After I bared it all...

I have struggled with writing this follow up post for awhile.  I have written it, rewritten it, erased it, and started over.  One reason is because I still feel like I am walking through this journey, so it felt a little premature to be offering advice as to how to conquer it.  Secondly, I had such an AMAZING response to the last post, I sort of felt like there was no way I could live up to that again so I might as well stop the whole blogging thing with a bang, right?! :)

Lastly, though, I have struggled with writing this because in light of the current events around the globe, this topic seems so superficial all of a sudden…like what does feeling beautiful have to do with anything in the long run. 

However, I have been reading pretty much every article I can get my hands on these days in regards to the events in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and even in Ferguson, MO. There is some serious and heartbreaking stuff going on.  I have literally stayed up in the night thinking about it and praying about it.  Yet, despite all of that, I still have this thorn in my side so to speak.  It haunts me and taunts me and at times even debilitates me.  It begs to steel my joy, my confidence, my peace, and even at times my faith.  

And unfortunately after reading so many of your messages and emails, I know this is true for more people than just me. 

So even though my plight of feeling beautiful is NOTHING compared to what women are facing RIGHT THIS MOMENT in the aforementioned places, I know that I can be of no help if the enemy continues to press me down with the lie that I am not beautiful.  I want to be strong. I want to be active. I want to fight.  I want to live life and life to ABUNDANCE! I want to be a part of bringing beauty back into this broken and fallen world.  I can’t do that with my face in the dirt.  

You can’t either.

Therefore, for whatever it is worth to you here is what I am learning about feeling beautiful.  And guys (big shout out to you because I seriously thought only girls read my blog…so boys for the win!)…guys these things go for you too.  Many of you struggle with insecurities based on your looks.  So this is for you too!

1. For starters, we need to stop critiquing and/or criticizing the people around us.  I really don’t care if that person is your next door neighbor, your sister, your ex-boyfriend, or someone famous on TV.  The more we liberally (and loudly) criticize each other, the more convinced we become that we are being criticized too.  We assume every person we come in contact with is judging all of our flaws.  Also, by continually judging and criticizing even strangers in front of our kids, we are proving to them that society is right…how you look does matter.  We continue to perpetuate the lie.

           2. We need to participate in things we are passionate about.  Play a sport.  Sing in a choir.  Go for a hike.  Draw. Paint. Cook. Write. Read. Fiddle around in a workshop. Volunteer with an organization you love. Help out at an animal shelter.  Whatever it is you are passionate about, find as many opportunities as possible to do it!

The other day I had a chance to share with our staff of about 60 people at our retreat.  I was super nervous about it.  Speaking in public doesn’t really bother me too much (I find making small chit chat to a small group of strangers much more intimidating).  So it wasn’t that so much as having to speak in Spanish and about a topic that I felt super passionate about it, but totally inadequate to be the one actually sharing about it.  A couple of days later, though, my husband and I were just sharing a quiet moment together when he told me how beautiful he found me while I was speaking.  He said he was so totally captivated by me and just found me absolutely breathtaking.  

Now maybe for some of you, your spouses say that kind of mushy gushy stuff all of the time.  But mine doesn’t it.  He is more of a show your love kind of guy rather than say it with words. So this was pretty out of the ordinary.
But, then it all seemed to make sense to me.  I was radiating beauty to my husband not because of what I wore or how I fixed my hair or anything like that.  I radiated beauty in that moment because I was passionate and alive.  I was speaking about something that I love dearly, and it showed on every part of my being.

Hello people!  

Beauty is so much more than something physical and tangible! Beauty is an essence.  It is a feeling. It isn’t momentary. It is at times indescribable.  It captivates you.  It makes you feel alive.  It begs you to come back for more.

Beauty is so much more than a pretty face and a great body.

           3. Our ultimate example of beauty is Christ and His sacrificial love for us. His torn, broken, and lifeless body on the cross is the ultimate and best example of beauty.  Not because his body was beautiful but because He IS BEAUTIFUL. His love for us beautiful. 

If I want to feel more beautiful, I need to know Christ more.  The more I know Him, the more I love Him. The more I love Him, the more I will be like Him…and the more people all around me are going to see His beauty.  I am His vessel.  He is my potter. I am His clay. 
The more I make it about me. The less beautiful I am going to feel.  I am going to see my flaws, my imperfections, and my lack.  But, the more I see Him…the more I love me. 

I am beautiful because the Christ that lives in me is beautiful.  I am enough because He says I am enough.

May these truths become alive in you today.  May they penetrate every part of your being. 

Get your face out of the dirt.  Stand tall.  This world needs beauty.  This world needs life.  I want to be a messenger of both. 

You are beautiful.

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Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

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