Saturday, January 23, 2010

whats real?

When we turn the news on and see young women having ten plastic surgeries in one day we can know something is wrong with the way we view ourselves and want others to view us. When did it all begin? Who was the first woman to look in the mirror and think to herself,"I am not good enough"? Did it begin right after the fall of man when Adam and Eve left the garden? What happened to women after that? Sadly, today nothing has changed. Women all across this world look to themselves as not being beautiful, not being thin enough, not being pretty, and wishing they could change themselves. But now it has gone even further than just thinking I am not pretty enough. It has gone to looking at others and wishing we looked like them. Maybe if we had a different nose, different lips, if our thighs were smaller, if our waist was tinier, if our bottom was a little fuller we would be prettier. Where does it all begin and where does it all end?
We can pick up magazines and look at the cover, seeing beautiful women. We can open the pages and find even more. Their hair is perfect, they are thin as a bone, and have the latest styles on. We find ourselves thinking, "I wish I looked like that". We choose clothing from these magazines, we choose hairstyles in hopes they will make us look like the latest celebrity in the headlines. Why do we see such fault in ourselves when we can look to others and see beauty? We always seem to want what we do not have. In that thinking, we think if we only had those traits, those styles, those looks, things would be better.

Not just young girls, but women are overwhelmed with thinking they are not good enough as is, but we need to improve ourselves to be special. We have young girls thinking the less they wear the more attractive they are. We have women encouraging this behavior in their daughters, and not even realizing it. The sad thing is that most of the women encouraging their daughters in this behavior it is just a reflection of the pattern we are teaching. Every time we say things like," We are fat, we need to lose weight, look at this big zit on my face, I hate cellulite, I want to have bigger breasts, if only I had blond hair, or these shoes make my feet look fat, we are adding to their insecurity about how they look. We ask our daughters,"Do these jeans make my butt look big?" We are teaching our daughters right there that beauty is one certain way, one certain look, and we don't have it. What do we really think we are teaching them?

We may tell our daughters they are beautiful, we may point out all the beautiful things about them, but are we showing them that truth in our own lives? We often contradict ourselves in our speech and our actions. I remember always sharing with my girls how beautiful they are and I still share with them just how gorgeous they are today, but I don't really think I gave them that security in my actions. Just where do I think they learned that insecurity? From me. I have been one of those women who have thought at times, "I am not good enough, I am not pretty enough, and I wish these jeans fit me a different way." If we are honest, we can admit that we all have insecurities within our bodies.

Too often we see ourselves much different than others see us. I look at other women, friends of mine and women I see on the street and think they are so beautiful, but can turn around and look in the mirror only to think I am not. Why? I am not sure why. My husband tells me daily how beautiful I am. My family tells me that very fact, along with friends. I do not think that is our problem. Just as I would tell my daughters they are beautiful. I think our problem lies with television, movies, magazines, the cat walk, and billboards constantly bombing us with the details of just how we can make ourselves better, just how we can lose 20 pounds without exercise and healthy food, but to fit in that dress for the party. We see the ads for make up, for glamorous details to help make our eyes look bigger, our lashes thicker, our lips pout, and to cover all those unsightly blemishes! That is the beginning of our problem, the next step in our problem is that we listen! We actually believe and allow these ads to brainwash us into thinking we are not good enough like we are, but once we make these improvements we will be. Who says? Who says, when enough is enough? Just like this young actress allowing ten plastic surgeries in one day. She was already beautiful, but why did she feel as though she had to look a certain way?

What happens when this girl begins to age? More surgery? Or dare we ask how long this look will make her happy. Age is something that will happen no matter what. We cannot stop time. We must change our attitudes, and begin to see ourselves as the beautiful women God created us to be. Why not dare to be different than all trying to look the same?

God made all of us different and unique in our own way. God doesn't make junk, He doesn't make mistakes, and He creates with love. If we are all created in His image, why are so wanting to change what He has given? Why not be pleased with His work and stop looking to others for how we wished we looked?

No matter how much I try I will never look like Julia Roberts, I will never have long legs, and my hair will never grow to my hips, hips in which I do not have. I will never be 5'9 and will never have long eye lashes. I will never get rid of my cellulite, nor will I see the freckles on my body go away. No hair cut, no style, no amount of make up is going to make me look like someone else in an ad or in a movie.

I am ME, the one God created to bring glory and honor to His name through my life. I have blue eyes on the days in which I feel great, and they turn green on those in which I feel bad. I have red hair, and no matter how much I try with all my might to change the color, that red is never leaving. I am 5'4 and will never have legs to my neck. My pants will forever be too long and Capri's will always be short pants for me. I have a birthmark on my lower leg that always gets brighter in the summer. I have scars on my chest from a burn, and scars from surgeries that each tell a story.

I need to be able to look in the mirror and say, "Thank You, Lord, for all You have given me." Beauty begins in the heart of a woman, and when her heart is overflowing with beauty it will shine like nothing before on the outside. Why are we so afraid just to be us?

When we are humble, full of grace and mercy, when we give, when we reach out to others, when we open our hearts to love, beauty is there. When we sacrifice for our families, when we are on our knees in prayer, when we are lifting up a friend, when we are holding a babe, when we are giving all we have, that is beauty. Let all that God has given shine forth through us.

We are not eggs in a carton. When we open the carton of eggs, we make sure all are perfect, no cracks, nor breaks. If there are some that are different, we place that carton right back on the shelf. God does not have us placed in an egg carton. He is not looking to see if we are all the same, in fact He wants us to stand out and be unique. He wants us to allow Him to move through those cracks and breaks to let the light shine through. He uses every part of us for His glory. Those very things we may think are defective, He sees as beauty and way to reach our hearts and others.

I pray today can be a new day for us girls. May we learn we may not be perfect in man's eyes, we may have blemishes, but in God's eyes, we are made perfect in Him. May we begin to see the beauty He sees in us, and stop looking to the world for its opinion of what beauty is.

Psalm 139:14 "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (NIV)


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