Life, Death, and Beauty

Earlier today I was planning to write about beauty.

I found a video clip that explains why stress affects our skin and I had some thoughts about that and how the products of Sarah-Noelle could help both with stress and skin care.

Part of Sarah-Noelle’s mission statement is, “While perfect skin and physical beauty are not ultimate goals, there is a sense of contentment in knowing you look your best—especially when you understand that your external appearance is merely a prelude to the authentic, spiritual artistry that is within you.”

The news I received this afternoon about a friend (and former roommate) taking her own life on Thursday has changed my frame of mind today.

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If I were to list the top things that Satan uses to try to get to me it would look something like this:

1. Money/Car (usually related, but not always)
2. Depression
3. Addiction

Surrounding my recent sobriety birthday he has been pretty busy in my life trying to get me off track.

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4. a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.

5. engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.

Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven, or by earth, or anything else. Let your “yes” be yes, and your “no,” no, or you will be condemned.
James 5:12b

There seems to be a disconnect in our society as to what “yes” and “no” mean. In my life I have seen too many times where “yes” means “if I feel like it at the time” or “if I don’t get a better offer”. Or just as frustrating, when you offer an invitation and get no response until the last possible moment. I’m not sure if these are people who don’t plan events and don’t understand how difficult it is to plan when you don’t know for how many guests you are planning. Or if they are just rude.

I am certainly not perfect, there are times when I have made a commitment to something and had to back out. Those occasions never happened on a whim. Occasionally they happen due to physical illness~which is completely understandable. And for me, sometimes I cancel due to depression.

Which brings me to another level of commitment.


Last Wednesday was a perfect example of the commitment to community in my small group. I had really been struggling with depression for several days. On Friday evening I had plans with a friend~canceled. Saturday evening dinner plans with another friend~canceled. Long time plans with a friend to go to Six Flags on Monday~canceled the week before. Made new plans to go to Six Flags with another friend on Monday~canceled. Add to that the effects of PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is basically PMS increased exponentially) and all I wanted to do was hibernate.

On Monday I made the good decision to let others know that I was struggling. Specifically I sent an email to the women in my community group asking for their prayers. On Wednesday I wasn’t doing any better so I sent an email to our group leader letting her know that I would not be attending that evening. Apparently that was not an acceptable answer. Just before our Bible study should be starting I received two phone calls and a text message. Basically, I could willingly join them for ice cream and fellowship or someone would be waiting on my doorstep to drag me out when I got home. So, mostly willingly I met my sisters at Bruster’s for ice cream. It may not have been what I thought I wanted. But it most definitely was what I needed. (Perhaps I didn’t need the Key Lime Pie ice cream~with lots of crust).

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility,
never an opportunity”
Kahlil Gibran
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