This is a picture of my daughter-in-law finishing her first marathon. She is a beautiful woman. I am so very proud of her. She worked hard for a very long time to accomplish this. She pulled herself out of bed early and ran every day, even in the dead of winter in northeast Ohio, where winters can be harsh. In a world where too many allow their desires or emotions to control them, she did not. She ran when she felt like it and even when she didn’t. She ran when there was perfect running weather and when there wasn’t. She ran when she physically felt fine and when she didn’t. She ran when she had the time, and made the time when she didn’t. She ran on days when she wondered if she ever could accomplish this goal, and on days when she believed she could. She has built physical strength, stamina & endurance. She has learned what it means to set a long-term goal and achieve it. She has learned to mentally & physically push through when her mind or body was telling her to stop.
But these are not the only reasons I call her beautiful. See that little girl on the road behind her? This is her daughter. This little girl spent many mornings waiting for Mom to get home from her daily run. As soon as she could walk, she tried to “run like Mommy”. I have an adorable video of her shortly after she learned to walk trying to walk in Mommy's running shoes with Mommy's earbuds around her neck. She takes an interest in everything Mommy likes. She wants to do everything that Mommy does, because to her, everything that Mommy does is wonderful and exciting. Mommy’s words and actions are helping her to understand and find her way in the world.
On the day of the marathon, my son and granddaughter were waiting near the finish line. As this beautiful little girl (yes, I’m biased) saw her Mom, she became so overwhelmed with excitement that she ran out into the race lane and followed Mommy across the finish line. She was so eager to hug and congratulate her mom that as soon as she saw her she ran after her. Mom hadn’t even officially finished the race!
This photo shows in a beautiful way how our children look up to us. They love us and everything about us unconditionally. And the things we do as parents have a profound impact on how their lives are shaped because of it. We can choose to make an example of indifference, laziness, contempt, greed, or anger. Or, we can choose to be an example of perseverance, acceptance, love, charity, and forgiveness. An example that shapes our children into truly beautiful people.
I don’t call my daughter-in-law beautiful because she ran a marathon. My daughter-in-law is beautiful because she sets an example that will shape my granddaughter into a beautiful woman.
I believe we can all make such an impact in this world. We don’t have to be mothers of young children to do it. We can be an example to our sisters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. You can be an example of someone who does what is right when they feel like it, and when they don’t. Love others when they deserve it, and when they don’t. Give of yourself to help when it’s convenient and when it’s not. Know what is right, and stick to your convictions when people agree with you and when they don’t. Be kind to others when they are kind to you, and when they are not. Have the stamina and endurance to be a Beautiful Woman when others around you are also beautiful, and when they are not.
Be the Beautiful Woman who crosses the finish line with other Beautiful Women following her example.
You can do it because you are beautiful. Sweet, Beautiful You.