Brave and Beautiful

 brave-and-beautiful
Last week I received this Proverbs31 (P31) in my inbox…and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it!! If you have time, give it a quick read. It’s very worth it.
What constitutes a “brave and beautiful life”?
Brave and beautiful doesn’t sound very ordinary, does it? To me, it sounds something like this:
Traveling often.
Working for the social good.
Perfection.
Adventure.
Very “not settled.”
Free.
Now let me tell you what my life looks like now:
I spend a lot of time in my room, working.
Occasionally, I will leave campus for a walk in the city.
Life here is driven by deadlines. Hard deadlines.
A nimble balancing act between complete disaster and smooth ride.
Feeling small.
This is my ordinary life. I go to school, I volunteer for my club, I occasionally wander the city. Lots of time is spent in front of a computer, juggling time, wishing for more sleep.
But, just because something is ordinary doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful! I call it looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary. This is my mantra when I take photos, but I think we can apply it to our ordinary lives, too.
From the Proverbs31 devotion:
“You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment.” Psalm 16:11
 
The path that we’re on right now probably is not neat and tidy. We’re trying to avoid utter disaster, reach for something better, move forward, survive. As much as it probably doesn’t look how we’d like it to look, can I tell you something? That is totally okay. Why? Because we’re not in charge.
We may not be where we’d like to be right now, and maybe we won’t be where we think we’ll be after college…but that doesn’t mean that we failed, and that doesn’t mean life will never be beautiful. And it most definitely does not mean that if we’re not out doing “big” things, we aren’t brave. 
 
As Alicia, the author of this P31 devotion noted, leading a brave and beautiful life means leading a life that follows. What does that mean?
We are pursuing Jesus.
We are loving our neighbors. Every neighbor. Every neighbor.
We are appreciating where we are, not wishing for the future.
We are trusting that our ordinary, messy, less-than-picturesque lives aren’t our own.
So go! Live your life. Know it’s beautiful. You are brave, and you are loved.

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