It’s so interesting reading back on this week and realizing that my battle with the mirror will always be something that’s a part of me. It’s the one thing I struggle with the most. Sure, there are good months (years, even) when it’s a non-issue. But it still cycles back around. And when it does, the insecurity hits hard. And it’s surprising.
I’ve learned some tricks over the years. I can successfully be in and out of the bathroom in 20 minutes flat, ready for my day. And when I take too long, things spiral quickly. Josh has learned some tricks of own. Non-verbal cues of encouragement that he began doing early on in our marriage. Like noticing when I started sighing while getting ready (the tell-tale sign that my brain was working against me). And one morning, as I grew more frustrated, he kissed me and walked out of the bathroom, turning off the light on his way. Then glancing at me as he walked away with that smile that he gives me. Letting me know that yes, it was intentional. And it’s time to walk away.
So I was surprised when insecurity came flooding back earlier this year.
I decided on a whim to chop off my long hair into a long bob. As in, I didn’t know I was going to do it until I was sitting in the salon chair. And with my hair in the ponytail appropriate for wig donation, the stylist was busy getting the right scissors, and my anxiety level rose. It was as if a needle-phobia patient had a tourniquet on her arm and the nurse was getting the needle ready.
But I cut it off. And I loved it. I mean, really loved it. At first. And then… I didn’t.
It turned out that this “easy” hair cut was much more high-maintenance than my 20-minutes-in-front-of-the-mirror rule would allow. And my habit of hair-washing the night before and sleeping on it wet that worked well for long hair? Didn’t turn out so well for short.
It took me a week to realize what was happening. I didn’t like waking up feeling ugly. Like I wasn’t myself until I put the perfectly-imperfect-bend-in-the-hair. And even still, while I wait for my hair to grow back out again (come on prenatal vitamins!), I have to remind myself daily that what I see in the mirror is not what other people see. And that really? His beauty-of-holiness trumps everything. And He made me just the way He wants me. So who am I to see fault in that?
this week in review
What was the overall thing that hit home the most for you this week? Let me know in the comments!
You just started getting your feet wet in the topic of beauty and holiness with thinking about the majesty of God – both in His glory, as well as the display of His glory. How do you think our clothing choices can both conceal and reveal us?
Have you noticed a connection between spending more time alone with God in a daily quiet time and receiving compliments on your appearance?
We all probably have some sort of daily skincare regimen, no matter how simple or complex. What is your regimen for maintaining a spirit that is not liable to corruption or decay?
Give an example from your life of how beauty has shown itself to be a lie.
I shared my personal experience with beauty insecurities with my danger zone happening to be the mirror. What is the one thing in your life that threatens to steal your understanding of your own beauty? Look deeper than the thing itself. I don’t want this to be a self-deprecating, “this is my worst feature” conversation. Look to the root of it. And discuss the Scripture that counteracts those vanity-lies.
a peek at next week
We’re getting ready to head into a week on marriage. And I say that gently. And with sensitivity. Because I know this particular week doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. And it can be a quietly heartbreaking and polarizing topic that some of you try to avoid at all costs.
I completely understand (hello – accidental studies on being a mom have not been my jam for the last ten years). But there is some hope that may or may not give you the comfort in approaching this week. Just like I have had spiritual children for the last decade, you also have a spiritual husband. Isaiah 45:5 says so.
You can read more specifically about that in the introduction. But for now, if you’re in the I-just-cringed-at-the-word-marriage camp, and your heart sank a little? I see you. You are not alone. And I’m praying for you.
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Hey! I’m so enjoying this time studying every day w/the Lord and you guys!
I think the thing I really enjoyed and hit me was The Lord being robed in majesty and the spirit coming up on us. I kind of looked at it like every morning getting up and clothing myself in HIS majesty.
I haven’t noticed anyone telling me I look more beautiful after studying more but I feel more beautiful.. I feel calm & more at peace with this transition in my life.
My regimen for maintaining a spirit that is not liable to corruption or decay is getting up early before my daughter so I can get that quiet time in with Jesus and praying throughout the day. Just this morning I slept a bit late and she got up early. Being a new step mom I would usually want to spend time bonding with her but I’m realizing I need to bond with the Holy Spirit before i can truly bond with her. So, I snuck away to my room to study while she played (she’s 7 so she’s okay) I’m also journaling more in my prayer journals for my husband and daughter.
I’d say that my beauty insecurity just comes from feeling like I look different. I have curly hair, pale skin, freckles, and a long nose and growing up all of my friends had straight hair or blew their hair straight and just seemed more like everyone else. I felt like the ugly duckling all the time. As we grew up and friends had boyfriends and got married and I was still single I was sure it was that I just wasn’t pretty and so different looking. Then about 6 years ago after another breakup with a not so great guy I decided to just embrace who I am. The artist, the single girl, the one who can be who she wants to be. I embraced the curly hair, dressed in the hippy/artsy clothes I wanted and decided everyone even my deeply rooted southern family could just learn to love me for me. I also felt like I wouldn’t ever be the fit athletic person I was as a teenager but then I decided to take control of that and began working out and it not only helped me be healthier but taught me self control and discipline. My biggest weapon for days that I feel ugly, different, or out of shape is that I have a choice…to have self control again with food and exercise but also to know and believe that God created me the way He did (curly hair, freckles, long nose and artsy clothes) because He saw me beautiful inside and out. I think we can’t hide who we were created to be because He created us for a purpose to be a part of the beautiful tapestry He has made of us all.
PS. my husband loves my curly hair, my pale skin, my freckles, and even my artsy clothes. Score!
Yes!! So much truth! There is something so amazing about stopping the resistance and simply embracing who He has made you to be. And clearly, it worked! Thank you so much for sharing your heart!
“I think we can’t hide who we were created to be…” – I truly love this, Meghan, and how your life changed once you decided to embrace the way God made you. The way He intended to make you. Beautiful.
It is truly freeing, Tina! It may sound puffed up but I love who He created me to be. I love that I’m different from my family & that I have something to bring to our lives to make everything more interesting. :0
Not puffed up at all. I think it sounds like a beautiful thing to relish in the person He created us to be. It sounds so simple but it is such a challenge.
Nooo not puffed up at ALL! There’s a difference between quiet confidence in who you were created to be and pride!
This week’s topic on beauty couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m 48 years old and feel outward/worldly beauty slipping with each day & the enemy using it to no end. My “regimen” involves paying close attention to my thoughts, stopping the negative chatter, & replacing lies with God’s truth. I also have to watch what fills me in general & ask: Does it speak life? I can be affected by people, music, television, and books – when I’m feeling vulnerable I need to pay close attention to all of it.
As far as beauty showing itself to be a lie, I have noticed our culture tends to pursue beauty as if it holds all of life’s answers. In my teens and early 20s I had an eating disorder and participated in a research study as part of treatment. We had to draw life-size pictures of our bodies (best we could) on the wall – the way we saw ourselves. Then they took real-life measurements and compared them to our drawings. The results were shocking to me; I never realized how distorted my view [of beauty as I saw it] was until that point. That being said, mirrors are a thing for me as well, Jane. My trick in the morning? I don’t turn on the overhead light, even while applying makeup. Just enough natural light to *see* but not enough to EXAMINE.
It’s interesting as I spot signs of aging, I see the enemy trying to pull out the same old bag of tricks he used in the days of my eating disorder. This week’s topic has been so helpful. The radiance I want is a heart issue, having nothing to do with this temporary outer shell. I love what Meghan said earlier in the discussion – about embracing the body God gave her, all of it. Such a good reminder for me in this season.
Girl, I love that not-turning-on-the-mirror! I love hearing other people’s tricks that have helped them overcome lies. And I love that, in standing confidently in the dark, His light is shining!
Day 1: Just taking forever to choose our clothing is time we could have spent with God. I use to take way too long! My wardrobe has been simplified (project 333). This gives me more time in the morning to do my study. I’d rather be staring at His face than mine in a mirror! I feel it can show what our priorities are.
Since I have been devoting more time to God in the morning and less time on my clothing and makeup I am so much happier! Yes, I still want to look good. I’ve just changed my routine and priorities.
Thank you so much for teaching an old dog a new trick! I love using online tools to do research! I’ve never been much of an online person up to this point other than email and Facebook. And I didn’t even know what “parse” was. By Day 2 of week 3 I actually went down my own “rabbit trail”. If you knew me your eyes would be wide open at this. Oh how wonderful! I haven’t been able to do this for years!
I have Rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and it has become difficult to hold heavy books. I completely stopped using all of my wonderful references due to their weight. God has opened the door for me to dig into His word the way I use to with so much more efficiency and comfort! Thank you for being his tool! Thank you for teaching me! I can’t even begin to tell you the depth path of my gratitude!!!