Monday, March 3, 2008

Memory Verse Monday - Inward Beauty


Does anyone besides me get sick of the diet commercials on TV?
And you can't escape them on the radio either.
Lately, even our local radio station hosts have been advertising
for Plastic surgery and such
(Valentine's Day specials no less).
Yuk!
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I am against any of it.
But, I DO resent having to hear about them night and day.
I DO wish people had more class, better taste, and more common sense
than to present the information in such a crass manner.
It saddens me our children are exposed to it for hours on end by the time they are 18.
and that many fall for it because of
feeling the cultural pressure to conform.
I mean, I remember walking across the living room
with a book on my head to practice a graceful walk and good posture,
when I was a young girl!
(Yes, that may have been when Dinosauers still roamed the earth
but, it's completely beside the point :) )

I remember being taught
"Pretty is as pretty does".
Meaning the beauty I desired was within my reach,
not dependant on my income bracket,
my parents, my or my husband's ability to pay for my plastic surgery!
If I behaved in a "pretty" fashion,
if I was kind, clean, neat, diligent,
took care of myself and others, it would "show up" on the outside.
Guess what? It does!
It won't ever get me on the cover of whatever
kind of publication you can think of.
But, over the years I have seen that the way we live
can't help but show up on the outside of us.

Laugh lines, hands that are gentle, a ready smile,
a firm handshake, a warm hug,
a propensity to giggle or offer an encouraging word.
The ability and desire to "pitch in" and help out with whatever needs doing.
The grace to include the people on the fringes, longing to be a part of what's going on.
These things make the sort of beauty that is valuable.
And I believe ALL of that begins here:
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:30 NIV

By now, after the Free to Fly Awards, you know that
living a beautiful life from the inisde out
is something of a life's journey for me.
It seems to be for many of you as well.
Yesterday I was getting ready for church.
Not thinking about this topic at all.
I was in that sort of contemplative state,
where your body is going through the motions of getting ready to go out,
but your heart and mind are open before the Lord.
You're sort of looking through the kitchen cabinets and closets
of your inner self together, to see what's there.
And the phrase popped up "Beauty is fleeting".
For me, I took that as an welcome invitation to draw near
to God through His Word,
to go and study that scripture and the Words around it.
In Jesus' day, there was special emphasis put on studying the word that they had
(which at the time was the Old Testement).
Such a strong emphasis was placed, that to know one scripture,
was to know the one after it.
To say the first was to imply the second.
So for me, the emphasis wasn't on the fleeting nature of beauty,
so much as what comes after that in His Word.
"but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
This is the reverence of God, to Honor Him, to Revere Him,
to consider Him as Worthy to Be Praised!
To be praised, as stated here, means to shine,
to be for marriage, to be clear!
Pretty cool, huh?
Yes, I think skin care, cosmetics, scented body lotion,
my favorite hair spray, and hair color
are Da Bom, Baby!
But, all those wonderful HBAs (Health and Beauty Aids),
they won't do me an ounce of good without The One Who Gives Me Life,
living (hopefully) large on the inside of me!
So, this week I am going to make sure that I focus on making room for more time in His Word,
more time in His presence while I go about my business
with music and song playing in our home,
and in my heart and mouth!
And I will be looking for inspiration,
because inspiration is what keeps us VIBRANT!
This is my Memory Verse Monday, which Karen hosts.
Be sure and check her out, and sign up for yourself if you like!

7 comments:

Karen said...

I know just what you mean about these informercials. Urgghh. I am always challenged by your writing and my 'inner beauty' has been an ugly step-sister the past few days. When the pressure is on, sleep deprivation, sick family member and a few other dramas, I am inwardly NOT pretty. I keep meaning to thank you for that beautiful award you have presented as well - thank you so much for that :-)

Nicki said...

For so long I thought beauty meant a thin body, perfectly high lighted hair every six weeks and never to be seen in sweat pants and a t-shirt. I'm SO glad that God knocked me upside down and showed me what true beauty is and you definetely have it girl!!

luvmy4sons said...

A poor character and a nsty mouth and ugly words and deeds can make he prettiest woman appear ugly. Inner beauty is a ggreat post subject. Love it. We all need to remember this and think on it often. I love the story of the ugly hill billy in Created to Be His Helpmeet. Have you read that? It is hilarious! Perfect example in point that a smile and kindness go a long way to your beauty!

Denise said...

Thank you for this, sweet blessings my friend.

freetofly said...

Karen, I can certainly say the same from yours! Especially today's verse you had! Real Achilles heel for me! I have lots of "cooperating" to do with the Lord there! And you are so welcome for the award! It was so much fun to show appreciation for women who have been such a blessing to me!!

Oh, and P.S. Yes, "The Uglies" DO attack me at the most inconvenient times! LOL!

Nicki, me too! And I know that at times I still revert to that thinking. I'm much better than I use to be at getting the focus right, but, I think in this culture, we will always be challenged. My biggest concern is our children. What must it be like for them, I can't even imagine. You are soooo sweet to say that! Thank you, I consider you to be beautiful as well! Your heart shows! :)

Leslie, I haven't read it yet. But, I am hoping to get to it, by the end of the month. Between my projects, and Jason's school and helping Jerry with collge, and getting in the Word, Yikes! I want to include it in our The Year of Romance, so I need to get it read soon. Sounds great though & you and Tiff both recommend it, highly! So it is a MUST!

Hi, Denise! You are welcome! I enjoy these, they are good for me! And it's fun to share the journey!

God bless you all & your families!
Maria

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Wonderful, I just enjoyed reading how God reminded you of what you had learned at the most unexpected moment and how the truth of God's Word made you want to dig deeper and know Him more. I too agree with how all the verses connect one with another. It's incredible to read God's Word in context. It sheds a whole new light on matters in life :)

Have a great day!

freetofly said...

Hi Susuan! Thanks for the visit! Yes, I DO believe the Rabbis were "on to something"!

Yes, unexpected for many, but for me, the shower is some of my best "quiet time"! Ha! LOL!

Thanks for you visist & your kind comments!

Have a sweet, sweet day!
Maria

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!