Be REAListic: You Are Beautiful!

Friends, I have such a treat for you today! My longtime friend and fellow writer, Kari Patterson, is here today to share a truly BEAUTIFUL post (pun intended). If you’ve been reading here for a while, you probably know that Kari and I have a friendship that stretches back awhile“It’s not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer (E.B. White).” Kari is both.

I’m thrilled to share this treasure with you today as part of my REALisitic Beauty and Fitness Challenge. Thank you, Kari! 

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Every experience of beauty points to eternity.”
-Hans Urs von Balthasar

We all want to be beautiful women. We might shun cosmetics and hate high-heels—and that’s fine—but no matter what our dress or sense of style, we all want to be beautiful. We want to be pleasing to God and others. How?

By letting His reflection shine through.

All that is beautiful is simply a reflection of God. Here’s the freeing part: You are beautiful. You were created beautiful because you were created in His image. Whether you’re a pear or an apple or a bean-pole, whether you’re eighteen or eighty-five, you are beautiful because God created women in His image, to reflect His beauty to a watching world. How do we reflect beauty? First and foremost by nurturing the “hidden woman of the heart, the gentle and quiet spirit” that Peter speaks of in 1 Peter 5.

Does that mean we can’t talk? That we must be shy? No, it means we have a spirit at rest. When we live the sacred mundane we commune with God all day and we gain a heart that’s at rest. We trust Him. We talk to Him. We’re not anxious or stressed, no longer harried and haggard. Even during the sleepless nights with newborns and the emotional time of the month, we can still have a gentle and quiet spirit at rest, which works itself out on our face, our countenance, our speech. That restful spirit is a beautiful gift to all those we meet.

Consider these words by Stasi Eldredge:

A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet center where God dwells that he finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in Him, she is enough … A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest, trusting God because she has come to know Him to be worthy of her trust. She exudes a sense of calm, a sense of rest, and invites those around her to rest as well … A woman of true beauty offers others the grace to be and the room to become.”

The world says that a 6-foot 100-pound 20-year-old model is the standard of beauty, therefore the rest of us are not beautiful. The Word says God created all of us in His image, therefore we already are beautiful. Our job, therefore, issimply to reflect His beauty and work diligently so that we do not mar or hide the beauty of God in us. We refuse to walk in shame and insecurity, instead bravely letting our defenses down and showing the world our beautiful imperfections. As we rest in Him, trust Him, smile, eat healthy, exercise, dress beautifully and modestly, and speak lovely words of life, we reflect His beauty in world. Where the world tells us we must stress and sweat and strive to make ourselves beautiful, God’s Word says we already are beautiful because we’re made in His image, so we can rest, trust, and joyfully work to simply reflect His image in our lives.

How are you reflecting His beauty today? Some questions to consider:

  • Do I believe God has made me beautiful? What lies have I heard that have told me otherwise? How can I take those to God and believe the truth of who I am?
  • If I’m married, have I honored my husband with my physical appearance? Have I taken care of my outward appearance so my family is blessed?
  • Do I have any habits which diminish God’s beauty in me?
  • Do I smile often?
  • Are my words and attitude beautiful and life-giving or ugly and destructive?
  • Do I seek to bless others with my appearance or impress others with my appearance?
  • What steps can I take today to reflect the beauty of God in my life?

{Thanks for reading, beautiful ladies…}
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Kari Patterson juggles the hats of pastor’s wifey, preschool mommy, speaker, teacher, writer, mentor, friend, daughter–occasionally dropping them all on her crumb-covered floor. (It’s ok, really.) She celebrates the Sacred Mundane over at KariPatterson.com

Comments

  1. says

    Ahh I love it, Kari. I think we all believe the lie “I’m not beautiful” in different seasons, or ya know, everyday. It’s such a cripping lie, and I think that’s the point. Thank you for asking us to consider how we view beauty in ourselves!

  2. says

    WOW!! Exactly what I needed this morning. Just last night a few women & I were discussion our “people pleasing” nature and our insecurities.

    Thank you for addressing both the physical and spiritual aspects of beauty and how they are related. Last night one of my mentors shared how God was changing some of her physical challenges “from the inside out”. God is healing her on the inside and it is changing the way she takes care of her body (the outside).
    Being part of a culture that is so visual it is easy to get distracted with the outward appearance and forget that true beauty really does come from within.
    I was particularly challenged by two points in Kari’s post; the reflection question: “Do I seek to bless others with my appearance or impress others with my appearance?” The question gives me real perspective and will be a useful tool in helping me to curb my appetite for fitting in and people pleasing.
    The second this I was most challenged by is part of the quote from Stasi Eldredge, “A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest, trusting God because she has come to know Him to be worthy of her trust…” This is one of those things that I know to be true in my head, but still struggle to make at home in my heart. I know the opposite to be true & real, there is such a difference even in the way I relate, especially to my husband, when I am anxious or stressed, he gets the brunt of it. I will be using the reflection question: “Are my words and attitude beautiful and life-giving or ugly and destructive?” as a tool to evaluate what my words and attitude are saying about where my heart is and hopeful tracing my attitudes back to situation that I am failing to trust the Lord with.

    Thanks Ladies!!

    • says

      Well, Mrs. Cody Flannery thank you so much for so beautifully interacting and honestly sharing your heart. You’re a gift! Yes, those two things are what really challenge me as well. The most beautiful thing I can wear is a smile and a content heart. My husband finds me irresistible when I wear that. 🙂 And oh yes, even as I get dressed for Bible study and church each week I ask, “Seeking to impress or bless?” We’d do well to post that on our closet doors! Thanks again, for your interaction here.

  3. says

    I love it, Kari, every word! God has been teaching me so much through this challenge about concentrating on living beautifully, versus seeking to attain a certain kind of beauty. This post was so perfect! And I’m going to be asking myself every day as I look in the mirror, “Seeking to impress or bless?”

    Thanks again, Kari, for being here today. Love you!