Sunday, January 17, 2010
Of Books and Beauty
After years of waiting to have some extra money to buy new bookshelves (or have DH build me some), Sons #1 & 3 scrounged around in our barn and dug out on of my old (particle board WalMart special) bookshelves to add to our bedroom. I have one in there already that's keeping my more recent (past 2 or 3 years worth) book purchases but I really want to get my boxes of books out of the storage buckets that I've been storing for some time now. I've missed them so much. We boxed them up while doing some remodeling and I just never brought them back in. Out of sight but never out of mind!!
I confess, I am an official bookaholic. Don't worry about finding a recovery group for me 'cause I'm perfectly happy wallowing in my addiction!! When I buy a book, I always try to buy a used one first--one small way of living "green". Mostly I buy from eBay, Amazon or Half.com but I love looking in thrift stores or at yardsales too. Even better are ones that are given to us!!
When I became a Christian (nearly 21 years ago) we had three small children and very little spare cash. One day I discovered a beautiful blue velvet covered book at our Christian book store and just had to have it. It was by Anne Ortlund and titled, "Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman". I am ever so glad that I bought that book. Even though I hadn't been a Christian for long, that book was water for my thirsty soul. Oh how I longed to be beautiful and feel approval!!
One of the first teachings I learned through Anne was to "practice the presence of Christ". I am so thankful that I learned this principle early on. Not only did I learn that He would never leave me or forsake me but that I could speak my heart to Him at any point during the day--or the night--because I was always in His presence. My good deeds were before Him (loving my husband and children, running my home in a pleasing manner, etc...) as well as my bad ones (saying hurtful things, thinking bad thoughts, having a tantrum, etc...). It's always been easier for me to repent and seek forgiveness when I know that God is not pleased with my behavior. It helps me to be real and genuine when I understand that nothing can be hidden from His eyes. And though He desires that I do my best, I know He loves me even when I'm acting my worst. He patiently waits for me to come to my senses, suck it up and ask for His help and forgiveness.
This same wonderful book is not in my posession any longer since it was a victim of the flood we lost everything to in 1993. I have replaced it with another copy and it is in one of those storage buckets that I'm eagerly waiting to empty. I want, no NEED to read it again!! It's been many years since I last read it but I know that the Lord will speak to me again through it. So much time has passed since I first read it but the desire to be beautiful and approved is still there and maybe even stronger than ever!!