Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Servant's Heart?

Last week while visiting with our daughter and her family for Thanksgiving, Christy and I were again discussing a book that she claims "has changed my life."  In the course of this conversation, she made a statement that has not left me.  She said, "There is no way a person can read this book and not be changed, if they have a servant's heart."  She does by the way.  But I immediately thought, "Do I?"

One way Christy and her family have sought to minister is through Respite Care where they keep foster children in order to give the foster parents a break.  This is such a ministry to these parents but has also blessed this busy family of six.

I have continued to think about that statement and my immediate response.  I would love to tell you that I answered my own question with an assertive and confident "Of course I do."  But, to be truthful, I have not.  As I've examined myself, I have acknowledged that I would much prefer to be served that to serve.  I do not make sacrifice easily and when I am called to step outside my comfort zone to do something for someone else, I often see it as a sacrifce and not a service done out of humility and love.

Is it just me or does the Lord keep reinforcing lessons He desires to teach?  This morning on the front page of the South Bend Tribune was an article about a couple who have written a book entitled Hello Gorgeous,0,3610036.story
Hello Gorgeous! is a book about women who battle cancer and a unique organization that serves them by restoring a sense of beauty and vitality in their life.

Hello Gorgeous! was founded in 2005 in South Bend, Indiana by Kim and Mike Becker. Moved by a desire to use their talents and energies on behalf of those facing the effects of cancer treatment, the Beckers sold their full-service hair salon and set out on a mission to provide free, surprise, all-day makeovers designed to help overcome the negative effects of radiation and chemotherapy. With the help of donations and volunteer help, the Beckers were able to buy and equip a Holiday Rambler RV and extend their program to communities in the surrounding areas. Now, they have fostered affiliates in several states.

I read with admiration how this couple, fueled by a desire to simply minister to women who were surviving the affects of cancer, have given themselves to creating beauty without and ended up giving these ladies a sense of beauty within as well.  What a servant's heart!

Before I left Christy's she gave me the book that changed her life, Kisses From Katie.
Not surprising to my daughter, I have not been able to put this book down.  I read in amazment about this wonderful young lady's life.  And on every page, I am reminded of what Christy said, "...if you have a servant's heart."  But, I also have to ask myself, "Do I really trust the Lord to take care of my every need as Katie does or as the Lord would have me to?"  Again, that answer is a resounding "No!"  But I desire to!

This story is about a young 18 year old girl who grew up in affluence in Tennessee and felt God's call on her life to go to Uganda, not as a missionary, or a nurse, or a teacher, although she ended up being all of those, but just to "LOVE."  And that she is doing!  Now at the ripe old age of 22, she has adopted 14 beautiful "chocolate-colored" girls (her description) and is the founder and director of a non-profit ministry called Amazima.  You can read her blog at

As I continue to think on my daughter's statement and what it means for me, I must continually pray, "Lord, give me a passion to serve you.  Change my selfish heart into a servant's heart."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, early in the morning Hubby and I will attempt to fit ourselves into our overstuffed Avalon for the first leg of our long anticipated trip.  We have been sorting and packing and trying desperately to imagine the need for coats and sweaters for the north while parading around in shorts and sleeveless tops in this 80 degree Louisiana weather.  How does one pack for a month of ice and snow while the air conditioner continues to cycle?

The first stop will be in College Station, TX to visit some of our pre-marriage friends who have been out of touch until recently.  We are so looking forward to catching up on all the interim years.  Derry is retired from the A&M School of  Veterinary Medicine.  Tomorrow, we will be privileged to attend their Retirees Luncheon and hear an outstanding choral presentation.

Then we will join our daughter and her family in Carrollton, TX for Thanksgiving.  We love our tradition of sharing this special day with these precious people for whom we are so grateful.
Then, we head north to Lucus Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana to watch our only grandson play for the state 5-A title in High School football.  He is only a Junior and starting varsity, so this is a huge event for him and his family.  We are thrilled to be a part of this special day.
We will remain with our son and his family for the month of December while anticipating a White Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, and may your time spent with those special ones in your life be an overflowing blessing.  Dick and I are so very thankful for you in our lives.


Monday, November 14, 2011

What Makes You Beautiful - Holly Garth

Happy Monday Morning!

It is such a gorgeous day here in Northwest Louisiana.  We are expecting rain tomorrow for which we are so grateful.  Things are getting quite busy at the Day house with our anticipated trip next week to see long-time friends and then have Thanksgiving with our daughter and her family.  Then we will head north for an extended visit in Indiana.  So that means getting clothes ready to pack and the house in order.  Busy times, but eager anticipation!

Because this is such a busy season right now, I just haven't had the time to spend on my on-going topic; however, there are wonderful bloggers who have taken the time to write.  Many of these do address my title theme of Beauty Without Within and as long as they don't mind my borrowing, I am happy to share with you, my reader.

This was posted by Holly Garth and her blog can be found at:

What Makes You Beautiful

As a little girl, I believed anyone related to you automatically thought you were beautiful. The kids at school might tease me but aunts and grandmas gushed, "Look at those cheeks! Look at that hair!"
Over time, I realized my little theory might not quite be true. I just happened to belong to an especially gracious (and very southern) family who chose to see the best in me.

But for the longest time I thought blood ties made you beautiful.

Pushing a vaccuum through the hall the other day, hair in a messy ponytail, I felt anything but lovely. I thought of my sweet relatives and wished someone were there to gush over me--even in my unsightly state.

Then I realized that Someone in my life did see me as beautiful right here, right now.

"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

I paused for a moment in my cleaning, leaned back against the wall and smiled.


It turns out I'd been right all along...

Blood ties do make us beautiful. 

Perhaps not always the kind that flow through family trees but forever the kind that flowed down a tree made into a cross.

Yes, He takes all of our unloveliness and turns it into what only He can...
all beauty. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Best Beauty Tip - Ann Voskamp

Best Beauty Tip

He knows I am not, and I know too, so we don’t talk about it, except when he pretends and I call his bluff.
I have my grandmother’s nose, my father’s cheekbones, the Chambers’ cowlick, a daughter following the paternal line, just like my father’s mother before me. So, no, I am not beautiful. So be it.

For flesh fades and flowers wither and I have settled it, except for the days, now and then, when I am paying attention and look in the mirror and sigh, the grey shining like a coronet at my temples, silver I’d rather forfeit.

Or when standing on the scale, digits tattle taling on that extra slice of warm bread, the cookies dunked in tea, the finishing off of leftovers on little one’s plate. I am caught and there really isn’t anything to say but feebly mumbled resolve and a promise to go tend the vineyard.

Or when looking down and seeing, then fingering, the stretchmarks from these six children who have swollen the walls of me, skin pulled taut and stretched… then released and let go, leaving wrinkles behind when they gave notice, cut the cord, and slipped out into spaces of their own.

Well, it could be that, perhaps, now and then, maybe I have less than settled it?

It’s no secret or surprise: running this river racing towards Home isn’t for the faint of heart, aging and graying and sagging and the youth once accepted in beauty’s stead now too ebbs away as the current rushes on.

So maybe that is why he says it, each morning a spoon cupping close in the dark slowly warming to day. His words tickle early, first.

“You’re beautiful.”

And I startle the slowly waking day with my laughter, so wrong and ridiculous it is.

“See?” he grins. “You are.”

“Every woman who smiles is beautiful.”
And, I wonder: Why don’t we then?
Genesis 33:10
“And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!”
Lord, if Your joy is in my heart, write it on my face. You, O Beautiful One.
Photo: Ann smiling…

If you are saved, inform your face.” ~Unknown

Monday, October 31, 2011

IMAGE - Clothing Personality - The Classic

Last time I gave an overview of the four Clothing Personalities that I like to use in helping determine the most complimentary styles.  Today, I want to start with the CLASSIC - the Graceful Lady.

The CLASSIC is the epitome of style and grace and is the image most often associated with high-income brackets.  Thankfully, income is not a pre-requisite for dressing as a Classic.  So, let's see how this can be accomplished.

What does a Classic look like?
  • Basically symmetrical with slightly angular bone structure and features
  • Usually H Frame or 8 Frame
  • Physically balanced.  Not too thin, too delicate, or too sturdy
  • Average to attractive face
  • Innately, controlled, refined, elegant, and calm with an added dash of powerful, majestic, charismatic
  • May have limited characteristics of the Dramatic or Romantic as well
Who is the Classic?
  • Woman of elegance and tradition, refined, sophisticated, and aristocratic.
  • Emotional nature is balanced and controlled
  • Moderator and trusted friend
  • Strong sense of justice
  • Strong intellectual vision and deep emotional sensitivity
  • Loves organization and detail, and a controlled environment
  • Strong sense of traditional values
  • You love quality and excellence - good taste
  • You may even have an aura of "breeding" 
  • May appear to be a bit stuffy, arrogant and aloof
Hairstyle Examples for the Classic

 Clothing Examples for the Classic
Business Attire

 Casual Attire

Evening Attire

Remember, you are seen as the Sophisticated Lady!  So, the key to maintaining this appearance is to wear smooth and controlled shapes and outlines of everything you put on, head-to-toe.  A sleek hairstyle, bluntly cut and smoothly styled; symmetrical and even lines and silhouettes to your clothing; a perfectly blended makeup in soft neutral shades; and beautifully understated jewelry and accessories express your aristocratic elegance with grace and ease.

  • Clothes should be tailored or ever-so-slightly flowing
  • You will prefer solid colors, but prints include soft abstracts, houndstooth, and herringbone
  • Textures should be refined such as silk, woolens, cottons, or knits
  • Fabrics should be those that have richness and quality; matte finishes and low lusters
  • Clothing should be very symmetrical - SYMMETRY is your cardinal rule!
  • Nothing oversized, superfluous or outrageous
"My dear, gracious, aristocratic, pragmatic, Classic friend, you are like a flawless diamond, brilliant and sparkling in your absolute perfection."  Metamorphosis, David Kibbe 1987
Classic Celebrities
Coco Channel
Meryl Streep

Olivia de Haviland

Phylicia Rashad

Grace Kelly
Scarlett Johansson


Next time we will look at the Romantic.

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    IMAGE - PART 3 - Your Clothing Personality

    So what is "clothing personality?"

    This is your natural, inborn tendency toward particular types of clothes.  It is based on your genetics and generally determined by your body shape which we have already talked about.  It is interesting that most of us innately know the type clothes that make us feel great about ourselves and those that make us feel "not quite right."

    If this is true, then why do we continue making mistakes and never feeling sure about our clothing selections?  One reason may be that we have been influenced over time to accept certain colors and clothing styles that just aren't right for us.

    Example:  Your mother or adult female role model may have been a Romantic and thought everyone should wear ruffles and lace and lots of flowers.  Although you may have hated this as a child, you have grown to accept that this is what you are supposed to wear.

    Back in the golden years of Hollywood we learned that one's beauty came from individuality.  Each of the famous ones from that era was known for her specific beauty, based on the combination of how her unique physical features were brought out and enhanced her unique personality.

    Let me give you some examples of different celebrities who knew and dressed for their own particular clothing personality.

    Elizabeth Taylor in the formal from the 1951 To Catch a Thief  that was the most sought after prom dress of the decade.  Now imagine the Sporty Natural Diane Keaton in this billowing bosom-fitting style. Can we say ridiculous?

    Can you honestly see the Romantic Elizabeth Taylor in this tailored, rough textured outfit or the sloppy pants and tie that was so fitting for Diane Keaton as Annie Hall?  Never!  She was much too feminine and curvacious to hide behind this much clothing.

    Now, imagine Audrey Hepburn as seen here in the dramatic dress from Breakfast At Tiffany's in Marilyn Monroe's white dress as seen below.  What would JFK have thought of that?  You certainly wouldn't see the curves and personality that Marilyn gave it.  In fact, it would have emphasized her boyish shape instead of enhancing it.
    What about dressing Marilyn a' la Breakfast at Tiffany's instead of this stunner from The Seven Year Itch?  Laughable?  I think so.  I can't see the audiences drooling over the matronly and heavy set appearance she would have had in that dress.
    Now try to picture the Classic Grace Kelly in any of the above outfits.  It just doesn't paint the same picture does it?
    Hollywood knew what they were doing when they dressed these classic beauties according to their "specificness" or clothing personality.  It certainly launched careers and clothing trends, didn't it.

    Are you beginning to get the idea of why dressing according to your own clothing personality is as important for your appearance as it was for these Hollywood beauties?

    If there is anything I want to accomplish with my blog is to help you realize, if you haven't already, that God created you perfectly.  It's true! There's not one thing about your natural physical appearance that isn't absolutely perfect for the totally unique individual you are.  You are God's unique, special design and it just doesn't get any better than that!

    Since you can't tamper with perfection, it is so important that you gain the confidence to express that special brand of perfection which is unique only to you.  You may not be a Hollywood star, but never forget that you are a star of the highest quality because you were created in the image and likeness of the Almighty God.

    So, what are the different clothing personalities?

    There are many different systems that are legitimate and I encourage you to search out some of these.  But because I need to keep things simple, I prefer to just use four types because they seem to cover all the bases and are easy to remember.  Most of us can easily relate to these and they also relate to the body shapes that we have already talked about.

    • Classic - the simple but elegant like Grace Kelly
    • Sporty Natural - the earthy clothing personality like Diane Keaton
    • Dramatic - the entrance making style like Audrey Hepburn
    • Romantic - the sexy clothing personality like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe
    Next time we will break each of these down and look at them more closely.  In the meantime, do you dress according to your clothing personality or someone else's?  Good question!!!

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    The Foolish Woman

    Last week I wrote about the Proverbs 31 woman and had several comments from you that you enjoyed reading it.  This week I am a bit under the weather and just haven't felt like composing, but I read the posting of a favorite blog to which I subscribe and thought it to be a perfect follow-up to what I wrote last week.  Please take the time to go to this link and read what this wise woman has written about the Foolish Woman.

    May we always seek to be the Proverbs 31 woman and not the Proverbs 14 woman.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Proverbs 31 Woman?

    Before I move on to the next Image topic, I want to share something else with you.

    Recently I saw a blog entitled "Seeking to be a Proverbs 31 Woman."  My initial thought was "Bless her little heart."  Then I remembered those early Mother's Days when this Proverb always seemed to be the topic of the sermon.  I can't recall one single message, but I do remember how I struggled with a feeling of inadequacy, knowing I could never live up to this high standard.  Shucks, I was doing well if I just got the laundry done and folded and put up and maybe one meal on the table every day.  How could I ever possibly be as industrious, as productive, as godly, as perfect as Mrs. Proverbs?  With two toddlers it just wasn't happening!
    Then I remembered a conversation I had with my precious daughter-in-love this past summer as we were planting flowers in front of her house and she mentioned this godly Proverbs lady.  I had an epiphany and suggested that perhaps our role model did not do all these things at the same time, but was able to accomplish them over her life time.  As I thought more on this, I realized that "Hey, I've done most of those same things in my life time."

    Okay, I haven't bought a field or planted a vineyard, or dressed my family in scarlet.  But, I did keep my children clean and healthy and loved abundantly.  I made my daughter's clothes out of the best fabric I could afford until she finally informed me she was ready for something with a label in the neck.  At one period, I planted a garden and reaped what little harvest there was.  I made fresh bread for my adoring family on a weekly basis.  I played ball with my son, baby dolls with my daughter, and mowed the yard with my husband.  I taught Sunday School and sang in the choir.  Through the years the Lord put me into positions of authority and greater responsibilities outside the home so that I was able to help support our family.

    But, do you think Mrs. Proverbs would pat me on the back and say, "Well done my child, you have lived up to my example and perhaps even excelled?"  I don't think so.  I think she would say, "Libby, did you do all these things 'in delight'?  Did you do them for the Glory of God?"

    I'm afraid I would have to shamefully answer, "No" to those questions.  My striving for significance and meaning by performing the acts I thought were expected of me were not always done in delight or for God's Glory.

    Donna Morley, in her book "A Woman of Significance" writes this as a statement from Mrs. Proverbs that I like:
    "I suggest that they (the contemporary lady) live life at the bottom.  The bottom is the place of humility...It's a place that saints of the past have occupied, where great rewards are found.  Those who live at the bottom come to discover that it's really living life at the top.
    "It is important that each woman realize that God has given her a specific personality, talents, and giftedness...a unique beauty...that can be used to fit into His plan and accomplish His will.  Real change...and real significance comes from the inside out."
    The beautiful, significant, special lady seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these (other) things will be added to her.

    I admire the young mother and wife who challenges herself to be the Proverbs woman before her family and community.  Oh that more women would have this desire.  As for me at this "Senior" time of my life, this should still be a desire of my heart; to strive to be the woman God would have me be, willing to live at the bottom in order that I might live life at the top.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    IMAGE - My Body Shape (continued)

    The next shape we'll look at today is the H Shaped woman.
    This is also called the Rectangle Shaped woman
    • Appears to have a straight up and down figure
    • Usually has a flat bottom and thighs
    • Has a thick waist
    • May have long legs
    • May have an average to large bust
    • Puts on weight through middle and tummy first

    Goal:  You will want to create the illusion of a smaller waist and you can do this by wearing a bloused top that sits just below the waist line.  Add this to a flared skirt for balance.  Wearing belts may also help create the look of a smaller waist.  Wear a jacket or blazer that is fitted in the waist.  My favorite is to wear a straight chemise - style dress.

    Here are some examples:


    Now, let's look at the 8 Frame
    This body shape is also known as the Hour Glass shape.
    • Is curvy and perfectly balanced
    • Has a full bust and small waist (may even be 10" smaller than bust or hips, regardless of what you weigh.)
    • Has gently tapered hips with a proportioned bottom
    • Enjoys balance between leg length and upper torso length
    • Puts on weight evenly all over body

    Goal:   Emphasize the waist without cluttering the body with a lot of layers or clothes.  Select garments that fit the body and call attention to the waist.  Actually, this shape may wear color in any way one wishes keeping your season in mind. 

    Look at these examples:

    Now, lets look at a couple more shapes and some suggestions for complimentary garments.

    The Curvy All Over Shape:
    These beautiful women are often our Romantic Season and naturally have a soft curvy body.   The clothing Goal for this shape would be bright or light areas of color running up and down with the darker more subdued colors on the outside of the figure area.  This is very slimming.  Use your season's darker colors in suits and skirts.  Wear brighter colors at your throat.  Choose beautiful earrings and pins to call attention to your lovely soft face.

    The last shape is the PETITE
    Goal:  DO NOT SHOP in the Junior Department if you are not a teenager!
    Wear vertical lines of color not cut by a belt or trim.  This will give the illusion of tallness.  Wear one color suits and dresses with small proportions. Draw interest to the top part of the body.  Create a long visual line, not broken by design or color.  Do not detract from your beautiful small body by layering with a lot of clothes.

    Look at these examples:

    I hope this has given you some ideas to run with when selecting your new FALL wardrobe.  Oh to be so lucky, huh?

    Before you head out the door though, shop in your closet.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    IMAGE - What is Your Shape?

    "You're in pretty good shape for the shape that you're in."..... Dr. Suess
    We have spent several weeks looking at the best colors for each "Season," so now lets look at the next step in knowing how best to put together a wardrobe that best enhances your beauty.
    Understanding Your Shape
    This is probably one of the most overlooked areas in determining one's style, and probably one of the most crucial.  It is so important that we be honest with ourselves where this is concerned.  You may hate the genes you received, but you can't change them, so let's learn how best to deal with what we've been given.

    As a pre-teen, I was bone rail thin.  So thin in fact, my nick name by the cutest boy in school was "Bean Pole."  Now try to live that down.  Remember also, I grew up in the day of the glamorous, shapely actresses of the 50's and 60's such as Marilyn Monroe and other curvacious beauties.  To say I had a body image problem as a teenager is putting it mildly.

    I felt pretty this day in my dress-up clothes!

    When I finally discovered I would never have an hour-glass figure and that there were ways I could actually camouflage what I perceived as major figure flaws, I became a much happier girl.  So, let me share with you some of what I have learned since that time.

    1.  Very few women are a "perfect" size or shape.
    2.  We must understand who we are, both without and within and accept these special qualities that make us unlike any other human being.
    3.  We have an obligation to ourselves and those we love to accentuate the beauty God has given us.

    So let's see what those body shapes are and how best to show them off:
    There are 4 basic body shapes or frames.  A, V, H, and 8.

    This shape is also known as the Pear Shaped or Triangle Shaped, A Frame woman.  This woman will have the following characteristics:
    • Narrow on top half and wider at lower hips and upper thighs
    • May have rounded bottom
    • May have shorter. heavier legs
    • Has average to small bust
    • Puts on weight in saddlebag area first 
    Clothing:  Keep bright colors and interest above the waist and subdued or darker colors should be worn below the waist.  Use simple, straight, slightly flared skirts and pants, or slacks with no interest stitching, pockets, etc. at hipline.  You want to visually widen the shoulders by wearing strong patterns or details, like shoulder pads or wide lapels.

    This shape is also known as the Apple Shape, or Inverted Triangle, the V Frame woman.
    • Obviously wider at the shoulders than the hips
    • Usually large busted and may have a shorter waist and high hips
    • Appears top heavy - may even have a barrel chest
    • Usually has a flat bottom and thin legs
    • May have a tummy problem
    • Puts on weight in upper torso first
    Clothing:  Keep bright colors and interest below the waist.  Use flared skirts and pants, or slacks.  Subdued or darker colors should be worn above the waist.  Soft raglan sleeves, halter necklines, and V-necks are good.  You want to achieve a balanced appearance by visually widening the hips and upper legs.

    Next time we will discuss the other two shapes, the H and the 8.

    In the meantime, if you have questions about what shape you are, try this website and take the shape quiz.  You may find it interesting and helpful.