Tag Archives: Beauty

True Beauty

This is a post I wrote a couple years ago shortly after I had the twins. I’m revisiting this because lately I’ve been struggling with my outer appearance (yes, I actually do sometimes) and it helped to reread something I wrote years ago. Hopefully you will find it encouraging too.

If your morning is anything like mine, you do the following: look into a mirror, evaluate the work that needs to be done and start pulling out the necessary equipment needed to transform the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. And there’s nothing wrong with that (trust me, after being up all night with twins, I would scare people by the way I look in the morning). But a thought hit me the other day that I would like to share with you.

How many of us wish we could change one part of the way we look? Perhaps it’s your hair, your legs, your face, fill in the blank… Unless you’re really rich and can afford plastic surgery, the best makeup, and constant visits to the beauty salon, you’re stuck with what you were born with (and for those of us with short legs, science has yet to figure out how to make them longer).

FlowerBut there is a part of you that you can change. It’s what’s inside of you. God calls it “unfading beauty”. Eventually your outer body is going to age. You can color your hair, but someday it will be white. You can wear color contacts to get the eye color you always wanted, but someday those eyes will be hidden behind a pair of glasses or whiten with cataracts. You use every cream that promises to forestall wrinkles, but eventually they catch up. And your weight will change, especially if you have children (trust me, I know; been there, done that). Our bodies are fading beauties. Like flowers, we bloom. But then the petals droop and eventually fall off.

So since we really can’t change what we look like on the outside, we should start investing in that which we can change: our inside. Any woman can do it. It doesn’t require a lot of money. Just time with God, time in the Bible, and a change in our perspective of what true beauty is.

So what is this true beauty that every woman can possess? God calls it a “gentle and quiet spirit” which is so precious to Him. That’s right, this kind of spirit is precious to God. And it’s available to every woman, whether she is freckly, has frizzy hair, or weighs more than she did in high school. And it will never fade. When your outer body starts to succumb to the ravages of time, you can control what your insides look like. In fact, you can posses it now.

Jesus is the prime example of this kind of beauty. The Bible says “there was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.” (Isaiah 53:2b NLT). Yet as we read the gospels, Jesus is one of the most beautiful people who walked the earth. His “gentle and quiet” spirit shone through to the point that people ceased to see his physical appearance and saw his true beauty within. He served others selflessly, healed those no one else would come near, and loved the world to the point of dying for it.

I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of beauty I want. I want a gentle spirit (this word can also be translated “meek” which means power under control and I don’t know anyone who has more power than Jesus, yet his was always under control). I want a quiet spirit (this does not mean never speak; rather it means in all situations, we are quiet before God and allow Him to direct the way we respond to the situation). I want to serve selflessly, love unconditionally, and let kindness seep out of my pores. This is the kind of beauty that will never fade. This is the kind of beauty you can possess now.

Now don’t start throwing out your curling iron or mascara. It’s okay to make yourself look nice (I love to look nice for my husband). But consider how much time you are investing in your outer appearance and your inner self. One is going to fade, nothing can really stop that. But the other will last until the day you die. Not everyone can be a super model, but every woman has the opportunity to be the most beautiful woman on the inside. It’s not hard to realize which one is worth investing in more, is it?

“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:4 (NLT)

Free Beauty

During this time of year we are bombarded with things we can buy. And if you wake up really early the day after Thanksgiving, you might even buy it for less. But after reading a friend’s blog on consumerism, I was struck with the irony that we forget about all the free stuff we receive everyday.

Free stuff? Yep. These things cost absolutely nothing. In fact, you could never buy them, even if you had all the money in the world. And yet they are available to everyone. What I’m talking about is free beauty.

A sunset that leaves the sky colored in brilliant orange, red, and deep purple. A winter night so cold it takes your breath away and paints the moon in pale white.

The feel of a pet’s soft fur. Warm fleece pants (I could live in those :) ). Hot showers that leave your skin pink.

The smell of a baby just out of the bath (and how soft their skin is). The aroma of baking in the kitchen (cookies, bread, roast in the crockpot). Fresh spring rain.

And speaking of rain, the sound as it falls gently outside an open window. The purring of a cat (or guinea pig :) ). The wind brushing through tall evergreen trees. Songbirds.

The smooth, rich flavor of cheesecake. A bottle of root beer so cold it’s just on the brink of freezing. A peach just picked and still warm from the sun (I can feel the juice running down my chin now).

God has given us the ability to enjoy so many things, many of them we could never buy. But we forget to enjoy what is around us when we focus on the things we want to buy. So how about this season we take a break. Turn off the lights, sit on the couch and watch the Christmas lights twinkle on the tree. Walk outside and look at the stars. Stand in your kitchen for one minute and just enjoy the smell of cookies baking in the oven. And thank God for the amazing things He made and the senses He gave us to enjoy the world around us.

I would love to hear from you. What is your favorite Free Beauty?

Things Money Can’t Buy…

During a time when many of us are looking for ways to save money because of job loss, economy, cut in pay or a demotion, I thought it might be nice to look at the things we can have for free.

Love. It doesn’t cost a dollar or even a dime to receive a hug and kiss from my kids. Chocolate smudged lips are free. Small hands wrapped around my middle priceless. A marriage built on mutual love and respect and most importantly God, cannot be bought at the local mall. It is purchased with laughter, tears, and “I’m sorry’s”.

Beauty. I posted before on Free Beauty, but it never hurts to be reminded of all the free things God gives us to enjoy each day. I think my favorite free beauties are cold rainy days where it’s so dark the streetlights come on, the smell of homemade bread, and a clear winter’s night without a moon so you can see every star.

Peace. So many times we can look to our savings accounts or 401k’s for peace and security. We diligently save for those unexpected rainy days. The problem is money can disappear. The market crashes. Unemployment lasts longer than the six months saved up. Cancer strikes and the medical bills strip you down to nothing.

I’m thankful peace doesn’t come from finances. Instead, peace comes from knowing that God is in control and nothing takes him by surprise. He holds us in his hands, even when our bank account gives out 🙂

Salvation. You can’t buy God. You cannot tithe enough, you cannot give enough to missions; you can’t give to God what he does not already have. Instead, his gift of forgiveness and freedom are freely given to anyone who believes in his son Jesus. We can be free from guilt and shame because God provided a way. Salvation is for both the rich and the poor.

There are times I become so focused on the stuff that costs money that I forget how much I have that’s free. Hopefully this post has been a reminder to you as well 🙂

Free Beauty

During this time of year we are bombarded with things we can buy. And if you woke up really early the day after Thanksgiving, you might have even been able to buy it for less. But after reading a friend’s blog on consumerism, I was struck with the irony that we forget about all the free stuff we receive everyday.

Free stuff? Yep. These things cost absolutely nothing. In fact, you could never buy them, even if you had all the money in the world. And yet they are available to everyone. What I’m talking about is free beauty.

A sunset that leaves the sky colored in brilliant orange, red, and deep purple. A winter’s night so cold it takes your breath away and paints the moon in pale white.

The feel of a pet’s soft fur. Warm fleece pants (I could live in those :)). Hot showers that leave your skin pink.

The smell of a baby just out of the bath (and how soft their skin is). The aroma of baking in the kitchen (cookies, bread, roast in the crockpot). Fresh spring rain.

And speaking of rain, the sound as it falls gently outside an open window. The purring of a cat (or guinea pig :)). The wind brushing its fingers through tall evergreen trees. Songbirds.

The smooth rich flavor of cheesecake. A bottle of root beer so cold it’s just on the brink of freezing. A peach just picked and still warm from the sun (I can feel the juice running down my chin now).

God has given us the ability to enjoy so many things, many of them we could never buy. But we forget to enjoy what is around us as we focus on the things we want to buy. So how about today we take a break. Turn off the lights, sit on the couch and watch the Christmas lights twinkle on the tree. Walk outside tonight and look at the stars. Stand in your kitchen for one minute and just enjoy the smell of cookies baking in the oven. And thank God for the amazing things he made and the senses he gave us to enjoy the world around us.

I would love to hear from you guys. What is your favorite Free Beauty?

Investing in True Beauty Part 2

Last week I shared my thoughts on true beauty. This week I would like to share how I put that into practice.

I love to make New Years Resolutions. I may not keep them for long, but the thought of pursuing a goal for an entire year appeals to a checklist person like me :). As I approached the year 2007, I was physically a different person. I had given birth to twins that summer (6lbs, 3oz and 8lbs, 2oz) and let me tell you, having that much baby changes a woman forever!

As you can imagine, the types of resolutions I considered that year were diets, exercise, any method I could follow to get my body back to what it was. Then God spoke. When he speaks, I have learned you better listen up!

He showed me that what I really needed to pursue that year was learn to like myself. But God, I wailed, have you seen what I look like in the mirror? God pointed out that those thoughts were poisoning me. When I complained about what I looked like, I was in essence saying, “God, you made a mistake!”

That sobered me up. And I came up with my New Year’s resolution. I chose for an entire year not to criticize the way I looked. Every time I looked in the mirror and wanted to find fault, I stopped. That was not allowed. Instead I would look at myself and see what God had made.

I also hid the scale. I was not allowed to weigh myself. Too many times I would become obsessed with numbers. Instead, I chose to be fine with my new mommy body.

And lastly, I threw out my pre-pregnancy clothes (I think every woman has a box of them hiding in her closet, hoping one day she might fit them again). They were my past, not my present. I needed to move on.

And my friends, it worked! After about six months, I found I no longer looked in the mirror and found fault. All I found was Morgan. I was not tied to the digital number that registered down at my feet. And I went and bought clothes that fit me right now.

That New Year’s resolution changed my life. I learned that a mommy body was okay. I learned that what I was on the inside mattered more than what I was on the outside. I learned to like the person God had made me.

Investing in True Beauty

This is a post I wrote a couple years ago, shortly after I had the twins. I’m revisiting this because lately I’ve been struggling with my outer appearance (yes, I actually do sometimes) and it helped to reread something I wrote years ago. Hopefully you will find it encouraging too.

If your morning is anything like mine, you do the following: look into a mirror, evaluate the work that needs to be done and start pulling out the necessary equipment needed to transform the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. And there’s nothing wrong with that (trust me, after being up all night with twins, I would scare people by the way I look in the morning). But a thought hit me the other day that I would like to share with you.

How many of us wish we could change one part of the way we look? Perhaps it’s your hair, your legs, your face, fill in the blank… Unless you’re really rich and can afford plastic surgery, the best makeup, and constant visits to the beauty salon, you’re stuck with what you were born with (and for those of us with short legs, science has yet to figure out how to make them longer).

But there is a part of you that you can change. It’s what’s inside of you. God calls it “unfading beauty”. Eventually your outer body is going to age. You can color your hair, but someday it will be white. You can wear color contacts to get the eye color you always wanted, but someday those eyes will be hidden behind a pair of glasses or whiten with cataracts. You use every cream that promises to forestall wrinkles, but eventually they catch up. And your weight will change, especially if you have children (trust me, I know; been there, done that). Our bodies are fading beauties. Like flowers, we bloom. But then the petals droop and eventually fall off.

So since we really can’t change what we look like on the outside, we should start investing in that which we can change: our inside. Anyone woman can do it. It doesn’t require a lot of money. Just time with God, time in the Bible, and a change in our perspective of what true beauty is.

So what is this true beauty that every woman can possess? God calls it a “gentle and quiet spirit” which is so precious to Him. That’s right, this kind of spirit is precious to God. And it’s available to every woman, whether she is freckly, has frizzy hair, or weighs more than she did in high school. And it will never fade. When your outer body starts to succumb to the ravages of time, you can control what your insides look like. In fact, you can posses it now.

Jesus is the prime example of this kind of beauty. The Bible says “there was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.” (Isaiah 53:2b NLT). Yet as we read the gospels, Jesus is one of the most beautiful people who walked the earth. His “gentle and quiet” spirit shone through to the point that people ceased to see his physical appearance and saw his true beauty within. He served others selflessly, healed those no one else would come near, and loved the world to the point of dying for it.

I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of beauty I want. I want a gentle spirit (this word can also be translated “meek” which means power under control and I don’t know anyone who has more power than Jesus, yet his was always under control). I want a quiet spirit (this does not mean never speak; rather it means in all situations, we are quiet before God and allow Him to direct the way we respond to the situation). I want to serve selflessly, love unconditionally, and let kindness seep out of my pores. This is the kind of beauty that will never fade. This is the kind of beauty you can possess now.

Now don’t start throwing out your curling iron or mascara. It’s okay to make yourself look nice (I love to look nice for my husband). But consider how much time you are investing in your outer appearance and your inner self. One is going to fade, nothing can really stop that. But the other will last to the day you die. Not everyone can be a super model, but every woman has the opportunity to be the most beautiful woman on the inside. It’s not hard to realize which one is worth investing in more, is it?

“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:4 (NLT)