16 September 2008

I'm a Disciple... Beauty, eh?

What is beauty anyway??? Real beauty.

It's a confusing subject in today's society. Living in Orange County in the plastic surgery capital of the world, it can be challenging to keep a Biblical perspective. Hot bodies and perfect Botox faces are a dime a dozen here in the OC.

Bodacious Baywatch babes abound. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)

On the other hand, why is it that some Christians believe that beauty, appreciating the handsome human form and face, and valuing looking your best is worldly and wrong? I think when God said, "It is good" when looking at His Creation, He was saying, "Now that is beautiful!"
God likes beauty. Just look around. He made a lot of it.

But, that's not the only kind of beauty I'm talking about. Do I want to grow older and be as pretty as my two grandmothers? Sure. But, far more I want to be as truly lovely on the inside. What does it matter if you're drop dead gorgeous if you're not eagerly becoming more and more like Christ Jesus?

I've been looking forward to this day for a long time. Tonight I get to team up with four other women to be discipled by a very beautiful woman... my grandmother, Anne Ortlund. This gorgeous lady.

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them all clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women to noble things, but you surpass them all.'

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

~ Proverbs 31.10-31

That blasted Proverbs 31 woman... Man, that chick just does it ALL! She can bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a PAN! That's what I'm talking about. She's absolutely gorgeous! I want to be like her.

That's the goal.

Bring husband good, not harm. Check.
Wool and flax? Uhhhh, no, but working with eager hands... Check.
Food from afar. Check (if you count Chinese takeout).
Get up while it's dark. Double check!
The rest is a little fuzzy... but I'm working on it!

This was taken on the night our family gathered
to celebrate the life of my granddaddy (Ray Ortlund)
who had recently passed away. At the end of the evening
everyone gathered to bless and pray over Michael and I
who were about to jump on a plane to Ethiopia to bring Elianna Ray home!

"It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before. " ~Jane Austen

"It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness." ~Leo Tolstoy

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." ~Sophia Loren

"Beauty comes in all sizes, not just size 5." ~Roseanne

"Time is a great healer, but a poor beautician." ~Lucille S. Harper

“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone." ~Dorothy Parker

"You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul's own doing." ~Marie Stopes

“Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder." ~Kinky Friedman

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." ~Miss Piggy

So, tonight begins 9 months of Beautiful Christian Woman Boot Camp. I can hardly wait. I need the discipline, the sharpening, the input, the girfriendiness, the time learning more of the Word from women I trust. Jackie, Lara, Kristen, Jill, and dear Grandmother... here we go!

I'm ready for my makeover.


Beverly said...

that is very cool.

darci said...

oh I wish I could hop on a plane and join in! What an absolute blessing-my dream to be part of a group of women like that, striving to be truly beautiful. And Anne Ortlund is your g'ma! I'm connecting the dots. I was just given the most wonderful (older) book by her and have been devouring it. God bless her , and you, and your friends on your great 9 month trip. :) slightly jealous in saskatchewan..darci

darci said...

ps. I love the quotes. they call me 'quote lady' around this house..now i have more for my collection.

Lori said...

Oh man how awesome is this post!!!

I'm excited to watch you blossom more and teach us more along the way... oxoxxox

JourneytoFamily said...

I know beauty when I see it, and you my friend, are beautiful inside and out!

Tish said...


oh how i wish i could join you all....i so need all the things you mentioned that you need, too! your grandmother is beautiful...thanks for posting the book...i will check it out!!!

ErinOrtlund said...

Ooh, how cool is that! Have a great time! Oh, and Chinese takeout definitely counts. ;)

darci said...

ok, I keep checking back for an update. I bet you had a great evening. Really, if I was rich I'd invite myself and fly down every week. :) oh, and the posts that your bloglist said I posted and then were missing?? well, shhh, but I deleted a very exciting post about having my eyebrows waxed. I know, a great loss to the world to miss out on that reading...it was just SO exciting to me, bc I am NATURAL girl..and here I was getting my eyebrows waxed, knees shaking, heart racing..so, now you know. I'm sure you are glad. :)
have a great night. darci

The Roberts Family said...

What a blessing! I look forward to hearing insights that you learn along the journey of becoming a more beautiful woman of God. Rejoicing with you, Shelly

:..Rebekah..: said...

Love the quotes. I'm ready for a makeover too!

Rebecca said...

I just love you!! I want to come too!! Your grandmother is BEAUTIFUL in every sense of the word. And so are you!!

Looking forward to more...


FHL said...

What a precious time to spend with your Grandmother! I think you're already beautiful, so in 9 months you should be a straight from the heart knock-out :o)

P.S. Miss Piggy is still making me chuckle at 32....the gal is timeless *wink*

Kristi J said...

I love grandmas...They are just so great...I have one grandma still living and she rocks!!! She's a California babe....They live in Springfield, CA (right outside Bakersfield)....been there many times, Wish I could join in on your transformation, kristi

Erica said...

How awesome! What a precious time with your gramma. I too love all the quotes, I wish I lived near to join you. What an incredible time.