A daughter’s outdooring – a vision of womanhood

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
~Proverbs 4:6-8

Many coming of age ceremonies are woven into the fabric of the culture. The Jewish Bat Mitzvah, the Chinese Ji Li, the Mexican Quinceañera, to name a few.  Despite the variation of rites of passage, the base element is recognizing and affirming that a child is ready to become an adult, as if adulthood is the goal and the gain.

I consider my options for such a celebration for my daughters in their late adolescence – when and how might they be encouraged and equipped to cross the line into womanhood.  Continue reading “A daughter’s outdooring – a vision of womanhood”

A daughter’s outdooring – making space

It was a hypothesis, an idea to counter the current cultural confusion.

Adolescent girls are wondering where they belong. It is normal procedure for moving out into the world on your own. When you prepare to leave, you look to what you might cleave.

In this peak identity-forming season, our girls are turning to the junk values of our culture. They are following the loudest messages – the ones they’ve been immersed in their whole lives – that would reduce them, bottle them and sell them.

Where is the alternate message – one of truth and wisdom – to give them a choice and a chance? Where are the voices that would value them, equip them and unleash them?

If they exist (and we are certain they do), our daughters may not hear them above the din.

So let’s consider how we might give that message and those voices the microphone. How might we make space for wisdom so that our young women can hear it?

Iron & Bragg Photography

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More to come…

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A beautiful marriage is royal

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
Ephesians 5:25-28 (MSG)

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A Royal Wedding hope and prayer.

Images of what we really desire

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things – the beauty, the memory of our own past – are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers.
C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

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You can never get your fill of beauty

Beauty is to the spirit what food is to the flesh. A glimpse of it in a young face, say, or an echo of it in a song fills an emptiness in you that nothing else under the sun can. Unlike food, however, it is something you never get your fill of. It leaves you always aching with longing not so much for more of the same as for whatever it is, deep within and far beyond both it and yourself, that makes it beautiful.
Frederick Buechner

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I had taken a brief hiatus posting beauty quotes as we were hit with the difficult task of moving Mom into a nursing home this past Monday. She is only 67, but she has Lewy Body Dementia and it is progressing rapidly. I know that there is much to say, much to be written, about this journey we’re on with Mom. I believe that there is beauty buried in this gut-wrenching living grief, but I haven’t landed there yet. What I do know is that my Mom is a beauty and it radiates from her even with this terrible illness. One day at the nursing home and she is trying to help the other residents (though they can’t understand each other), over-thanking the nurses, and considering how she might make her very sterile room a little more inviting.

But this aching with longing that Buechner uses to describe the effect of beauty? Sounds a lot like grief to me.

The real standard is beauty

1 Peter 2:12, my paraphrase: ‘Keep your conduct before the watching world beautiful/noble/honorable.’ That standard is higher than conduct that is technically right/moral/legal. The real standard is *beauty* that can be admired by people who don’t share your beliefs.
Ray Ortlund

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For reference, here is 1 Peter 2:12 (NCV): “People who do not believe are living all around you and might say that you are doing wrong. Live such good lives that they will see the good things you do and will give glory to God on the day when Christ comes again.”

The path of beauty

If you look for beauty in others (not always easy to see), you will invariably treat them with dignity and respect. The path of beauty always draws close to and elevates others.

If you look for ugliness in others (easy to see, even easier to imagine), you will invariably treat them as less than human. The path of ugliness always excludes and destroys others.

Pick your path.