Monday, November 18, 2013

Cultivating Beauty

  • Who can find a virtuous woman?  her price is far above rubies
  • She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
  • Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
  • She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
  • Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised

Earlier this week I did a post titled "Do You Feel Beautiful?", and mentioned that the topic of beauty seemed to keep cropping up in my thoughts and in my life for a couple of weeks.  I started noticing beauty (and the lack of it) every where I turned.

I'll be honest, I felt a little overwhelmingly UN-beautiful around that time. A sort of is-this-the-best-it's-going-to-be-for-me? mood struck me and stuck around for a while.  Don't you hate it when that happens?

Thankfully, though, the Lord arranged one of those wonderful "coincidences" that I don't believe are coincidences at all!

I went to a special prayer service at a friend's church.  There was some beautiful soft music playing, and a soothing voice leading the participants in guided prayer, while leaving time for personal reflection and prayer, as well.  And even in that situation, what subject came up?  Guess!  The beauty of God's creation--and the Lord dropped a bit of wisdom into my heart.

You can have a beautiful life if you cultivate it.

Immediately thoughts and examples started flooding my mind.

This was my garden this year.

Because I didn't cultivate it.

Last year I did better.  I planted....

...and watered

...and watered some more.  (And even tried to shade some of our plants from the hottest of the sun--for no avail for those particular plants--it was just a bad year for cucumbers that year.)

But we had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes.

This year a friend of mine kept telling me all of the good things she was harvesting from her garden and her fruit trees--and I had nothing that I'd grown in myself in my own garden--because I didn't cultivate it.

Earlier this year I shared about what a mess my house had become--you can see the whole Clean In 30 series.  It got that way because I wasn't cultivating a clean house....

But little by little, one room at a time, I started cultivating clean. 

There's a reason I had started calling this my "Ugly Room"....

Until I challenged myself to do something about it.

I'd like to say that everything has stayed just as clean and organized, or gotten even better (which was my intent) since then, but the truth is, while it's better than before, it's not as good as after right now.

Why?  Because I haven't cultivated it.

I will probably never live in what I call a big, nice house.  But my little house is paid for, and it's as beautiful as I make it.  If I want it to be better--cleaner, more organized, prettier--I have to cultivate the habits that not only make it that way, but the ones that keep it that way, too.

I will never be younger, or taller, or have less wrinkles and gray hair than I have right now, but if I eat right and exercise and do the little things that help me feel prettier, I can be beautiful in my eyes and in the eyes of those who love me.  

I just have to cultivate it.

If I want beauty of mind, soul, and spirit, I have to be careful what I allow in. What books do I read, what television shows do I watch, who do I spend time with, with what do I fill my conversations?  How much time do I spend with my Creator, or in His Word?  Am I all about me, or do I reach out to those around me?

Do I cultivate it?

Until next time...

This post is linked to:
Make Your Home Sing Monday at Mom's the Word
Proverbs 31 Thursday at Raising Might Arrows


  1. Inspirational words, thanks for sharing! I love your examples.

  2. Love this post! It's always refreshing to hear and see inspirational stories :) Thanks for sharing yours :)

  3. Wonderful post, Charlene! Personally, I think small houses are so much nicer than big houses. And it's so much more interesting to explore a humble home that is decorated with things that mean something to the owner, rather than those McMansions where a decorator comes in and just places things for effect. (Like the ones you see on HGTV) Now I have to go and cultivate some beauty today!

  4. I also have no garden. House could use cultivating too. But my people are doing pretty well, and my indoor plants are still alive, so I am hopeful and thankful. I appreciate your point of view, thanks!

  5. Hi Charlene, what an insightful post! It is so true. When we really take a moment to notice God's creations we begin the process of seeing all the beauty around us and in ourselves. As you said, beauty needs cultivation whether in our gardens or our own bodies. I think beautiful people are also those who reach out to others and look for ways of helping and showing love and care. I am reminded of the Bible story about Dorcas, a dear woman who was very loved by her congregation. When she past away all the women wept and told stories about the beautiful garments she had made for them with her own hands. Later she was brought back to life and they all rejoiced. She was beautiful to everyone because of her unselfishness and generous spirit. It gave her an inner light and who she was has been remembered for centuries. This was a wonderful post Charlene, and I hope you have a lovely and restful day ahead! Delisa :)

  6. Hi Charlene, thanks for sharing this post in the Faith Jam before Thanksgiving. I hope you had a good weekend of rest. It is hard to nurture and cultivate ourselves... :) It really helps to encourage each other. And your words keep us company on that journey.

  7. Hello Dear Charlene! It was so nice to hear from you again, although the news wasn't the most wonderful. Hoping that all your trials are behind you and now you can start the year anew. Been reading about the new strain of flu-like symptoms that everyone is finding hard to shake. Fortunately no one here has caught it. I think the cold air kills all the germs. It has been truly cold here, but we are loving all the snow. So pretty!

    We've been busy with just life. Looking forward to getting snowed in, so we can snuggle down and take things slow for a while. Hope that you will post something one of these days. Your posts always are so thoughtfully written. More and more I find myself pulling away from the blogging world,(too time consuming and too much tit-for-tat) but I will ALWAYS read yours!

    Praying that you have a blessed beginning to the New Year and a trouble-free one to come. Rest and recover dear friend!


    1. Hello again Charlene! It was so good to hear from you again. This year Ran and I are making an effort to really study the Bible. Sure could use your guidance! We have different study guides, translations and commentaries but it still can be overwhelming at times. I guess that's the way it's supposed to be. You get more out of verse as your understanding grows.

      We are digging out of the snow today. For the first time in a long time we are having a real winter.

      Glad to read that your earlier problems are behind you. If you ever find the key to all that decluttering, let me know how! LOL!



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