Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Operation Beautiful

On a recent Sunday morning visit to the gym, someone left me a secret message.

I have to say it put a smile on my face and a curiosity in my mind. It left me wondering how many lives could be changed with the power of a little encouragement.

I opened my gym locker to find a note saying "don't ever let anyone tell you that you aren't beautiful. Pass on the message that you are beautiful and keep it going." from www.operationbeautiful.com.

I grinned like a high schooler. I immediately put it in the locker of the girl next to me and witnessed her shine too. It was funny to me how a small anonymous note made my day, perhaps my week.

But isn't that what every girl wants? To feel beautiful and for others to notice it too? I couldn't think of a more perfect place for Operation Beautiful to be in full affect then at the gym. Sometimes women can be our own worst enemies, especially in our heads.

I spent some time checking out the Operation Beautiful website and enjoyed reading all the fun ways other women had come up with passing on the beauty effect. I immediately made a mental note to pick up some fun post-it notes to become an ambassador for the cause.

The world could use more beauty in it, especially beginning in our own hearts.

To learn more, visit www.operationbeautiful.com.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Casserole Season

It’s been casserole season lately.

Winter’s final exhale has brought a mixture of bittersweet to my circle of friends. There’s been a layoff, a cancer diagnosis, a divorce, a heart scare and a new baby. Along with these changes, comes the ever-present casserole. It is simply the right thing to do. There is something wonderful about a square of comfort delivered by loving hands.

The casserole once was an important reassurance for me. When I was in middle school, my dad was in a life-threatening car accident. My days were filled with school, followed by the long drive to the hospital and back home again. Exhausted, worried and scared, I remember coming home and seeing the casseroles spread out on our kitchen table. Their well wishes brought kind relief and warmth that is hard to explain.

Miraculously, beautifully -- the casseroles kept showing up on our kitchen table. Sweet encouragement from friends, neighbors, church ladies, people I didn’t even know. I have never been more grateful for such kindness.

When you are beat up by life, a casserole might be the best thing you can imagine. It is a glimmer of hope when none can be found. More than food, casseroles say “hang in there, you’re gonna be okay, kid.” It is a high honor to give someone that kind of hope, even if it’s only a casserole.