this weekend officially marks the begining of the cherry blossom festival! and i was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some of the trees last night driving into the city. there’s something just so soft and delicate about cherry blossom’s that create such a sense of beauty–and i know i’m not alone because within the next few weeks thousands of people will flock to DC to catch a glimpse of the cherry blossom’s a short-lived beauty.
cherry blossom’s are an outward sign that spring is here. spring is a time to get back outside, soak in the sunshine and witness the budding of flowers and life all around you. now, i’m not one of those girls that enjoys pink flowers, butterflies and fairies, but i do love the bright blooming flowers that come popping up during march and april. and how irnoic, that when i think of the beauty spring holds, i was just reminded of ‘hymn of promise’ (one of my favorite songs as a little girl)
“in the bulb, there is a flower
in the seed, an apple tree
in cacoons a hidden promise
butterflies will soon be free
in the cold and snow of winter
there’s a spring that waits to be
unrevealed until it’s season, something God alone can see.”
as a little girl i didn’t know how powerful and significant this song was and still is. i’m sure i was thinking about flowers budding and butterflies being free and looking forward to warmer weather, sunshine, and getting out of school but didn’t grasp that last line ‘unrevealed until it’s season, something God alone can see.’ how amazing is it to think that God sees things we can’t and he reveals it exactly during the right season of our life. during the lenten season, many people fast from something–chocolate, dessert, facebook, tv, etc. and when fasting, it’s sometimes SO easy to focus on what we can’t have, that we lose track of everything we DO have. and for women, i think the same is when it comes to defining our beauty–we focus on the things we don’t have–if only i could shave off a few inches there, if only i were a few inches taller, if only i had hair like that, if only my eyes were that color–you get the point. and these days there are remedies and surgeries so readily available that there is a cure or ‘fix’ for just about everything. so sure, you can change what you look like and your apperance, but what about your heart?
i’m re-reading Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. i first read this book probably 5 or 6 years ago and thought it was great and definitely hit a lot of points i needed to hear. but this go around is an entirely different. there’s a chapter in the book where john describes beauty and breaks it down into seven different qualities. i’m just going to list them, but take a few minutes to really reflect on what they mean to YOU. 1) beauty speaks 2) beauty invites 3) beauty nourishes 4) beauty comforts 5) beauty inspires 6) beauty is transcendent and 7) beauty is misunderstood. this isn’t just another spring season. God is using this season for young women to rediscover their beauty and to weed out the misconceptions surrounding ‘beauty’. i’m inspired and hopeful that instead of turning to tv, magazines and the media to define beauty, women will discover their individuality of what it means to be beautiful and how to discover that. for most this means you’re going to have to step outside your comfort zone–face things you never knew existed–deal with issues of the past–and relearn what it’s like to live a life of beauty. but find what makes YOU happy. for me this involves running and dancing. i use runs to unplug, unwind, and really take in what God is doing. no i-pod, no music, no noise. just watching and listening. dancing provides a type of outward expression that nothing else can. choregraphing new dances or just dancing is one of the most freeing things ever. i can freely express exactly how i’m feeling without having to say anything. those are just two of the things i enjoy, but there are MANY other things you can do to unplug, unwind, be free and discover beauty. perhaps think back to what you did as a child–what made you happy and feel free? GO DO IT! find your beauty. i’ll leave you with this quote from john’s chapter on unveiling beauty “And this is what it’s like to be with a woman at rest, a woman comfortable in her feminine beauty. She is enjoyable to be with. She is lovely. In her presence your heart sotps holding its breath. You relax and believe once again that all will be well. And this is also why a women who is striving is so disturbing, for a woman who is not at rest in her heart says to world, ‘All is not well. Things are not going to turn out all right’.”
now is the time. discover and recover the prize of beauty. if you’re fasting from something, ask God to take you to a deeper level, to discover things you never knew about Him and about yourself. and when you enter into the next season, stand in amazement at what He’s revealed.