Am I lovely?

Here's a sneak peak into my thoughts (which I relied heavily on Staci Eldridge's - "Captivating" thoughts) at WW this past weekend. What a FANTASTIC group of women. One of my favorites yet, for many reasons. -----------------------

*Every woman in our world is asking one Question: Am I lovely? (Can be asked: Am I beautiful?, Am I capturing your attention?, Do you see me? Do you want to see me? Are you captivated by what you find in me?, Am I enough?)

*In the brokenness of the human race we can either hide our beauty in desolation or demand it by dominating others. (Do I lean toward being desolate….woe is me…..hiding…..or do I lean toward controlling others…without mercy….demanding…running others over)

*Beauty indwells in every woman. It is how she is made. It is why we seek it out, want to be it and create it around us (and we each do this in our own, unique way)

*We each have a beauty to unveil, a beauty to offer, a beauty to give to the world, to a friend, to humanity.

“Beauty is dangerous.” – Gerard Manley Hopkins (depending on how it is offered) “Beauty will save the world.” – Fyodor Dostyoyevsky (depending on how it is offered)

Beauty Speaks. What does beauty say? All shall be well. Because beauty is something that rests – and is not striving to be something it is not – it knows it is beautiful – it says: Rest.

Beauty Invites. When you hear a beautiful piece of music, a song – it captures you. You want to stop and sit down and drink it in. It commands your attention and invites you deeply into it. If you are beautiful, then you are inviting. Others are at ease in your presence.

Beauty Nourishes. To nourish is to offer life. To offer life to others is to encourage others, to give them words of life and not tear them down, to help others grow into their beauty. Beauty Nourishes.

Beauty Comforts. Beauty is profoundly healing. There is a reason that we send flowers after the loss of a loved one. Sometimes only a gift of beauty says enough, or what is right.

Beauty Inspires. A teacher in the inner city explains why he insisted on putting a fountain and flowers in the courtyard of the building. “Because these children need to be inspired. They need to know that life can be better.” Beauty inspires.

Beauty Transcends. Think of the glory of a sunset, or the ocean at dawn. The ending of a great story. Sometimes the beauty is so deep it pierces us with longing. For what? For life as it was meant to be. Beauty reminds of the Garden of Eden that we have not known, but somehow, we know, our hearts were created for.

*When inner beauty is found – outward beauty follows. Notice I did not at all speak of an outward definition....but painted an inward, attainable hope of beauty.

*The writer says this about God: Psalm 18:19 “You rescued me, because you delighted in me.” Thank you, God, that you delight in me. You find me beautiful....even when I am at my most undelightfullest and ugliest in heart and action.

Are you lovely, sweet readers? Absolutely. Without a doubt. beauty

(One of the most beautiful places at our retreat and one of the most beautiful women I get to spend time with perched on the that tree)