, , , ,

Here’s a personal confession that no one knows.

I am in a better mood after I put on my make-up. (Did I just admit that out loud!!?)

To be honest, I often feel more confident, more secure, more put together, more equipped to face the day after I have put “my face on”, as my 93-year-old grandmother says.

A perfect example: recently I was a bit stressed out and in a hurry as my husband and I were trying to get to a friend’s birthday dinner (because I was running late as usual).  When the babysitter arrived at our house, I hadn’t yet put on my makeup, so as I dashed out of the house to try to arrive at the party on time, I grabbed my make-up bag to apply it in the car.  Is that the first time I had put make-up on in the car?  Of course not!  What struck me this time, however, was how my outlook changed after I put my makeup on.

I looked at my husband, as we cruised down the highway, after my makeup was all in place, I said with a big sigh of relief, now I feel better“.

Then I PAUSED….shook my head…and said to my husband…

Something is not right about that.”

When did make-up become something that makes me feel confident, prepared and secure?

What percentage of my focus, energy and effort are put towards preparing a beautiful outward person, versus preparing a beautiful inner person?

When did I succumb to this worldview of beauty that turns the gaze of my devotion toward the outside, when God created me to value what He values, the unfading beauty of a gentle spirit?

I am not quite sure what all the answers to those questions are, but I wanted to share this confession.  I want to share with you about how it made me start to think a bit more critically about my daily ritual of applying make-up and how that relates to a deeper spiritual reality.

Webster’s Definition of BEAUTY

The quality or aggregate of qualities in a
person or thing that gives pleasure to the
senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or
spirit : loveliness.

Dont’ get me wrong.  I enjoy make-up because it is beautiful.  I love beauty- if anything is beautiful I am attracted to it.

I want to be beautiful, to be surrounded by beauty. Who doesn’t?

The thing that worries me, though, is that I can so easily honor the “aggregate qualities in a person or thing that give pleasure to my senses” above the things that give pleasure to God’s heart.

I WANT OUT of this way of thinking and living.  I don’t want my mantra everyday to be “whew- I feel better now that I have my make-up on” and instead I want to be found with an unflinching rest, peace, assurance in who I am in God…not who I am on the outside.

The LORD does not look at the things people look at.

People look at the outward appearance,

but the LORD looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:1-13

Our culture is obsessed with the outside.  If I may, I would even propose that our culture, media, and even my own heart at times,

worships the outside.

I want my beauty to be of a quality that is not only pleasing to the senses but moreover is pleasing to God’s heart.  I know that physical beauty and outward appearance changes and fades, but I want the beauty of my “insides” to be a blessing to God and to others no matter what I may look like on the outside…or which color lipstick is “working for me” or may not be working so well.  I want my heart to be ablaze with passion for HIM and HIS will on the earth.  When I see people who live with an unrelenting focus and commitment to Jesus, to me, that is most beautiful of all.

this pic is from the website liesyoungwomentbelieve.com - incredible resource...the books Lies Women Believe and Lies Young Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss are great for gaining perspective on issues like these. You should check it out and pass it on.

Taking it further…

How many minutes a day do you spend on preparing a beautiful exterior, and how many minutes do you spend cultivating a heart that is tender, loving, vulnerable and beautiful to your loving God?  (there is NO condemnation or guilt here- just a question to help us reflect on where our heart is)

How do you stay focused on prioritizing your “insides” over your outsides when trying to live a beauty-filled life that brings pleasure to God, not just pleasure to the senses?

Please share with me your thoughts, reflections and reactions to this post.  I want to have conversations about the things that impact us and to continue on this journey WITH you-

May you sense God’s unchanging love and affection for you today, and may you rest in knowing that you are so treasured and valued in His heart.

~ Wrapped in His Affection ~

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4