Monday, May 2, 2011

True Beauty


Believe it or not I have not always felt pretty or like I fit in.

There were lots of times when I felt ugly and unattractive, unwanted and left out.

Other times I have placed too much emphasis on my looks, taken pride in my fashionable outfits and what was painted on that morning.

I have been teased about my weight and insecure about my breakouts. I have thought myself better than others and succumbed to pride in appearances. I have felt vain for putting on nice clothes and make up and like I didn’t ever look nice enough.

True Beauty vs. Vanity – don’t we all struggle with it?

The other day I read an articele on Cross Walk from Jill Swanson, author of Simply Beautiful: Inside and Out. This is how she starts her book talking about “Beauty Without Vanity”:

"Balancing beauty with humility is an ongoing struggle for today’s woman. None of us want to appear vogue on the outside and vague on the inside. If we were to be honest with ourselves, we would all like to look the best we can. Clothing and appearance affect how we feel and think about ourselves. They can lift our spirits and help give us confidence to face the real world.

 "The body is God’s handiwork. We have a responsibility to take care of it and to present ourselves in a way that will compliment the Kingdom of God. How we appear on the outside reflects our integrity and competence. Through initial contact with people, fifty-five percent of our perceived credibility is based on appearance alone! First impressions lay the groundwork for establishing trust and believability."

There is something in a woman that longs to be affirmed, to be seen as beautiful. Even though this is true, my heart has been humbled lately. Through The Difference Project I have seen just how much emphasis I have put in what I put on. Sure, I want to take care of myself like the article was saying, but I want to radiate beauty from the inside even more so. I truly needed to be reminded of this.

The most beautiful women I have ever meet have been radiant with Christ. They just glowed with His beauty. Sure, they were all shapes and sizes, had different eye color and skin tone...but what I noticed was not their outfits, hair or make up. What I noticed was their heart for the Lord, an inward beauty that made their outward appearance beautiful as well.

The world's standard of beauty will always be changing, but the Lord's standard never changes. This is the kind of beauty that I desire above all else. I want to see myself as the Lord sees me - as His precious daughter. The world may look at me according to their standards of beauty, but true beauty lies in having a heart like His. May I ever gaze in the mirror of His Word and seek to be like Him - the most Beautiful One.


23 comments:

Allison said...

Thanks for sharing that! You are beautiful and just from reading your blog your love for the Lord shines through. Have a fabulous day!

Becca said...

What a beautiful post. Every woman needs this sweet little reminder.

Miranda said...

This is so encouraging and honest! Thank you for sharing your heart on this. :)

Alexis Kaye said...

You are absolutely Gorgeous inside and out!

DaisyGirl said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for it!

vintch said...

aaah one of my favorite verses. there is such truth to this post. it's absolutely the case--those on fire for the Lord are so beautiful. their appearance takes on His and they just shine. you're one of them, my friend!

Stacey said...

Love it!
What a precious reminder and such a beautiful verse...I do love it.
xx Stacey

Rylie said...

I love everything about this post.

Ashley said...

Thank you for posting this. It's beautiful, and so are YOU...inside AND out!

Ashley said...

love love love this post! it is so true women want to look their best because it really does make us feel good, and i know my husband appreciates it. i struggle with weight issues, skin issues and well other issues lol everyday (kids do a number on ones body HA!) but where do we draw the line between dressing your best and vanity? it is something we will always struggle with but with the help of the Holy Spirit to give us power to fight off the temptations to become vain, i feel we can glorify God through our appearance, for we were made in His image ;)
-Ashley-

Chels said...

Amen sister! Thank you for sharing your heart!

Have Your Way said...

THanks for sharing this! Needed it today!

Lindsay J Neumann said...

Thank you so much for sharing! That is actually one of my favorite verses of all time. There is so much truth to it and it can be just what I need to hear on days where I'm just not feeling beautiful! This really made my day.

By the way, when I first started reading your blog I didn't even know you were a fellow Christian, but I did notice there was something different about you! There was just something so genuinely nice in all your posts. It was as if you knew each of us personally and really cared about giving us advice :)

Anonymous said...

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Courtney B said...

I love this!! Thank you for posting! I've never really struggled with this until the past few months, go figure. Dang skin problems. This is perfect and just what I needed to hear!
You are SO beautiful! Inside and on the outside!

Emily said...

Love this reminder of true beauty. I've seen those women who radiate the love of Jesus and they are so beautiful to me.

I pray that my heart seeks after Him more and more each moment of the day so that I too can have His beauty shine through.

Haley K said...

As always...I loved this post!! :) I found myself nodding along with your open-hearted confessions in the first few paragraphs. Thank you for being so willing to share your experiences! And that bit from Jill Swanson was fantastic!!! I absolutely loved that she said, "...present ourselves in a way that will compliment the Kingdom of God. How we appear on the outside reflects our integrity and competence." How true it is. :)

Jennifer, you are beautiful inside and out! I so appreciate your sweet, heart-felt words and your love for your Savior that you share on this lovely blog :)

Gemma said...

Thank you for sharing this, it was exactly what I needed to read today. I know so many women who are radiant in Christ and they are truly the most beautiful, inside and out.

Olivia Grace said...

This is so beautiful, thank you for sharing such heart felt words! SO happy to have found your lovely blog:)

Megan Elizabeth said...

this is really awesome :) thanks for sharing! and girl your beautiful!!

Sydney said...

I think we all, to some degree struggle with this! And it's so sad! But I got a prophesy once and God said: "Sydney, you were made to be different. You're not supposed to fit in or match everyone. You were made to be different."
That just rocked my world.

Love Unawakened said...

Lovely blog!!!

Britta said...

Thanks for the sweet reminder of this :)

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