Pursuing Lovely

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be lovely.  Hollywood surely isn’t.  My home, at the moment, is anything but.  How is my character?  Lovely?

My mind travels to this lady, loving orphans in Uganda.  And to this one and her countless years serving the poor.  I most definitely remember Our Lady and her overwhelming receptivity and goodness as a mother.  These women showed their loveliness through humility, pouring out their lives for others.

I think back to meeting the mother of a friend.  She was kind, vivacious, modest and beautiful.  I was instantly drawn to her loveliness.  When she spoke, you could sense her inner peace and contentment–she was a woman of great faith and great devotion to our Lord.  So lovely.

In the last chapter of Proverbs, Solomon describes loveliness:

“She does her work with eager hands… She puts her back into her work and shows how strong her arms can be… she opens her arms to the needy… She is clothed in strength and dignity… she can laugh at the day to come… on her tongue is kindly instruction… her children stand up and proclaim her blessed.”

What a gorgeous picture he offers to the modern woman.  We are not called to be idle and passive, but to rise up and manage what we’ve been given.  We are called to be uniquely woman–bearing good things, using our resources to produce, helping to lead our homes and families toward greater goodness.  The call to loveliness re-feminizes our womanly role in the world.  We are not asking to be equal.  We are carving out a unique, lovely path all our own.

I read through Proverbs 31 and feel inspired to get off my duff and clean my not-so-lovely house; fold my umpteenth load of laundry for the day; help my children learn through patience and fortitude.  I am called to serve others and my community; challenge my brain and use it to help solve problems; and at the end of the day, bring glory to His Name.

What an honor to have such a calling.  And though I will fail time and time again while reaching for it, I will seek and pursue this kind of loveliness ’til the end of my days.  Hopefully like Mother Teresa, even my last breath will be a lovely one.

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  • Bethany “B-mama”

    One additional thought–how lovely is our Katrina? I am just in awe of her loveliness, especially evident in her “Our Journey” post. Had to include this! God bless all!

  • Juris Mater

    Bethany, thanks for the inspiration. Sometimes “loveliness” as I imagine it seems so unattainable, when our vocation is such an earthy nitty-gritty one. Dirty bathrooms and kids’ bodily fluids and mud and constant spills, slimy raw chicken to prepare for dinner, the unattractiveness of a body broken by numerous pregnancies, etc. Whereas loveliness seems so sanitized and pretty, which my life rarely is. I think you are getting at this here. I guess if Mother Teresa can epitomize lovely after decades spent cleaning the wounds of lepers, we can become lovely too.

  • Kellie “Red”

    She is certainly lovely, and I too thought of her when I read your post! Sorry to embarrass you Katrina, but it’s true 😉

  • 🙂 I’m pretty sure that my 4 year-old, whom I just yelled at, would disagree!

  • I love these thoughts!

    I was just reading a Southern Living magazine (the only women’s magazine that I allow in my home!), where every page is filled with lovely homes, lovely flowers, lovely people making lovely food with ingredients from their lovely gardens, and I realized two things: 1) We are attracted to beauty and loveliness, and that is as it should be… 2) As mothers, there is nothing wrong with looking at a Southern Living magazine and enjoying the lovely images, but we must remember that lovely is a process, and that homes pictured in this magazine are probably not inhabited by several young and messy children 🙂

  • Bethany “B-mama”

    You’re so right–the journey toward loveliness is a marathon, indeed. It takes time to develop the qualities necessary to be deemed lovely–and I can guarantee you PLENTY of unlovely moments and things here in our home. Small children have a knack at turning order into complete chaos. BUT the reality is God’s presence can make something very lovely. We should ultimately be striving for Him and He can turn the ugly into lovely.

    I keep thinking about what that priest told you–about focusing on “who would he have me be” rather than “what would he have me do.” A change in perspective as simple as that can produce great character dividends.

  • Thank you for this beautiful reminder of our unique and sacred calling as women of God-I loved it!!!