sugar and spice and everything nice

Lipstick.  High heels.  Sparkly nail polish.  The color pink.  Golden retriever puppies, or any puppies for that matter.  These are a few of my favorite things.  And just about any other girl’s favorite things too.  Being a girl is a lot of fun- we have lots of feelings, cry lots of tears, and squeal out of excitement and happiness.  We love romance, falling in love, and feeling that we are unique.   As girls, we want to feel beautiful.  We spend hours to make sure we look absolutely perfect.  That our hair is just the right amount of wavy but the frizz is tamed, that our makeup looks natural but not like we are trying too hard,  that our clothing is fashionable but not too revealing.  When we feel beautiful, we feel confident.  Like we can conquer the world and dance without a single care.  When a boy comments on our beauty, our self esteem skyrockets through the ceiling because we know that we didn’t spend all those hours in vein.  We take compliments on our outward appearance to heart, because if someone else recognizes our beauty, we must truly be beautiful.  We get this fluttery feeling inside of our hearts and a twinkle in our eye when we are called beautiful, or gorgeous, or stunning, or breath-taking.  We love looking in the mirror and being content with the girl staring back at us.

There is one thing we tend to forget.  One thing that is shoved under the rug by spray tans, weight loss plans, and Brazilian blowouts (not that those are bad things).  One thing that we think boys don’t care about at first glance.  We forget the precious and valuable jewel of inward beauty.  A visual I like to picture is one of those really fancy looking rocks.  At first glance, you think it is the most beautiful rock you have ever seen.  I mean as beautiful as rocks get, this one is pretty dang special.  And then you chop open the rock, and inside is a sparkling, shining gem that makes your jaw drop in awe.  You wonder why you didn’t realize how beautiful the inside of the rock truly was, because you were too busy gazing at the beauty on the outside.   Don’t get me wrong, the outside was pretty to look at, it really was.  However, the deep, inner depths of the rock were what stood out to you the most.  What made you take a few steps back in wonder of how God could create something so beautiful that was hidden behind a nice looking rock.  Thus beneath our outward appearance lies the jewel of inner beauty, beloved ones.

What happened to kindness and gentleness and compassion? Why does the society we live in today get more swept up in the portrayed image of perfection on the cover of a magazine or on the Victoria’s Secret fashion show?  Let us remember the truth behind the words of 1 Peter 3:4 “but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”  Imperishable.  As women, and men for that matter, we aren’t always going to be “young and beautiful” as viewed in the eyes of the world.  As much as you don’t want to hear it ladies, one day, you will have grey hair.  You will have wrinkles that make your used to be tightly drawn smooth skin sink a little bit deeper than it used to when you were twenty.  Your beautiful blond locks will start to have a grey tint.  And what used to define you, what you viewed yourself to be for so long, will slowly fade away.  It is what is within you, the “beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”, that is imperishable.  Even when our outer self is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).  From a young twenty-something with a bright eyed smile and shining hair that glistens in the sun, to an elderly women with wrinkles from smiling so much when she was younger and grey hair to express the years she has been alive on this earth and lived to the full, we will still yet possess our imperishable beauty.  For what is imperishable is forever.  Darling girls, you will carry that inner beauty with you until the day you return home to your King.

Tomorrow morning when you are getting ready for your day, I want to challenge you of something.  I want to challenge you to look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am beautiful. Not because the world says I am, but because the Creator of the Universe calls me His masterpiece.  I am enough.  Not because the world says I am enough, but because the Savior of the world who knew no sin died for me in my place.  I am lovely.  Not because the world says I am lovely, but because the King is enthralled by my beauty (Psalm 45:11).”  However, precious ones, words are cheap.  I want you to not only say these words, I want you to believe them.  To believe them is to mean them deep down in your soul and to let them sink into the cracks and crevices of your insecurities.  Maybe your weight isn’t as ideal as you’d like.  Maybe your hair is just too curly to tame, or maybe your hair is too flat that you think it’s boring.  Maybe your eyes are too far apart, or your nose perks up too much, or you have too many freckles.  Beautiful girl, I have a secret for you.  You were made without flaws.  One hundred percent perfect with no mistake about you.  The Lord hand picked every single freckle on your face before you were even a thought, He set your eyes farther apart than others because He thinks that is beautiful and it makes you, you.  He loves your curly hair and wouldn’t change it for the world.  He loves your straight hair because He designed it.  He fashioned you with great care.  I get chills throughout my body when I think about the Lord designing every part of me (Psalm 139).  Every flaw of myself that I hate, and every aspect of my beauty that I like.  The Lord gave me brown eyes, curly hair (that, yes, is untamable most of the time- but I try to embrace the lioness status I feel on a daily basis).  He gave me one single freckle on the tip of my nose and small ears that easily hide behind my hair.  And I love it, because He made me that way.  When you look in the mirror, though, I want you to look deeper within.  Look past your bad hair day and the bump on your face that makes you not want to go out in public.  Look inside, dear child of God.

What is it you see? Do you see a tender and loving girl who loves to take care of those in need? Do you see a bubbly and outgoing girl who loves to talk and meet new friends?  Do you see a more timid, reserved girl but passionate at heart for the things she loves and the people she cares most about?  Do you see a girl who has been broken and bruised and has scars from her past, but is redeemed day by day by the grace of her good, good Father?  Do you see a girl who finds her security in that which is eternal, because she knows anything of the world is fleeting?  What is it you see, love?

Because He sees so much more than the freckles on your face and the frizz in your hair.  He sees so much more than your too-skinny or too-overweight body type that constantly weighs you down.  He sees MORE than your clumped together mascara coated eye-lashes because you were running low that morning, and MORE than your chipped finger nail polish because you were helping your dad do yard work, and MORE than your sunburnt skin from laying out all day with SPF 4 tanning oil (not me, never.) But what He sees is what really matters, what will carry with you as your imperishable spirit that represents great worth in God’s sight.  He LOVES who He made you to be.  He is proud of His beautiful daughter who allows her inner beauty and worth to define her, not what is in the reflection of the mirror.

I am reading this book called “The King’s Daughter” by Diana Hagee, and this quote caught my eye:

“When you stop to think that God made the universe and all that is in it, you become overwhelmed by His power.  When you realize that He stopped all He was doing to make you, you are overcome by His loving nature.  He made your face in His image to carry the Light of the world within your eyes.  He made your smile to draw people to Him with the power of your testimony.  He created your soft touch to soothe the fevered brow of a loved one.  He designed your knees to bend in prayer so you could intercede for the lost, and your lips to part in praise for the Father.  You are special in the eyes of God because He fashioned you in strength, in purity, and in love.  You are special because you were created as an extension of Him.  He recognizes your cry and understands your desires.  For man represents God’s image, but woman represents His heart.”

I also love this quote by Elisabeth Elliot:

“To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly and she is giving. You and I have the gift of femininity… the more womanly we are, the more manly men will be and the more God is glorified. Be women, be only women, be real women in obedience to God.

Praying for you, my dear reader, to live as a woman of imperishable beauty today.  Walk with your head held high as a princess of the highest King of Kings would walk.  Smile with the smile He designed specifically for you and for you alone, because you never know who could be blessed by your smile today.  Someone might need to hear the soothing sound of your voice that He gave you today to provide them with peace or make them feel at a sense of ease.  Someone might need your outgoing personality to make them dance with you in the rain because life is not waiting for the storm to pass, and maybe they are going through a storm in this very moment and need to dance.  Someone might need your more reserved, quiet personality to make them feel like they don’t have to be someone they are not and feel truly that they can be themselves.  Someone might need you today, dear daughter.  Therefore, we shall live as women of God whose beauty comes from within her.  You have to look past her pretty face, her shining eyes, her long hair, and her perfectly tinted lip gloss to see who she really is.  You have to look inside of her soul, and it is there, my friend, where you will find her imperishable beauty that radiates from inside of her, like a rock cut open with a hidden gem within.

There is more to her than what meets the eye.

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