Tag Archives: Beauty

Returning to Eden

Last month, my partner and I visited Longwood Gardens, located on US Route 1, about 3 miles northeast of Kennett Square, PA, for the second year in a row. If you have never been there, then you have not yet experienced the most breathtaking gardens imaginable. Encompassing 1,050 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows, your senses have an opportunity to take in the fragrances of over 11,000 types of plants and see more fountains than any other garden in the US! Story has it that Pierre S. du Pont purchased the Peirce Arboretum in 1906 to save its trees from being cut down for lumber. Over the next 50 years, Mr. du Pont developed Longwood Gardens into what it is today for many – a magnificent horticultural paradise that delights the senses. For Justin and I, each visit to Longwood Gardens conjures up a return to Eden… if only for a day.

Since that time, Justin and I have had many conversations about returning to Eden; not necessarily to Longwood Gardens, but to a simpler time, place, and circumstance where we each feel completely free to be and accepted for who God wants us to be.

It is these recent experiences that got me to thinking about the Garden of Eden and of my return … a lot. So  much so in fact that I started to research the topic on the net. Surely, there must be a few others out there who feel as I do. To my surprise, many not a few, have been thinking about the Garden of Eden; not within the context of an unattainable paradise, but rather of a paradise in which we all have a chance to return.

To some, Eden is any place where we find wonder and beauty. To others, Eden is a metaphor for people within whom we find love and acceptance. Still there are others who believe Eden is a lifestyle or a peaceful state of mind. Regardless of whether Eden is a place, a person, a lifestyle, or a state of mind, there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on… Eden is found in the feeling of home… a place we left, miss, and long for yet never left us.

Over the next series of occasional posts, I will be exploring the Garden of Eden… what and where it is; why we want to return there; ways in which we can recognize, cultivate, and connect with Eden again; and most of all how to live within and appreciate Eden’s abundance. For it is in our finding home within Eden that we know of our return to wholeness that lasts not for a day…but rather for all eternity.

Remember … touch a life today “The Little Way” by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community, knew…”, then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.

~ Theresa


Do Clothes Define You?

This is one of a series of posts illustrating a beautiful portrait of humanity; of men and women who without even realizing it, strive to embody qualities Proverbs 31 embraces in all life areas – personally, with their family, professionally, spiritually, and in their love life too. Whether you’re a “Proverbs 31” man or a woman, you stand out from the rest; you’re a red rose among a field of yellow roses. You’re a man or woman of and for all ages, a role model of timeless strength and beauty, virtue and responsibility; a cherished life partner and a powerful entrepreneur too!

Proverbs 31:25
Strength and honor are her clothing;
and she shall rejoice in time to come

Life in the 21st century is not easy; in seeking acceptance we are often self-conscious about our image and our appearance. So much so that many of us allow our clothes to define who we are. If our clothes REALLY do define us, then perhaps we are all overdue for an extreme makeover. The makeover starts with knowing what not to wear. Like the show on the TLC network, perhaps we should all throw out our existing wardrobe in favor of finer fabrics; fabrics that our Creator provides to all believers… STRENGTH, HONOR, and BEAUTY!

STRENGTH. We often think strength is found in an individual who always speaks their mind and never asks anyone for help. Or that strength is found in a man or woman who runs their household like a tight ship, fearing that all will come undone if left in their partner’s care. Still there are others who believe strength is found in the corporate CEO who did not give into the need for children and family in favor of climbing the corporate ladder. Rest assured physical, emotional, and mental strength all come into play on these as well as a host of other occasions. True strength, however, is spiritual in nature. It can be worn in many different ways … as seeking out faithfulness in prayer; holding steadfast to one’s beliefs against the grain of the secular world; not giving into social pressure or secular standards; or standing up for what is right in the face of opposition. Spiritual strength is also worn by spending quality time “in the moment” with the ones you love. Case in point…how many times have you heard a friend or co-worker complain that their partner spends so much time at work trying to provide for them that they have little to no time to spend with the family?  Even though their loved one works long hours to provide for them, they say they would rather have more alone time with them. God actually feels the same way as you do about this. While the work you may be doing is for Him, He would much rather have you spend more quality time with Him reflecting on the moment so He can clothe you in all the virtues you need to be the person He designed you to be. When we wear clothing our Creator provides; ones that flatter our physical, mental, emotional, AND spiritual well being, everything in our life fits perfectly. Or, at the very least, we are well-dressed to handle our life when it doesn’t.

DIGNITY. As ambassadors of the Gospel, we wear clothing that advertises how we feel about God and our faith. Scrutinized by others for all that we do, we are asked to dress and behave with dignity and honor at all times. If for some reason our manners, dress, or speech are undignified, then it is God who is insulted. We are not meant to live life entirely for our own selves; rather, we are meant to live our life for Him. More importantly, we are asked to be aware of our behavior and to wear openness, honesty, reliability, integrity, and trustworthiness in all our relationships with others.

BEAUTY. The attire befitting our beauty is not the shallow variety driving much of our society today. Nor is it about spending huge amounts of time and money on cosmetic products to enhance the skin and designer clothing to accentuate the figure. In fact, having wrinkle-free skin and wearing fashionable clothes does not guarantee inner beauty of an individual! True beauty begins in the heart, and is a “gentle and quiet spirit”. As St. Peter so aptly phrased it:

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel ~  rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Finally, the wardrobe the Proverb 31 individual wears is not available at your nearby marketplace or shopping mall. Rather, the garments of strength, dignity, and beauty are found in individuals who have a believing heart in the Lord. When looking to Him for unconditional acceptance, walk with Him wearing your finest attire and radiating strength. Speak to others in a voice of quiet confidence to exemplify dignity. Most of all… rejoice in your future. It is bright, beautiful, eternal, and secure as your industry and planning have provided you with the finest.  Then savor your past with a smile!

Remember … touch a life today “The Little Way” by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community, knew…”, then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.

~ Theresa