Choosing Beautiful

Sitting here in my three-day-old clothes with my greasy ponytail which is barely surviving with 15 bobby pins hanging on for dear life, I don’t feel all that beautiful. Then again, even on my best days, I don’t feel all that beautiful.

Most of my life I have been strangely confident of my athletic abilities, even when I shouldn’t have been. But I have only ever had momentary glimpses of self confidence in my personal appearance. I have no idea where that paradox comes from. Whether it’s my personality, environment, culture or something else, that’s just how I am.

This month Dove launched the #ChooseBeautiful campaign. In five cities around the world, they labeled side-by-side doors with signs, one reading “Average” and the other “Beautiful.” They captured the way women reacted to the doors in every city. You can watch it below.

I watched this video with tears streaming down my face. As soon as I saw what they were doing I knew exactly how I would react, then halfway through the video I saw my reaction in another woman. She looked at the signs, paused, gave a look of defeat, then turned around and walked away.

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”

— Psalm 139:13-14

I’m a pretty tough cookie, but this is the stuff that ruffles my feathers. I so long to see myself the way God sees me, the way my husband sees me. Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with those feelings so I go days with barely a glance in the mirror and focus on my kids, who I do see as beautiful.

Of course I want my kids to grow up with confidence in the way they look and who they are, but they learn so much from example, from their parents’ examples. So I’m forced to ask myself this question: What kind of an example am I being for them? I can tell them they are beautiful and awesome until I’m blue in the face, but what am I doing to show them that? Am I leading by example?

So right here, right now, I’m going to stop focusing on my insecurities and all of the things that I dislike or feel embarrassed about. It doesn’t mean they’ll go away or disappear from thought, but from now on I’m going to focus on the things about myself that I do find beautiful. And get ready because I’m going to put it out there to encourage you to do the same. Here goes…

  • I love my hair. It’s crazy and sometimes has a mad scientist quality about it, but I like it. It fits my personality.
  • I love that I’m passionate. I go down in flames sometimes following my heart, but I know God gave it to me so I would keep trying after failing because that’s when I learn the most precious, valuable lessons.
  • I actually love the wrinkles, or crows feet, by my eyes. I’ve lived my whole life smiling big, and that’s kind of like the scar to prove it.
  • I love the scars all over my body. I enjoy telling stories about how I got them. It’s like bragging rights for athletes.
  • I love my smile. It’s just who I am. I don’t look right if I’m not smiling.

Now that I look at it, it seems like such a simple, easy list, but I had a hard time writing it! I immediately went to the things I didn’t like and kept coming back to those when I got stuck. But now I have a few that I can focus on and hopefully add to that list.

Perfection is such a “thing” in our culture now. But we shouldn’t be chasing perfection, we should be chasing God, who is perfect, holy, and righteous. And in His great artistry, He made us unique and beautiful in His sight. So I will strive for Him, and embrace the beautiful, one-of-a-kind way He made me.

That is what I will try to live out in example for my kids. My girls are now at the age of princesses, dress up and all things fancy. What I want them to learn and understand is that they are princesses because their Father in heaven is the King of kings. They should walk tall and in all confidence knowing that. And so should I. And so should you.


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2 Comments
  • Beth Bierhalter
    Posted at 15:57h, 22 April Reply

    Laura, You are exactly right that we should focus on how God sees us and also how the people that love us see us! Thanks for the reminder this morning!

    • Laura Wilkinson
      Posted at 18:55h, 22 April Reply

      Thanks Beth! I think we could probably all use this as a daily reminder 🙂

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