Tag Archives: faith

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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Fighting for the “Happy” in Happy Mother’s Day

Infertile Woman

Mother’s Day is always prefaced with the word, “Happy”… what a sweet word, what a sweet gesture, wishing moms a Happy Mother’s Day is what is socially expected, it’s what should be done. It’s what I do, and I want to mean it, today I did, but only because I chose it.

I chose “Happy”… but not without a fight, not without shedding some tears. Sometime’s “Happy” has to be redefined, sometimes “Happy” is fought for.

For those fighting for “Happy” I felt compelled to let you know I “see” you.

I am you.

You are not alone.

And for those who have no idea what I am talking about… if you will, let me help you “see” it.

What about that mom that waited 42 weeks to see her unborn child’s sweet face, only to be told that her “Happy” will be holding his lifeless body in her arms for a few short hours before having to say goodbye?

What about that mom whose child ran away and her “Happy” would just be knowing they are alive somewhere and safe?

What about the children whose mom is riddled with Alzheimer’s and their “Happy” was having her recognize them for a fleeting moment before she slipped away again?

What about the children who ache for their mom because she was taken too early, what if their “Happy” is remembering the person she was?

What about the relationships that are estranged? What’s their “Happy”?

What about the women like me? The women that ache in silence, for fear of being pitied. The women who discreetly watch from a distance as all their friends bring new life into this world, while they are inwardly tormented by the fact that their body doesn’t work right. These women fight back tears as another Facebook friend posts an ultrasound picture, a Pinterest worthy announcement titled “we’re expecting”, growing tummies and shower invitations. Women who wait patiently every month, only to be overcome with grief each time they see one line instead of two. Women who beg to a merciful God to at least remove the desire so it will be more bearable.

Women who bravely navigate the questions, ‘So…when are you two going to start having kids?’ ‘Will we be expecting any grand babies soon?’ ‘Do you want children?’ ‘Wow you’ve been married 9 years? Isn’t it about time you start having kids?’ ‘Aren’t you just so happy for her?’

Women who constantly have to use self-control so they don’t slap people who are simply careless. ‘I hate kids, they are so annoying, I can’t stand them.’ ‘Just wait till you’re a mom.’ ‘You’ll understand once you have kids of your own.’ ‘You never know! You could be pregnant.’ ‘I never wanted this.’ ‘You don’t know how good you have it.’ ‘Just stop trying and it will happen.’

For as long as I can remember all I’ve ever wanted was to be a mom. I never knew how much heartache that desire would bring. For 5 years I have watched from a distance, I’ve felt bitterness, anger, despair, hopelessness, contempt, condemnation, fear, hatred, sorrow and indescribable pain.

But…

I have also felt deep joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and an immovable faith has been chiseled out of all that pain. Jesus has never once abandoned me and in all that waiting I have found him to be everything I need and have lacked in my own flesh.

My “Happy” is a choice. It’s choosing joy. It’s choosing to continue to hope. It’s pressing on even when I’m hurting. It’s finding purposeful things to do with my time. It’s looking for ways to bless and encourage others. It’s being present, even when I want to hide.

“Happy” comes when you start asking “What?” not “Why?”

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will be a mom some day, it just might look a little different then what I had always pictured.

And in the meantime, I am fighting…

Fighting for “Happy”

So I can say this truthfully and genuinely, to all the Mothers in my life, Happy Mother’s Day. And to all my sisters whose arms are aching like mine, the most beautiful thing anyone ever said to me and I say it to you now, “If you can’t hope right now, I will hope for you.”

 

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