Category Archives: life

The Secret to Being Sexy – A Response to video “Makeup Fake Sexy Body”

Today I participated in a typical pass time, an all to frequent one, the endless scroll through my Facebook feed. All together bored, and too complacent to do something meaningful, I looked to Facebook for entertainment. Next thing I know I’m watching this video titled, “Makeup Fake Sexy Body” (click here to view the video I’m referencing).

I found myself sucked into the mastery of this makeup artist’s talent and the insanity of it all, along with millions of other viewers, who’ve liked, shared and commented on this heartbreaking reality. As I watched quite literally appalled, I became more and more heartbroken that this is what young girls and women are preoccupied with – creating illusions and buying into the lie that says, “This is sexy”. In it’s very own title it exposes the fact that it’s fake; therefore, it’s very intent is to deceive, it’s the deceiving of others but more importantly it’s the deceiving of self. In a world of everyday contouring, neck highlights, fake eyelashes and crop tops displaying fake abs, it’s easy to get lost in the world’s standard of beauty, because if Selena Gomez does it, then it must be sexy. Everywhere I look I see women hiding their true selves from the world, tucking their shame, insecurities and their authentic selves behind the masks they so desperately cling to. A flawless contour will never be able to cover up the condition of one’s soul and the more layers one applies, the more difficult it is to be known; which isn’t that every heart’s deepest desire – to be be known fully and to be loved in spite of it?

I haven’t been able to have children yet, but I think about my unborn babies all the time, I dream of who they will become and how I will help them discover their true selves. I think about my future daughter and how she’s going to be watching me, what will I be teaching her without realizing it? What will my son learn from me about true beauty and how to recognize it in his future spouse?

I was a child, my mom took her seat at the vanity to prep for her weekly date night with my dad, and I took my seat at her feet, watching her every move. She began applying her foundation, quickly blending her blush. That shimmery stuff she called eyeshadow I wasn’t supposed to touch went on next, and then came that black stuff in a tube they call mascara. Her mouth moved around in a funny way as she brushed that stuff on and then a nice shade of pink on the lips polished it all off. She frequently ended the ritual with a satisfied, “That’s good enough!” and in 10 minutes or less she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I remember thinking, ‘If only I could look like that when I grow up’.

Well, I’m all grown up now and have long since mastered the art of applying makeup. I love the stuff, it’s fun to play with and it’s extremely useful on those days where half an eyebrow is just not cutting it. Yet, every time I sit down to do my makeup, I’m often reminded of that little girl watching her mom and I now realize my mom was teaching me something much more valuable than where to apply blush. She taught me the secret to being sexy.

The secret lies in verses 3-5 of 1 Peter chapter 3. “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God…”

Here’s the deal, hair and makeup, clothes and jewelry, they are all super fun and completely ok. I love it all. Where I think we can struggle is when we become “concerned” as 1 Peter says, or preoccupied with them that we neglect what’s most important, which is our inner beauty. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Beauty Fades” but what doesn’t fade is the condition of our soul. That lives on, no matter what. In hindsight, it was the condition of my mom’s soul, the years she attended to her inner beauty that gave her the courage to approach each day with a, “Good enough” to the outside shell. And for the little girl watching, it is a great source of encouragement for when I face the mirror each day.

See I wasn’t just watching my mom put on her makeup.
I  watched her get up every morning and spend hours with the Lord in prayer and study Scripture.
I watched her commit to and care for her marriage.
I watched her sacrifice and pour herself out for her children.
I watched her love.
I watched her trust.
I watched her be brave.
I watched her mentor.
I watched her listen.
I watched her give.
I watched her laugh at herself and the days to come.
I watched her hurt and choose to let go of hate.
I watched her scared and choose to surrender fear.
I watched her choose joy.
I watched her care.
I watched her participate.
I watched her be passionate.
I watched her humility.
I watched her tired and choose to face each day anyway.
I watched her be broken and walk towards healing.
I watched her cry and choose to be vulnerable.
I watched her live.

And I as I continue to watch my mom live her life surrendered, putting her trust in God, I have learned that the secret to being sexy isn’t in hiding, it’s in laying down your mask in utter confidence that you will be exposed and in doing so you will surely be known. And in that single act of bravery, daring to believe that you are loved just as you are by the God that sees you, the real you and says, “That’s my girl, I love you.”

And beloved isn’t that the greatest thing of all? To be be known fully and to be loved in spite of it?

So let’s embrace the idea of “Good Enough” and stop clinging to our brushes and contour kits; trading in fake sexy for true beauty. Confidently resting in the grace of the fact that we are loved by our Creator, because somewhere there is a little girl watching.

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29 Things My Life Has Taught Me

29.

29 years is how long I’ve now been on this earth and it is has been beautiful and brutal all at the same time – as Glennon Doyle Melton says, “It’s Brutiful”…

How do you sum up 29 years in a few paragraphs? You can’t really. So I’ve decided to make a list – a truth list of the 29 things that my brutiful life has taught me.

  1. My parents are a gift from God – not only did He use them to bring me into this world but His sovereign grace allowed me to be raised by two beautifully imperfect people who taught me how to love Jesus with all my heart, how to dream big – they always told me I could be anybody I wanted to be, and they showed me what it looks like to live a life of loving sacrifice and obedience to the Lord. They also taught me how to have a lot of fun!
  2. Honesty is truly the best policy – There is no other way to live. I love this quote by Mother Teresa, “Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” I’ve come to understand through my own journey that behind every mask is a beautiful wretched soul that is desperate to be known. Transparency is the key to our growth and healing and might even help someone else out along the way.
  3. Quality friendships are key – Life is way more fun with them and the bumpy, rocky, horrendous seasons require them.
  4. My mother was right – skin does lose it’s elasticity – seriously! Gravity is real!
  5. You will grow facial hair – the growth is insane!
  6. Tears are healthy – it’s extremely healthy – crying is like a shower for your soul.
  7. Laughter is life – find a reason to laugh multiple times a day it truly is the best medicine. I like to think it’s God’s love language.
  8. Marriage is hard and wonderful – Our fairytale ending can only be found in the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, no earthly relationship will fulfill our deepest desires to be known – they can only give us glimpses of the real deal – however hard marriage is, it’s so worth it.
  9. Short of sending His Son to die for me, my husband is one of God’s greatest love gifts to me  – Micah truly you are His tangible love and grace in my life.
  10. I will always be a Starbucks girl – it’s just the way it is – though, I now have a new appreciation for cold brew.
  11. Food and I will always have a complex relationship – I’m learning how to make it a healthy one, instead of a crippling one. But my weight does not and will never define me – I am the beloved daughter of the one true King – that is my identity, not a number on a scale.
  12. Sometimes you’ve got to put a little Mt. Dew in your wine – don’t worry it was white.
  13. Life sucks sometimes – live it anyway – there are things that happen in this life that I will never understand, but it’s not my job to understand, or even ask why – it’s to trust and ask “what?”
  14. I want kids and all that comes with it! – Never tell me, “Just wait till you have kids” – most hurtful phrase anyone could ever say to me. I have been waiting for 5 years – and I have counted all the costs, experienced all the loss, waited and tried, waited and tried again and still ache for babies of my own. One of my deepest struggles is to keep hoping and trusting. God knows what He is doing even if I don’t understand.
  15. Vacations are not a luxury they are a necessity – even if it’s camping – get away at least once a year, it’s so healthy and so worth it.
  16. Family is everything – don’t dismiss them, take extreme care with these relationships, sometimes friends can be family too, everyone’s picture is different but none the less handle with care.
  17. I will always be a “sweater” – Put me in a freezer, the desert is my personal hell
  18. School was worth it – so grateful for the grace to persevere through that challenge, it’s such an awesome accomplishment and it taught me to keep fighting, and never give up.
  19. You might experience balding – I have to admit this one knocked me on my ass and I’m still trying to get back up.
  20. Do the things that scare you – life is so much more fulfilling when you do things that require you to trust big.
  21. Bring beauty into your world whenever possible – a bouquet of flowers will go a long way to brightening up a gloomy day – here in Seattle we have plenty of those.
  22. Clinical depression is not a death sentence – don’t let it steal your purpose, your joy, your drive, your reason for existing. Fight and fight some more. Get out of bed, live on purpose, be about others – it’s the cure, take a shower, never give in to it’s grip and open up the blinds.
  23. Write – it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, the gift of self-reflection, go on a journey to get to know yourself better, it will help you get to know the Lord in a more intimate way and to be a more compassionate human being.
  24. Give what you have – it’s always more than enough, your time, your finances, yourself, your talents, give it all and watch what God does in and through you because He’s God.
  25. Forgive – It’s one of the most powerful forces on this earth. Receive it, give it and know it – God’s forgiveness of my sins is the reason I cannot, will not withhold forgiveness from anyone on this earth. I don’t deserve it, they don’t deserve it, no one deserves it, that’s what makes it so beautiful.
  26. My pets are my children – it’s ok if you don’t get it, I do. In the meantime #sorrynotsorry for all the Instagram pics of the fur babies.
  27. Sometimes you’ll get a bad haircut – it’s not the end of the world, really. Take a day to mourn and then get on with your life.
  28. Be present – in all things, in all conversations, in every moment. Put down the phone.
  29. I don’t know anything really – oh except that I will probably always struggle with spelling #thestruggleisreal oh… and I hate hashtags #butiusethemsarcastically
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