Signed: Unsettled, yet Passionate.

I have been very unsettled lately, with so many different subjects rolling around in my head.

Most of them my husband and I have been discussing- and I can`t really say I have found real closure for some of them.

Here`s one thing I wonder about, and I would love feedback from you on this.

Does our “spiritual gift” or our particular passion- ever become an idol to God (in his eyes) instead of an offering to Him?

Okay, so I will use myself as an example. I`m not just nuts about talking about myself but anyways. Here goes.

I feel passionate about many things- I won`t bore you with what they all are- but one that feels obvious, and comes through on this blog is: women embracing beauty.

I will admit, sometimes I kind of hate that- because of this blog- somehow I am tagged with this as my seeming mantra, because it`s not really my thing NEAR as much as people think it is.

But maybe I don`t know myself either. Sometimes I wonder.

Moving on.

It was brought to my attention recently, that perhaps embracing “beauty” (gag, kind sick of that word already- and I have a feeling I`ll be using it a lot more before this post is over) could really be a way to live the American dream and make it spiritual.

Ouch.

Yeah, I`m wrestling with that.

Because here`s the deal. There is way too much hurt in the world and children going hungry- to even think about the minute details of a humble, but still very wealthy, home in the US of A. And of all the things that God was most passionate about- it was the forgotten and voiceless and us doing all we can to be that one hopeful light in a very dark night for them.

Can anything else REALLY matter?

Wow. I am so there.

But then I think but no, I cannot leave it at that, I still have to come back to what I feel passionate about- and I am convinced it is important too. I have to fight for this!

(Isn`t it funny how when we are passionate about something, we always  assume it is of MOST importance (to God)?)

So, to me: beauty DOES MATTER.

Satan was created the most beautiful angel in heaven, when he fell, his beauty wasn`t from God anymore. Now what he possessed was only Satan`s own sordid imitation of beauty.

Because, Satan cannot ever come up with his own ideas, he can only twist what God already came up with.

I am so convinced that Satan wants to fully destroy women in the area of beauty, because he can`t stand how jealous it makes him when he looks at woman and sees that God created her with beauty as her defining trait. A picture of God Himself.

[Side note: men`s defining trait being leadership and strength.]

I am sick of women in my culture feeling shame for longings that God created them with. It`s like a friend said,

“When women aren`t free to express beauty- it comes out somewhere- you see all the canning jars lined up according to color and texture.”

God created us to crave and create things lovely. All good things come from God right? And I believe women display this area of God`s attributes. I am pretty sure men aren`t the ones gifted in loveliness and softer touches.

Think about it.

When sin came into the world, think of how easily God could have decided: Sinners deserve brown. He could have turned the whole earth to murky, muddy, brown or pallid, lifeless, gray.

All of nature is brown.

Every newborn baby is gray.

All sunsets are muddy.

But He didn`t!

PRAISE GOD

It`s so obvious God gets joy from creating, and creating breathtaking masterpieces. Even amidst ugliness of sin in this messed up world. What a GIFT.

Next time you marvel at a part of nature say,

“GOD IS REAL. There is no way something so pure and  beautiful could exist in a rotting cistern like this world- without a GOD to have preserved it .

Satan tells women many false things about true beauty, some are: beauty is pride, you are ugly and can never attain/possess beauty, or beauty is self made. He says, You are the owner of your beauty.

[Which is funny because Satan being the “owner” of his beauty was his curse. God left him with his own corrupt imitation of it. ]

Beauty has nothing to do with a woman herself. It has nothing to do with the features of her face or the texture of her hair.

To me, the best way to describe true beauty is the word: reflection.

When you see a Godly woman, you look at her, but when you see her beauty you SEE God.

Not her.

I am so far from this, (I want to laugh now) but, it makes me happy because I feel I have a clearer picture than ever of where I want to be.

You can`t be insecure when you possess true beauty. Why? Because it isn`t even about her/you/me. It`s about God. It`s supernatural.

A few other random thoughts:

We would never tell a man he has to leave his strength in spirit behind, or become/look weak- to be free from pride.

It can`t be done-  it`s just a part of him. What would even be left of man if he were not allowed to portray the very thing God created him to be defined with?

So why do we ask it of woman? If you tell me beauty is pride and a hindrance to God…

… I can only think- can you ask her not to breathe?

Is it wrong to breathe when rescuing someone [saving an orphan]…. if it comes perfectly natural to you?

It wouldn’t get in the way of anything bigger- because it would just be there as you do the bigger thing.

So back to my earlier question.

Is it possible to get so strung up on what you think is huge to God…

(when really God is so huge, to us it`s confusing as to what day-to-day things could be MOST huge to Him)

…our passion–that we don`t realize it has become an idol?

Is it possible for women to feel fulfilled doing something (creating etc.)– and then one day realize it isn`t even reflecting God at all?

Or is that a lie from Satan since he is obsessed with destroying Real Beauty?

Like this blog where I capture what I think is beauty in a day- and it brings me so much relaxation and joy to dabble around with it– but some days it feels really small and maybe God isn`t in it at all.  Some days I feel unsettled about it all. Is it pleasant… like a back rub, but not Worship at all?

Practical day-to-day is HARD. We live here. On earth, in America. The odds of that happening (being born here) are so slim and yet we do.

We have houses. We have time. We have enough money. We have children and husbands. We love them. We want them to have happy memories. We want them to feel safe. We want to create a safe/happy/loving environment. We want that iconic American dream, I mean, in a way we do.

Is that okay? I`m not really even sure.

How does God want us to live? Women, what is God`s plan for us? What if we don`t get to live in this “blessed” lifestyle forever? How much “safety net” is healthy when raising a family? Is it unrealistic to teach our kids to enjoy the “happy bubble” we live in?

Please weigh in people, I`m more confused now then when I started…

_______________

Signed,

“Unsettled, yet Passionate”

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38 Comments

  1. Shelly N says:

    May I sign my name right under yours? You expressed this so well. I feel many of these same things and wonder about them, and how God looks at it all . . . I don’t have too many answers, but am looking forward to wise words from others.

  2. Cindy says:

    thinking that…
    there is sooooo much thinking in my head about this very thing,
    that i shouldn’t try to comment at all
    because i should be working on laundry
    folding it all nice and PRETTY,
    cleaning up my kitchen
    because it needs it yes! desperately!
    but mostly because ahhhh it’s just so nice
    when it looks all sparkly and PRETTY
    for the 5 minutes and 30 seconds
    that it lasts
    before the next spill and/or meal…

    oooops.

    even. gasp. my approach to “chores”
    reveals
    something that My Creator
    hardwired
    into my very being.

    a “cindy” version of it is sick. repelling.
    a Holy Spirit led version is an inviting Reflection of Him…
    this girl is so.not.there.yet.

    you reminded me here of an excerpt that i read on someone’s blog recently, from the “sacred romance” ( and it’s a xanga post i’m writing in my head)
    “…we have this sense that we should atone for our longings, apologize that we feel such deep desire. Shouldn’t we be more content? Perhaps, but contentment is never wanting less; that’s the easy way out. Anybody can look holy if she’s killed her heart; the real test is to have your heart burning within you and have the patience to enjoy what there is now to enjoy, while waiting with eager anticipation for the feast to come. In Paul’s words, we “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly” (Rom. 8:23). Contentment can only happen as we increase desire, let it run itself out toward its fulfillment, and carry us along with it.
    There may be times when all we have to go on is a sense of duty. But in the end, if that is all we have, we will never make it. Our Hero is the example. He’s run on before us and he’s made it; he’s there now. His life assures us it can be done, but only through passionate desire for the joy set before us.”

    maybe that feels like a rabbit trail from what you were communicating…but it feels related to me. “Anybody can look holy if she’s killed her heart” really really grabbed me and squeezed. hard. like this post of yours. thanks…

    • Jenny says:

      cindy, i LOVE this! you have no idea. this is exactly what i was looking for… it makes me wish i would have spent more time talking with you at FFE.
      i feel like i will have to keep re-reading your thoughts and excerpt to get it with fullness.
      i love the “anybody can look holy if she has killed her heart”- you have no idea how much that is real to me.
      could you send me a link to the xanga site you were referring to?
      i can SO relate to your first para. you described me utterly. 🙂 housework for me is very fulfilling if everything looks in order and peaceful.
      did you see i (tried) quoted you? i think of that many times…
      thanks for everything! love ya

  3. Di says:

    Good thoughts here Jenny. I don’t have any answers either, but I feel what you are saying. Passions are healthy and good, but there importance is ????. Are they our own, given from God, are they a calling, or just an emotion?

    Saw you at the revival, was gonna head your way, then you were gone. Shuffled into the mass of 800 people! 🙂

  4. Di says:

    They whole beauty thing you explained that comes from the very heart of every women, is so deep. Love how you explained it! Being alive and living within this beauty as women is so revealing of a special part of God we miss way to often. This gives me much to ponder today!!

  5. Sonya says:

    Yes, helping the poor, witnessing to the ungodly, feeding starving children are all worthy passions. BUT, so is encouraging the tired, discouraged, over worked wife and mother. You encourage, you give help, you inspire….all with this blog and your love of creating beauty. And in addition its a restful retreat for you, and we need that as well.
    We are blessed living in America! Maybe someone else has some insight on that discussion! 🙂

  6. Drusilla says:

    Wow, sooo many good thoughts Jenny! I think beauty is in the heart of every woman, I think the real question is, does the beauty that I am creating, whether its in the clothes I wear, the way I decorate, etc..does it invite a person to be at rest or does it create a struggle? I probably sound confusing? like if you see a beautiful woman, but alot of her beauty comes from ALOT of time an added things, Its not really inviting vesus a woman that has a true inner/genuine beauty, the same as with my house, I think if i have pride in my things that spirit is going to affect my guests, family etc, but I think if we do what we do out of a passion for God It can be a witness to the people around us…just my jumbled thoughts:)

  7. Kristy says:

    this is making me think… and think… i think i get it. it is a long time coming. i have often felt “condemned” because i feel this calling, longing to be an encourager to other women. feel like i should be “saving the lost instead” but i keep going back to where my passion is.
    something that hit me this winter and i think it fits here :)…. every woman has this spot in her for beauty, creativity etc… and if it isn’t being filled (for me) it turns to depression.
    good thoughts, Jenny God IS using you, right where you are!

  8. Marcia says:

    poking a toe out of hiding here…right now i’m living abroad (doesn’t that sound exotic?) but planning to move back to the u.s. in another couple of months. so i’ve been thinking along these lines a little bit, too. in a way, i could almost feel guilty about moving home and settling into the american life again. i have dreams of creating beautiful things. i WANT to create beautiful things! but my passions are also for the o, so many people who are hurting- particularly children. can i come home and throw myself completely into “material” things? i think not. but can i use my desires to create beauty to be a blessing? i think yes. i’m thinking if what i create is something people would actually pay $ for, then why not use that $ to sponsor an orphan or help a family bring an orphan home? if you (non-specific =)) are able to create a beautiful home and a loving family environment, what better place to, by the grace and leading of God, open to an orphan through adoption? or to others who are hurting. beauty can be used to minister, not just for “decoration” so to speak. which is what you’re saying.
    as far as the american dream…like you said, we can’t help it that we were born in america. i don’t believe we need to feel guilty about living there (unless God has asked us not to). but what are we doing with it? to whom much is given much will be required, and most of the time we don’t really have a clue how much we’ve been given. and i mean more than “materially”.
    ok, i’ve been rambling…but just felt compelled to comment. thanks for sharing what’s on your heart. and you know, God is not the author of confusion, so being confused about beauty means the enemy is doing what he can to destroy it, which just confirms that we’re right about beauty being one of women’s ways of reflecting and sharing who God is. right? i don’t think our enemy wants us to figure out even that simple line of reasoning.
    there. all done.

  9. Shelley says:

    Oh how my heart responds to this post!

    I think I understand what you are struggling with, but maybe it’s not about the act, but rather where our focus is. Is our focus on looking and being beautiful for us? Or is our focus on finding beauty in all areas of life, which helps to encourage, inspire, and breathe life INTO our lives, physically and spiritually?

    I don’t know it all. All I know is that when I read blogs like yours, I feel rejuvenated and motivated to create beautiful things, and live life to the fullest, and that is precisely what Satan doesn’t want me to be doing.

    If you figure it out, please post a follow-up! I’d love to hear about your discoveries.:)

  10. Cindy says:

    jenny, loved your thoughts here. something that i too have been thinking a LOT about recently and specifically since we moved over here. like, there’s a part of me that feels like i left a big part of my life and things i really enjoy behind and that makes me sad. somedays its hard for me to read friends blogs, see the neat things they are creating, making, discovering, etc…. and i am so far removed from it – even if i wanted to do it! a lot of those things would be dreams,
    that i could come up w/ things like that, but those dreams/desires are still there. and then i wonder ‘what am i thinking???’ God put us here and we know this is where we are suppose to be. when and where do i lay down MY dreams (not sure if thats the right word) and totally throw myself into the life He’s called us to right now? and then, how can i create beauty in my home over here and what will that look like in this culture too?
    not sure if this is making sense. not sure how to always put into words my thoughts on this subject either….
    keep asking the hard questions girl! miss you and love you!!!!

  11. Gina says:

    Wow! You’ve asked a LOT of great questions! I love your comment that True beauty is of God. That is SO true! Satan can only copy what God does perfectly.

    I hope you continue to discuss these questions. I think it is true that God given passions an become an idol. After we lost our first baby in a miscarriage, I realized (after agonizing months!!!) that I had allowed motherhood and children to be placed on a pedestal. Motherhood is on of the God-given things of beauty but like many other things (marriage another obvious example) it can come between us and God.

    Hopefully I’ve learned a few lessons – but I have a feeling that there is much more to learn!
    Gina

  12. Rachal says:

    Can I say, Wow? This is good stuff! I have been thinking about this a lot but you are wrestling with it in a way that I haven’t. I roll around the questions, and that’s all the further I get. Somehow you have not just thought, but you’ve thought well.
    There’s no denying that beauty is of God, it’s healing, soothing, comforting……. My dilemma is this. I love beautiful things, but it takes money to buy beautiful things, or at the least the supplies to make them. 🙂 Right now I have little money for things like that. So I ask myself, “am I destined to live in ugliness as long as I don’t have the money to beautify my house?” What does that say for the MANY people in the world who are starving or dying of curable illness but can’t afford to go to the Doctor? What do these women do with their desire for beauty? Here I spend X amount of money for a new rug or mirror and I could literally feed a family in Africa for a few meals on that money. What does God think when he sees me spending money on earthly things? But yet he loves beauty and created our feminine souls to long for and create beauty. AHHHHH….and I go round and round….
    Keep thinking…and please keep blogging about it! 😉

    • Jenny says:

      I am right with you.
      Here`s another thought- what is our longings for beauty are just put in us by God as a ‘teaser’ of what He has called to do in heaven: design mansions, keep His gardens, etc.
      OR
      What if the reason he puts certain women in places like America– with money/homes/means– so that they can display to the world tiny snapshots of the beauty of heaven/a picture of a home and rest.
      Something that most people would have no way to dream of/long for otherwise.
      Just like how God displays beauty in nature even though this world is so saturated with evil.
      “Every good and perfect gift comes from GOD”.

  13. Andrea Esh says:

    Love the title of your post. Unsettled is so me right now, and the more I think about it, being unsettled is a great place to be. It means you’re open, searching, wanting to be shown more. (I think that’s what it means anyway) I loved your questions -and I’m gonna keep checking back to see what others say.

    On a personal note, what I love about this blog is that it shows a different side of you than I would have known in real life. I love the fun bantering Jenny, but I love the introspective Jenny that shows up more in your blog too. So anyway thanks for letting everyone take a peak at what’s in your heart at this time. You have a gift!

  14. Audrey says:

    I don’t have the answers either, but I loved what you said about true beauty being a REFLECTION! That grabbed my attention! Great subject for discussion. I think SO much of life is about balance…however that may apply to this subject.

  15. Maria says:

    The title of this post pulled me off of Facebook, and the content of the post made me stay. This reminds me of alot of what I learned/thought about while, actually more like since, I read John and Staci Eldridge’s “Captivating.” If there’s one thing I especially took from the book, it’s that beauty, true and godly beauty, invites. It invites us to worship; it points our focus to the Creator.

    So from that, I think it’s wonderful, and even very God-like, when women use their talents to create beauty. In that, we direct our focus and the attention of others to Him. It’s like God using the gift He gave us to invite others to Him. Some women are more gifted in this than others–I personally am not much of a beauty creator, but I do love it.

    Your question about our gift becoming an idol made me think, and it really seems like it can. Anything that takes precedence over longing after God can become one. I quote something I’ve heard from a good friend in that “good is the enemy of the best.” So while we can be working hard to cultivate a good gift in our lives, is it the best way for us to be spending our energy and passions?

    These are good questions for us to ask ourselves!

  16. Gloria says:

    Great thoughts here! Your thoughts are ones that have spent time floating around in my head as well.

    I spent so many years of my life feeling naughty for enjoying pretty. Probably because it wasn’t the “appropriate” kind of pretty. I happen to enjoy clothing, hair, makeup…(gasp)! You see this is the wrong kind because it has to do with the outward appearance….and according to scriptures I had thrown my way, we aren’t to focus on the outward appearance. HOWEVER, the funny thing is, the very ones pointing that out to me WERE! They were focusing on the outward appearance in order to be sure that the women around them weren’t. AHEM.

    In reality, we as women were all created to enjoy beauty in one form or another. It may be in our vegetable gardens, or our laundry neatly hung on the line, or in having our hair fit under or covering in just acetain way. We are women. We like beauty. It’s who we are.

    That being said, everything needs to be balanced!! Our inner beauty should certainly outshine our outward appearance. The scriptures about focusing on inner beauty aren’t about making the outer so drab and ugly in hopes of seeing the inner, but rather the point is, if the inner beauty is developing….it will outshine anything! We don’t have to camaflouge the outside in hopes that others look past it to see who we are on the inside!! If we are that dim….so dim that those who spend time with us have to peer closely to see beauty….there’s something far more serious going on that has nothing to do with our outer appreance being to pretty!!

    This is obviously something I feel passionately about! I’ve seen women and their interests oppressed far too long! I say that – not in a way to put men down. But I say that due to seeing the sadness of far too many women trapped in trial of trying to die to who they were created to be…..women who love beauty in all different forms!

    Okay….I’ll get off my soapbox now!!! 🙂

  17. diane says:

    this post makes me want to get in my car, pick up jenn and christy, and head out to dawns house, to see the baby, where you would meet us, and we would talk. and talk and talk and talk.

    would there ever be a chance that we would be finished talking?
    if we were all together long enough?

    i see your heart.
    its gorgeous.
    more importantly. God sees your heart.
    it matters not what others think.

    the hard part.
    this.
    the struggle we have within our own beings.
    we try to view ourselves as God would. we can’t.
    we don’t know God THAT well.
    so we try to do our best to glorify HIM.
    we Try to be real in front of HIM.
    the beauty is in the struggle and the trying.
    if we didn’t do those things.

    like andrea said. its a good thing.
    it makes us question and wonder and reach for more.

    i wish sometimes that all i would feel is peace.
    no questions. no wondering. no doubting.
    but then what would by my drawing factor to God?

    i like how you think, jenny. miss you.

  18. julana says:

    loved it… thats all i have. so interesting.

  19. Rachel says:

    do you check your gmail account often? i sent a msg your way….

    LOVE this post!!

  20. Laurie says:

    Good, good stuff. And maybe nothing more needs to be added. I do feel passionate about women thinking. We spend more time with children than anyone else so we shape the next generation whether it is intentional or unintentional. We are “heart”, we are “soul”, and so I love it when we’re not afraid of the part of us that is “mind”.

    My husband encourages me a lot to balance my reading. When I plop my tired self down I most easily reach for a decorating/landscaping magazine. As much as I love it after awhile it can feel like too much dessert on an empty stomach. So we “intentionally” subscribe to a variety of magazines. If I flip through Southern Living I also have an issue of Christianity Today to read through.

    The wrestling through things can bring a good tension but staying guilty is not. What probably clears my mind the best is going straight back to the life of Jesus before American culture was even happening. What was important to him? He loved His father, he looked out for the poor, children were important to Him, and he even looked out for women! So I live as a part of this American world God has given me but God help me to always keep my heart SOFT to the things that are important to him.

  21. Laurie says:

    Jewel at athousandgems.wordpress.com writes a thought-provoking article about how much impact moms have on the next generation. (Why the Beachy church should raise feminist mothers)

    • Jenny says:

      i really liked the entry jewel did. if i can ever get my act together, i`d like to quote her post in a future follow up blog.
      i lived what you said too (all of you!) i can“t tell you how much i feel “fed” from all of the comments and thoughts here so far. wisdom overload! 🙂
      never underestimate the power and wisdom and leading of christian women speaking life and TRUTH to eachother!
      jenny

  22. lisa says:

    you made me put my thinking cap on!
    and i cannot tell you how often i thought of the line “the best way to describe true beauty is reflection.”

  23. amber says:

    Oh, Jenny… I love when I read a post and everything in my heart leaps forward like “yes.yes.yes. someone else who gets it. who understands!” I’ve went round and round with these very thoughts and questions…

    Knowing that much of my struggle is really anchored in how I was raised and even though the Lord has brought freedom – not just to me but my parents and family too… so it’s not as if I’m feeling like the black sheep or whatever, but it’s like those things are still so engrained in me and trip me up often~ going back and forth with whether something is really “freedom,” really of God – or is it just my own worldliness coming out? my own desires and “lusts of the flesh.” and it becomes such a toilet bowl swirl of what’s right, what’s not. what’s really acceptable, what’s not?????

    Shayne gave me a book, I think 2 Christmas ago called, Captivating. I wrote about in a post once here {http://hutch5.xanga.com/682037837/item/} and recommended it, but received some slack from a few women that it wasn’t a “Biblical view of womanhood.” so I’m a bit hesitant to mention it… :/ BUT – – that book really did change my perspective on how GOD views us as women!!! and not just how He views us but how HE CREATED US!!! He’s the one who has put this stuff inside of us~

    sad that these days we feel more condemnation from the CHURCH in areas like this, than the world! Like so many other rules that don’t necessarily have a chapter and verse man wants to step up and define it for us. Put it all in a nice little box with a bow on top~ well, no… probably no bow since that’s a thing of beauty and creativity!! 😉 But it’s man determining- “THIS is what a woman of God is to look like. act like. talk like. be like….” and so as women we constantly feel we are falling short of pleasing God because we can’t get rid of this desire and draw to appreciate and embrace beauty~

    anyway. I LOVE that book! and I think I’m safe enough here to say that. 🙂 I mean like anything.. I think we can chew up the fish and spit out the bones. but I think you’d really enjoy the read…

    one thing too I remember someone telling me once was that God is not the accuser of the brethren – that’s Satan’s role. and when we’re feeling shame and guilt that somehow we’re not measuring up or “good enough” that is NOT of God! not His Spirit…. there is no condemnation with Him. sure we can get out of balance, like anything. I can yell at my kids and wound their hearts for just messing up my freshly cleaned living room… when I KNOW it’s their hearts that matter most over my need for surrounding beauty. but the Lord gently leads and guides us in those things and doesn’t smack us down and make us feel that we’re wrong or bad for not living in a grass hut with dirt on the floor!!!! For some us – if God DID call us to live in a grass hut w/ dirt floors.. well that would be the cleanest dirt ever! and I can just envision little BaileyandMe2 canopies hanging from that grass roof! 😉

    Signed,

    Unsettled too,
    yet Passionate to know I’m not alone in this Search.

    🙂

  24. Sarah says:

    How thought provoking. I am truly amazed by your thoughts. I have often thought about what true beauty really is. Although this is very thought provoking, also very confusing.
    I love your perspective on things, Keep up the good work

  25. Some good thoughts here, a subject that touches all women to some extent or another. I know I’ve dealt with it too, just what should my perspective be on outward beauty, home decor, etc. For me, one thing that I try to remember is to keep some “balance”. Is my desire to decorate creating a hardship on the budget? Or am I putting too much emphasis on outward appearance? I believe when we’re truely seeking to Honor Him with our lives, our talents, He’ll show us if we’re out of line. And your blog has been a blessing and inspiration to me, so I’d say you are using your talents to bless others. =)

  26. Finally got here to read this post….love it! You do so well with getting your heart out…made me think of Captivating. God has made us to love beauty and I think it’s time we stop apoligizing for it. Don’t you think that in trying to supress it, it actually makes it a bigger thing? Like if I can’t have something I want….I really, really WANT IT? I just feel like when man makes something a law that God never intended, it so perverts God’s true heart and then we have all these issues that Jesus never even wanted us to have to deal with. Jesus loves beauty, but satan has used it for all kinds of evil and now you can’t even feel beautiful without thinking you’re proud? What’s with that? I’m just thinking that when we truly reflect Jesus….there will be a peaceful beauty, a heart at rest in who God made us to be. Not a striving…a proud, look at me kind of beauty, but something that says I’m a daughter of the KING and I love to put His touch into everything I do. I think we ought to be the most beautiful women in the world, because we know who our Daddy is! I feel just a tad passionate about this too ;). Love ya, Jess

  27. Dorcas says:

    Fascinating post and thought-provoking comments and lots to mull over. Thanks for putting it into words for us.

  28. clarita says:

    Love it. LOVE it. I so get you and what you’re saying. This has been a huge thing for me too… Beauty has been a far more important thing to me than to many of the people in the circles I’m in, and therefore I’ve struggled with myself in that area. What IS beauty? Am I putting emphasis on beauty that isn’t even real? How much external beauty (home, property, external appearance, etc) is of God, and what is not? How do I know the difference? I feel like I am still wrestling with some of this stuff, and I wrestle with fear in it too, that I’ll be misunderstood for my love of beauty (it’s happened), and how do I keep on being me even with misunderstanding?

    Love what you said about beauty and security… Because if we are truly beautiful women (meaning, hmmm, what exactly? God-embracing women, perhaps?) then insecurity will not be what steers our lives. That’s so huge…

    Just so good, and I love reading the comments of many other beautiful women… I’m in a learning position right now, and soaking it up!

  29. amber says:

    reading through for the 3rd, or 4th time and feeling blessed all over again ~

    “To me, the best way to describe true beauty is the word: reflection.

    When you see a Godly woman, you look at her, but when you see her beauty you SEE God.

    Not her.

    I am so far from this, (I want to laugh now) but, it makes me happy because I feel I have a clearer picture than ever of where I want to be.

    You can`t be insecure when you possess true beauty. Why? Because it isn`t even about her/you/me. It`s about God. It`s supernatural.”

    THIS ^ part struck me today. especially since it’s a, ‘I’m feeling like a ugly.fat.sweaty.cranky. very very pregnant lady’ sort of day today! 🙂

  30. Carmen Byler says:

    Simone Wells says this: “there are two things that pierce the soul. One is beauty and the other is pain.”

    Such good processing going on here Jenny. Thanks for posting your thoughts and the comments are so awesome too. wow.

  31. Melissa says:

    I grazed over this post a week or so ago and it has been on my mind ever since. So today, I finally came back and re-read it and all the comments. I love hearing other people’s thoughts and I hope it makes mine more complete. Some said it so well earlier in the comments, but in my words. . .
    God loves beauty. He created SO many (physically) beautiful things. . . the sunset, flowers, a waterfall, the list could go on for a long time. I don’t think we should for one minute feel guilty for loving the beautiful. Our love of beauty is God’s nature in us. At it’s very highest, beauty will lead us to the Beautiful One, the Creator. Worship

  32. Melissa says:

    (opps, accidently published the first comment before I finished, so here is the remainder)

    Beauty idolized and worshiped above the Creator will, however, lead us down the wrong path. Yes, there is a balance. It is a matter of the heart. Sometimes beauty needs to be put “on the back burner” while we take care of other important things like our children or a crisis at hand. Sometimes we might chose the less beautiful of the items at hand to live within our means (this does not mean that is has to be ugly though!). But I do not think for one second that the pursuit of beauty should be considered unrighteous.

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