What is Beauty?

                There is not a day that I open the door and walk into the world and am not bombarded with the worlds messages towards me about my beauty. Honestly they are more like threats than they are messages. If you don`t have the perfect hair the trim and athletic body and the right outfit to accentuate all of that, you are not beautiful. One thing I love about my profession is wearing a uniform. What a relief it is to just wake up and throw on my scrubs and white shoes and run out the door, confident that whoever judges me, cannot blame my fashion style on me! It is an added bonus, never would I be a nurse just because of the uniform. I love being a women and using fashion and make-up and beauty to adorn my outer appearance, but I hate that no matter what I do or how I do it, there is the worldly pressure to be better, more, that never ceases. Because in our day and age, beauty has become perfection. Unless each and every detail is perfect: the hair, the tan (even in the winter) the shape and angles of the body, the complexion, the outfit, the accessories, you are automatically excluded from the possibility of being beautiful. 

                What is beauty? When the Word tells us that God sees us as beautiful what does He mean?

                When God calls us beautiful I don`t think He means physically. And I sometimes wonder if He means spiritually because I know daily I fail to be beautiful spiritually. I think He means that He sees our inner beauty, the potential He created within us to not only be beautiful ourselves but to share and spread beauty throughout the world. Beauty is loving the unloved, caring for orphans, supporting the friend who is weak and doubting, praying for your enemies, seeing God for who He really is and sharing that with the world around you. Beauty is not what naturally flows from us, but what flows when we understand that the God who created and encompasses all that beauty is, lives within us, and therefore beauty lives within us. Through the grace of Christ we have full access to the true meaning of beauty. 

        I am a woman of God. I don`t care what shape my body is, how tan my skin is, how curly or thick my hair is... I care about the beauty of my heart and I want, I desperately desire to be beautiful within: to be patient and caring, to be compassionate, to love my enemies, to forgive those who hurt me, to love the loveless, the bring wholeness to the broken. 

      This article was shared this morning on the news and it is a simple yet powerful way of expressing the truth of what beauty is, a father writing to his daughter. I hope it will encourage you whether you are young, old, married, single, working, unemployed, a mother, a daughter... be encouraged to share this true beauty with those around you. May others see Christ in us through our inner beauty. 

Dear Little One,
As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I’m sitting here, I’m beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:
Affordably gorgeous,
Flawless finish,
Brilliant strength,
Liquid power,
Go nude,
Age defying,
Instant age rewind,
Choose your dream,
Nearly naked, and
Natural beauty.
When you have a daughter you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house—a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.
But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.
A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:
Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.
Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.
Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your glovesoff. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.
Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace—for yourself, and for everyone around you.
Age defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.
Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom, and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.
Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you—the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.
Where are you the most beautiful? On the inside.
From my heart to yours,

From God`s heart to ours... may our Father`s words be stronger and louder than all the lies of this world. 

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