Thursday, July 21, 2011

Peaceful Beauty

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is my friend, Kristin, with her daughter. This past year, Kristin had her fourth child. She was having some troubling symptoms during her pregnancy and was diagnosed with a heart condition. Although she was put on medication, the symptoms continued and made for a difficult and scary pregnancy. Since having the baby, Kristin has had more testing done and has learned that her heart condition is very serious. To add to this, the baby was hospitalized twice for his own health concerns in the first few months of his life.
Through this whole difficult year, I have never heard Kristin complain. She has endured each trial with peace, patience, strength, and beauty. With each new complication and decision, she and her husband have prayed and relied on God to guide to direct them. She has displayed a calmness that comes from the Lord, and I know the people around her have been inspired by her testimony of peacefulness.  

Photo Credit:  Faith Perry Photography

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Beautiful Boy and A Beautiful Girl!

Did y’all hear the recent news story about the new parents who just welcomed their little bundle of joy, Storm, into the world?  The birth announcement listed all the pertinent information, name, weight, time of birth.  But the announcement was missing one thing….gender.  Storm’s parents have decided not to answer the first question everyone asks, “Is it a boy or a girl?”  They are going to let Storm decide which gender to pick.  I know, if you hadn’t already seen this story, you think I’m making this up.  Or you think Storm must have been born with some medical problem that would make Storm’s parents decide to do this.  But Storm wasn't.  Storm’s birth was and Storm’s body is perfectly normal.   (This non-use of pronouns is exhausting!)  Storm’s parents just don’t want Storm stereotyped. 

  Huh?  I don’t want my children stereotyped, either.  I want them to buck tradition, ask questions, not follow the status quo or just go through life the way everyone else does just because that’s the way it’s done.  But our gender is our identity.  There are so many other ways we can throw off stereotyping! 

  Luke here is proud to be a boy.  He does all the boy stuff.  He tagged along to his mom and big sister’s Real Beauty shoot, and the whole time he was climbing trees, walking on his hands, getting dirty, and falling off of stuff.  After all, he had four beautiful girls there to impress.  And when we asked him to write what he likes about himself on the ‘beauty board’, you can see what he wrote.  But even though Luke is a boy and proud of it, he is not JUST a boy.  He is kind, inquisitive, and smart.  And his sister, Nadia, who did plenty of tree-climbing herself at the Real Beauty shoot, is tough, funny, and energetic.   

  Just the Girls: Real Beauty is mostly about girls, and being a girl is great.  I know I’m happy to be one.  But what would the world be like with no boys!?  That’s why we throw one or two in the mix here at Real Beauty ‘headquarters’, because as happy as we are to be beautiful girls, we wouldn’t be anything without our beautiful boys!  Hug a beautiful boy today!  But if you pick one Luke’s age, be ready for him to say, “Ewww, girl germs!”