Beauty Within

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so we've been told.  While that statement may be true, I consider it more of a platitude.  We are, were or are yet to be created in His image.  No mistakes made, molded in His likeness.  What an honor and what a challenging truth to believe. 

A while back Thing 3's Sunday school teacher lead an event for the fifth and sixth grade girls, Glam Night.  There were make up booths, hair stations, nail painting and racks of 80's style prom and bridesmaid dresses.  The fun didn't stop there.  Each girl was treated to an all natural honey mask to cleanse their pores.  Then, for me, the best part happened.  Hanging on the wall was a large outline of the body of  a young girl. Each girl was encouraged to add what she thought was her best God-given feature.  Not only that, the girls all stood in front of a floor length mirror and had questions to answer.  Introspective.  Qualities and traits that are unique to them.  Not just on the outside but the inside as well.

Most interesting though was that a majority of the girls were confident in who they were and how they were designed.  Whoa, I am sure that at their age I would not have been so bold.  Of course there some that were timid.  To be expected.  That is when their friends stepped in and offered encouragement in a way that only a tween-ager can.  It seemed to be just the words that girl needed to hear, a boost of assurance.  What a work being done in the lives of these young ladies.  Sure, they may have sheepishly approached the paper but with marker in hand they decisively added their trait.  The goal of these activities was to help initiate the understanding that we are all unique creations.  Different DNA, special and valued and all because of a God who numbers the hairs on each head. 

I had the privilege of watching this unfold.  All the girl Things and I were in attendance, Thing 3 as a participant and the others and myself to help.  I took photographs.  And from the behind the lens I felt as though I could see straight into those young girls souls.  The timidness with which some approached the mirrors and then the confidence others had when adding their own.  Again, I couldn't help but think how this scenario plays out today in my life as a grown woman.  It has taken time, years in fact, for me to feel comfortable in my own skin.  I often stand amazed at how OK my girl Things are with themselves.  How un-threatened they feel and how they know to their core that they are beauties, inside and out.  More importantly, all the way through to their soul.  Me, at their age and beyond,  not so much.  Finding worth in appearance, clothes and all things outward was the matter at hand in my teen years.  I'm not exactly sure when it all clicked and there  are days where I land on the teeter totter of it all again.  Do I look alright?  Then there are days where I ask my teenagers if what I'm wearing is fashion friendly, etc.  They usually roll their eyes at me or tell me to march upstairs and change, because, "No Mama, you can't leave the house in your sweats again",  Yeah, I know.  

In the midst of all the glam and photo shoots and such there was pause for pizza and prayer.  A given combination for a room full of giggly girls.  It was such a sweet time of discipleship and an opportunity for each and everyone of them to hear their value as a daughter of the King.  We celebrated being a girl and recognized that beauty does go much deeper than the skin.  And best of all, these girls heard and they took part in it all first hand.  A memory that will hopefully carry into their teenage years and beyond. 

I am fully aware that I do no justice to this subject.  As a woman I am lacking and flawed.  The only way to be made beautiful is by grace.  His grace.  To be filled with the Truth and believe it.  So if my words seem empty or not sufficient I ask for more grace.  I wanted to write these thoughts to remember that night. To soak in once again the lessons learned from young girls who unabashedly shared their beauty that night.

So my prayer after experiencing this night with my girls is the song of Psalm 139, that they believe this.  Their purpose lies in the hands of their Creator who knit them together for so much more than this world has to offer them.  I pray they lift their eyes upward and live for heaven. Ad remember true beauty lies within. 

Psalm 139:13-16 NIV
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

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