Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Prom and Power Outages

Learning to Live and Living Without

Weekends are always interesting in the mountains. Saturday, 2 May was my high school's prom, at which I learned two very valuable lessons: May can be just as cold as any other month, so sleeveless dresses are not always the wisest choice, and people in my generation have a tremendously skewed idea of beauty.
Alright, so I actually knew both of those. But the latter really hit hard over the course of the evening, and I really felt God compelling me to address it here. I was getting ready with a friend and heard her suddenly yell "ouch!" She'd glued her fake nail in the wrong place and pealing the glue off was apparently a rather uncomfortable experience. Ever a fount of unique and useful advice, I told her to stop because "hurting yourself is bad for you". "It takes some serious pain to be beautiful," she replied. And it made me think. How much are we sometimes willing to pay to have someone else label us "beautiful"? Is it worth it?
What really struck me as I thought about it was that an indescribable amount of pain has gone into making you who you are. If pain is the price for beauty, it has already been paid. Paid by a man who was 100% human and 100% God, who died in lonely agony to be able to call you His own, to make you in His image and make you beautiful. So all of the silly things we do, the fake nails and tanning salons, the makeup and hairspray and six-inch heels, are unnecessary pain. If God wanted you to be 5'10" and have curly hair and long nails, He would have made you that way. It's fun to dress up, of course-I wore makeup and a fancy dress and did my hair-but sometimes it's good to look at ourselves and wonder how far we're taking it. Can you feel beautiful without all those things? Because you should always know that you are. Can you live with yourself the way you are?

Speaking of May being cold, the weekend following prom was one of the strangest weekends of my life. My parents' anniversary is in May, so we intended for the weekend to be a nice relaxing weekend for them to celebrate. It was a much-deserved break, but unfortunately not as relaxing as they'd hoped it would be. Because it snowed. A lot. On Saturday, 9 May, we got almost a foot of snow up in the mountains where we live, which was certainly interesting. But it's all fun and games until the power goes out, which it did at about 7:30 Saturday night. And didn't come back.
Well, we fired up our wood-burning stove and kept the house plenty warm, and we had water still in our water tank so that wasn't too much of an issue, so my sisters and I lit up some candles and snuggled in to play some Mindtrap and wait. As we carried over into Sunday with still no power, we started to feel some side effects of the power outage. Like, not having enough water to shower or anything. We melted some snow in a skillet to wash our faces but that was about it. At which point the lesson was thoroughly impressed upon me that sometimes we just have to live without. Majorly live without. But God still gets us through and He still finds ways to remind us that there is beauty all around and within us no matter how strange or difficult the circumstances are.

Hoping it's warmed up to nice May temperatures everywhere else. Would love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences on the matter!

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