What is Beautiful?

A couple of weeks ago we had some pretty big storms come through our area. They dropped a lot of snow and then the temperatures dropped down to below freezing. It made for some days that made me want to stay inside where it was warm and cozy, but life told me I must leave my warm house and get outside. I will be the first to admit I hate being cold, but I still absolutely love how the environment changes when there is a layer of snow on top of it. So as I was driving to work I was caught in the middle of this winter wonderland in which the road looked as if it was caught in between towering trees set there to protect whatever happened to be under them. It was beautiful.

This got me thinking about what is beautiful. What makes someone stop and stare? As I drove into work I was in the middle of the winter wonderland but once I arrived the beauty that I encountered was different. One of my co-workers was able to sit with one of our hospital cats and pet her. It was simple, but it was sweet. It is a beautiful thing to be chosen by a cat. We have a cat at home Lily who basically rules my daughter’s life. The smile that is on her face when we talk about Lily or any cat in particular makes her radiate. I am talking about a teen here, getting them to do anything really is nearly impossible, but if Lily needs something, including a bath, my daughter happily obliges. This is beauty.

Beauty can be seen in the words we read. If you have ever read the story of Christ’s birth, or the book Jane Eyre, or had someone create a handmade card for you, there is so much worth, and love that comes from what we read. I once read a book about the importance of our thoughts and how the words we speak to ourselves and others can have a huge impact on how we see ourselves and people in general. If I allow harsh words and negativity to come out of my mouth all the time I turn into the ugly those words portray. On the flip side, positive and encouraging words can make the most negative around us think twice. Beauty is from within. The words that come from our mouths show what is in our hearts. This is beauty.

Beauty is definitely found in the simple. I have a pittie dog who has the most beautiful chocolate colored eyes. When she looks at you, you are never really sure if she is ready to pounce or just wants to snuggle, but if you chose correctly she gives you exactly what you need. The “Pittie smile” she has is just as beautiful as when she lays down next to me and lets me twirl her floppy ears. Beauty is the Christmas tree that is too big for the living room but it still seems to fit. A friend of mine will make her mom’s famous cinnamon roles mainly because it reminds her of her mom, this same friend has sent texts to me at random times letting me know how special she thinks I am. All of this is beautiful. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and when it can be shared it makes it special.

Have you ever stopped long enough to think about what is beautiful? Do you create beauty in your world? What would happen if you tried these things? A new year is approaching soon. For the most of us life will not change much when it does get here, but what if instead of keeping with the “same” you tried to find the beauty around you? Until next time:

To laugh often and much; To in the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.

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