Since finishing Captivating last week, I continue to mull over the truths presented in its chapters; particularly, the God-given, divinely-designed gifts that manifest in females. Like beauty. Feminine beauty is a much needed presence in this world, and unfortunately one that is often exploited or misunderstood. In thinking about true beauty--genuine, peaceful, graceful beauty, glowing from the inside out--I am reminded how inspired I am by the amazing, beautiful women around me on a daily basis.
Many of you gals in the blogosphere inspire me more than I can adequately express in a comment field or post. You're creative, talented, funny, insightful, and pour yourself into your lovely blogs, often while balancing a full-time gig, other hobbies, a family and relationships. And typically, there is no financial reward nor major recognition for what you do; yet your posts are something I look forward to every day. They stir my affections for a loving, creative God who designed each of you so elegantly. (Even something as simple as looking at a layout or collage in my reader and knowing, without having seen the name of the blog and/or author, exactly who that post belongs to.)
Some of the most touching posts come from gals who are opening up and being vulnerable (especially when personal commentary is not generally a favored topic for that blogger), and to see the encouragement and love come from woman (and men) all over the world who understand, have been there, and/or simply want the writer to know that she is appreciated and heard.
Many of y'all take incredible photos and share your stories visually, allowing us to participate in the beauty in your own lives, be it children, travel destinations, loved ones, or a fabulous item that makes you smile. It may seem like no big deal, but we have a desire to be known and seen, and what a phenomenal community of attentive, loving people we can discover in the blogosphere.
Of course, relationships that consist of exchanging comments or quick emails are not the same as tight-knit bonds with those you call "friends," but that can certainly come from this community and from these interactions. (It has for me, and one of those friendships in particular has been a tremendous asset to my walk as of late. Much love, J.)
My girlfriends are amazing. They're gorgeous, smart, loving, humble, and teach me so much about grace every day I know them. And I know it's not just my girls, though I sometimes think my inner circle is a special kind of awesome (...which they are). Women are amazing. Y'all, we give life. And even those who don't give life in the physical sense, we all mother and nurture someone or something and reflect the kind of love that the world simply can't do without. Literally, the world could not thrive without us. Without you.
I'm a big, mushy ball o' love over here today and I don't care who knows it! Thank you, ladies (both those known and unknown to me), for being the beauty and relationship warriors that we need and crave so. You are a reflection of the King and royalty in your own right. Embrace the blessing you are and don't let fear or brokenness keep you from sharing your gifts. We need you.