Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Candy Man

My dear friend over at the Patterson 5 blogged today about her "sweet" son's kindergarten teacher, and how she gave each child a candy descriptive for their K graduation. Sweet Patterson was "Jolly Rancher" for his always jolly and happy attitude. That got me thinking. What candy would describe my family?

My oldest daughter would be Good-N-Plenty. She is plenty good, that is for sure. I can count on her to do the right thing, and to be loving and compassionate. No, she's not perfect, but she's plenty good. So she's Good-N-Plenty.

My younger daughter would be Starburst. She never just enters a room. She always BURST onto the scene. She is truly a star, ready to sing and dance and be the center of attention. Yes ma'am, she's a Starburst.

My husband? How about Pop Rocks! My kids might say "Dad Rules!" but I say Pop Rocks! He's a good daddy and loves the kids, and a mighty find husband too.

So that leaves me...hmmm. What kind of candy would I be? Almond Joy! Yes, sometimes I do feel like a nut, but actually it's the Joy I was thinking of. I can honestly say that most days I feel the joy of the Lord.

What kind of candy would you be?

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 19:10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Inside Out

Wednesday I blogged about how we women often spend more time on our daily hair and make-up routine, than with God. (And for those who are tired of the princess theme, it's done...we're on to Barbie today!) But why do we put so much emphasize on the outward appearance?

Perhaps this will shed some light. I've just returned from the grocery store with my four year old. If you take a look at the photo of some of our purchases, you might notice a marketing theme. Barbi waffles and cereal, Dora corn and soup, and Princess soup. (whoops, princesses again!) My daughter sees the pictures on the outside of the package and she wants them...sometimes not even knowing what is inside.

How often in life do we act like my daughter? I remember a couple at church who looked like the "model" couple. After the wife and I became friends, she shared her husband had "anger management" problems! Wow - I had thought they had the perfect marriage. I was looking at the outside, not knowing the bitterness on the inside.

So much of life we base on the outward appearances. But what does the bible say about this? "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samual 16:7 NIV) Clearly in being Christlike we shouldn't judge others by their outward appearance.

But does outward appearance matter? And if not, shouldn't we all be hanging out in sweats with dirty hair and no make up? Clearly the Lord loves beauty. Just look at a sunset, a mountain top, or a peacock. And since the bible tells us that he knows how many hairs are on our head (Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7), we know we have a God who has an attention to detail. I believe the right answer is to strike a healthy balance.

I like the verse in 1 Peter 3:3, 4 (NASB) that puts it this way "Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." It's okay to care about your appearance and want to look nice, as long as you aren't merely a beautifully wrapped empty box...pretty on the outside, but empty on the inside. Fill up your insides with the joy of the Lord. Then you will truly be beautiful...inside and out.

John 7:24 "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment." (NIV)

Galatians 2:6 "As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—those men added nothing to my message."

Matthew 6:28-30 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pretty Pretty Princess

My daughters have a game called Pretty Pretty Princess. The purpose of the game is to move around the board, collecting all your jewelry pieces. The first one to collect her pieces, then collects the crown to win the game.

I love the concept. You see (cue the music!) "I enjoy being a GIRL!" I love jewelry, make up, clothes, shoes, get the idea. But I don't want this to become an idol in my life. The bible says "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30). I want to be the woman who fears the Lord. And He is working on me.

Prior to my 40th birthday party in March, I had a "Beauty Day" planned, complete with manicure, pedicure, eyebrow wax, tanning, the works. My youngest came down with influenza so I had to cancel my beauty day. She was well in time for my party, and I did just fine without all primping. I jokingly said "God is trying to teach me the beauty is fleeting, and hey now that I'm 40, I know it!"

Prior to my gala on Friday night, I had another "Beauty Day" planned, like above. My sister (who is also my sitter) had to cancel on me this time. (You can read her comical version of this here). As she was apologizing to me, I said "It's okay! God is just trying to show me that real beauty comes from the outside." She burst out laughing. "I think you mean on the INSIDE." Whoops. Talk about a Freudian slip. We both had a laugh about that one.

That same day, I received the Proverbs 31 daily devotional. It was by Zoe Elmore, and was about how we women often spend more time on our make up each day, than with God. Since I read Zoe's blog, I had already read the posting here, so I somewhat dismissed it. But then my sister forwarded it to me (knowing I already receive it) saying "Talk about timing...." Since this was the THIRD time I'd gotten it, I realized perhaps God really is talking to me! I was just so busy getting pretty I missed it. DUH!

So now, I have a little song to help me, in Zoe's words, "get on our face before we put on our face." The song goes like this (cue the music again!) "From the moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I'll say a little prayer for you...."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Some Day My Prince Will Come

Several readers have asked for pictures from the gala, so here you are.

This is my prince and me at home before our big evening out...

This is our "Castle" - okay really it was the New Kent Winery Grand Opening. It is located at the New Kent Vineyards, and it was a lovely setting.

This is our horse drawn carriage...(This was really at the gala! Folks were taking carriage rides.) In the back ground are the actual vineyards where they grow the grapes for the wine.

If you'd like to see more pictures of the winery, you can visit the slide show of Saturday's opening with photos by the Richmond Times Dispatch here.

Psalm 107:37 - "They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest."

Monday, June 2, 2008

Part of That World

I hadn't realized that I had a princess theme going on until my good friend, Sue J, commented that I had mentioned Cinderella in Friday's blog, and Sleeping Beauty in Saturday's blog, and asked if Ariel was next. Hmmm. Ariel works with my topic for today, so "Thanks Sue J!"

Ariel is the mermaid princess in "The Little Mermaid." She is unhappy in her own world, wanting to be a human. She sings "Wouldn't I love, love to explore that world up above? Out of the sea, Wish I could be, Part of that world." But as Christians, we are called to do something different. Be IN the world, but not OF the world.

My world tends to be pretty small. My typical week consists of Wednesday night dinner and programming at church, Thursday is Mothers of Preschoolers at church, Friday is bible study at church, and Sunday is church!! You get the general idea. My life is surrounded by friends who are like minded. Even my blogging buddies are Christians and we share biblical blogs (or at least G-rated).

But then sometimes I head out into the world, and I never fail to get a reality check. Girls, the world is not like our world! (If you work outside of the home, then you may already know this.) Friday night I attended a black tie gala. (Pictures from the gala will be posted tomorrow in a bonus blog). I was chatting with an acquaintance who I often see at these events. I mentioned to her about my article being published in November. She asked where and when I told her it was in the Proverbs 31 Magazine, she responded rather distainly, "Oh, religious stuff." She was clearly uninterested in that "religious stuff."

This is good for me to see. Now when my husband occasionally comes home grumpy at night, I can again remember that it is a "dog eat dog" world out there - and perhaps it's his turn to be wearing the milkbone underwear! The world really is a tough place out there - and they frown on that "religious stuff" we partake in.

I pray that I can have an opportunity to be a light to others who don't see the light, that I don't hide my light, and that I don't let Satan blow it out. And I pray that I keep my focus on Jesus, the Light of the World.

John 14:17 - "The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."
Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
James 4:4 - "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. "
1 Peter 2:11 - "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. "

1 John 2:15 - "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. "