Monday, August 25, 2008

Looking past the mirror

I do love fashion, skin care, pedicures, manicures, getting new make up and haircuts. I change my haircut constantly, Brett never knows what I'll come home with when I head of to see Chantone. It's fun, but none of it has ever made me a better person on the inside, perfect hair and makeup never made any of the deep hurts go away. Only God has taken away that ugliness.

One of the things I have always struggled with, as I know every woman struggles with is my appearance. I lived so many years in the image of the world, and what we are told to is beautiful, and desirable that it's become second nature for me to look at myself in the mirror and pick out all of my flaws on a daily basis.

Some days I'm better at this than others, but recently with the new level of medicines in my system that old habit is back in full force. The medicines I take have devastated my skin, on top of dealing with the usual aging skin struggles the extra steroid causes all other kinds of things, acne, puffiness, and my feet swelling. My other medicine has caused other skin issues as well and some days it just makes me so frustrated.

So I keep thinking about my previous post of Brinn becoming a Tween, and about the post I quoted from Lisa Whittle. What is my frustration with my appearance teaching Brinn. I know that because of some of my skin issues I stopped wearing shorts out of the house. I'm better now but earlier this spring I had a bad reaction to a topical cream treatment and Brinn overheard me telling Brett I don't want anyone to see my legs. The next couple of weeks toward the end of school Brinn (who lives in shorts) suddenly stopped wearing shorts. I finally sat down with her and asked her why, she said Mommy I don't want people to see my legs. It broke my heart, it was my direct words coming back to me. I asked her if she'd heard me say that she nodded yes, and so I showed her my rash and explained to her that she was beautiful the way God had built her. I also told her I would wear shorts on the weekend out of the house too. What a lesson.

Brinn watches me I'm her first role model, if I want her to look within herself to find her beauty, I have to model that for her. Something that God has been trying to teach me for years. I can't depend on my outer beauty to take me far, it'll only bring shallow fulfilment. I must learn to love the person that God loves. See the beauty he created in me, the deeper more meaningful part of me.

In 2000 I went to a Women's Retreat with my sister a still baby believer barley over a year old in my faith, God had brought me through a divorce and pregnancy, and was getting ready to send me out on my own. The woman who spoke was Debbie Alsdorf. She had spoke on many things but one of the things I remember was that she spoke on Psalm 139, and told us to put our baby picture in our Bible on that Psalm so we'd remember that it tells us in Psalm 139:13-16 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of the came to be." I was not a random birth, a happy accident that occurred 9 years after my brother, but apart of God's plan and purpose.

So as I struggle once again with the new battles of medicine and the tole it takes on my body, I'm searching myself to learn to love the true me, the one that doesn't show in the mirror, the part of me that God sees and calls his beautiful child. I want so much for Brinn to see this part of herself before anything else she sees, and I believe and put my hope in the fact that I learn to see this part of me, she will watch and see even though mommy puts on skin creams and make up it's not those things that make me beautiful, it's my love of God and his light in me that makes me beautiful.

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