It's January 11th and 2010 has already worn me out. We started the year with sickness and surgery, middle of the night laundry and pain meds around the clock.
But even in the sleep-deprived chaos, God has shown up and set a course for 2010 that scares me senseless at the same time it puts a smile on my face.
To begin with, I'm turning 40. Two of my children are passing through major growing up milestones. I'm training toward a black belt in martial arts. Did I mention I'm turning 40?
Feeling old aside, one of the interesting byproducts of how we entered 2010 (besides lack of sleep) was seeing my oldest shine as she endured her first major surgery.
Her doctor was so impressed he exhausted a thesaurus full of synonyms for amazing. Then, as she was coming out of twilight sleep, I caught of glimpse of the doctor's reasons.
My kiddo, still very asleep and out of it with anesthesia, began to finger spell words with the ASL alphabet. She spelled fine. Then signed that she'd had surgery. Not that I didn't already know that. ;-)
Then she finger spelled d-r-i-f-t. I couldn't figure that one out. So she pointed to the ceiling. Then I got it. She wanted to be sure I heard one of my favorite songs playing though the speakers: Drift Away by Dobie Gray.
I have an amazing little girl.
And this year we're doing something special together to celebrate who she is as we prepare her for the future.
We're having an Esther Year. Yes, this beautiful idea is straight out of another book I'd highly recommend: Queen Esther's Secrets of Womanhood by Ginger Garrett.
An Esther Year is a blueprint for activities to pamper mom and daughter and for discussions to go deep into stories of the past and wisdom for the future.
The first month we'll be talking about beauty. Ginger says, "Beauty is a reflection of God's character and His artistic nature, but the more we focus on defining human beauty in human measurements, the more we're distracted from God."
So we'll be talking about how we've defined beauty and what makes a person beautiful. And what God has to say about beauty.
The part about this Esther Year's journey that makes me smile is how much my daughter is looking forward to our time together.
The part that scares me senseless is that my daughter is looking forward to this time together... and I wonder if I'm up for the task of sharing stories from my past and imparting wisdom as my daughter races into womanhood.
Can I ask a favor? Would you do two things?
One is pray.
The other is help this tom-boy mom with the topic of beauty. Honestly, I had to go to a Clinique counter as an adult to figure out how to apply makeup the right way. (As in not the too blue eye shadow of the 80s I tried when I was 13 with miserable results.)
One of the story starters is a question about who were the most beautiful women when I was growing up. And what made them beautiful. I'm drawing a complete blank. Any suggestions?
Also, I'm curious... how do you define beauty? Inside or outside, or a combination of both? How do your actions back up your definition?
I'm sure all of us will come away better prepared to encourage and inspire the women around us to see themselves as beautiful.