Beauty.

It’s a hard word to swallow in this over-thin, over-weight, over-critical culture.

My daughter is one year old. I want to imprint beauty into the wet cement of her soul.

I want her to see herself through beauty’s eyes. Inside and out.

Do you? Do you see beauty spilling out of your reflection in a friend’s eyes?

One Friday one year ago over one hundred women spent five minutes writing about beauty. It’s still one of my favorite things to read. If you missed it first time around, you may to soak in these words a while the next time you’re daunted by your swim suit.

These are a few of their five minute stories:

I chase her down but, elusive, she stays just out of reach. I find myself thinking that maybe just maybe if I eat less or if I happen to stumble upon a fabulous hair day or I throw on that pretty new outfit…maybe she’ll show up and I can hold her for longer than brief seconds… I don’t know if it’s so much beauty that I desire, but the confidence of a woman whose position is strong and secure. To be beautiful requires exhaling into all of who He made me to be. Walking with Him…confident, secure, grounded, solid…..beautiful. ~Katy

Beauty…sitting in our local Coffee House and suddenly hearing our four year old son singing in the bathroom at the top of his lungs, “He is worthy to praise.” ~ Loni

We had a “photo shoot” at work this week.
They needed updated staff shots for our web-site.
THE STRESS!
I watched as every woman on staff including myself was sent into a sheer panic.
As silly as the frenzy was what I loved watching was how each woman on staff supported each other.
Friends stayed for friends helping make sure their bangs weren’t being odd.
Friends made silly faces so that smiles were genuine.
Friends encouraged and lavished each other with compliments of beauty. ~ Carey

There was a time when beauty was hard for me to see. …Most of the time I was awkward, never quite the one to fit in. Never the popular girl, but shy and scared. I heard those harsh words that would rattle our house, that would sting hard. Anger that would swell, and I took it personal.

One day beauty found me in my darkest place. I was captivated by a Savior who loved me no matter what…I was a princess to my Heavenly Father. ~ Denise

Today I met a friend and I noticed she hadn’t shaved. So I asked why she wasn’t shaving. She told me that she realized that if she didn’t shave for a few days she would start to feel very uncomfortable around people, almost ashamed. And that she felt this wasn’t right, that it’s a normal part of our body and should not be a shame feature when you don’t shave.

So she decided to stop shaving all together. And she likes it. And her husband likes it. ~ Krista

Writing about beauty seems kind of silly when you are 37 1/2 weeks pregnant. Everyone else thinks you are beautiful, but all I can see right now is the end in sight {you know, when I’ll get my body back}. …Then we went for pedicures… and we laughed and laughed and laughed …I love having shiny new pretty feet all ready for labor… but I also remember one thing… God’s Word and how it says my feet are beautiful if I spread His good news. ~ Traci Michelle

Am I beautiful?

I ask it to the constellations scattered over the humming wild night. I ask it to the strangers who smile at me in the airport as I wait for my flight to help my beautiful friend get married this weekend. I wonder it silently in my eyes and in my heart, and I look in the mirror so curious about that girl who looks back at me.

Beauty is flinging wide the doors of your heart, no matter the past hurt and the past confusion, no matter if the question lingers late in the afternoon or if you don’t think you’ll ever get an answer.

And so my heart’s wide open. ~Hilary

I don’t find much beauty in a place populated by strip malls and highways. I try to look past the never ending skyline of suburbia and see to the heart of my home. I see beauty in the well worn path to the home of a dear friend, beauty in my place of worship and in freedom, and beauty in knowing that familiarity does not actually breed contempt, it breeds a sense of belonging. ~Kimberly

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been good at finding beauty. It’s when I turn my gaze on myself that the trouble comes. All through my childhood, teens and early twenties, I was convinced that I was ugly. When I look at pictures of myself from those times, I’m amazed that I felt so horrible. I see a girl who may not be conventionally beautiful, sure, but whose smile is warm, hair is glossy, eyes are bright. I want to call her and tell her she’s pretty. ~Claire

i’ve been thinking on beauty in earnest for the past fourteen years. about six months after the birth of my first daughter. twenty-two months later with the birth of my second daughter. and then sixteen months more, with the coming of my third.
and i realized that my ideas of beauty that i’d carried some thirty-long years were going to need a makeover.
an overhaul.
a trip to the salon. ~ Hope Unbroken

Some days it’s not easy to see beauty. It’s easier to see that heat and humidity make my skin flush and my hair go crazy. Or that I don’t weigh what I want to. Or I just plain don’t feel good about myself some days. And then I remember. When we insult ourselves, we insult God’s creation. For we are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made.” ~Amy

Perhaps I have always equated beauty with perfection…moments in time when all the world seems right, when things are smooth, when hope and joy are in abundance. But maybe beauty can live in chaos. Maybe beauty can live in pain. Maybe beauty can live in me, despite me. ~ Jen

Beauty. I find it easy to find beauty in many things. The sun filtering through the leaves. The dimples on my little girl. The deep brown eyes of my boy. The chubby knees of my baby boy. The strong shoulders of my husband. But in me? I struggle.

 

And I wonder, why is this such a struggle for me?

As I contemplate that answer, I think that a lot of it has to do with who I have given authority in deciding what is beautiful in me. ~ Dayebydaye

When they see her, it’s the eyes they notice first: wide and brown and lashes the length of I-70 across Kansas. Then her dimples, not in her cheeks, but under those big brown eyes. Then her laugh, her smile, then her speed. Because she won’t let you look at her long. She’s too busy, too fast, too mature for such trivial things as the outstanding beauty of a 4-year-old girl on fire for life. ~JackandDellasMum

Beauty is not red lipstick. It is a word fitly spoken, a prayer for loved ones, a prayer for our enemies, a compliment, praise, words of thanks, a kiss, a lullaby, and “I love you’s.” ~Kelly

This girl has the real beauty I think. Laughing comes easily to her, because she knows it’s the beauty of life. She knows that even the small things can be funny. This is my cousin who has beauty in more ways than one. My cousin who will not talk till she sees the beauty of heaven. ~Bethanne

I am beautiful in and out
Created in his very image – a display of His glory
Called out of darkness into His marvellous light
Beautiful ‘cos He’s in me and I in Him
Beauty resides in my home! ~Atshaibu

 

Beauty is family loving each other, despite each other. ~Sophia

And there, in the distance on the jetty was Lana, the secretary at the school. I was wondering what she was doing there, and as my eyes fixed on her as we drove by, she was standing with her arms raised to Heaven and her face gleaming and staring upward in worship of Jesus. It was all of 10 seconds that I caught this site, and it was one of the most lasting and beautiful pictures of worship I had seen. It impacted me from that moment on.
I wanted THAT kind of beauty! ~ Jennifer

She has changed me.

I no longer complain about my hair.

She is listening.

I no longer fuss about my weight.

She is watching.

I no longer berate my features.

I want to teach her the One who made us both makes no mistakes.

I know this awe I inspire in her won’t last forever. She is only five. But for now, I don’t have to look in the mirror to see beauty reflected back at me.

I just look into her eyes.~ Gaby

Beauty lingers all around me at 2am when I’m up with my baby girl beauty, feeding, soothing, rocking countless, endless, and constantly interrupted night time shifts. The more haggered I feel in the morning, the more beautiful I know my soul is becoming.

This aching for service for this family. This fighting down frustration and fighting back chaos. This making time in the midst to set out on the messy back deck with Peter to just reconnect. This is the greatest finding of beauty in the midst of my every day Polaroids.

My mirror is no longer the boss of me. I now tell it what to see.~My original Five Minute Friday

He has made everything beautiful. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11.

So, tell me – what makes you feel beautiful?

 


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