Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beautiful Friendships

My daughter just got out of a bad relationship, but I don’t mean that the normal way. What I mean is…she was in a bad relationship with a good friend.  Instead of severing the bond altogether, the two beautiful girls got together and they worked it out.  I don’t know the details of the rift, but even if the problem may have seemed trivial to adults, it certainly wasn’t trivial to the girls.  It was serious.  So they got serious and fixed it. 

  What a lesson to the rest of us!  These two teen girl friends were open with each other and the relationship was made stronger than ever.  Talking it out, looking at it from one another’s perspective, and then putting the other’s needs above their own made things better for them and for everyone who spends time with them.

  I’m a pretty high-maintenance and sometimes annoying friend.  I’m famous for speaking without thinking, I’m impatient, I forget birthdays, and I tend to think of my own needs over the needs of my friends.  For some reason, though, I have been blessed with amazing girlfriends.  Oh, I have a few who have no patience or tolerance for my mouth and take quick offense, but those are the ones who are first to bring my family a meal if I’m sick.  I also have one or two who can’t stand the way I parent, but I’m 100% sure they would bail my kids out of jail and then stand by our side in court. (Let’s not test that one, though!)  But a great many of my friends are true-blue loyal confidants, always, no matter what.  Mad at my husband when I am, then turning on a dime and thinking he’s great again as soon as I do.  They love my children like their own, just like I love theirs.  We laugh and cry and pray with one another, and they forgive me everything before I’ve even realized I did something wrong.  I have friends who I know will be with me through a lifetime, no matter how many circumstances or miles separate us. 

  The lesson my daughter and her friend have taught me is one I pray I don’t forget.  The friendships I share with other girls are worth swallowing pride and working hard to keep!   Keep your beautiful girlfriends close, and if a problem crops up…deal with it.  That’s the Beautiful Girl way!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beautiful Loyalty

It’s always a fun and special day at Just the Girls: Real Beauty when we have a guest photographer doing the post!  Life Captured by Rachel is located in Florida and owned by the fabulously beautiful Rachel VanBuren.  The photograph and post today is of Rachel’s mom, Sheila, who is oh-so-special to me, too, because she is my aunt!  My Aunt Sheila helped shape my life, and she has been an example of Real Beauty to me. Like so many other women, she has dealt with a lot of heartache.  But she weathers it with determination, and yes…loyalty.  She is loyal to her friends, her family, and faithfully loyal to her Lord.  Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your photograph with us today!  And thank YOU, Sheila, for showing Rachel and me what a Beautiful Girl looks like!  

Faithful, devoted, and constant. That is my mom.  Direct yet quiet, firm yet vulnerable, not easily angered. That is my mom. When I asked her to describe herself in one word, I crossed my fingers that we’d have the same word in mind {LOYAL}…..and, we did!  If you know Sheila, aka Mom, you know that is the epitome of her life: loyal and true.  Both to herself and others.  She’s been through it all; she’s seen it all.  Yet, she remains beautifully loyal, good times and bad.  Here’s to you, Mom, for being a constant reminder that ups, downs, ins, outs, good, bad, happy, sad are no cause for contempt, but help mold me to become ever more committed to my faith in my most faithful Friend. ~Rachel

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beautiful Sisters!

I didn’t grow up with any sisters.  I really never wanted one, either, never felt like I was missing out on anything.  My childhood wasn’t that great.  Having a sibling, especially a sister, might have made it easier.  But I just never thought about it. 
  It’s only been recently that I started paying attention to groups of sisters.  A childhood of not being jealous has compounded, and now I am envious of the sister-bond!  Every group of sisters I can think of is a group that loves and supports one another!  Even the young sets of sisters who, you would think, would still be fighting over chores and possessions seem to have already learned that their sisters are important. 
This particular group of sisters is one of my favorites.  That’s Faith (front) and Emily (back) on the left and Sarah (front) and Elisabeth (back) on the right.  Their beautiful mom, Jane, leads the line.  These Beautiful Sisters are in different stages in their lives, 3 are married, Faith has a super-adorable young son, and Elisabeth is in college.  They don’t all live in the same area, either.  But the girls, along with their mom, are bonded together for life.  Their photo shoot was filled with fun and laughter, teasing and hugging.  They LOVE one another, no matter what, and it shows!  Aubrianah absolutely loved hanging out with them.
So what do I do now that I’ve decided I do want sisters?  I wonder, is Jane willing to adopt a 38-year-old girl who won’t do dishes?  Even if she won’t, I can take a quick scan of the women in my life.  Even though I don’t have sisters by blood, I do have sisters.  I have a best girlfriend who loves me no matter what I do or say.  I have other girlfriends who support me, admonish me, cry with me, and laugh with me.  I have two sisters-in-law who always make time to catch up with me even though they live far away.  And I have aunts who would do anything in the world for me.  And just in case I’m still missing that sister-bond when I look around at all the sister-friends in my life, I THINK that Faith, Emily, Sarah, and Elisabeth will let me pretend!  Just call me Ruth Roselle!  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Capable Beauty

Cindi:  "My friend, Danelle, is someone I instantly liked the minute I saw her.  She’s one of those people that you just “click” with and feel like you’ve known them your whole life.   I hadn’t seen her for awhile, so getting to hang out with her during her photo shoot was a treat.  I already had an idea of what I thought made her beautiful, but I learned more while we shared with each other.
I knew her mother had passed away when she was 18, but I didn’t know that she was at Liberty University   and  had only been at school 5 days when it happened.  I’m sure at the time that she wasn’t thinking about God’s sovereign plan for her life, but looking back she can see how God providentially placed people in her life and guided her.  Little did she know that she had met her future husband in those first 5 days at school! 
We asked Danelle to give one word that described what makes her beautiful.  She said “capable”.  As soon as she said it, I knew it was the perfect word!  First you need to know that she is one of those women who always has everything under control, never ruffled.  Sometimes, when I see a woman like that, I think to myself….she probably has 1 or 2 kids and sends them to school and goes to the spa all day.  :-)  BUT, Danelle has SEVEN kids!  Yes, seven.  And her children are amazing!  They’re smart, polite, well-behaved, and respectful.  She has 4 teenagers, an 11, 9, and 8 year-old in the house.  Most people with just 1 or 2 teenagers would say their kids were making their hair turn gray or even fall out, driving them to the insane asylum, sucking the very life out of them.  But her children LOVE her.  We asked the kids what they loved about their mom.  They didn’t even have to think about it.  They had a ton of reasons and could probably have kept going all day!  I think she needs to write a book someday (when she has some spare time…probably after the kids are grown) about raising obedient, loving, Godly children.
Her beauty also comes from her close relationship with the Lord.  Her husband is an elder at their church, and their family ministers to others in the church.  The young mothers are probably knocking her door down to get some parenting advice!"