Do you ever feel like you’re a slightly different person every day? Some days, I like the changes I feel. I’ll spring out of bed ready to tackle my to-do list with fervor. I’m confident in my abilities, my goals, my hair…
Other days, I feel like I never get my eyelids fully opened and just zombie through the day. I climb in bed at the end of these days feeling defeated. I look back at my day and think, “Well, I just wasted 12 hours of my life” and I look in the mirror and think, “That chick has given up.”
The longer my thoughts dwell on how little I accomplished that day or how slovenly I look, the more I actually begin to feel worthless.
I’m in a mom’s class (it’s actually called “LovingMomsClass” and I love it!) at a local church and on the first day the teacher asked the group of approximately 60 moms who felt like a beautiful mother that day. I’m not sure if it was out of shyness or realness, but no one raised their hand. It was sad. I wasn’t being shy. I did not feel beautiful. I think I had just dry shampooed my hair after working out and blinked on a few coats of mascara before grabbing Skylar and zooming up the road to the church.
We really do have a difficult time feeling beautiful, don’t we? I’m befuddled by our culture’s concept of beauty, yet routinely sucked into it. I think we have a hard time feeling beautiful for a number of reasons:
1. There’s Instagram. Where many girls (and moms!) spend a ton of time finding the ideal backdrop and filter to send off a beautiful depiction of themselves into the world. We need a filter because our skin is too splotchy in simple natural lighting. I’m as guilty as the next girl. We’re an appearance-obsessed society, as much as we like to pretend to be so inclusive.
2.We lack impactful interactions. This reminds me of my “I wish I lived in a tribe instead of a reserved neighborhood” longings of early motherhood. One of the wise older moms in the mom’s class stood up and talked about brief, impactful moments yesterday. She called out women by name who took time to encourage her. It does not take a long time to build up the women around you with a heartfelt, “How have you been?” or a follow up “How was that doctor’s appointment?” But it takes a moment, and sometimes we feel like we just don’t have a moment– one of our nutso world’s biggest lies. We were put on this planet to serve and to love, and it’s those very things that amplify our God-given beauty.
3. The world glorifies the shallow. Why do we care that Kim Kardashian is wearing triathlon racing suits as her latest fashion statement? Why?! Her butt will sag one day, just like yours and mine. Maybe it’s begun and that’s why she’s discovering the supportive wetsuits? Just a theory.
We glorify the people who literally get paid to act out other people’s heroic stories (though Kim K doesn’t even do that). I love a great movie, but these people are actors. Unless you’re looking to make it in Hollywood, I think we can find more worthwhile heroes.
4. We don’t know what “beauty” means. We think of beauty as hair, makeup, skin, figure, anything aesthetic. But the Merriam-Webster definition is more profound than this:
Beauty: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.
Exalts the mind or spirit! We can do that without being supermodels. How many opportunities to show true beauty to the world are we missing by seeking aesthetic perfection? When I was asked if I felt beautiful, I instantly thought of skin-deep beauty. Of course I didn’t feel beautiful. I felt like a dirty, tired mom. I was not thinking of qualities within me that had the potential to pleasurably exalt the mind or spirit of others, but we all have those! How encouraging is that?
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:14
Every thread of you was carefully stitched together by your maker. To look in the mirror and think you’re trash is to dis God’s masterful handiwork. You are beautiful, it’s a God-given fact. #nofilter