I’ve been thinking a lot recently about this very general topic: beautiful things. Slightly more specifically, I’ve been thinking about the fact that there are beautiful things that we do, beautiful things that we see, and beautiful things that happen to us. All of these things combined make our lives and this world so lovely.
I’ve looked back in my scripture study journal from this year and have rediscovered the fact that, for the firstfew months of 2013, I was studying “beauty” according to the standard works. My main goal for the year, though it was broken down into more specifics than this, was basically to become and feel like a more beautiful daughter of God.
Now, the problem with goals like this is that beauty is a big deal for women in a worldly sense as much as it is in a spiritual sense, and it’s so easy to get mixed up and think that beauty is about what size jeans you wear, how thick or long your hair is, or how much attention you get. Shallow thoughts, but legitimate ones in a media-frenzied world where such things are made to matter, or at least made to seem like they matter. It’s too easy to forget the spiritual end of things, and the fact that this is what my goal was really about.
To assist with this, back in the beginning of the year, I started to record every week some of the beautiful things I did, the beautiful things I saw, and the beautiful things that happened to me. These things made me feel that life was beautiful, God was beautiful, and I was beautiful. So in that vein, here are some of the beautiful things I’ve done in the last few weeks:
- Stood up for something I believe in.
- Chased a rainbow in my car for a half hour.
- Wrote a lullaby for my nephew and gave it to my sister for her birthday.
- Looked at the sky from the perspective of sunflowers.
- Ran to the graveyard to ponder.
- Went running at 4:30 AM.
- Threw my best friend a successful surprise party for the 4th year in a row.
- Studied Christ while sitting on the slopes of a mountain.
- Visited the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.
- Laughed with friends.
Beautiful things I’ve seen in the last week:
- A huge buttermilk full moon sinking into the west.
- A lightning storm over Utah Lake with sweeping sheets of grey rain.
- Geese migrating in large Vs.
- Sunrises that seem to light the clouds on fire and spill slides of light down the slopes of mountains.
- Good friends.
Beautiful things that have happened to me:
- A random stranger gave me 3 yellow squash from his garden.
- A friend gave me a sincere compliment about my character.
- At random, I was able to see an old friend, who smiled when I walked through the door.
As flawed human beings, and perhaps especially as women, feeling beautiful can be a rare occasion. It’s easy to feel more akin to Leah than Rachel and to feel like a completely different species than Esther. But beauty is also something that can be created with our hands and drunk in with our eyes and accepted with our hearts. And a person that can do these things is beautiful, from soul to skin.