Embracing Beauty Backstory, Part First

The winter of 2013 was a rough one. Have I mentioned that? I don’t mean to harp, but ya’ll need to see the setting in order to appreciate this story. We got home from our second trek to Alabama just in time to celebrate Christmas, and got sick within a week of getting home. We were sick through Christmas, New Year’s, and all through January, until we finally realized it was our moldy downstairs bathroom that was responsible for the chronic sinus infections me and kids were suffering from.

We promptly evacuated to a family member’s house which was conveniently vacant, and lived out of boxes and laundry baskets for 3 weeks while Jeremy remediated the mold while simultaneously working 7 days a week. I struggled to maintain some semblance of routine with school and meals and working on my book, all while recovering from the effect of the mold on my system and–unbeknownst to me a the time–fighting the fatigue of the first weeks of my 4th pregnancy.

To put it mildly, I had me some pretty rough days, some frighteningly low moments. Anxiety began to gain ground in my mind again, I struggled from insomnia, and wept about stupid stuff like never being able to catch up on the laundry.

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{photo: my new living room arrangement}

It was on one of these low days that I put in a phone call to the gal who disciples me. I knew I was not in a good spot, and I knew she’d speak truth to me like she always does. I laugh now at the conversation we had that afternoon. It seems ridiculous to me that I had to have someone else speak words to me that I already knew–but that’s what good friends are for, right?

I told her all about all the darkness I was facing in my mind and, at least to my eyes, in the world around me. And she said,

“Trina, what are you writing a book about?”

“Embracing beauty!” I blubbered. (I’m fairly certain I was crying at this point. I cried a lot this winter.)

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{Yup, that’s still snow-glow coming in the windows…it’s March in Upstate NY, people. }

“That’s what you need to do, Trina.” She calmly challenged me. “You need to discover and celebrate whatever beauty you can find right now. You need to put energy into creating beauty and turn your focus to that instead of all that is weighing you down.”

A fairly obvious bit of advice, considering I was writing a book about embracing beauty, but it was just the kick in the pants that I needed.

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{I had to do something springish in the house, because spring refuses to arrive outside}

I looked around after I finished the phone call to see where in the midst of living in limbo in someone else’s house I could embrace beauty, and saw the bag of groceries waiting to be unpacked on the floor. I found a glass cake stand on a shelf and inverted it to create a punch bowl, and filled the bowl with the lemons, avocados, and bananas I had bought. I tidied the dining room table to make room for my centerpiece, and then stood back to admire the scene. The greens and yellows were such refreshing site in the middle of a long, grey winter, and the act of finding and creating beauty did something in my soul. Joy and Hope, small flickers that they were, began to push away Despair–a little light goes a long way and I can honestly say that moment was a turning point for my attitude and my heart.

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{I can personally vouch that embracing beauty is a great cure for spring fever}

I’ve spent the last 4 months researching and writing a book about Beauty. And the Lord has graciously kept me motivated on this journey by giving me glimpses of His heart for beauty. I’ve come to realize that our Heavenly Father desired from the beginning that His children live every day with Joy, and beauty is one of the key ways He designed for us to experience joy.

How we dress is just one way of embracing beauty. How we arrange our homes, serve food, or arrange our thoughts on paper are other ways we embrace beauty. I feel as busy moms of little ones, it’s so easy to slip into survival mode, and miss out on a huge area God intended us to find joy: the area of personal adornment. The book “Embracing Beauty” is my attempt to encourage and equip moms–like myself–who have felt challenged in the area of fashion, to find the beauty and taste the joy in dressing well in this season.

“Embracing Beauty: Practical Style for Every Shape and Season of Motherhood” released April 2nd, 2013. You can get a peek at the table of contents here

Next…Part Second: “Who’s idea was this, anyway?”

 

7 responses to “Embracing Beauty Backstory, Part First”

  1. […] why I’m so grateful for my mastermind group. They care about God’s call on my pen, and have been known to speak truth into my calling when I can’t hear it myself. Have you got someone to speak truth into your writing?  Check out these pages for how to start […]

  2. Lisa Avatar

    I was so blessed to just read this post. I’ve had “one of those days.” Everything seemed black – both in my mind – and in the weather outside. God surrounds me with beauty but I often have blinders. I’ve been meaning to run outside and cut some daffodils to bring in. I just never get around to it. I know it would look so cheerful. I will do it tomorrow! And Lord willing, do more things to bring a touch of simple beauty to our daily life. Thank you Trina! 🙂

  3. Sandra at Thistle Co Avatar

    “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Prov 18:24.
    My BBF (Beloved Best Friend) sent this calligraphy verse to me during a time when the darkness threatened the light. Thank God for friends and The Friend.

  4. Kalyn Brooke Avatar

    Congrats on the book!! (Psst I really love that tree decor.)

    Ok, on to serious stuff now – Why is it that we have such a hard time finding and embracing beauty? When in reality, it’s all around us. God created beautiful things, we just have to open our eyes and find it….accept it.

    I haven’t had any kids, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had body image issues. I think this book will be a great reminder to all women to love themselves, and the body God gave them!

    1. Trina Avatar
      Trina

      Kalyn, I couldn’t agree more! I wrote a whole chapter reminding women how beautiful God created their bodies–I pray it encourages many! Thanks for your vote of confidence! 😉

  5. Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake Avatar

    I’m so excited to read your book, Trina, I really, really am. 🙂 And your new living room arrangement looks lovely! I used to seek out and create beauty without even realizing that I was doing it, until my mother pointed it out to me. One of my greatest joys is getting to create beauty in my own home. 🙂

    1. Trina Avatar
      Trina

      I think it’s awesome that your mom helped you see the act of embracing beauty for what it is. She sounds like a great woman.
      I totally can’t wait to share the book with you, Claire!

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