Category Archives: New Every Morning

Flashback: How’s Your Beauty Diet?

We are enjoying some family time out and about today. Enjoy this repost from by Ed from January.

how-is-your-beauty-diet-beautyobservedA guest post by my husband, Ed Nicholson.

Beauty Diet God's beauty is all around us.

There is a parallel between nourishing food and nourishing beauty, and I fear we live in a time of extreme malnourishment.

I was thinking the other day about how this sickly spiritual condition has become so widespread, and I wonder if it isn’t because of the abundance of what I call “junk beauty.” Junk beauty is anything that looks good on the outside but isn’t really nourishing to the soul. Maybe the most prevalent example in our day comes in the form of sex appeal. The beauty of the human body is a gift from God, as is sexuality itself, but the world mixes it with the poison of lust and repackages it. The quick fix of this poor substitute fades quickly and leaves the consumer feeling awful. We’ve all heard reports of the negative side-effects that fashion magazines can have on our children. Just as eating too much junk food leads to bad physical health, a poor diet of junk beauty leads to poor self-esteem, unrealistic expectations and emptiness. Another example is the way families, ideally a beautiful thing, are portrayed in American sit-coms. The father-figure is almost always an idiot, the mother is cutting and sarcastic and the children are completely self-absorbed and disrespectful. This is the typical picture of the family on TV and it is not beautiful. Speaking of comedy, there is no shortage of junk beauty comedy in the world today. Laughter is a good thing, but like sexuality or the family, it can be twisted by the junk beauty industry to become absolute filth. It is easy to be deceived when we are laughing. We think that if something is funny, it must be good for us. But there is a malnourishment happening at a deep level when we are made to laugh at something evil.


  • Mix the true beauty of sex with the poison of lust and you get pornography, which is junk beauty.
  • Mix the true beauty of family the with poison of self-centeredness and you get the modern TV sit-com family, which is junk beauty.
  • Mix the true beauty of humor with the poison of crudeness and profanity and you get shock comedy, which is junk beauty.

If this stuff is bad for us, then why is it so popular? I think the answer is that we are designed to consume real beauty, so there is a natural hunger in us for the genuine article. In the examples above beauty is mixed with poison. That’s because the marketers know that we are wired for the “real thing” so they have to put a little of it into the mix, or at least pretend to do so, in order for their garbage to sell. Back to our parallel with actual food, junk food has “food” right in the title! It’s unlikely that Little Debbie would sell many products if the box read, “Individually Wrapped Chemical Patties.” They know humans get hungry, so they call it “cake” or “snacks” or “treats” – essentially, “food.” Like regular junk food, junk beauty is cheap to make, easy to get, provides a fast fix, and is, in general, horrible for you. Sadly, it is also addictive.

Beauty Diet beauty is no more in the eye of the beholder than nourishment is in the tastebuds of the eater.

So what can we do? How can we wean ourselves off of this junk beauty and begin filling ourselves up with God’s true beauty?

First, we need to ask ourselves how close the things we consume are to their original, unperverted forms. The less of the world that is mixed in, the better. Secondly, we need to ask ourselves wether or not our hearts are truly being edified. Like the verse in Phillipians says, “true, beautiful, pure, lovely.” And contrary to the teaching we’ve all been fed for years, these things are not subjective. The truth is an objective fact just like it’s a fact that eating plenty of vegetables is good for you, or that drinking a bottle of whiskey for breakfast is not. In this sense, beauty is no more in the eye of the beholder than nourishment is in the tastebuds of the eater. Finally, the best test I have found for determining real beauty is that when you experience something, no matter what it is – a decaying leaf, a marriage that has stood the test of time, a dog laying in a sunbeam, a face, a visit from a friend, something that makes you laugh – anything – ask yourself if you can genuinely say to God about it, “Thank you.” If it makes you really thankful to Him, then it has turned a part of you toward Him. It is then that you have experienced real beauty, and you will likely be a little less hungry for junk.

Fortunately, God’s beauty is all around us, and with practice we can tune our appetites towards it. We need to find and consume beauty that orients our souls toward the source of all true beauty, God Himself.

11/25/2013 Ed Nicholson

The Beauty of Breaking Through

shoots-breaking-leavesEvery spring I anticipate the daffodils coming up.  I am like a kid at Christmas time!  I’m out there checking #BulbArrival as many times as I can starting around Valentine’s Day.  Now, I’ve lived in northeast Ohio for my whole life except for four years that Ed and I lived in Nashville.  I know that no matter what the groundhog says or how much I want it, we aren’t going to have daffodil blooms until April.  I don’t think we’ll have daffodils for Easter this year but I could be wrong.  Wouldn’t that be nice!

shoots-in-snowThere’s one thing in all this bulb watching that really, really fascinates me.  That is how the bulbs push up and break through the leaves that I covered them with last fall.  The leaves don’t smother them.  The bulbs don’t lift the leaves and move them aside.  No, the shoot pushes and breaks through the leaf.   And every year, I am utterly fascinated by this.

shoots-in-snow-leavesI’m wondering what spiritual correlations I can make from this yearly event.  The green shoots could represent God’s love and how it reaches through and breaks up the sin and death that tries to smoother us.  It could represent the hope for eternal life that breaks through the life of the carnal man.

What do you think?  What spiritual lesson do you see in these daffodil bulbs and last year’s dead leaves?

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How To Hijack Your Wife’s Blog

Raindrops on branches in springtime. Beauty Observed

Water droplets on broad grass leaves. Beauty Observed

Water on tree bud. Beauty Observed

  Hello everyone. Eddie here. It’s 4:30am on Thursday and Elizabeth is fast asleep, worn out from another day of teaching the kids, taking care of me, housework, networking and blogging, etc., etc. Just before she turned in for the night she told me that she had taken a few pictures of raindrops, but that none of them turned out very well.” I told her I’d download them to the computer and take a look at them. The three pictures above are from that batch.

When Elizabeth launched Beauty Observed, she was, as both of us often do, swinging back and forth between excitement and self-doubt. One day she’d be talking non-stop about a book on blogging that she’d been reading and the next day, she’d be asking me why anyone would want to see her pictures or read what she had to say. The insecurities would come knocking. The none of them turned out very well  would creep in.

But so many of you have been kind and taken the time to get to know Elizabeth a little bit. You have encouraged her by leaving comments on the blog, or by befriending her on all 312 of the social media sites she juggles! It has been good for her, and…

I want to personally THANK all of you!

Barbie, Brittany, Beth, Bren (ok, it’s a little weird that all of your names start with “B”, but I’ll move on) Dawn, Jill, Natasha, Lyli, Sharita, Lisa, Alison, Teri, Andrea, Rhonda… and all the rest of you “regulars” that I have missed – THANK YOU. I did look back at the comments to get your names, but I actually know most of your names because Elizabeth mentions you ALL a lot. You have made an impact on Elizabeth’s self esteem for the better, and I deeply appreciate that. You have given Elizabeth a wonderful gift by following Beauty Observed. You have given her the permission to look at her photography, and in some respects, her life, and say, Maybe they turned out pretty good after all.  I am committed to helping her return the favor by making this blog a place where that encouragement is shared back to her readers tenfold.

God bless you all, and good night. Eddie




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