Tag Archives: feel beautiful 2015

The Crazy Things We Do for Beauty

We’ve been talking on my blog about feeling beautiful — with guest posters talking about what that means, attitudes we should adopt, and practical tips to feel more beautiful. Today I want to get a little lighthearted and dig into the humor of beauty.

Yes, the humor of beauty.

Because ladies, throughout history and various cultures, we gals have done a lot of crazy things for the sake of beauty.

The Crazy Things We Do For Beauty

Skin care and make-up. Um, yeah, that’s a picture of me — last night. In my defense, the clay mask was a free sample. Even more impressive, however, was my son walking into the room where I was reading and not even batting an eye. But yes, I did it all for the sake of beauty, or at least for better skin.

Taking care of your skin is a good idea generally, but we wives can go to great lengths with skin care and makeup. The United States cosmetic industry is estimated to bring in over $60 billion this year. That’s a lot of blush and mascara, y’all.

By the way, think about the ingredients we put on our faces. No, there isn’t any truth to the “bat guano in mascara” rumor, but the reality isn’t exactly comforting — cosmetics often use an ingredient made from fish scales. Throughout history, women have used such components as lead, copper, egg, ash, iron, butter, sheep fat, and arsenic. No wonder there’s been an upsurge in cosmetics that boast natural, organic, and pure ingredients.

I don’t think you need to freak out about what’s in your moisturizer or your makeup drawer. The issue I want to highlight is that skin care and makeup should be enhancing who you are, not covering up the authentic you. We shouldn’t aim to look like Cleopatra or a Kardashian. Let’s keep it real, ladies.

Shaving. Cultures vary on what women shave, from nothing to armpits to legs. I still recall the moment as a preteen when my siblings complained about my legs and informed my mother it was time for me to pick up a razor. And thus it began . . .

If you think about it, it’s a wonder any woman picks up a blade, scraps it across the taut skin over her leg bone, and survives. If you go the shaving route, you’d better have a great razor, surgeon-like skills, or a box of Band-aids nearby. I rarely cut myself these days, but over the years I might have nicked and sliced off enough skin tissue to make a whole other me.

For myself, if I’m ever a gazillionaire, I’m checking out that laser hair removal procedure. I have a friend who did it and swears by the results. No more armpit shaving for her!

Waxing. If shaving gives anyone the shivers, just wait until you think deeply about what waxing involves. I can just imagine that moment of a 13th century woman time-traveling to our era and landing right outside a waxing salon. She asks what it all means, and I explain that we take sensitive areas of our body, allow hot wax to be poured on, then someone rips the wax off — taking along with it unwanted body hair. That poor girl might think we’d perfected medieval torture in our era.

That said, I know many wives who feel better about their bodies because they can turn a unibrow into two brows, remove a how-is-this-faIr? mustache, and wear a swimsuit without worrying about being mistaken for a she-ape. It’s a personal choice, of course. But it’s more dedication to body beauty than I’ve had thus far.

By the way, if you have nerves of steel, check out threading.

Piercing. I’ve often wondered who was the first woman who said to herself, “You know what would make me prettier? If I took this needle, stabbed it through my skin, and then dangled jewelry from the hole. Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

Ladies have pierced everything from ear lobes to noses to belly buttons to eyebrows to places I can’t even mention (and make me cringe at the thought). What we pierce has everything to do with culture. For instance, the Bible mentions women wearing nose rings, with Rebecca receiving them as a gift and enticement to marry Isaac (“Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms” Genesis 24:47b).

Some places on your body seem more amenable to piercing than others. If the thought of it makes most of us wince, maybe you should reconsider.

Undergarments. I remember when the “Wonderbra” came out, promising to make every woman’s mammaries into amazing cleavage that rocked the world. Since then, we’ve seen the introduction of thongs to avoid panty lines, body-shapers, and butt-enhancing underwear.

In the past, there were corsets, girdles, petticoats, and bustles. Anyone else remember the famous movie scene in Gone with the Wind where Scarlett O’Hara’s maid was wrestling her waist toward a 18½-inch diameter? Makes a pair of Spanx look like comfy pajamas.

As much as I want to roll my eyes at the undergarment industry at times, I’m actually in favor of taking some extra care choosing underthings that make a gal pretty. You don’t have to go overboard with a undergarments that make you feel like you’re in traction. But finding things that emphasize your assets and downplay your not-so-lovelies can make a wife feel more beautiful about her body.

For instance, I recently changed the style of undies I wear, based on this video tutorial from Her Room. And women are notorious for wearing the wrong bra size, so figure that out. (Video links are NSFW and for women only!)

What does the Bible think about all this? Is any of it way too far?

The Bible talks favorably about some beauty tactics. For instance, God analogizes His relationship to Israel by referring to His people as a bride, and then says: “I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck,  and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head” (Ezekiel 16:9-12). Obviously, adornment and beauty practices were just fine with God there. And Queen Esther endured “twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics” as part of gaining her crown and access to save her people (Esther 2:12).

But the next section in Ezekiel points out: “But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his” (16:13). Ouch, that hurts. And outer beauty is not all that got Esther her coveted position. She received the king’s favor again and again, for her demeanor with him as well.

Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” And the apostle Peter reminds us: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Most beauty measures I’d have a hard time defining as morally wrong. But some are unwise.

Make sure your steps are to put your best foot forward — that is, beauty tactics that make you feel confident about the beauty God already made you to be. Remembering all the while that what matters most is the woman you are inside — a beloved daughter of the King of Kings.

“Let the king be enthralled by your beauty.” – Psalm 45:11a

Don’t Let Beauty Comparisons Ruin Your Sex Life with Belah Rose

What a delight to welcome Belah Rose to my blog. You can find her at the Delight Your Marriage website, and she also hosts a wonderful podcast. I’ve done two interviews with her, and I know she has a heart for helping wives experience the best of godly sexual intimacy in their marriage.

If you haven’t checked out her podcast, you can find it at her blog, in iTunes, or on Stitcher. (My latest interview — broken into two segments — should be right at the top.)

I can’t wait to share with you what Belah has to say about beauty, specifically that tendency we all have to make comparisons. Bring it, Belah!

Don’t Let Beauty Comparisons Ruin Your Sex Life with Belah Rose

Everything comes with you into the bedroom. What you think about affects your intimacy with your husband. What you think about yourself matters. So, it’s time to get this straightened out: comparing yourself to others is unwise (as it says in 2 Corinthians 10:2b).

Why we compare ourselves

We see pictures of beauty all over the place, from the checkout line to the actual ladies waiting to buy groceries. It’s easy to get into the habit of comparing what they have to what we have. We’ve started this habit as children. Even my two-year-old son notices when I have some tasty snack that he doesn’t.

But when we compare, if ours is better, we feel better. If ours is not, we feel worse. It’s not okay to let our feelings of beauty and self-worth be subject to what we see at any moment.

Why we shouldn’t compare ourselves

God cares very much about our hearts. He cares about what we meditate on. We may be having low confidence or self-esteem because we saw that someone else has something we wish we had. But God says, “What is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18b). So, when you are meditating on negative feelings, that is actually more real than what you viewed that affected your feelings.

Instead, we need to be focusing on what we do have: a body made by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was the one who beautifully and wonderfully knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). There was no mistake about His making you exactly as you are.

How to build our sexual confidence

When we grow in believing that our body is made by The King, we start to feel a little more relaxed. Your body wasn’t made to be measured according to some societal standard of beauty. God made you beautiful regardless of what someone else looks like.  

When we think about the purpose of sexual confidence, it is to bring wonderful unity and pleasure to our marriage. And if we think about what comparison does: it tears down a necessary element — confidence. So, we need to get to a place where comparisons aren’t happening in our hearts.

Comparisons are not helpful. They do not serve us. Comparisons throw us off track and undermine our sexual confidence. That is enough reason to shield our eyes from what derails our thoughts of comparison.

What should you be comparing

I think there is at least one time comparisons are helpful. That is comparing yourself with yourself. Only you and God know the road you’re on and what it has taken to get you there. Only you know what you’ve been through. It’s pointless to look at someone else’s life and compare; they haven’t been in your shoes.

I would challenge you to compare yourself by yourself and consider how you have become better, more beautiful, and more radiant. What areas of your heart have grown since before? What ways have you become more wonderful on the inside (the eternal places)? And let God have the glory for all of your comparing. Remember He delights in you and who you are. Basking in the true delight of God is far better for your confidence and your sex life than anything else!

Delight Your Marriage podcast logoBelah Rose is an author, coach, and host of the Delight Your Marriage podcast where she interviews wives and intimacy experts on how to have a fulfilling marriage and wonderful intimacy in it. She wrote Delight Your Husband: Make Him Crazy About You to help wives move past their reservations to feel free and confident in spicing up the bedroom.

Unfinished & Beautiful with Kate Aldrich

Brad & Kate Aldrich blog at One Flesh Marriage, with Ephesians 5:31 as their inspiration: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

I love their heartfelt posts on marriage in general, and when they cover sexuality, it’s always with biblical spirituality, authenticity, and practicality. If you’re looking for a place to start on their blog, check out their Top 10 Posts of 2015. They also host the 10-Day Sex Challenge in February.

Today, we’re blessed to have Kate with us, who is a fabulously fun woman and wife, and she’s sharing her heart on Feeling Beautiful. Welcome, Kate!

woman portrait .abstract watercolor

I can’t remember the first time it happened. I have no idea where I was or what brought it on. I can’t even remember how I responded. I just know I can’t remember a time when I was not conscious of my own body and compared it to those around me.

Everywhere I went I was inundated with images of what a woman was supposed to look like if she was going to be considered “attractive.” It took me till the beginning of my 30’s and two biological children (one natural & one emergency c-section) until I started to see myself for who I truly am, who God made me to be, and loving that person.

What woman alive has not struggled with her body image?

I think we could search long and hard and never come up with such a woman. It happens younger and younger now. My hubby and I have three kids. Two boys, ages 12 and 10, as well as a 9-year-old girl. We’ve been diligent about protecting our little girl’s mind and heart from the lies the world tries to sell her. Still at 9, she has asked questions about her body or made comments that make my heart cry! She is such a beautiful creation of God, and we are doing to do our best to tell her that every day. Admiring all that she is in Christ.

The question is how do we as wives, whatever age we are, embrace the beauty that God has created in us? The outside and the inside? Here are few of the things I have learned that have helped to change my perspective:

Loving you means taking care of you!

After we had our first son, I began to see how I took care of myself slipping. It was so much easier to just stay in comfy clothes all day. All of my energy was being devoted to someone else, and to be honest, I was running a little low on energy for myself. I was merely trying to survive the day.

It took me a bit of time, but when I was finally getting a little more sleep I had the opportunity to do more. I added exercise three times a week back into my schedule, and it became a time to take care of me. I also made myself take a shower each day and dress in regular clothes. Those simple things really helped me feel better as a wife and mom.

I continue to do this now, although with life sometimes my workouts don’t happen. But you know what? I just pick right up where I left off and get back on my treadmill. There is no sense beating myself up for a missed workout. Life happens. Yet striving to keep regular exercise in your life will help you take care of you!

Choose to believe your husband’s words

My hubby has always sought to lavish me with praise telling me that I am beautiful to him. I would drink it up like a woman in the desert and then, moments later, dispute it. I wanted those words so badly and yet, I couldn’t accept them. All the while he felt like I was calling him a liar. If the world is telling me I am not beautiful, how can I believe my husband thinks that I am?

If the world is telling me I am not beautiful, how can I believe my husband thinks that I am? Click To Tweet

Choosing to believe our husband’s words about our beauty is so important. Your hubby loves and adores you! You need to trust that! When he speaks those things into your life, take them in and say, “Thank you.” You trusted him with your life when you married him, trust him with your beauty!

When you are confident you are beautiful

My hubby says that one of the most beautiful things about me is my confidence. Both in life and in the bedroom. Being a confident person is sexy and beautiful. How did I get to that place, you might ask?

  • Seeking God on who He created me to be and who He is molding me into.
  • Believing that He loves me immensely, beyond words, just as I am.
  • Trusting and believing my hubby that he finds me beautiful.

You are His masterpiece

Five years ago our little girl said she wanted to take dance lessons. For me as a softball and tennis player, I was like “really?” My husband and I are always telling our kids to be who God made them to be, and He made our little girl to dance for Him. As she performed in her first recital, she recited a verse with her entire ballet class: “We are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10.”

“We are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10.” Click To Tweet

As I watched our precious, beautiful little girl proclaim who she was in Christ, I was moved to tears. I knew that God was challenging me that I too must believe I am His beautiful masterpiece. I am unfinished — He is still doing a work in me — but I am His masterpiece.

Ladies, we are unfinished and beautiful! When we embrace it, choose to believe it, and live accordingly, life takes on a while new look. I know I am beautiful in my Jesus’ eyes as well as my husband’s. I am unfinished and beautiful. You are too!

Ask God to give you eyes to see yourself as He sees you and trust what he shows you. Know that it is not always easy and there will be times that we allow doubt to creep back in, since we are all human. God wants you to feel your beauty. For a husband there is nothing like when his wife is confident in her beauty. You can be that wife.

Kate AldrichKate and her amazing hubby, Brad, write and speak on all things marriage. In 2009 they followed God’s prompting and founded One Flesh Marriage Ministries, a blog based on their marriage journey and God’s word in Ephesians 5. Brad is the Director of Small Groups and re|engage (marriage ministry) at their home church, the Worship Center. Kate is a homeschooling mom and a natural light portrait photographer. God has given Brad and Kate three amazing blessings, two biological and one adopted, who have enriched their life and marriage. They live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where the Amish buggies roam.  You can find their blog at www.onefleshmarriage.com

Put Your Body to Work to Help You Feel Beautiful with Gaye Groover Christmus

Have you ever been to the Calm.Healthy.Sexy website? I’m a regular post subscriber. I love how blogger Gaye Groover Christmus gives authentic, godly, practical insight for wives. So it was an easy decision to me to invite her to contribute to the Feel Beautiful series.

Just as I expected, she came up with great stuff we can start putting into practice right now to own our natural beauty and take charge in feeling more beautiful day by day. Here’s Gaye!

Put Your Body to Work to Help You Feel Beautiful

If you’re in the midst of the struggle to feel beautiful, believe me, I’m right there with you. That struggle is a process for me that tends to involve one step forward and two steps back — and I’m guessing it does for you too. So today I want to suggest a strategy that can help you move forward in that process — by putting your body to work for you. This is an approach that has helped me tremendously, and I think it can be a powerful tool for every woman who wants to embrace and accept her beauty.

Before we begin, I encourage you to remember two things. First, beauty is subjective. Yes, a few people are so objectively beautiful that no one thinks otherwise. But they’re the exception. Most people possess the type of beauty that’s more attractive to some people and less attractive to others. You’ve probably had the experience of saying, “She’s so beautiful,” and your husband or a friend saying, “Really? Do you think so?” In most cases, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Second, beauty is changeable. The way you look today is not set in stone — you can change it. Not by having plastic surgery or an extreme makeover, but by making the most of your natural beauty, taking charge of your body, and growing in confidence. Because what it really comes down to is this — confidence is attractive, and a woman who is becoming confident in herself, her body, and her appearance is becoming more beautiful every day.

“Putting your body to work” to help you feel more beautiful simply means helping your physical body work for you, rather than against you. So many women set aside focusing on their physical bodies in favor of handling dozens of other tasks that clamor for attention. Over time, this lack of focus results in their bodies working against them — making them less able to embrace their God-given beauty. If you find yourself in that position, here are 5 ways you can turn things around and begin putting your body to work for you:

Exercise regularly. God designed our bodies for movement. We look, feel, and function our best when we get up and move regularly. But modern life conspires to keep us from moving — we often spend hours each day sitting, and very few of our daily activities require physical exertion. So we end up feeling sluggish and flabby — hardly conducive to feeling beautiful! The solution is to exercise regularly. And by “exercise” I don’t mean “go to the gym,” although that’s great if you can do it. I mean make a plan that gets your body up and moving almost every day and stick to that plan. You can take a brisk walk, work out with a video, play soccer with your kids, ride a bike — anything that gets you moving, increases your breathing a bit, and engages your muscles.

Stand up straight. For the next few days, notice how people stand and how they move. (Yes, this is a weird form of people watching!) Pay attention to the messages they send with their bodies. What do you notice? In most cases, I think you’ll find that poor posture makes people look older and less attractive, regardless of their appearance otherwise. Good posture, on the other hand, makes people look younger and more attractive. It certainly makes people look more confident, and confidence is inherently attractive. Now, begin working on your own posture. Practice standing up straight, with your shoulders back and your head up. Become aware of how you position your body when you’re sitting, standing, and walking. If you find yourself slumping, as I often do, take a few seconds to realign your body. Do this a number of times each day, until good posture becomes a habit. (Adding upper body and core exercises to your exercise routine can make it easier.)

Walk with confidence. Now that you’re standing up straight, practice walking and presenting yourself with confidence. Try it around the house first, then give it a go when you’re out and about. This doesn’t have anything to do with arrogance or showing off — it’s about accepting and enjoying the body God has given you and embracing its natural beauty. And, walking and presenting yourself with confidence is very attractive — it affects the way you and other people perceive your appearance.

Smile and look people in the eye. When women don’t feel attractive, they sometimes avoid engaging people in a direct and open manner. (“If I don’t look at them, they won’t look at me.” Been there, done that.) But that behavior tends to reinforce negative feelings, because it negatively affects the way people see us. So train yourself to engage others directly and openly. Smile at people, and look them in the eye. Show them that you value them, but also that you value yourself. Practice doing this as you go about your day, until it feels natural.

Maintain a weight that’s healthy and comfortable for your body. I saved this strategy for last, because it’s the hardest. While the first four strategies can yield positive changes fairly quickly, this one takes some time. But let’s tackle it anyway. And right from the start, let’s be clear — I am not saying that women must be thin in order to be beautiful. Not at all. In fact, the version of “thin” that magazines, movies, and other media promote as the standard of beauty is ridiculous. No normal woman is ever going to be that thin, nor should she be. But the reality is that most people (69%, according to the CDC) weigh a lot more than they should. And for many women, as their weight increases, their perception of their beauty decreases. So if your weight is keeping you from feeling comfortable in your body, it may be time to take charge of it and make some healthy changes. Begin by eating real, nutritious food. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink more water. Ditch the fast food, junk food, and soda. Begin exercising regularly. Sleep 7-8 hours a night (yes, sleep affects weight loss!). Do some research and put together a weight loss plan that works for you. Work toward reaching and maintaining a weight that’s comfortable for your body, as a way of putting your body to work for you and preventing it from working against you.

The body God has given you is beautiful and “wonderfully made.” If it’s working against you, take charge and put it to work for you. Because when it’s working for you, it can be the greatest beauty tool ever created.

Gaye Groover ChristmusGaye Groover Christmus is a wife and mom to two almost-grown sons.  In her “day job” she works as a writer and editor in a health field.  Her passion, though, is encouraging married women to slow down, live with vitality and energy, and create joy and intimacy in their marriages.  She believes that small steps can lead to big changes, and that women armed with knowledge and a plan can transform their hurried, hectic lives.  Gaye blogs at CalmHealthySexy.  She’d love to send you her ebook, 17 Ways to Live Calmer, Healthier and Sexier – Starting Today — as a gift when you subscribe to the blog.

Is Your Husband A Liar? with Debi Walter

Debi Walter is a marriage blogger with The Romantic Vineyard—a fabulous blog that inspires and encourages biblical marriages. Debi and her husband Tom are also masters of date night ideas.

I’m thrilled to welcome Debi to Hot, Holy & Humorous for her take on Feeling Beautiful. (For more about the series, check out the introduction video.) Take it away, Debi!

Is Your Husband a Liar? with Debi Walter

Is your husband a liar?

I’m sure most of us would answer this question with an emphatic, NO! However, many of us treat them as if they are. It’s true that most husbands see their wives as beautiful, yet we roll our eyes when they compliment us, or say, “Yeah, but…” pointing out the flaws we see staring back at us in the mirror.

I was thinking about this attitude recently and wondering why it is so common for wives to think their husbands aren’t telling the truth when it comes to how they see them. It has to be discouraging to our man to hear his compliments so quickly disregarded on a regular basis. It’s a wonder he doesn’t stop all together!

It’s led me to ask God why we do this? Why are we so quick to dispute with our husband on something they see as good?

I believe there are three reasons:

1.  We have allowed our culture to influence our definition of beauty. We are bombarded daily with women who seemingly have it all, and tempt us to see how poor we look in comparison. We measure how far short we fall in comparison with the outward beauty on display on TV, in magazines and at the movies.

They draw us in to buy whatever it is they’re selling, and it obviously works! Statistics show that in 2013 we spent over 56.6 billion dollars on cosmetics alone in the United States. We spend so much time trying to improve the outside of our bodies, when what will really make us the most beautiful is left wanting.

2.  We think more highly of ourselves than we do our husbands. When our husband takes time to compliment us and we are quick to disagree, what we’re basically doing is saying my opinion matters more than yours. We walk away thinking we’re being honest, but in reality what we’re really showing is how deceived we are. We’re deceived into thinking we can never be what our husband is already saying we are in their eyes. We are craving something based on our own opinion that will never be satisfied.

The Bible calls it the “lust of the eyes.” What?! Have you never considered lust to be used in this way? Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (which by the way, is the original dictionary that Noah Webster wrote using the Bible to define all the terms used in that day) says that LUST is a longing desire; eagerness to possess or enjoy. If our husband is our priority, shouldn’t we believe him when he compliments by offering a sincere, “Thank you?” Instead of allowing our unsatisfied lust to reject his words or worse—his love?

3.  We have forgotten what true beauty is. The Bible defines beauty with a well-known verse: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 ESV). When we focus on outward beauty it will always disappoint because such beauty doesn’t last.

We are like flowers fading away, but inside God has placed the beauty of His grace which will never fade. “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands” (1 Peter 3:4-5 ESV). True beauty is found beholding the One who is eternally beautiful—Christ, our Bridegroom. As we behold Him, He will transform us more and more into His image. This is true and lasting beauty. Seek this and no matter how many birthdays you celebrate you will become more and more beautiful.

The next time your husband compliments you, I challenge you to look in his eyes and say, “Thank you.” His opinion is all that matters.

_________________________________________________________

Also check out these posts from Debbie’s blog with her husband, The Romantic Vineyard:
Biblical Love Language
Finding Love Right Where You Are
Everyday Romance – Life Giving Words

Tom and Debi WalterTom and Debi have been married for 36 years and have 3 grown children and 8 grandchildren. They have called Orlando, FL home for most of their married lives. They are enjoying the empty nest stage for the first time in 33 years, and would be quick to tell you that in this season they have discovered a whole new freedom in expressing their love to each other. It’s wonderful! 😉

Through the Eyes of Grace book coverDebi has written her fist novel—Through The Eyes Of Grace, an historical fiction based on the life of her grandmother set in Indian Territory in 1904.

Pain brought on by the ill motives of another forces Grace to abandon the only security she has ever known in the hopes of finding the lasting love she has only dreamed of.

It is 1904 in the township of Ceres, Oklahoma Territory. Fifteen-year-old Grace Stella Kirwin’s life is blossoming like the prairie flowers she has grown to love, yet she is unaware of the encroaching storm about to ravage her heart. It will seek to destroy all the hope she has of finding genuine love.

A protective ultimatum by Grace’s father leads to a violent response by the only man Grace has ever wanted. Shattered and bruised, Grace fears she’ll never be free from the nightmare caused by Doogan Maguire. Hope dawns when she moves to the new township of Jenks in Indian Territory, only to discover a darker night awaits her. Will she find the lasting love she’s longed for?