Friday, January 15, 2016

What is Beautiful? 17 Weeks of Learning to Live A Beautiful Life

It's here! Week 17 of my 17 Weeks of Learning to Live a Beautiful Life.

I hope that I have inspired you just a little bit.

Or at least given you some mindless reading material.

For my last week I want to talk to you about being comfortable in your own skin. This can be difficult for many women in particular.

I am 40something and still struggle with many aspects about "me".

As I write this I am multi-tasking. And when I say multi-tasking I mean the TV is on and I've got half an eye on what's on. There is a segment on about the new fashion trends for the new year.

One of those trends is wearing see-through netting. This, of course, reveals certain undergarments on the wearer.

I hope this doesn't become a "thing".

I have enough trouble seeing folks at Wal-mart in their jammies.

But there will be those among us who jump on the "netting wear".  Just like there were those of us in the 7th grade who begged their parents for a pair of parachute pants. Preferably in purple.

More so than making questionable fashion choices, the challenge for many of us is being comfortable with who we are. Instead of embracing the beautiful creature God made us to be, we wind up at war with ourselves and spend most of our time trying to be somebody else.

If I could give any advice to my younger self it would be to focus on those qualities of inner beauty. And to recognize that there will come a time that all those trials and travails will bring about perseverance, kindness, loyalty...and more. They will add a depth of character that can't be mimicked by just knowing, doing or saying the "right thing" or the "popular thing".

Of course, there are always things we can work on as we grow. None of us will ever "arrive" least until we meet Jesus. But I think the recognition of that in itself is beauty. We are all flawed.

So my friends. On this last post of this series, I encourage you to see yourself the way God sees you.

I encourage you not to follow the trends and common practices of everyone around you. I encourage you to be really honest with yourself. Are you your biggest stumbling block to living a beautiful life? How can you improve the life your living? Are you enjoying the moment? Are you filling your life with lovely things?

As a Christian it is my ultimate goal to portray Christ. I also need to search my heart. Am I trying to please man? Galatians 1:10 tells us that we must seek the favor of God.

There also needs to be some defining about what is Beautiful in your own life. What are your values? Your hopes and dreams?  What do you inspire to be?

This is Beauty to me.

For me it is having new adventures. Even if that adventure is to wander through a book.

It is to treat others with kindness and compassion. To consider others more than I think of myself.

It is to surround myself with things I think are pretty and inspiring.

Beauty is enjoying the moment...even if the moment is filled with sticky messes.

It is spending time with people you love.

And radiating the love of Christ. Especially when I don't feel like it.

It needs to be taking small pleasures in those little treats I give myself. A long hot bath or a cup of tea.

Beauty is taking time to appreciate breathing in and out. And walking. Walking is a good one.

Beauty is creating special touches with my hands. Whether it be a crooked crochet chain or a dish of tomato soup.

Beauty is my son's contagious smile and quirky sense of humor. It is my husband's fierce devotion and loyalty.

And Beauty is looking in the mirror and not turning away in disappointment. It is understanding that between those extra layers, lines and wrinkles that one who loves and is loved in return resides there.

You can catch up with the rest of my 17 Weeks of Living a Beautiful Life by clicking on the banner below.

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