I am beautiful. That sounds so awkward to say. I haven’t always been beautiful and I certainly don’t always feel beautiful. Some days I look in the mirror and I want to put a bag over my head. Like today, I have no idea what my face is doing. I think it is throwing itself a pizza party. I like to eat baby carrots and ranch with my pizza. Maybe I should offer it some. On days like today I wish I could barricade myself in my house to protect people from my scary sasquatch-self. Instead I get up and take a shower, pile on an extra layer of make-up, and force myself to exercise. Hallelujah endorphins! I think most women have those kind of days.
On the non-sasquash days, at age 29, a height of 5′ 6″, a weight of 125 pounds, highlighted blond hair, fak’n baked skin, perfected make-up, and fashionable clothing I have successfully squeezed myself into the American standard of beauty. Nailed it! Granted if I lived in Hollywood a lot of plastic surgery and some hair extensions would be a must and of course not everyone’s definition of beauty is the same. But overall I am beautiful. I cringe when I say that. It sounds so conceited. You’re not supposed to call yourself beautiful. But irregardless I. Am. Beautiful. And it took a LOT of work to get here. By a LOT I mean hundreds of hours (and hundreds of dollars!) I have spent on trying out different workout routines, stressing over what I should and shouldn’t eat, what I already ate and what I will have to do to compensate, Pinterest-ing new hairstyle trends, shopping and trying on clothes that I think are flattering, painting my face and then probably the most ridiculous of all: climbing my naked self into a tanning bed and coming out smelling like burned skin. BUT I did it! I. Am. Beautiful.
In one of my workout videos I was stretching to a Yoga position called the child’s pose. In this position you’re on your knees with both arms stretched out in front of you. I was in this position prostrated out facing the TV when I realized I was bowing down to a god. No I don’t have a figurine of Shaun-T or Jillian Michaels on my television stand, but I might as well had. I felt conviction for all the time I had wasted over obsessing over beauty. It was all an act of worship to the goddess of beauty. Any time the importance of appearance takes precedence over concerns of my walk with Christ I have displaced Christ as my God.
Almost daily I have stepped up to the alter of my goddess of beauty and awaited my
judgement. When the scale wasn’t under a certain number I knew I would have to do penances to appease her. When my children caught me in this act of worship they excitedly asked, “I see my numbers too Mommy!” I put them on the alter. Oh God, what am I teaching them! One week my THREE-year-old daughter kept asking at every meal if what she was eating was healthy. “Juice is healthy, Mommy? Milk is healthy? Pizza is health?” Jesus help.
Who came up with this standard of beauty anyways? I’ve looked at lingerie catalogs. After I get past the thought that these women are beautiful (because that is what ALL of society is telling us), I see their bones. I want to appear at their photo shoot and bring them a sandwich and a cookie. I know they hungry! Twenty pounds ago I had no problem opening doors. Now I have to throw my whole body weight into opening a door. A silly DOOR! Last month my friend and I were guilty of playing the TERRIBLE compare and contrast game. Woman, you know what I’m talking about. She commented, “You don’t have a butt! Have you always not had a butt?” I turned and looked in the mirror and to my horror my butt was GONE! I literally worked my butt OFF. Well, that explains why when I sit on a wooden chair it feels like I’m sitting on my coccyx. It’s because I am! I miss my butt.
This is absurdity. Being beautiful. Nailed it! Now what? The time and energy it’s going to take to maintain this so called beauty is exhausting. I better start a Go-Fund-Me page for facelifts and and Botox because I’ve worked at a retirement home and I have seen a lot of naked old people. It’s not looking good ya’ll. Mine eyes! Beauty is fleeting. So what happens when the beauty is gone? My identity will have to be in something else. I want that something else to be Christ. Instead of fitting some ridiculous skeletal standard of beauty I should be more concerned about my spiritual life becoming skeleton like. Instead of looking up new trends and styles I could be meditating on scripture. Instead of valuing beauty I should be contemplating on what has eternal value. Instead of stressing over outward appearance I should be tending to the condition of my heart. God likes His woman ROUND! Spiritual speaking that is.
I have every intention of taking care of my body. It’s a precious gift of God and I don’t get a replacement until Heaven. As a Believer, Christ lives inside of me so I’m not going to trash His tabernacle. I’m a representative of Christ so I want to look like the redeemed person that I am not someone in need of an extreme makeover.
Right now I’m hungry, so guess what? I’m going to eat! My kids are napping so I’m going to go in the kitchen and microwave a chocolate chip muffin for 15 seconds. That way it will be warm and the chocolate will be partially melted. With every fluffy creamy chocolaty bite I’m going to praise God. I’m going to thank Him for creating chocolate. I’m going to thank Him for giving me tastebuds to enjoy it. I’m going to thank Him for providing my husband with a job so that I could buy these muffins. I’m going to thank God for the children He’s blessed me with, and I’m especially going to thank Him that they still take naps so I can eat my muffin in peace. I’m going to thank God for giving the bakers at Sam’s Club the ability to make muffins that taste so much better than mine. I’m going to thank God for providing my family with a working vehicle so I could go to the store and buy these muffins. I’m going to thank Him for my hands so I can feed myself. I am going to enjoy every last bite of this muffin because eating chocolate is straight up worship!
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24
Dear God, I’m sorry for the times I have neglected You to worship the goddess of beauty instead. Keep me hungry for You, because You are the only thing that offers lasting satisfaction. Show me what it means to be beautiful in Your eyes. Also, thank you for creating chocolate.