Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Year to Live Beautifully

Though we travel the world over 
to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us 
or we find it not. 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I made it!  I jumped (in truth, I slept through) the divide between 2011 & 2012 and lived to post another day.  

In my email inbox this morning is the usual conglomeration of needful and not-so-needful stuff.  I wonder when all the deals & web-busters & year end super sales will subside, although now they've morphed into new year's super sale ads ad-nauseum.  

Being the curious sort, I opened one such email - - an ad for vitamin supplements (and boy don't I need them these days?).  I didn't get far before stumbling across the retailer's proclamation assigned to 2012:  The Year to Live Beautifully.  

Unbeknownst to my solicitor I knew I'd found my marching orders for the coming year as if the Lord Himself had handed them to me - and they had nothing whatsoever to do with vitamins.  

For weeks - since long before Thanksgiving - I've been pondering ... and journaling ... and waiting ... and praying about what would be my 2012 focus.  So it was no blah ah hah! with which I claimed this. 

How does one center their intentions on living beautifully?  It sounds easy, just like the ad promised.  But, as Simone Weil tells us, that sort of beauty, "always promises, but never gives anything."  And I'm no fool - - such things may work for a season, or in the world of strong arms & better digestive health, but the world's proclamations are the very antithesis of what is beautiful in God's economy. 

Nothing in human life, least of all in religion,
is ever right until it is beautiful.
~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

So it is that I claim 2012 as The Year to Live Beautifully.  Such beauty will require treatments beyond what is offered at the spa, the health food store, Victoria's Secret or the jewelry counter at Macy's. 

To discover a flaw in our makeup is a chance to 
get rid of it, and add a new line of
beauty to our life.
~ Billy Sunday  

It's not that I haven't sought to live beautifully before.  Surely true believers everywhere make this a daily aim.  In reality, ours is a quest to live beautifully always.  Period!  But this particular summons has a different feel to it.  While affirming all those other days & ways in which I've sought to honor the Lord, this year I will make it my focus to find my way to the bedrock of virtue.  He alone knows the way.

Living Beautifully is (but not limited) to ...
  • be of good courage
  • let my light shine
  • wear the Law of Kindness upon my tongue
  • be content without condition
  • craft noble plans
  • consider & prepare for the Lord's return
  • speak truth-in-love whenever doing so will honor both hearer & the Lord
  • walk out my days, face-forward & with confidence
  • listen more; speak less 
  • give everyone the benefit of the doubt
  • look for the blessing beneath both sunny & cloudy skies
  • never overlook an opportunity to offer hope & encouragement

Wishing you a Year to Live Beautifully.    

The flower of youth never appears more beautiful 
than when it bends toward the sun of righteousness.
~ Matthew Henry 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God.
~ Micah 6:8


NanaNor's said...

Happy New Year Kathleen, Oh how I love this post-you have caused me to stop and chew on some thoughts as well. I love your description of living beautifully. I too have sought a word from the Lord for this new year and the word that kept coming to me was joy. I now have added to live Joyfully and will ponder just what that looks like, for I've lived a life of contentment and gratitude but not always joyfully. Thank you my friend for this post. I look forward to the journey ahead of us this year, let's grab arms and go together.
Love, Noreen

Nel said...

Happy New Year! What a wonderful post! Words to live by and ponder on! Looking forward to the new year!
until next time... nel

Nancy said...

Don't you just love it when the Lord gives you the answer in the most unlikely way? I love this post and how you not only told us how you got the word for the year, but what it means to you to live out this word in the coming year. I can tell you are going on many adventures and I can't wait to read about each one...

"Live Beautifully".....Girlfriend you are beautiful inside and out and I am blessed to have found here we go into 2012 with our words for the year in front of us and our walking shoes on.....

Debbie said...

Kathleen, you always seem to have such a beautiful way with words. And to think that an ad through an email gave you this year's focus; amazing. Only God ...

I love "the year to live beautifully" and I think a trip to Ireland would start it off splendidly. However, I think you might squeeze me into your suitcase; lol. Watching P.S. I Love You was such fun and so beautiful.

Happy New Year!

Blessings and love,

skoots1mom said...

May He continue throughout His 2012th year to show you His beauty, from His perspective, in your surroundings but more importantly in your heart ;)

Maryann said...

Oh this is so good, I think I want this to be a year of living beautifully too! Many Blessings and Happy New Year Kathleen!

Denise said...


Peggy said...

Thank you for your encouraging words to live a beautiful life-in Gods's eyes, of course. I'm making that one of my New Year's resolutions. Happy New Year! Peggy

Karen Lange said...

Thank you for the wonderful inspiration, Kathleen! Yes, time to live beautifully. I'm in! :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Hallmark should put this on a New Year's card. Seriously.

You're already living beautifully with these beautiful words of recommendation!

And for the record, Victoria's Secret has never added much beauty to my frame. Really, I'm the one with the secret now. Wouldn't they be shocked to see me in one of their dressing rooms:)!


Just a little something from Judy said...

Sometimes when one walks beautifully through life, she is unaware of it. You, apparently are that someone. You...have shared so much beauty and wisdom with me and all others in blogland, throughout this past year, that I can't wait to see what ALL awaits us this year. I learn God's beauty from you. Thank you my friend.

Beth E. said...

I know your source of beauty, Kathleen, and have no doubt that you will let it shine in 2012!

A blessed New Year to you, my friend!


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

I'll add another to your excellent list: Fear not.


Sonja said...

Walking beautifully... I love the sound of that. Your words inspire me too, to be THAT woman, the kind who walks that way every day.

My inner radar on focus, intentionality, choice and action have been ramped up! :)

2012... here we go!


Terri Tiffany said...

What a wonder way to look at living life in the new year! You are always such an encouragement to me---whatever you write. You are you and live your life for the Lord. thank you!

Saleslady371 said...

Love your goals and I know this year will be just another page in your life's book, Kathleen, of living beautifully. Hard to pick a favorite, but "listen more, speak less" jumps out at me and grabs me. Happy New Year, my friend.

mamas*little*treasures said...

Hi Kathleen - Love this post! Just posted it on the Ruby for Women blog and featured it in the Ruby community. Stop by and "Like" it so more people get to see it ;o) Thanks, Nina @ Ruby for Women

Cheryl Barker said...

I love that the Lord gave you direction for your 2012 focus through an ad, Kathleen! And I love the list you created with details on how you will live beautifully this year. All the best!

RCUBEs said...

I love hearing God's "faith markers" for us that come in ways we don't expect like how you saw that ad and from there, an awesome goal was born!

What a timely piece of advice as we take steps into a freshly born, new year! It didn't really matter to me that some body parts might tend to sag nor gray hairs pop up once in a while but this is serious...that we focus instead on making our hearts and minds always beautiful for Him as it is the "inside" that He sees.

Your challenge to live beautifully is not easy but by His grace...we can. Thank you and God bless you and you have such a way with your words that keeps pushing us to do more and to never quit. Happy New Year!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I like the word God gave you and look forward to your walk. I must have already walked it out here in your blog before us, so I know God must have something more in store for you.