What is true beauty? When I was a teen I thought it meant having a slim figure with nice facial features, makeup just so, polish on nails, both fingers and toes. As far as I was concerned I didn’t measure up.
Real beauty is not measured by how nice a person looks.
I often felt inferior. Now I realize that it was my own imagination feeding me lies. I was always looking for ways to improve myself, but I still struggled with comparing myself to others.
That comparison bug tries hard to defeat us, doesn’t it?
There was a time when I would read aloud, recording my voice in order to improve it. I was particular about my clothes, wanting them to look a certain way. If I felt like they either made me look large or unattractive I wouldn’t wear them.
THEN I MARRIED AND GOT PREGNANT
A new life growing within me brought excitement, and I guess there is a certain beauty about a pregnant woman. The older ladies in my church would always tell me I had that pregnancy glow. I’m sure their comments helped me feel better about myself.
I was dealing with nausea and could hardly eat anything. Peanut butter, crackers and cokes are what I had most the first few months. That was a pretty poor diet, but I just couldn’t stomach anything else. I lost seven pounds during the first three months and kept my weight gain to a minimum.
I was not at all prepared for the fact that none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit after my first child was born. In fact, I was horrified that I had nothing to wear. No one had prepared me for the fact that it would take a few months to get back down to my regular size.
Beauty doesn’t depend on what size clothes you wear.
BEAUTY IS ALL AROUND US
I’ve always pursued artistic tendencies. It was fun to draw and decorate a calendar to cross off the days in the last month of my first pregnancy. I made my own invitations for children’s birthday parties, decorated their cakes in a special way, and found creative ways for the children to have fun. At the time I didn’t think about it, but looking back I see that they were also expressions of beauty.
Nature is full of beautiful things like sunsets, rainbows, all manner of flowers and creatures. Sunshine brings a smile to my face as it highlights nature’s beauty. Rain can be beautiful as it falls down in sheets drenching the ground.
Even when I fall short of my expectations or feel unloving and unlovely, beauty can still be found. If I am absorbed in my own troubles I often forget:
- to look around and be thankful
- to ask for help
- that I find beauty when I allow others to help rather than trying to be strong and self sufficient.
- that God meets us right where we are and brings hope.
REAL BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN
As I grow older I see there is so much more to beauty. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms. It isn’t measured by looking good or having things arranged certain ways.
I’m asking God to open my eyes to the beauty that is right here in the midst of my mess.
Our actions demonstrate beauty in how we treat ourselves and others. When we speak words of kindness or share a smile, we show beauty. I want to realize anew that beauty starts with an attitude of the heart, to know that I don’t have to have my act together to embody real beauty.
I want the light of Christ to shine through me illuminating all those who cross my path. May I live my life in such a way that others will be encouraged to realize their own true beauty.
Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.
(I Samuel 16:7b)
I’m linking up with: #TellHisStory, #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #ThoughtProvokingThursday, #Glimpses, #thankfulthursday, #FreshMarketFriday, #DanceWithJesus
22 thoughts on “Beauty in Every Season of Life”
Gayl, thank you for sharing this portion of your life — I remember those days very well with the angst over body image and getting “back into my real clothes.”
May we mature inwardly as we grow older and model the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit!
Michele, thank you for sharing your thoughts! Yes, I do want to continue to mature inwardly as my life is renewed and refreshed through the Word and prayer.
Blessings to you, dear sister! xo
Beautifully written! I’m not sure if men experience this or not, but it is certain that the heart of a woman struggles with it. May we all have eye open to the beauty in our circumstances.
Thank you, Tammy! Yes, I think most women struggle with it off and on. Maybe some men do, too, at least with acceptance of themselves.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the beauty, but it is there is we will look. May God help us see it!
Blessings to you and thanks for stopping by!
True, so true. We can be the most elegantly dressed woman on the planet and we can have flawless skin and perfect hair, but if our hearts are bitter, angry, jealous, and unkind, we’re not beautiful at all. Oh, that I would spend more time in the mornings cultivating the beauty of my heart (through time with the Lord) rather than perfecting my hair and makeup.
I, too, need to spend more time “cultivating the beauty of my heart” as I read and pray and listen. Thanks for visiting!
Many blessings to you, Patti!
Beautifully written, Gayl!
Thanks so much, Shelby! Blessings to you!
I told someone the other day, “I’m not aging well.” I fight vanity. Pictures? I always look awful but I’m resisting deleting them and am learning just to post – or my kids, grands won’t have any when I’m gone!!!
I think you’re aging quite well, at least it seemed so when I met you at Allume. 🙂 I don’t think your pictures look awful at all. They’re great!
I’m with you, though. I do fight vanity. I know I need to lose weight not just to look better but for my health. Sometimes I don’t like pictures to be taken, but you’re right. If we don’t do it our kids/grandkids won’t have any.
I wish I had taken more pics of my dad. We don’t have nearly enough. He died young – age 65.
Thanks for visiting and for being a sister who encourages. Blessings to you! Love you! xo
This resonated with me: “Our actions demonstrate beauty in how we treat ourselves and others. ” Joining you in your desire to live beauty as a way of showing God’s love. Blessings to you. Enjoyed your post 🙂
Thank you, Dolly, for visiting today! I’m glad it resonated with you. May our desires be fulfilled as we seek to show God’s love. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.
Many blessings to you!
Wonderful post, Gayl! I’ve found that the closer I come to knowing Him, the more I see beauty in others. Your art journals are so lovely – thanks for sharing ! Have a blessed week!
Thank you, June. Yes, I think you are right that the closer we are to God the more we see beauty in others.
I’m glad you enjoyed the art. It really is a stress relieving activity to create in my art journal.
Many blessings to you, dear sister! Always nice to have you drop by. 🙂
I know that I struggle with my baby belly and widen hips and being too short. But you are right it is not all about that but the beauty that can shine from the heart that only comes from Jesus. Thank you for your encouraging and loving words. I know I say this a lot but I always enjoy coming to visit here. visiting from Thankful Thursday
So glad you stopped by, Kristina! I’m happy that you were encouraged. I appreciate your kind words.
We all struggle with self image at times. The world tells us that thin is beautiful, and sometimes we fall into the trap.
Inner beauty can shine through no matter what our size or shape. We are all beautiful!
Blessings to you, sweet Kristina!
Gail thank you for sharing with such honesty and insight. Your post reminds me of the importance of remembering God’s goodness and knowing true beauty goes far beyond what the eyes can see. #RaRaLinkUp 🙂
Thank you, Joy, for your encouragement! I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you have a blessed and happy weekend!
Thank you for sharing. There is so much beauty to be found in our lives, in ourselves and in others. Continually asking God to open my eyes to real beauty.
Thanks for visiting, Barbie! Yes, it’s so easy to miss the beauty, isn’t it? I pray that God will help us really see the real beauty all around us.
Blessings to you!
It has really been impressed on me lately that its doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, God calls us his children and loves us and that is all that matters. So easy to lose sight of that fact!
Melissa, you are so right that it’s easy to lose sight of that. He loves us and no one can take that away.
Thanks for visiting and have a great week.
Blessings to you!