Beauty Matters

Jules —  March 22, 2005

As women, we are bombarded daily with the world’s value of beauty. Let’s face it, it STINKS!! It’s a lot of pressure. I admit I have female schitzophrenia. I hate how the Victoria’s Secret models look, but I wish I looked like that!! I’m sick of “trendy”, yet, I want to be trendy. I’m not going to say , “I’m a Christian woman and inner beauty is all that matters.” Embracing our outward beauty is important. We are created in God’s image – we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The problem is our fallen world cannot value beauty as God created it. This leaves us longing for more…

Here is an excerpt from an excellent book that I have read several times, Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson.

Discover the Secret

There is no beauty in makeup. Expensive clothes will not make you beautiful. The secret lies in being an alive, awake woman with something to offer the world. Namely, yourself. Beauty is less about your face and more about the light in your eyes. Less about the length of your legs, more about the bounce in your step. Real beauty is being a viable, vital human being. As you participate in your life with a warm smile and a generous spirit, you are beautiful.

All my life I thought beauty was what I looked like. Now I understand it’s so much more that that. Beauty cannot be separated into its component parts. It is a package of things that reveal someone’s beauty, not one thing. Someone may have thick, shiny hair, but having lovely hair doesn’t necessarily make one beautiful.

Living a fresh-brewed life will bring out the beauty in you because it is uncovering you. It is revealing more of the authentic you that is beautiful. Fresh-brewed life helps us find the reason to wear happy colors, or sets us free to wear black, without it being a statement. Color becomes very important to us. Because life is a living, breathing work of art. We are painting as we go. What shades reveal most clearly who you are? Never forget you have magnficent hues at your disposal. Discover them, and finger paint all over your life! Be a masterpiece. Drink in life. Laugh too loud. Compliment others constantly.

Cultivate beauty all around you. Plant a garden. Embrace beauty wherever you find it–in the fall leaves, in the spring flowers. This will help you embrace it in yourself. When you appreciate a sunset or your child’s clay candlestick or a beautiful piece of music, you are saying yes to beauty. You are saying yes to God.

The most beautiful make-up of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy. ~Yves St. Laurent

Jules

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30 responses to Beauty Matters

  1. AMEN
    aunt tootsie

  2. Good reminder! As I struggle with the post pregnancy body and feeling much less than beautiful, that was good to remember.

    I liked the “Laugh too loud” comment, too. Sometimes I do that and then wish I didn’t. Now I will just laugh loudly and know it’s part of beauty. :)

  3. Your laugh is awesome. The louder the better!!

  4. Hehe, that’s totally my sister (shhh, don’t tell her I said that!). She’s a loud laugher, but it’s very endearing. To me, a loud laugher is someone in love with life. That’s a good thing. :-)

  5. LOL! I was just thinking how much I identified with Karen’s comment–I am such a loud laugher! And then, what do I see, my brother has outed me already! Then again, I guess you can’t really hide a loud laugh!

    Julie, I love Nicole Johnson. Have you ever been to a Women of Faith conference? She tours with them, performing drama sketches. They are powerful!

  6. 😉 Caught me in the act, Mel! Pretty cool, Julie, you have people posting from the far ends of the country.

  7. I’ve been to one Women of Faith conference and loved it, loved it, loved it!!! I desperately want to go again. It’s been a few years since I went to a church that promoted it, so I’ve lost touch.

    I, too, like Nicole Johnson. I relate so well to her. I suppose most any woman would.

  8. I love shows like “What Not to Wear”, “The Look For Less”, “Queer Eye”, etc. They take very average women (and men), and by average I mean the kind that you see around you every day, and teach them how to buy the clothes that fit their style AND their body type, put on a little make-up, and get their hair styled in an easy-to-maintain but up-to-date look and they look amazing! I’ve said before that I know women that I think are beautiful who have all different types and sizes of bodies as well as a wide range of ages who have an inner beauty but also know how to dress confidently and stylishly. I think too many women give up on trying to look good because they don’t think they fit what the world sees as ‘ideal’.

    My Mary doesn’t look like a Victoria’s Secret model, but she’s always beautiful to me and when she dresses attractively she is stunning! I appreciate that she makes that effort to look nice as I think it really makes a difference in the way she feels about herself as well as the way she looks to those around her.

    Inner beauty and a love of life are SUPER important, but speaking for all your hubbies, we like it when you pretty up for us! :)

  9. I, in no way, think that looking good on the outside is unimportant. I feel good when I put on makeup and cute clothes and get my hair done. I’ve read the studies that say the two biggest needs of men in a marriage partner are companionship and an attractive spouse. I want my husband and family to be proud of me, I think most women do.

    I just want to encourage myself and other ladies that there is so much more to our beauty than the externals and the world’s perception of what that should look like.

    Maybe I am the only one that struggles with this, but I doubt it.

    As the mother of four daughters, I can’t help but be concerned about how all this will affect them as they grow into young women. I know it is my responsibility to model for them a postive self image. To be a woman who embraces her beauty.

    I don’t want to neglect teaching them that inner beauty is of upmost importance. I have known women who were beautiful when I met them but after I got to know them their beauty faded. We can’t remain beautiful on the outside if we aren’t beautiful on the inside.

  10. Rob and Melissa, you guys are cute. You have such a great brother sister relationship!

  11. Thank you for posting this. As I struggle with feeling “beautiful” during this pregnancy, I am reminded that there is more than one aspect to beauty. Sometimes I think that the best thing that can happen to me is to to be somewhat unable to control my outward beatuy. Let’s face it…..50 extra lbs in the booty, and a giant bowling ball for a stomach isn’t exactly sexy!

    Now, that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying to look good for my husband. But, it does mean that I’ll have to remind myself more often that “beauty is fleeting” & there is more to being a beautiful women than what everyone sees on the outside.

    *On a side note:
    It’s so strange to me that I see every other pregnant woman as beautiful. I see a big belly and think how awesome it is that God gave women the privilege of carrying life inside of our womb. It always makes me smile to see a pg Mommy.

    **Hmmm, now that I think about it, I think I really do like my big pg belly. In a way it’s kinda fun to have the belly to pat and rub for 9 months. I could just do without the ginormous butt!!

  12. Amber I have never looked at your butt and thought “ginormous” and I look at it every time I see you!!! Who could resist!!!!

    Seriously, pregnancy is the epitomy of beauty. Women are so blessed. (It’s easier to see it this way when I am not the one in such an uncomfortable state with the fears of upcoming birthing racing through my head)

    Amber you are extremely beautiful!!! You are so sweet, fun and head strong!!!

    I love the story of you lining up three little kids along a busy intersection holding Bush/Cheney signs. One side of the road had a group of Kerry supporters and on the other side was just you and three small children!

    Now that’s beauty!!!!!!!

  13. The election day stunt was one of my proudest moments! I got so fired up when my yard signs had been stollen 5 times. Then to top that off, while I’m driving through town I see this lady with her two older children, holding up nasty Bush hating signs. I had HAD IT!

    Funny what makes me get all fired up at times! In my mind I knew the only way to avenge my “right to free speech” was to out do this chick! Sure it’s easy to stand on a steet corner with a 12 & 14 year old………..but just try doing that with a 1, 2,& 3 year old. Now that’s determination honey! And we were all wearing RED….just to be cute, outwardly republican, and highly fashion conscious. I was pretty proud of that too :-)

  14. That story is PRICESESS!! You’ve got to write it down for your grandchildren.

    The whole story about your signs, the policeman, etc. Is amazing!!

    To do all that AND make a fashion statement!!! Wow! What a woman!!!

  15. I love reading all your comments on inner beauty. Where were you when I needed you over 30 yrs ago. Men take note, women need to feel they are beautiful in their husbands eyes when they are carrying his baby.

  16. Julie, you are such a blessing! Your posts make me proud to be a woman and proud to be a Christian.

  17. He, he, he :-) What can I say. I guess I can be pretty creative (or just crazy) when I want to be. One of these days I’ll write it down for the kids. I even have pictures of them standing in our yard with my 30 political signs on election day! My kids are going to think I am such a nut when they grow up. Right now I’m still pretty cool in their eyes (Ahh, these are the days!).

  18. Amber…you’ll always be cool to me!!!

    Mary, I am proud of women and christianity!!! It must show!!! I am passionate about both. I am proud to be both!!!

  19. Better hope none of your kids grow up to be democrats, Amber!

  20. Rob, Amber, as she mentioned, had her signs stolen five times. She had 30 signs in her yard! Her house ended up getting egged, but none of the eggs broke!!!

  21. Rob-
    Well, if I don’t teach my kids “right” (republican) from “wrong” (democrat,)then my Mom surely will! These poor kids already know who Sean Hannity is because of their Nana. My three year old will even tell you that “Nana only watches FOX news”.

    I really joke about all the political stuff though. I do hope that my kids will grow up to make good choices. Even more than that I hope they will always know that I love them no matter what. In my heart I really believe it is God who appoints our leaders. It’s always right to stand up for what you feel is right, but I’ll never think I alone have the power to make things happen. That’s all in God’s hands (He knows more than me anyway).

    *I see Julie already told you about the “egg” incident. I joked with my friends that God sent me that “sign” so I would calm down during a much heated political season. It worked too!

  22. Julie-
    You really think I’m cool? What rock are you living under? HA!!!

    Jusk kidding! Thank you anyway. I needed someone (besides my kids) to think I’m cool. I’m only cool to them because I make them cakes and cookies, and let them watch cartoons. If it were not for Duncan Hines and Disney I’d just be “Mom”.

  23. I was totally addicted to Fox news for several months!!!!! James and I don’t watch much TV, but during the heated political season, Fox news was on all day!!! I just couldn’t get enough. My addiction has subsided. I know much of the nation is ticked off with us red-necked, value voters but, I am PROUD!!!!!

    Gotta love Sean Hannity!!!

    I can just see the angels flying around your yard deflecting eggs!!!

  24. Oops, that’s a link above, it isn’t too obvious. I’d be curious to get your thoughts, everybody.

    Sorry, Julie, I’ve derailed your comments. Feel free to delete this. :-)

  25. I totally agree with the love God, love people. We went to a church for 3 1/2 years that’s main teaching was that. It got taught to us over and over again and over again. The thing is it started to become legalistic!!! The expectations to keep pressing in to God and loving and ministering to people became more than I could emotional bear and James was exhausted.

    I think I am beginning to see that the answer to so much is finding balance!!!

    I need more time to ponder this but I must say that we need to stand up for what we believe and teach our children to do the same and not be sorry for it! Sometimes what we believe in and are passionate about is worth being ‘extreme’ over!! However, I think we need to be careful not to make a stink over something that God is not asking us to make a stink over. We need to be prayerful about things and remember that it all comes down to loving God and loving people.

  26. Great thoughts, Rob, thanks! I’ll think about this more.

  27. Amber, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

  28. I can give you a few of my thoughts…..but that’s all they are….just my opinions.

    First of all, I do believe that as Christians we are supposed to take a stand for things that support moral excellence. I also believe that Christians should be the loudest voice for those who don’t have one (mainly our children). It’s very irresponsible to assume that “mankind” in general will always do what is right. I personally believe that apethy is the death of the soul. You HAVE to care about something or you are not living for anything.

    Now, that brings me to being “over zealous” about things. That too can be a slippery slope. One can do something in the name of “justice” or being “Christ like”, but it can end up doing more harm than good. I do think that if Christians are going to be an effective example “in” the world they need to be acceptable and not offensive to the world around them. There are ways to be true to your convictions without offending everyone around you.

    I think it is very legalistic to take a personal calling you feel God has set on YOUR heart and make it mandatory for every other Christian to act on as well. I believe Christ created me with certain gifts and abilities for a reason. Not everyone needs to act and think like me to be “right”. I appreciate the many different gifts in the body of Christ, because where I am weak I see someone who is strong.

    I also believe are greatest calling is to love Chist, as well as to love one another. We were created to love Christ, so no Christian is without that calling on their life. But Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light. When serving God seems overwhelming, or too much to bear, then soming may indeed be wrong. Not, that everything is easy when you choose to follow God. However, I do believe when Christ calls you to do something He will give you what you need to accomplish that task.

  29. Rob, I’ve heard our pastor teach a couple of times, something very interesting. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus talks about the church and how the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Taken in context, in this chapter Jesus is talking about the religious and polital rulers. Pharisees and Sadducees. It was customary for the political “stuff” to be held at the gates of a town. Therefore, Jesus is talking about the political parties/structure/rulers, if you will, not overcoming the church. The church has every right and responsibility to stand up to our political authority. I liked Amber’s term moral excellence.
    I thought that totally changed the feel of that scripture. Jesus was really speaking out against them, calling them the gates of Hell!