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naked beauty

as i’ve been working on this blog and starting to write posts, i’ve found a new favorite spot in my house.  i have this pretty little eating nook but, with my three little boys and my big husband boy, we rarely eat here…and, to be honest, i don’t love moving all my pretty things.  so…i’ve come to really love this little spot.  no one else sits here and, even though its in the middle of everything and my boys are constantly running crazy around me, it kind of feels like it’s my own space.  a place just for me.  do you have a favorite place…just for you?

so my favorite tree is right outside the window of my new favorite spot.  it’s a maple tree that we planted when we moved here and it’s still small.  but in the fall it turns the most vibrant sunset red.  it is without question, my favorite color and i don’t know of anything more beautiful than this tree in flush.  the other day i was sitting here when i heard the wind start whipping.  a loud crash got my attention as my pots of mums were knocked over and a big container of decorative sticks and pretty pumpkins tumbled down the front steps.  my pretty fall harvest scene…trashed.  with a sigh, i sat back down and that’s when i saw it.  instinctively i quietly cried out: ‘nooooooo!!’  it was one of those quiet, defeated type gasps, when you know you have no power to stop what is happening.  i sat down and watched as the thoughtless wind ripped nearly every beautiful scarlet leaf from her branches, and carried them away.  i look out at her now and she looks…naked.  exposed. vulnerable.

it got me thinking…  sometimes i feel a little bit like my beautiful tree.  the changing seasons allow me to change my leaves, present to the world the way i choose to show my best self.  some days i wear my fancy leaves (perhaps my fall color), some days i wear my comfy leaves, and some days i just feel ugly.  nothing but branches.  nothing fits, i’ve got “nothing to wear,” everything i put on just seems wrong.  fake.  trying too hard.  so i put my sweats back on and forget about it.

but why does a tree lose her leaves for winter?  much like a plant that you cut back in the fall, it’s to conserve energy, to push strength to her roots so she can survive the harsh conditions.  hmmm…  i’m starting to feel more and more like my beautiful naked tree.  there are times in my life when i’m not wearing my pretty leaves.  i’m more exposed, more vulnerable to those around me.  i share my heart, my life, hopes, dreams, disappointments and failures.  i take risks; i dare to be bold.  authentic.  brave.

sometimes in the midst of these bouts of bravery i am tempted to shrink.  to put my leaves back on.  but now i will remember my tree.  who sheds her leaves and boldly exposes her vulnerability to the harsh and violent conditions so that she may be strengthened from within.  so that her energy is focused on that which is essential to survive; on deepening and strengthening her roots so that she can be stronger and healthier, and in the spring she can sprout new growth.  i look at my tree in a new way; her bare branches now speak inexpressible beauty.  they proclaim a freedom to be bold, to be brave in harsh weather, to have faith in the rhythm of nature and the constitution of our faith that all things work together for our refinement.

this blog is my new naked.  and believe me, i am tempted often to put my leaves back on and just be “pretty”.  but you know what?  pretty doesn’t cut it.  i desire more.  i desire the refiner’s fire and, come what may, i’m going bold.  what makes you feel naked and how can you be bold?

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Krista October 23, 2012, 4:37 am

    I think I feel naked when my audience shifts from ONE to many. The world is seen very differently when my eyes shift.
    Oh my gosh… seriously…. I love this! When oh when can I share it with the world? Such imagery. Such depth. Go BOLD sister of mine.

  • Krista October 23, 2012, 4:37 am

    p.s. the blog looks AMAZING! and do you realize we both say “Grab some coffee…” haha — typical JINX!

  • Amy Waddington October 23, 2012, 5:04 am

    Are you kidding me!! This looks AMAZING!! Beautiful. Simply Beautiful. Tammy, your words are an encouragement. Pretty doesn’t cut it….I desire more…..LOVE it. AWESOME.

  • Angie October 23, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Tammy I am so Proud of you. This is what woman need to hear. That we are not alone. I feel most naked when I have to talk about my childhood or my insucurrities. I too like my leaves on but as I feel comfortable with others I start to let some leaves fall. Then it’s what those people do with my leaves, gather them and bag them up for me or do they like to watch them blow all over town.
    Thank you for your thoughtful words. And by the way YOU are so much more than just a pretty girl. If only those could see how truly dazzling your heart is.

    • Tammy December 10, 2012, 10:03 pm

      xoxo sweet, dazzling friends. love you all sooooooo much.

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