Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Beauty for Ash(es)

The things that make us who we are.

I'm sure there's a recipe to goodness... Like 10 cups of love, 2 cups of discipline, 2 TBSP rules, and 20 gallons of forgiveness.... I think that's the recipe we're all born with, our ovens just bake us differently.

Born in true purity, we slowly, gradually, both better and spoil. In a world of imperfection and hurting hearts, there isn't room for any of us to get out scott free.

Lately I have been thinking about all of the ingredients that have been added to my original recipe and changed the taste over time-- for sweeter and for bitter. I guess it was yesterdays post that really spurred this on. As I remembered who I swore I'd be: rich, successful, independent, and alone I recalled how I built that dream.

Divorce, abuse, alcohol, drugs, infidelity, custody battles, hate...

Some people take those ingredients and toss them out acknowledging they are bad, others make posters with big red circles and lines through it saying WARNING so they know not to go there, and others let the ingredients sit and define them. I know at times I was the latter but through my college years, I chose the poster method. I decided my major based on how those elements of my life shaped me. I put on my pink gloves and became a Women's Study major in the hopes that I could defend women like my mother, protect children like I wasn't, and crucify the people who wanted to poison goodness. I guess I also chose the latter though because it fired me up when my family didn't understand why I would be a feminist, why I would denounce motherhood and marriage.

I will always have a place in my heart for my pink gloves. I will always champion for women's rights. I will always want to step in and defend children who don't have a voice in the legal system. I am, however, grateful for a heart that has forgiven.

My husband is often patted on the back for the ways that he has changed me, bettered me even. I still get sideways looks of awe when the family who knew me when sees where I am now. While I know my husband is a huge part of the hole that was repaired in my heart, what I wish people would see is that it was Jesus. It was understanding how He loved me that repaired me and prepared me for the love of the man He had set aside for me. If I had not known my God, I could not have accepted my husband's love for me.

So lately, while I struggle with hurts and hang ups, I try to remember how imperfect I am. How I was born in purity but over time I have spoiled in places. While I have a good heart, ugly things can come from it. While I have good intentions, some times my communication is not effective. While I love, I also have the capacity to both be seriously hurt and to cause genuine hurt.

Beauty for Ash(es)....


  1. This is so beautiful. I loved reading your reflections -- it's so amazing where Jesus has brought us, isn't it?

  2. Legs. This is so perfect, I just love the transparency you have with your writing. Thank you for letting us in.

    Jesus is the amazing healer. But I think you had it right on - YOU CHOSE HIM. I think a lot of femanistas don't have a love for Christ (or any man...) and YOU are blessed because you chose to love Jesus. He blessed you with your husband, your son and the amazing talents and passions of your heart.

    You could have chosen to be a bitter, edgy and defensive person through and through - and really ... no one would blame you. But you chose love, you chose to live and you've been deeply blessed.

    I love being one of those family members on the inside, watching your growth - learning more than just facts about your childhood - and being able to pray specifically for you.

    I've been so blessed by you this past {almost} year - and I know it is because He knew I would need YOU. Thank you for being my cousin. You didn't have a choice, but you've gone way above the call of duty. You're my friend.

    I love you!


  3. You write with such raw honesty and emotion. I almost feel like I'm spying on your innermost thoughts, and I should slip quietly out of the room, so as not to disturb you. Does that make sense??

    I can just feel your past hurts and pain. Pain that only Jesus can heal. So glad he has set you free in so many ways, and the knowledge that we are all works in progress is a fact that I find comforting. None of us are without blemish and scar. Only the Potter can smooth out those imperfections.

  4. so much of what you write, is in my heart as well. It amazes me that I could have so easily been a different person were it not for Jesus's precious love and healing. I don't come from quite the same background you do, but find it interesting that no matter our backgrounds, everyone has scars and hurts- some deeper than other's of course. You are so precious and real. Thankyou for sharing your sweet heart, and what's inside it with us to see. I love your vulnerability- it's so rare anymore!


  5. Your are beautiful. God has brought us through so much. Sometimes we need to take a breath, look back on our life and see how much work He has done in us. Love you!

  6. I love your thought that each of us has different ingredients to the recipe that makes us up! I am so touched by your honesty! I have been struggling lately to find Jesus and just plain overwhelmed at how hard life can be and is this the path I am to be on? I believe there are reasons people are brought together and even though we don't know each other (I live in Iowa) I feel very blessed to read about you and realize how similar people's personal struggles are. I hope you continue to discover you, you have made me think more about myself, thank you! P.S. I have the same Dr. Seuss quote on my blog, its one I stand by!