Hi!  We are so excited that you are reading our blog!!  This is a new experience for us, and we are really passionate about this opportunity God has given us to start a blog.  As this is our very first post, we want to introduce ourselves to you and tell a little background about what we hope to accomplish with Beauty from Ashes.

We are Meg and Karen, a mother-daughter team.  We live in Michigan.  Meg graduated from high school in 2015.  Karen is a stay-at-home mom who is finding ways to make a difference in the world now that her reason for staying home is almost 19!

As a tween Meg had been receiving a Christian magazine for kids in the mail.  So as she was approaching her teen years she had been looking forward to transitioning from the kids’ magazine to a teen girl magazine by the same publisher.  But just as we were making her subscription to the teen girl magazine, the magazine was cancelled.  She was so disappointed as she had been looking forward to that magazine for a couple years.  A few years passed before we came across another Christian teen girl magazine.  As soon as we heard of it, we got a subscription for Meg, and she began receiving that magazine and looking forward to it coming each month.  Two or three years into that magazine they again cancelled the production of the magazine.  The Christian magazines were something that Meg always looked forward to receiving, and she would read it as quickly as she could after it came.

As Meg is turning 19 soon, we decided to make our own version of a Christian teen girls’ magazine.  We want to include many of the same types of articles that Meg looked forward to reading each month.  But with Beauty from Ashes being in the form of a blog, we can interact with you much more easily on a daily basis and post more often than once a month!

Our blog is named Beauty from Ashes with much significance.  The Bible has one reference to “beauty for ashes” that is found in Isaiah 61:3.  In the King James Version it says “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees for righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”  The King James Version (KJV) isn’t always the easiest to understand so I also looked it up in the English Standard Version (ESV).  The ESV says “to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”  We hope to be an encouragement to our readers to make their lives into something beautiful that would glorify the Lord.  When we look at our lives honestly, we see ashes all around in the sins that we harbor in our hearts.  But God can take those ashes and make them into something beautiful.  He can turn our mourning into gladness.  He can give us a garment of praise instead of a faint spirit.  We would love to be oaks of righteousness planted by the Lord so that we can glorify Him in the words that we share with you on a regular basis.

You will discover that we LOVE music!!  A song by Gungor called Beautiful Things is another reason we named our blog Beauty from Ashes.  Gungor uses the word dust instead of ashes.  But the meanings are quite alike.  Either way dust or ashes is not how we want our lives to be.  We want God to make beautiful things out of our lives.

Karen & Meg