden, to spruce things up for spring....and this morning we woke up to thunder, lightening and a flash flood warning.  Most of our little plants are now straining to breathe in a habitat that looks more like an episode of "Swamp People"  than the perfectly moist soil we so carefully packed them in.  Pretty sure it's been raining buckets for 12 hours straight and there is, possibly, more to come.  What a bummer. 

But it has also reminded me of all the times, in my life, when directly AFTER something beautiful was (spiritually) planted in me...some sort of adversity came.  It's almost like the adversity comes in order to test the resilience of the new beautiful thing...to see if my thoughts, attitudes and outlook will remain beautiful during the hard times or will I turn back to the old ugliness.  Because if the beauty doesn't stand firm, then it wasn't real beauty that was planted.  It was only shallow and surface level, not to mention fake and (obviously) short lived.   After all, true beauty is much more than something, or someone, pretty to look at.  True beauty isn't even something that you can see, visually.

What is true beauty?  Off the top of my head, these words come to mind:  
Strength.  Perseverance. Resilience.  Patience.  Purity.  Compassion.  Kindness.  Generosity. Joy in the midst of troubled times.  A peaceful spirit.  Placing others' needs way before your own.  Choosing to leave a room better than when you first entered it.  Seeing the best in others and loving without reservation.   These things are just a touch of what true beauty is and I'm sure that you could help add to the list.  Notice that I didn't mention anything about body type, makeup, jewelry, hair or fashion related.  NOT that those things are inherently evil, of course.  But I think that most ladies (and men) have a sense, deep down, of what really matters.  We all know that true beauty transcends dress sizes, translucent skin and perfectly placed hair.

I don't know if our little plants will make it.  I'd like to think that once the sun comes out, they will dry out and begin to bloom just as beautifully as I originally had hoped they would.  BUT we may, in fact, end up having to buy more and try it all again...and that's okay.  There are some things we just don't have much of a say in.  However, when it comes to my heart, I do have a say in the input as well as the output.  Living a life of True Beauty is a choice that we must decide on, with purpose, not only on a daily basis but on a moment to moment basis.  Every time you choose to walk in beauty rather than that old ugliness, you are truly making this world a more beautiful place!   Below are some of my all-time FAV Bible verses on the topic of "Beauty".  As you read them, I want to encourage you to go out and not only BE beautiful but to create and radiate REAL beauty!   For no one can spread the Lord's beauty quite like YOU can and the world needs you to splash on your special brand on loveliness.  
“Many women have done wonderful things,
        but you surpass them all 
  Charm can lie, beauty can vanish,
   but a woman who fears Adonai should be praised.   
 Give her a share in what she produces;
    let her works speak her praises at the city gates." --Proverbs 31:29-31 (CJB)

"Listen, daughter! Think, pay attention!
Forget your own people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty;
for he is your lord, so honor him." --Psalm 45:11-12 (CJB)

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For Him Alone, Karen Michelle "Shelly" Ricci
Find Shelly on Amazon and on her Naturopathic Facebook Page

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