beauty

Broken Bowls and Homes for Souls

My soul is looking for a place to live.
It doesn’t always feel at home in this body; this body that cannot be controlled and will not obey. My soul is looking for a new place to live.
Inanimate objects work for soul-housing. They stay where you put them (well, unless you have kids) and you can choose what they look like. We do purchase all kinds of things that represent – in the tangible world – how we would like our inner worlds to be known. 
I really liked the bowl I had bought to represent my soul. It was a soft, weathered teal. The color of the sky on a mild day above tropical waters. The circle of the rim was 16″ in diameter, felt cool and smooth, and, while not perfectly formed, the small imperfections were just the right size to give character without looking defective. I got it at Target years ago so it wasn’t too expensive – thus, I felt smart and frugal when I looked at it. In it, I would put items I wanted to admire: leaves, Christmas ornaments, a well-wrapped present due for a party. But the bowl itself was soothing just on its own. My soul enjoyed projecting onto that lovely bowl to rest from the chaos of life.

That bowl died today. 
A large rolling backpack, too stuffed full of books to think straight, fell over and knocked my bowl onto the cold, hard tile. 

And I can’t find anything else to project myself onto that feels as relaxing and complete. My soul wants a place to be that is outside this body. This body is under renovation and it is difficult to live here all the time. It’s nice to find a […]

Touch me

I’m here. In here. 
not body or soul
but both – Both
skin and nerves
sewn to love and fears
touch me, please
so you can touch me

We are neither angel nor animal.
We can live for days as if our minds are the endless, beautiful, infinite space of creativity and spirituality. We can live for days as if our bodies are the magnetic, focused, sensory playgrounds of indulgence and physical exertion. We can choose to live on either side of the divide, but only so long as we can keep up the illusion that there IS a divide.
We cannot live long or well without realizing the mental effect of our physical actions.
We cannot live long or well without realizing the physical needs and effects of our mental obsessions.
You are imagination and skin.
The goal of this series is to remind you and me, everyday, that every part of us is made well … and not just made well, but somehow precious and important.
Skin is holy. Spirit is holy.
If we are living for the day that we are finally done with this body and can be the spirit we were always meant to be, we are missing the goodness and holiness in Life. It is in and through our bodies that we love and are loved.
 
*****
Last night, my littlest daughter asked me to cuddle with her. She loves when I gently run my hands up and down her legs as she lays in bed. Her soft body glides under my warm hands and I pray for her as I slowly make contact with each inch of her tired skin. Being alive is exhausting, especially when you are doing it well. So, I pray for her health and for her legs – that they would be strong and sure. I […]

Boudoir Pictures Story

Why take boudoir pictures?
How to make taking boudoir pictures great?
What to look for in a great photographer?
*****
Boudoir Pictures. Why take them?
There are lots of reasons people do the things they do… but why on earth would an ordinary, smart person dress up in lingerie and try to be sexy for a professional photographer?
It’s similar to why people run marathons.
You could just run, you know. You don’t have to pay anyone to let you run 26.2 miles. You can do that stuff for free! Running is free!
People sign up for marathons because it is a measurable goal (and it’s kinda cool to run in the middle of an empty street). More importantly, it’s a powerful experience to work hard and do something that scares you AND have other people helping and cheering you on.
well… in regards to boudoir photos…it’s kinda the same thing.
You can be naked or even partially naked for FREE! You get that body for free! (well, most people do)
You don’t even have to pay anyone to take pictures of you. You probably have a phone with a selfie camera. You can hold that sucker just right and get a pretty good shot of your booty or smile or cleavage. It can be pretty powerful to take a picture and find your face or body attractive – especially when it is not an easy, natural decision for you to be in pictures.
I know, we’ve all seen so many women’s ridiculous selfies that we are pretty turned off to the idea, BUT you could take pictures of yourself and feel empowered and beautiful. It’s possible.
Don’t let other people’s drama reduce your story.
*****

(keep reading, I think this part is kinda helpful)
So, on a personal level, why […]

The Best Reasons to Take Boudoir Pictures

Hi there, Loves!
Boudoir Pictures are like tattoos. It seems like everyone’s getting them.
But, why? And what is the BEST reason to take Boudoir Photos? Didn’t your mom warn you never to have naked pictures taken?
Well, if you do them for the right reasons, they cannot be used against you.
The best reason to have professional boudoir pictures taken is FOR YOU. When you get them for you, they take on deeper significance and empowerment.

Let’s talk about 3 purely personal reasons you might take boudoir photos:

Each step of the process requires bravery and vulnerability and those things = WINNING AT LIFE. There’s a sense of accomplishment that you did something scary, like jumping off a high dive or running a marathon.

Boudoir pictures place you and your body in an arena only “sexy” people can go, so your brain must wrestle with believing YOU are sexy. In the process of taking the photos, you will think about your sensuality and how you can see yourself as beautiful in empowering ways.

God sees you as “all beautiful” and these pictures are a spiritual exercise in believing Him. You act on the truth of your beauty and you have physical proof of your faith.

*****
Sit down, relax, and let me tell you a story.

Once there was a girl who didn’t like her body. She didn’t like the look of it. It wasn’t what she ordered. 
She tried and tried to love it and take care of it, but it never quite fit.  She’d all but given up, when one day she was reading and came upon a message that changed everything: 

“All beautiful you are, my darling, there is no flaw in you.”
Song of Solomon 4:7

You should know, she was a girl who believed in God – a God […]

I Dare You to Look

I DARE YOU TO LOOK.
 
I dare you to look in the mirror and see beauty; see a face that God loves and made.
God loves your face. You are allowed to love your face too.
 
There has been a lot written about fasting from mirrors. Good challenges have come from good people to help end our obsession with mirrors and just go throughout our days without looking at ourselves constantly. These challenges can have important freeing effects for us as we try to stop obsessing about our flaws, but the mirror and the looking is NOT the problem. It’s always the motivations behind the actions that matter. 

 
We may fast from mirrors as a way to realign ourselves with the issues inside these bodies – the issues in our souls about worth and narcissism and the tension-filled dance we all move through each day…
 
We may fast from “looking” at ourselves so that the next time we look, we look with love and acceptance instead of obsession and self-loathing…
 
But we do not fast from mirrors because looking at ourselves is somehow less holy or less healthy than ignoring our outsides. It is not shallow to love your surface area.
 
In this culture, where a specific kind of beauty is power, there is nothing more Jesus-like or revolutionary than loving YOUR OWN face, no matter how it compares to anyone else’s. This is the upside down kingdom of God – where everyone is beautiful, even you. (Even if you don’t believe in God, trusting in the abundance and beauty of all people is powerful.}
 
Looking at your own face as a spiritual practice is a powerful rebellion.
 
I dare you to look in the mirror and LOVE your face.
 
Love your face, not […]

By |April 6th, 2014|Beauty SOS47|2 Comments|

Wives Submit to Your Husbands

Submission.
It’s a dirty word to some.  It’s a holy word to others.
but can I tell you something…?
I have found new life in it. Let me explain.
*****

“Wives, it should be no different with your husbands. Submit to them as you do to the Lord.”
– Ephesians 5

Submit.
^^That word burns^^
It burns because it seems to go against every other thing I know about our freedom.  Jesus is supposed to bring a new kind of life:  A free life. A life of fullness and joy and grace and love.  A life where there are no power struggles because all people are equal and valued. A life where sharing a meal with your enemy or allowing the lowest to have the highest honor, is THE WAY. This is the life I want to live.
“Submit” feels like control and loss of identity.
“Submit” feels like a foot on your neck and a gag in your mouth.
“Submit” feels like a kennel you whimper in while your owners go on vacation.
“Submit” is the exact opposite of freedom.
 
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1
 
So, how do I submit and still live the full, free, wild life of joyful rebellion?
The key came to me just a couple weeks ago and it has blown wide open my relationship to God and to my husband.

 
As a writer, performer, actress, speaker I SUBMIT my work and my art to companies and publications that I admire.
I put my heart and soul into my presentation, proposal, or piece of writing and I SUBMIT it.  
I am submitting to that website. I am submitting to that magazine. I am submitting […]

One Word Rebel

{{New LOVE and MAKING IT course now open for registration! GET THE SCOOP HERE!}}
*****
v. Rebel
This one’s for the good kids.
The good girls with their modest shirts and shorts under skirts.  The good boys with their zipped pants and respectful words.
The ones who bent over backwards to save another. Did their homework. Did all the group projects themselves. Said no to drugs and yes to Jesus. Or mostly no to drugs and mostly yes to Jesus.
This one’s for the kids who missed their chance to have “wild days” of sowing their oats. Who never yelled back at their parents, never came home late, always played by the rules. This one’s for all those good kids who are now adults and the stakes are just too high to go wild, when you have bills and a family and a job you desperately need.
I am one of you. I missed my chance to rebel. My family needed stability and had been through enough turmoil. I decided, deep in my bones, to be a good girl and not make anything harder for anyone else ever ever ever. I would make life easier and better for all the people. I would get good grades, do as I’m told, show up on time, and smile when I was mad.  I would save myself for marriage and stay sober while others drank beer and ate live goldfish.
I was a good girl.
Then I had kids.
And my own beautiful children are teaching me to rebel. Quickly, in the first year of motherhood, I used up every ounce of responsibility and goodness I had artificially created. I used up all my stores, all my reserves. Those kids and their wild selfishness drove me straight […]

Love and Making It in Spring

Love and Making It in Spring session is over… but we have something hot coming this summer.
*****
 
Love and Making It – All Women – July 1st {single, married, don’t matter}

Love and Making It – For Couples – June 21st {for both partners to do together}

*****
Listen. We are bombarded with sights and sounds that tell us we are just not good enough and neither is our spouse. Let’s rebel against all of those messages together.
Let Love and Making It give you hope and show you the beauty you already have inside AND out – whether you are single or married.
If you are married, let Love and Making It help you and your spouse find the fun and desire and communication skills to really take your sex life to the next level.

Interested? Let us know. We are want to start a revolution… a rebellion… where all the people who thought they were disqualified from the “good” or “sexy” or “beautiful” life ALL get together and say, “Starting TODAY we are making new rules.”
We can show you how. This is about us choosing ourselves because it’s just a total waste to let one more day go by feeling bad about any of it.
Sign up to be the first to hear more info on classes and for a few inspirational words to make tomorrow even better than today. 
(your time is precious. I have over 50,000 unread emails in my personal email from unnecessary things I signed up for.  The emails you get from 1,000 Strands will be infrequent and useful and your information will be private)

YES! Beauty and Good Sex are important to me
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Never Been More Satisfied

Love and Making It – the eCourse currently at full speed – is changing my life more than I thought possible because it is changing the lives of the women who took a giant step of bravery and signed up.  We are asking hard questions and connecting with our spouses. We are cheering for each other, praying for each other, and laughing HARD with each other. Most of all, though, people are finding hope.

“My husband has never felt so loved and frankly I have never been more satisfied.”
“The very thing that has caused so much pain and fear could be the method by which those wounds are healed. whoa.”
(And that is just a couple comments. I am floored by the amazing things happening in this course.)

Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in taking the next course AND to the single women who have told me I MUST include them next time… AS YOU WISH.
LOVE AND MAKING IT – a course on feeling brave and beautiful {in bed} will start another round in the spring. (Read about it here and here)
BABES IN GODLAND – a course on feeling brave and beautiful {in your body}.  We will focus on feeling alive, well-made, beautiful, and sensual regardless of relationship status.
There are so many messages we have learned about what “sexy” is and how we are supposed to act as women and as people pursuing the mysteries of God.  These classes are a call to freedom and healing for our WHOLE selves.
*****

“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” – Pablo Neruda
I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my […]

Are you a Red Panda or a Firefox?

 
Do you know what this animal is called?
The scientific name: Ailurus fulgens
 

In most zoos these animals are labelled as “Red Panda” or “Cat-Bear”.
Red Panda… this name conjures up certain images in our heads.  Images of cuddles and fur, cuteness and sweetness, like the best pet you will never have.  You’d definitely offer to hug a Red Panda.  I’d build a tree in my bedroom just to have Red Pandas sleep on it all day.
 

 

 
Red Panda
Cute, Cuddly, Sweet, Safe
*****

Names matter.  What we label something gives it meaning and subtext.  It changes how we treat it.  Language is subconsciously very powerful.
 
This animal has another name: Firefox
 

Now that’s an animal worth closer attention.  A Firefox is handsome, beautiful, mysterious. You respect a Firefox.  You do not own a firefox; she allows you into her presence.

Firefox
Brave, Mysterious, Beautiful, Wild
 *****
 
Are you a Red Panda or a Firefox?
You get to choose. The world does not get to decide for you who you are.  This crazy zoo may call you a Red Panda, but you know in your soul you are a Firefox – and a Firefox does not give a damn what anyone else thinks.  
Note: Jeff Corwin taught me that scientists have tried to categorize these animals into a larger group, but they defy categorization. They are not raccoons, cats, or bears. They are their own category.  You can be your own category. You do not have to fit into the box others have assigned to you.  People will try to fit you into something they know how to handle. Don’t worry about them. Just keep being your own foxy self.
 
Be the kind of parent you want to be.
Be the kind of spouse you want to be. […]