While recently visiting my parents at the church I grew up in, I was told I needed to clean up a bit. But oddly enough, my mother didn’t deliver the message.

Instead, it came from a sweet elderly woman that was one of many ladies that presumably took turns passing me from pew to pew as an infant.

“Hey Mrs. P, how are you doing?” I asked.

“Boy, you need to shave,” she said. “And you need to part that hair too.”

As I stood in front of her sporting a suit and tie, I couldn’t help but laugh. She was probably right. I did, and still do need to shave, but I’m a little scared my son won’t recognize me if I do. And, my hair seems to always been in a mess.

But, her comments weren’t a surprise. She has never had trouble telling someone what she thought, and she’ll never tell it any other way. It might not seem this way from the outside looking in, but she meant well by it … I think.

After this interesting exchange, I began thinking about the way people go to such great lengths to make sure their appearance is top notch, while others live on the opposite end of the spectrum, and I wonder if it’s really as important as we make it?

Sure, there’s a time and place to look and dress professionally. But how often do we let appearance, no matter if it’s good or bad, outweigh other significant attributes in a person? Do we dishonor our parents and grade school teachers by judging every book by its cover, or do we actually open up and turn the pages to let a person’s personality, work ethic and talents tell the story?

I’ve never been a big fan of tattoos. I’ll never get one and will never endorse getting one because I don’t like the way they look. While I’m not the only person to share that opinion, I hope no one turns his or her nose up to everyone they see with a tattoo. Because while several people’s tattoos bear meaning, that doesn’t make them an open book.

Rather than placing so much value on appearances and things seen only on the surface, try to dig a little deeper and be mindful of what’s yet to be uncovered.

The Beck’s two-year wedding anniversary

Kelly and I celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary Monday.

It’s not hard to believe it’s been two years already, but it’s even more difficult to believe how much our lives have changed. We’ve each had position changes in our respective careers, we bought a home and we welcomed our first child.

When I’ve asked men where they might be if they didn’t have the support of their spouses during story interviews, I’ve always been told a variety of comical answers. But the common answer has always been, “Nowhere close to where I am today.”

Today, I can say the same is true for me.

I’m quite thankful for the support of my lovely wife. She’s always been like a rock for me. I’m called to work odd hours sometimes, and I often don’t get home until it’s time to hit the hay. But she’s always understanding and doesn’t complain. She’s also been the best mother for our little Eli.

To put it simply and best, God has truly blessed the Becks.

Taylor Beck is managing editor for The Reporter. He can be reached at taylor.beck@sandmountainreporter.com.

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