Chasing Beauty

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Value, Worth 121 Comments

Little Girl Lipstick

From the time I was a young girl I wanted to be beautiful. In the fifth grade, I resorted to desperate measures in a very “eleven-year-old, clueless-adolescent” kind of way. I distinctly remember some bright blue eye shadow being involved. I can even picture in my mind what said unauthorized makeup looked like in its case – like a pallet that would normally hold watercolor paint. Five fabulous, or not so fabulous, color options ranging from pale green to bright blue were available to this pre-adolescent. Mercy!

Please keep in mind, we are talking about the early eighties here. Blue eye shadow was all the rage and a very accepted beauty solution. It was everywhere! On magazine covers, commercials, and on every older woman in church. I think even Marsha Brady was wearing it on TV. Trust me when I say that, back then, most of the girls my age took beauty cues from Marsha Brady.

I know… scary.

I rode the bus to elementary school, which gave me a brief, unsupervised window of opportunity in the mornings to misbehave and sneak around between exiting the big yellow taxi and entering the classroom. My neighbors Brenda and Sally sometimes adventured with me to the West Hempfield Elementary School beauty salon: the girls’ bathroom. As long as we made it to our classrooms before the bell rang, we were golden.

Enter the blue eye shadow.

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I’m not sure where my eye shadow kit came from. It could’ve been a hand-me-down from an aunt or a family friend. It could have been a garage sale find. I don’t remember. I am certain, however, that at that point in my life, eye shadow was supposed to be for play, not for school. Not being one to get tripped up over details, I ran to the girls’ room and generously smudged the bright blue cream on my eyelids. Then, feeling I had reached a higher level of beauty, I proceeded to Miss Lewis’s boring fifth grade class.

As I remember it, several days of eye-colored bliss passed. In my mind, I was cool and hip. In reality, not so much. During some quiet work time one morning, Miss Lewis called me up to her desk. With a hushed teacher-tone, she asked me, “Does your mother know you’re wearing that eye shadow to school?”

“Yes, Miss Lewis,” I said. “My mom lets me wear this.”

“Well, Gwen, I might just need to call your mother and ask her about that.” Then she sent me back to my seat.

I sat in fear as I entertained dreadful thoughts of being found out. Miss Lewis never did call my mom, but the day I was called up to her desk was the last day I wore bright blue eye shadow at school. (At least in the fifth grade.)

The truth of the matter is, I just wanted feel beautiful. I thought that if I were beautiful, people would like me better. They would accept me more. I cared about what other people thought about me. I wanted to measure up. To some degree, I still do.

Can you relate?

We all want to be beautiful. And that’s okay! It’s fine to want be beautiful. To take care of yourself. To gloss your lips and throw Spanks on your hips. But what we need to be cautious of is blurring the lines between physical beauty, spiritual beauty, and personal worth.

True beauty begins when we hold tightly to the truth of God and allow the truth of God to hold tightly to us. Measuring up to Hollywood’s version of beautiful has never been, nor ever will be, what God desires for us. God cares much more about our internal beauty, our reverence and love for Him, than our external beauty. The Bible says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

True Beauty

Join me in chasing His beauty today.

 

Dear God,
You are the true source of all that is good and beautiful! When feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and self-doubt creep into my heart, help me to see myself the way you do. I want to be held tightly by your truth.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE:

Pray and ask God to make His beauty known to you. Pray that He will open your eyes to see beauty as He sees beauty. Journal about what God is teaching you. I would love to hear about it too… CLICK HERE to take this conversation deeper in the comments section of my blog.

 

GIVEAWAY: I am giving away 3 FREE digital copies of my CD, My Strength, My Song, to random blog commenters.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Thanks for doing life with me.

Gwen

broken-book-cart

Today’s post is an excerpt of my book Broken into Beautiful. If this message resonated with you and if you would like to learn more about how your brokenness can be reworked into a picture of God’s beauty, order the book. Go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit our web store.

* Little girl lipgloss photo: bigstock-Adorable-little-girl-applying-17555462.jpg
* Eyeshadow photo: http://www.eyeshadowlipstick.com/6774/sky-blue-eyeshadow/
 

Comments 121

  1. Dear Gwen,
    I struggle to find acceptance and approval at home and at work – not easy as a mother and teacher,- and though I do enjoy braiding my hair and finding pretty earrings, the most valued compliment I ever received was when an older teacher pulled me aside and said, “Nancy, you are a beautiful person.” She didn’t mean I looked pretty. She meant I was a deep-down, inside beautiful person. I think that compliment kept me going for months afterwards. Yes, I wanted to be valued as a teacher. Yes, I want to be an excellent mother. But, more than anything, I want people to see me as beautiful because of Jesus emanating from the inside out.
    Nancy

  2. The world does revolve around ones beauty when beauty does come from the heart. I have seen in my life that if your really not much to look at you get ignored. You might have a lot to offer to people but if your a knock out you get more attention,but might not have anything good to say. Beauty is not only the outward appeteance it truly does run deeper than that, the inner beauty is what counts. I have spent to long in life trying to gain approval the only approval I need is Gods approval.

  3. I love reading these devotionals. They always somehow relate to exactly what God’s showing me at the time. Thank you for blogging. I’ve been thinking about blogging myself a lot but haven’t a clue how. Thank you for being you and allowing others to share.

  4. Your blog post is so true and it certainly resonated with me today. I have two young daughters, ages 4 & 5. Focus, even at this early age, is how beautiful they look, how precious their pigtails are or how lovely their outfits are that day. I have to constantly reiterate to them that they are beautiful on the inside – they have beautiful hearts and they are wonderfully made. It is, and will continue to be, an uphill battle to fight against surface worthiness in our shallow society. But, we must always make God’s word our mantra, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”. Certainly words that I will repeat to my daughters daily.

  5. This is true today even for me at age 45. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t need to impress others why material things.

  6. Wow ! This hit home. Did the same blue eyeshadow and my friends mom was the one to gently tell me a little goes a long way. My mind ,body,and soul had a very hard year. Lost my uncle and sister (Dec. 26 ) last year. True beauty is from the inside out. I know I’ve been there. When I was truly happy~I was glowing. I’m working on getting back to my glowing self again. Cliche but so true. Weight loss=happy =strong=confidence =God’s smile on my heart.
    Thank you Gwen. Perfect timing. : )

  7. As I read this it hit home pretty hard. I am currently in treatment for an eating disorder. I struggle daily and have for over 20 years, but just last year asked for help with my disorder. I want to get well and want to believe what you say is true, but my mind is a mess and it’s hard to change what has been so engraved into it. I know God loves me and I know that He created me, but I still struggle daily with my disorder. I am 40 years old. I needed to hear your words today. Thank you.

  8. What a wonderful reminder that God sees the inside, not just the outside we obsess so much about! With all the blogs I’ve seen that are all just wonderful, honest and meaningful; still hope mine is the one chosen to win your music! I love music and it speaks to my heart as nothing else can or does! Love all of you very much. Almost feel like I know the three of you. (I did meet Gwen once in Spartanburg, SC when she came to a Lady’s Night Out, sponsored by First Baptist, Downtown of Spartanburg.) She was very down to earth and enjoyed getting to see her close-up so much.

  9. Gwen, the blue eye shadow and Marsha Brady comments made me laugh – I was right there with you on both counts! I so appreciate your encouragement for women to embrace our worth and beauty in God’s eyes and reject the shallow standards of the world.

    Keep writing and speaking truth!
    Blessings,
    Christine

  10. I am an amateur actress , slowly and prayerfully taking things up to the pro level at the age of 57. I am constantly judged on physical appearance , but it doesn’t get to me anymore. I know my worth in Christ. I used to crave applause and approval, but eventually learned that my talent is a gift God wants me to gently share. The size of the audience doesn’t matter; if you touch only one heart, you have done your job. I am blessed to be lead to start professionally at this age rather than a false , vain start if was younger and less secure in my faith. Thank you Gwen, for reminding us where true beauty lies.

  11. The interesting thing about this is that I am reading this after rushing to work because I wanted to finish my nails before heading out. I knew before I started them that I wasn’t going to have time to finish. I have noticed, in my teens, I tried so much to do what I could to fit in. I wanted to be looked upon for my beauty just like the other girls my age were. Then, after I graduated high school and some time around getting into my twenties, I realized that beauty is subjective. My mother would always tell me that everyone is beautiful to someone. Eventually, I found my way back to God and the church. I gave up on trying to live my life and conduct my personal life without him and let him lead my relationships. Now that I am engaged, I see the God given beauty in myself and the beauty that my fiance has always seen even when I couldn’t

  12. I hosted a program 6 years ago called A Woman’s Worth. It was about loving yourself and knowing your worth as GOD states it is, Not as the world states it should be. My cousin was the guest speaker and she told us “It is nothing of your business what others think about you. If it isn’t in the bible, it should NOT matter.”

  13. It wasn’t until one morning, when I looked in the mirror with my child who was born with a Hemangioma on her precious face that I could see that true beauty comes from inside us.

  14. Dear, dear Gwen……you made me smile. Looking back over the years I was always such a “pretty little thing” as many would say. I had little use or desire to wear makeup. As years passed I gained more and more weight. Actually got up to 297 lbs. I’m now down quite a bit BUT…….I now have the wrinkles, the saggy neck, the hooded eyes have fallen to the point where they will need to be operated on soon so as not to impair my vision and and my eye lashes have all but left the room……. And if a slightly strong breeze would come along, my flapping arms could take me on a nice flight above the trees. All that to say that as it was happening, I went into makeup mide like never before in my life. But…..as the years have passed, I’ve come to the conclusion that makeup is not who I am. I use a little loose powder, a little eye liner so you can see I actually do have eyeballs and sometimes a little clear lip gloss. God has shown me that my beauty comes from within. I am know who HE created me to be, not what I have tried to create for others. Thank you so much for your devtions and your music. You are a blessing to many, many people.

  15. Your devotionals are so personal to me. Thank you for sharing your truth and scripture with us all. I can so identify with trying to live up to people’s standards when I should be living up to God’s standards. I had bariatric surgery almost 3 years ago and I am still trying to achieve a “healthy” weight. I have decided that I need to be healthy to do my best maintaining my “temple”. But, my definition of healthy may not be God’s. I pray that I can find that place and do my best to worship and disciple for our Savior. Thank you for doing what you do!

  16. We chase beauty from a early age. being without at early age, of necessary beauty and maintaining essentials, tooth past shampoo etc, including blue eye liner. Hard enough having very different family. I longer for my own essential items, and different family also. I watched others with the elements if needed and wanted. A neighbor gave me toothpaste and shampoo. Now with these items present in my life and available are nice. Inner and outer beauty is a balance in life, a older women with these present, and is a mentor, and her beauty and strength, both physical and spiritual is a strong presence and admired. I laugh and say good morning beautiful in the morning, it bothered my husband, who thinks I am beautiful. Hmm, I was just laughing and enjoying the moment of a woman who is told by others, I am aging well. But aging is not always beautiful to the beholder, thinning hair already, and thinning is factual. It is a adjustment and balance, but does not keep one from their journey and walk in Christ, enjoying and laughing and being in the moment from where you are now, having more time to develop new skills and growing in Christ. Keep smiling and walking.

  17. Thank you Gwen – reading your devotions has caused me to seek after God more and strive to see myself and others as the Father God sees us – valuable and precious! And not to let anyone to tell me that I am worthless when I am worth more than gold – (1 Peter 1:18) – you were worth the precious blood of Jesus.
    Another soldier in God’s army!!
    Debbie

  18. I have been blessed to look younger than my age of 72 on the outside, as I have been told. Now growing up without necessary things, toothpaste, shampoo, for a young preteen, with already different family was interesting. Without watching those- with, and wanting to be like those, with these I really needed, was no fun. The aging process is not always pleasant and requires extra work, we should have been practicing in the past. Physical beauty takes work, and requires balance, and changes. My Fine hair is thinner. Aging is not always pleasant physically with change. But the aging beautiful woman is more than physical beauty, a beautiful balance of physical and spiritual growth, experience and knowledge, a mentor to those who are younger, a example of balance. She may not stand as tall, as she was, but we are drawn to one who has the balance in her life, of inner beauty and physical beauty, growing, laughing and growing in her walk with Christ.

  19. I’m in my seventies and just had a heart attack. Since the Lord didn’t take me, I consider this a wake-up call to a healthy lifestyle. What could be more beautiful in my circumstances than to obey the ‘rules’ of eating and exercising! Thanks for encouraging us toward getting our eyes on Jesus and letting Him show us what’s beautiful.

  20. Growing up with out necessary items for preteen girl, shampoo and toothpaste, along with different family from the norm, was a challenge, It affected, if only I was in a different family, had these things, it would be different. I have been told I looked younger than my biological age. Physical beauty and inner beauty requires a balance, physical and spiritual is a changing, growing process, from wanting to having the available things, one now has the ability to have, blue eye shadow, etc. Hair spray..
    At 72, still growing, still changing, physically and spiritually is a journey. We like the strong older women, with physical beauty, a mentor to the young, who is caring and spiritually growing, who laughs and shares her life, she still has life, inner and outer beauty continue to grow. I wake up and look in the mirror and say good morning beautiful and smile. My husband thought i was not happy with my looks aging, yes my thin hair is thinning more, and a challenge, but I am okay with that. Do not do selfies, Took a while to choose picture of my self for my camera club, I laughed, and chose one. We Need to live life, to the fullest with whatever age we are, and work on a balance in our life, care for our physical and spiritual life, and grow and experience, and live the life we have been given to the fullest.

  21. God spoke to me today through your words in this article! I have been very sick for awhile. Last week I ended up in ER on IVs. I was diagnosed with myligia, which in my case was caused by muscle fatigue due to extreme exhaustion and severe dehydration. My immune system is wigged out! Yesterday I woke up with 5 fever blisters on my lips. Needless to say, I felt UGLY! But God spoke to me, reassuring me that in his eyes, I was BEAUTIFUL (and that sickness won’t be in heaven). Praise the Lord!!!

  22. Beautifully piece that we can all identify with. I grew up in the 60’s and the rage was eye liner. I asked my Dad if I could use it as it wouldn’t be noticeable and his response was “If if is not noticeable, then there is no need for you to wear it”. End of conversation and Twiggy” eyes.
    I am printing and saving to give to my 2 year old grand daughter when the time is right.

  23. I don’t recall blue eyeshadow being that bad, but since we live in a world where blue hair, makeup, and almost anything goes, I’m glad to be counted amongst those that are beautiful on the inside where it really matters.

    1. I appreciate you Gwen. Your mission continues to manifest, because I am inspired to chase after God. His way of being – for me. I am learning and growing everyday, and cannot help but pass it on. As His Word says: “… to desire Him more than anything on earth.” Ps 73:26

  24. I, too, was that young girl with blue eye shadow, and white lips, to boot, in my best Cheryl Tiegs imitation from Teen Magazine cover photos. I struggled to be beautiful and accepted/ admired by my peers. Thank goodness, for the most part, those days are behind me and I strive to be a reflection of Christ now, rather than some superficial super model. YOU are beautiful, inside and out, Gwen, as we found out getting to know you on a more personal level at Table 316 on the cruise. Thank you for being so beautifully transparent and full of joy, and for sharing the redemptive love of Jesus Christ.

  25. Such a relatable story for almost all women and what a simple way to think about where our true beauty comes from. I need to see the beauty in myself and others through God’s eyes and not through my human eyes.

  26. Gwen
    First of all I REALLY Enjoy your daily devotions. I have been heavy most of my life and have been teased alot. I know God looks at my inner beauty but there were times I wished people would. I haven’t had many boyfriends like my sister and many of my friends I had weight loss surgery which did wonders for my low self-esteem but through a rough time in my life over time I started drinking and got into an addiction there but Praise God I’m delivered. Anyways I enjoyed your devotion today. The scripture that has helped me is Psalms 139. I am fearful and wonderfully made. I have put on the weight through the alcohol I’m trying to deal with that . I would love this free copy song CD.
    Your a BLESSING!! Thanks. May God continue to speak to you for WOMEN

  27. It is so true that outer beauty is fleeting, while what is in our hearts is eternal. As I grow older, I am so aware of this and unfortunately also of my increasingly imperfect outer flaws. How I react to this is so very important, both for my spiritual well being and relationship with God, and for my growing daughters. As I struggle to take my thoughts captive, I am careful not to bemoan aloud the extra wrinkle, the newest gray hair or how much cuter I looked in a bathing suit 20 years ago. I set the example for them, because the world does such a poor job of showing how my girls’ true worth comes from within and from their relationship with Jesus, and not how they look on the outside, though of course they are beautiful!

  28. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of what true beauty is and is not. The blue eye shadow!!! I think I still wore it in the 90s. Now as a 51 year old mom of 2 young teen girls, I still struggle with fitting in. I’m older than most of my daughter’s friends moms so that’s already a strike against me. I never struggled with my weight. In fact, it’s always been the opposite. I was that college kid that took all 4 years of college to gain 10 pounds. I had a fast metabolism. But now it has slowed waaaay down and I am 20 pounds overweight. I want to be healthy and beautiful and a good role model for my girls. I am who “I Am” says I am.

  29. As we grow in the word of God, we learn that inside beauty means much more. As a child and even now, I’ve always been told that I’m not as pretty as my sister, even at my first wedding. Through the years, I’ve learned that beauty on the outside is not as great as beauty on the inside. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day.

  30. I am learning new things about beauty this year as I am 35 and pregnant with our first child. Thinking about having another human being growing in my body is just amazing and a true work of the Master Biologist. I don’t feel beautiful everyday, but I keep reminding myself that as women, we get the awesome privilege of bearing children and that is beautiful!

  31. This made me smile and remember my own fifth grade days of begging my mom for eye shadow. She would not allow me blue, as I wasn’t old enough in her words, but she did relent and bought me a very pale pink. I was thrilled just at that pale shimmer and felt so grown up. LOL

    I think as adult women, we struggle even more with trying to measure up. I long ago accepted I was never going to be beautiful in comparison to what the world and men considered beauty. I always knew what made me special was my heart and the depth of love I could feel. The weird thing now, at age 45, is that I look in the mirror and wonder if I also had a certain physical beauty but lacked the eyes to see it. I find I tend to see my physical self with kinder eyes as I get older. As a good male friend told me one day as I was being harsh on myself….”God does not create junk.” As women in Christ, we need to remember that God smiled when He finished creating us.

  32. As a breast cancer survivor,I am deely grateful to the Lord for this long road of healing…physically, emotionally and spiritually! As a single parent, I raised my daughter in Hempfield Township where you mention in today’s devotions, which I look forward to daily!

  33. I’ve had self image issues all my life. Even now while serving other women in my career (direct sales, skincare and cosmetics, 7 yrs) some days are not so wonderful. But waking up every morning, stating my affirmations of who I am in Christ and claiming the promises of God sure helps!

  34. I longed to feel that I was beautiful as a child and as an adult. it took a very long time to feel beautiful.
    Now,I know that I am beautiful because I am beloved of God. My daily prayer is to shine for Him and to strive to be a Proverb 31 women.
    Thank you for reminding all the GIG’s that we beautiful and beloved.

  35. This story brought back a similar 5th grade episode I had in my life. Mine was with wearing foundation, that my mother knew nothing about, of course. One day while putting it on at school, it spilled on the light blue pants I was wearing that day. I was horrified and had to walk around all day with that, darker than I should have been wearing, makeup stain for all to see. Needless to say, it did not make me feel beautiful. Thanks for that humble reminder that God sees my inside beauty and I don’t need to impress the world❤

  36. Ugh! Attention and APPROVAL of other is my weakness. I struggle with this daily, especially at work. I’m a teacher and I struggle with “is this good enough” or “am I teaching this as well as …” It truly consumes my day some days. I need peace.

  37. I struggled with my weight most of my teen years into becoming a woman. I remember using blue eyeshadow in the 80’s too. Funny thing at times when I do wear makeup I still wear Blue, but apply it much more conservatively. LOL. I was sick and tired of being made fun of my weight and decided to have Gastric Bypass Surgery. They opened me up, it wasn’t a sleeve, this was PERMANENT Wow, I was looking good and my self esteem skyrocketed! Then years down the road, I was getting sick after eating, most times I have to make myself sick to feel better. By having this surgery it did take away a lot of health problems, but it seemed to add more to the mix. I regret each and every day for having that surgery. My Mother, God rest her soul always said “don’t mess with Mother Nature “. That is exactly what I did God loved me and accepted me the was I was at the time and he does not. Which brings me to John 3:17. GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND THOSE THAT BELIEVE IN HIM SHALL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. No need to change your appearance for anyone, the most important people in my Life is GOD & Ella, we can do anything together.

  38. At the very ripe age of 63, I can attest that chasing beauty is a lifelong race. Funny how you really believe advertising claims, especially when it comes to “youth”.
    But, nothing beats the radiant peace on a woman’s face when she trusts God to form her “beauty” plan.

  39. Gwen, you are beautiful, you are made perfectly in his image, you are flawless and glow of forgiveness. Your life has purpose, worth and there was, Is and still a plan just for you. Let this truth lead your life today. God bless,
    Casie-your sister in Christ

  40. My weight has always been my indicator for beauty and acceptance . Still at 55 but your blog and God have really been speaking truth about who HE says I am and to hold onto the truth! HE loves me and thinks I am beautiful!

  41. You obviously touched a lot of hearts with this post based on all the comments. I’m right there with so many others. As a woman who has suffered from acne for all but the 1st 12 years of my life (now in my 60’s), I’ve always felt ugly & unworthy. I use to wonder what it would feel like to be pretty, but it was a concept I couldn’t even imagine. It was (and in some ways still is) difficult to be completely comfortable around people (especially people I don’t know well) because I feel like my skin is what they see. I try to live out 1 Peter 3:5 (Message), but it’s difficult at times. Thank you for your post.

    1. Linda – I’m literally “right behind you” at 56 and am a lifelong victim of severe acne. It’s not a fun cross to bear, but I try to remind myself it’s better than some diagnosis. I don’t believe any of the posts are meant to be read in black and white terms…..more there are degrees of unhealthiness.

      When I look at outer beauty in terms of focus, emphasis, amount of resources I commit, that’s where the line between healthy and unhealthy becomes more clear. For me, obsessing about every cream or treatment that professes to rid years of damage in 10 minutes or less, burrowing in my house when I wake up from an attack of the night time zit maker, or instantly zooming in on the sharp focus in the mirror instead of a soft recognition – those are my unhealthy extremes. The healthier ground? Wanting to make myself the most presentable I can be given the material God has given me is not spiritually unhealthy. Yes, first and foremost, I want others to feel God’s love radiate from me. But I know that’s not possible if I don’t honor myself in all ways, including the physical. When I allow myself to be so centered on myself about another person’s perceived or real reactions to me, I can literally feel the disconnect from my higher self.

      I’m the only one who can be honest with myself to know when the balance tips and I’m chasing the Holy Grail at the expense of all what I know to be true. So I try to accept my humanity, know my focus will get off the main path many more times, but know that God doesn’t let me veer too far off. In fact, in one of my worse times when I was quite young, I was referred to a dermatology practice to help with their insurance programs. Of course I was mortified to show up looking like I’d done major surgery on my face myself. Long story – they became a client. Over the years, they offered me a few professional treatments for cost. The treatment didn’t help much, but in retrospect I laugh because it kept me from spending a lot of money.

      Do I still look when I run across a new treatment? Sure.The difference is I typically don’t go looking for them – information or ads pop up in some of the strangest places or from the most unlikely people. And I don’t buy every promise I run across. Is it unhealthy to research them? I’m the only one who can honestly answer the question of whether the scale has tipped and I’m too focused on this corporeal shell that holds my spirit.

      I’m dating 4 years after divorce from a 30 year marriage. What helps me embrace my humanity? Stating the obvious (or what’s obvious to me). I don’t put myself down (there are plenty of people who can do that for me if I’d let them). Therefore, I’ll just normally address my elephant in the room and typically try to do so with humor. My line? I just say something like this: “I really wish I wouldn’t have believed the doctor when he said I had adolescent acne and it would go away as I got older. It hasn’t gone away obviously. Perhaps he misdiagnosed and I have terminal acne, or maybe it means I’m forever young at heart. I choose to believe the latter.” Then I laugh. I don’t want the other person to offer platitudes. So then I’ll say something like “I wasn’t looking for any reaction – speaking what’s obvious to me is just a tool that helps clear away some of those pesky demons.”

      This is one reason I love Gwen sharing her gifts – she doesn’t acknowledge our humanity as a curse. She just acknowledges our humankind as a given part of our humankind.

      P.S. Red lipstick written on my bathroom mirror…..”Love yourself”……it helps me soften my critical focus. Sending heartfelt empathy and asking for that peace that passes all understanding for you today. Today I’m able to do so – maybe tomorrow I won’t be and you can do the same for me 🙂

  42. At my church I am in charge of the mother and daughter banquet. Theme we picked, inner beauty. I’m learning so much about who I truly am with Christ living in me which makes me beautiful. Coming from a childhood of being picked on by kids in school because I had red hairand was quiet and shy. God tells me I’m not those things and I am beautiful on the inside.

  43. It is so wonderful to be reminded that God made us all beautiful, we are the ones who don’t see it in ourselves or others sometimes. Thank you for helping me look for and see the beauty of everyone inside and out. I am praying for God to help me be more aware of others beauty and talents as well as my own. I just lost my job so I am also praying for Him to lead me to a new job where I can make a bigger impact for Him.

  44. Gwen, Gwen, Gwen!!! I laughed thinking of all the times I tried to change my appearance to help make me more likeable, to increase my popularity, to: (you can pick any of 100 or more different options). It is incredible how that insecure little girl, teenager continues into the new mom, new wife, new employee status in life. Reminding me this morning that all I need to know is whose I am and the beauty shines through. Thank you so much for opening my eyes, my heart, my world. There is nothing so beautiful as a person who takes the time to help someone else, who values the good that God has done, will do in their lives. Keep spreading the good news.

  45. It is a constant reminder of who we are and where we are going on our life journey. I am the mother of 3 young girls and the other day my Nora told my father ” I am beautiful!”. He asked her why she said that, where she would have picked that up. My 6 year old answered “Well, God made me-of course!”
    Out of the mouth of a child. May we be confident in our inner beauty as daughters of the most high and may we take care of the temple!of the Holy Spirit that is our body.

  46. Hi Gwen,

    Thank you for this story. I try to keep up with my physical appearance, eating right, wrinkle cream, not coloring my hair, etc. but I work hard on my inside relationship with God. He makes me beautiful in many ways. I feel my heart is beautiful and he helps me work on that daily. I feel when people are connected with God inside their outside appearance shines!

  47. I have been overweight my whole life…talk about image issues. For that reason alone I have struggled with self worth…and tho I have come a long way from that young woman sleeping with men I barely knew just to feel attractive and loved…wearing revealing clothes for attention….drinking and drugs to ease the pain. I had 3 miscarriages and was a single mother by 26. My son is what God used for good as becoming a parent gave me worth, someone to live a better life for, someone who loved me!! But God did start turning me then. I got married at 33 to a man who was the 1st to say I love you!! It lasted almost 10 years before he had an affair with my best friend. That sent me back to my image issues…I attempted an overdose. God once again pulled me up and changed me again. I do better 16 years later and have a good Christian man to walk with. But I still struggle to please people and worry what they think too much…but God’s faithful to keep working in me. Thank you Gwen that you share God’s promises and keep reminding myself and other women…..WE ARE LOVED…WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!! God bless!!

  48. Oh, I identify with this. Not for the makeup necessarily but for clothes….I never had the “in” clothes…..we weren’t “poor” but not much extra for a lot of clothes and Mom was the antithesis of the hip mom. One year I wanted Saddle Oxfords……..ALL the kids were wearing them. I got them…….but with the thick soles……not the “real” ones, because they lasted longer. I still struggle at times with feeling like I fit in with what I wear but I’ve learned that the best thing I can wear is the armor of Christ and that in God’s eyes, I am a princess, precious in His sight. Now, I pretty much just want to be HEALTHY!! Do I still want to “look good”…of course. I doubt any woman doesn’t want that but my ultimate goal is to serve Him every day.

  49. I’m a senior in college and have struggled with eating disorders and pressure to feel “hot”, “sexy”, you name it. Yet this was really needed because I constantly seek the attention and approval of girls and guys and I’m in the age group where being “beautiful” isn’t really a pursuit, sexual desire is. Yet when I think of being beautiful, I think of my mother. She had me at 19 and she is only 41 right now so she is still very young and youthful but she is beautiful because she takes care of herself, enhances her features using a few products, but overall she is more concerned with taking care of others and of her relationship with Christ and when she speaks she is so genuine and loving and it is so beautiful. I can’t wait to grow up to be as beautiful as my mother.

  50. I have not given much thought to this topic..I guess it has caused a lot of hurt over the years because of my weight. I know I did not have an ugly face, but I was always a bit plump. When I dated my husband of 33 years, he would stare at me and tell me how beautiful I was. We got married, then things changed. He stopped telling me I was beautiful. One day I asked him and he said, “you still have a beautiful face but when I look from the neck down, I see a ton of flubber and I can’t tell you you are beautiful! OUCH! There were MANY comments like this over the years….so I just did not go there. As my relationship began to grow in Christ, I began to realize that I can never be “enough” for man, but I AM Gods creation, created in His image and for His glory and that I cannot take my physical beauty, money, possesions w me when I die BUT as I cultivate and nurture my relationship w Christ and He chisels away at the “junk” on the inside, the more His radiance shines through me and His love extends to other around me! Now THIS I can take with me! Yes, I am still plump and now 58 and still married to the same man who no longer says those hurtful things because God changed his heart, but I DO have a different perspective…a heavenly one!

  51. Wonderful devotion about chasing beauty. God is teaching me that when me and my friends are chasing self worth and wellbeing they are really into the self help books which has inspired me too about positive thinking. God is showing me their gods are shallow n do not love them completely n when they hv to depend on FEELING positive in dark times they fall flat but for me this is when my loving all powerful God jumps in to strengthen n take over with amazing results!!!!! I am learning to not judge but b more discerning giving me opportunity to share God’s rescue and strength. Praise God! X LENI

  52. I don’t need to wait on anyone to complement me because I have learned to trust and believe that God will provide my every need

  53. Thank you Gwen for this simple, pleasant nudge. On the other end of the spectrum….I have not ever quite made a habit of putting on make-up, whether it was out of laziness or the fact that tears always seemed to ruin the whole makeup look, or because my perfectionism dictated that if I couldn’t get it right there was just too much to do with re-do’s. Nonetheless, the bottom line is still always going to be the same….If I don’t get up in the morning and prepare for my day spiritually rooted to my Lord & Savior, no beauty tip in the world is going to work for me, my beauty must come from within and only through the Divine Spirit of my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ!!! Thank you for yet another dose of reality!! You Rock!!

  54. I sooooo remember using blue eyeshadow and blue eyeliner to match. Bright red lipstick often accompanied my palette of makeup colors. I never felt good enough or pretty enough and didn’t have those name brand clothes. Took me a really long time to figure out the truth that God created beautiful and the only opinion of me that matters is His. Thanks for sharing and bringing back memories of that bright blue eyeshadow. 🙂

  55. I am 54 and beginning to fully understand the phrase “fleeting beauty”! My hair is no longer brown, my hips are no longer 36 or less, and my legs no longer have great muscle tone…but this I know as well, God made me for God’s purpose; he made me uniquely, fearfully, wonderfully and designed to carry out His perfect will in my life…and in that I rejoice and find peace. I am beautiful in God’s eyes and made for so much more than what the world defines as beauty…and so are all of you who are reading this!

  56. God walks with me as I am currently struggling to find a diagnosis for what doctors can only describe as “some kind of auto immune reaction to something.” This health episode has left me covered in head to toe with red welts. Covered. From scalp to the bottom of my feet. It’s like I’m living one of the plagues. Thank goodness the Lord made me one of those “plain Janes” or I would be freaking out about what I look like. I did feel sorry for myself a few days after the welts started appearing on my face and neck but after sobbing on my living room floor and lifting His name in praise I was over my pity party. Truthfully the worst part right now is the itch! I’m not even that worried that this could be a sign of a deeper chronic disease or unknown virus. I’m just trying to get to the next minute without scratching! So I send out to all you ladies out there: beauty is in the Lord! When you’re experiencing a negative health episode like me, what you look like doesn’t matter. Caring about your looks is something that you do to waste time when you should be praising him for your blessings. Pray for me but don’t worry about me: my prize in Heaven is already paid for and waiting for me.

    1. Dear”Finding Joy in Him”. AMEN!

      Wanted to ask if you are familiar w the movie “Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead”. You can see it on Netflix. I think the man’s name is Joe Cross. Please watch, it seems to describe what you have. Hope it helps. God bless you and may He give you wisdom!

  57. I like the idea of seeking His beauty instead of searching for our own. While we strive for excellence presenting His temple, as we let His light shine through, we find deeper glory in glorifying Him and His ways.

  58. Thank you Gwen, for touching a nerve for me today. This is such a daily struggle, trying to balance being healthy, trying to look nice (while creeping toward the Big 5-0) and yet spending the necessary time building my relationship with Christ. I know what’s most fulfilling and important but am so not good at prioritizing. Lord, help me focus on you instead of worldly pursuits & values.

  59. Amen! Amen! Amen! I have been a yo-yo exerciser and yo-yo dieter for years in order to lose weight to fit into the mold that society has made for women. But now that I am almost 44, I am exercising and watching what I eat in order to be healthy. I want to take care of this body that God has given me. I am not judging my weight by society anymore and I am judging it the way God wants me to. He wants me to be comfortable in my own skin and I am working towards that goal every day. God has broken me into beautiful by opening my eyes to show me that He loves me no matter what size I am. PRAISE GOD!

  60. Oh Gwen…. my heart right now is so broken. Having been a pastor’s wife for over 20 years where I have experienced much judgement from others, coming from an extremely dysfunctional family where there has been great mistrust and shunning, and ministry experiences that have deeply wounded my inner spirit right now is just crushed. On top of this I work in the Beauty Industry for 21 years and often struggle with the emphasis on outer beauty, when my heart knows otherwise. My heart often is not following what my head knows to be true and I loose sight of God’s true vision of me and His powerful embrace of all that I am. I do so relate to your words today… I continue to seek and embrace how God see’s me as Beautiful and that he is captivated by me… He wants to dance with me as His bride. May that vision be reborn in each of us. Thank you for your ministry in word & song. You have blessed me sooooo often through “Broken into Beautiful”. Blessings as you journey on.

  61. Thank you Gwen for your insight. At 55, over the years it has become obvious to me that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I have noticed some the of seemingly happiest people, whom I doubt would ever be considered for “top model” for either sex. Yet after recently losing 40 pounds, redoing my hair etc… I realized I don’t “feel” any prettier that I did before. Your blog is a motivations to slow down, stop and recognize what God made me to be, casting aside the shell He put me in on earth and moving forward to grasp what is far deeper in my heart, and His!

  62. Gwen
    I can relate to wanting to be accepted all my life. This message just reminded me of that and how God has been showing me true beauty in my life. Thank you for sharing.

  63. Wow your post today Gwen was very introspective. It made me take a look at myself and how I perceive myself through other’s eyes. It’s time for me to grow up and draw more closer to God. Thank you.

  64. Gwen, I hit the big 60 last year and self-image continues to be a struggle, as it seems to be with all women! For some reason we think we should look like we did in our 20’s, and harbor all sorts of unrealistic expectations of ourselves. We try to exercise, eat more healthy foods, take care of our skin and hair, yet we will continue to age, and it is a natural part of our life. We need to be reminded to see ourselves as God does…so precious in His sight! Imperfect, but beautiful inside and out! Thank you for your reminder!

  65. Over the past 16 years I have been married to a good man that was and is riddled with addiction. Only during the past year, I finally became aware of his activities that included other women. I knew somewhere in my core that he had separated from me emotionally and as I am an aging woman, I contributed that to my waning “beauty”. I have been fighting this process with hair style and color, anti wrinkle creams and a constant watch of my calorie intake. As this separation continued, I felt older and less attractive. 10 months ago, my husband spiraled out of control and his substance abuse became known. I asked him to leave and in my enlightenment of where I actually am financially, emotionally and spiritually, I have learned that God was actually the only one by my side. He loves my aging skin, the gray hair under the color and the natual slowing of my metabolism. He is the only One the truly loves my in my authentic beauty.

  66. I too wanted to be beautiful at a very young age. I remember crying in my bathroom at age ten after seeing Rogers & Hamerstein’s Cinderella because I was not, nor would be, as pretty as the actress who played the lead. Feeling like I didn’t measure up led to years of dealing with an eating disorder and compulsive exercising. Now at 55, I can honestly say the struggle with that has over for at least 10 years. God transformed overeating to freedom in Him and aging brings it’s graces as well. My desire is not to be remembered as beautiful but to be remembered as a woman who was passionate about Jesus, who loved others well and gave of herself. Inner beauty shines so much truer & brighter. I still, of course, love my makeup and want to look my best for my husband 😉

  67. Hi Gwen thanks for sharing. From my earlyest memory till the passing of my mother the disappointment of me flowed from her like a faucet dripping. It was constantly there stinging in my ears about how homely I was and how I looked like an orphen, unkempt and uncared for. I grew up believing I was ugly which she continued to remind me. I was married with 2 children and she still made comments about my looks. So now I’m seeing a christian councilor who is showing me how God sees me. It is hard and will always be a struggle for me.

  68. My gracious, did I need this one today! Thanks.
    Not only do I try to be excepted at times with outside beauty but also with my achievements. Sometimes I think to much about what others would think if I didn’t finish what I started even though I have tried so hard to and I am beginning to wonder if its even God’s will. Some days it seems as if that’s the direction he wants me to go and then other days I run into a shut door.
    Just don’t know if its the path he wants me to take! Even though I want so bad to finish what I started! :/

  69. I’m about 5 minutes from turning 48 🙂 so I remember the 80’s well and I too snuck that Brady “look”, oh what memories! Last year when I became ill & my hair was falling out I had my son use his hair trimmer to shave me bald. In a way I felt relief from not having handfuls of hair in my hands every time I washed it, but truthfully I felt a part of me died. I always had that full head of long beautiful blonde hair and it was in my estimation one of my best qualities. Now I have very short and VERY gray hair. What a difference! My own extended family didn’t recognize me at Christmas. I’m still coming to terms with the change and your message has helped me realize that no matter how I look on the outside it’s my inner beauty I should be most concerned about. Thank you Gwen, God is so good to use you so many times to speak to my heart. Many blessings to you!

  70. Gwen, thank you so much for this. I really needed to hear what you have written. This is a battle that I have fought all of my life and I am still fighting it. Sometimes when I think that I have won the battle and those feelings of uselessness and not being good enough are gone they reappear and I face it again. I have always been the not so popular girl, not the prettiest, and the one that just wanted acceptance and for someone to be proud of me and I guess for me to be proud of myself and my accomplishments. I have been my own worst critic my entire life. I have got to accept myself the way God looks at me and know that true beauty comes from within. Thank you again for your inspiration. It has touched me today.

  71. My 15 year old daughter 2 years ago thought she was ugly and worth nothng. she was cutting and threatened suicide. Today she is working on her Gir Scout Gold award; a program to take into the middleschool to share with girls her testimony. We still take one day at a time as she still struggles sometimes. But it has made me look at myself and what message am I sending to her. It has been a great way to witness to her about God and his love for each one of us.

  72. I felt like I was reading about myself. Although I waited until middle school, my mom had some blue cream Avon eye shadow that she never wore therefore I knew she would never miss it. I would put it on in the bus and I’m sure I looked like a clown but I didn’t have the stylish clothes that others had or the permission to wear makeup like others had and so I felt this was my way of fitting in. I was and still am very insecure about my beauty though I’ve gotten better about it in my fifties. I’ve realized that God made me just as he wanted me to be and to want to be anything else is telling Him he made a mistake. But I’m human and still “wish” at times.

  73. Wow! When I saw the title of today’s devotions from Girlfriends in God I KNEW this was for me. I had to fight to hold back tears on the train this morning as I read during my commute.

    I woke hope this morning feeling a little insecure and just not beautiful. I’ve been having this thing with my hair (trying to find new and mature ways to wear it at work. I have naturally kinky hair so I’m still learning it as I start wearing it in its natural state.)
    And this thing with makeup… Long story short, as I was getting dressed this morning and feeling a mess I was talking to God about my hair and makeup and all my insecurities … And I felt He telling me I was worrying about the wrong things. I started to thank Him though for my hair and my forehead and all the other things I sometimes dislike. Read your blog on the train and was really encouraged. I want to read your Broken into Beautiful book!

    Thank you for this post. My prayer today is that God will show me His definition of beauty and that I’ll find some truths in His word so that I can further get in my heart what God says about beauty and what my perspective on beauty, makeup all that needs to be.

  74. I had not read your blog in a while but today I did. I do want to be liked and approved by others and at the same time I KNOW, that being liked and approved by others is not as fulfilling as being liked and approved by God. My prayer today is to be draw closer to God and let his beauty shine through me. Thanks for this Ms. Gwen! Have a super day.

  75. Dear Gwen: My first exercise of the day is a Spiritual one, and the GIG daily devotional readings are an essential part of that. I am trying to get fit where it comes to my relationship with God which will hopefully erase the lines of neglect of a soul overweighed with the enemy’s constant lies. What a beautiful blog you write daily!
    I am from the Big State of Texas and live in a city where beauty treatments, blond hair, and big fancy houses and cars are paraded daily by the enemy, his magnet to detracting us from working on our relationship with God . I am glad to read your writing today and realize that the Lord has protected me from the lure of botox by building a serious allergy to its component, so I bear daily the lines that time and experiences have drawn on my forehead which bothered me up to this morning… and I am glad you use one of your talents to encourage us to break away from the enemy’s grasp and go see ourselves in the mirror of God’s unconditional love. Thank you from my heart for all you do to inspire!

  76. I always think I’ll be beautiful when…I lose 10 pounds, get that just right hair cur, etc. As i get older, it seems to be a more difficult battle. My husband always tells me im beautiful and i ask him what IS he seeing. Thank you for the reminder that the outside is not what counts.

  77. I just relocated from California to Idaho. I can so totally relate to what you shared. There are moments when I feel like a fish out of water and have to remind myself that God’s perfect love casts out fear. I need to be myself and not worry that I’m not thin enough, fashionable enough, or pretty enough. I am me, loved by God Almighty, & that’s good enough!

  78. Good morning Gwen, the first thing I do in the morning is read what your words. Thank you so much . It helps me more than I can tell you ! Today I read this in amazement. Today is the day I go for Botox . I am 50 but look younger than my years. I love God and go to church on Sunday’s . I pray and always try to be my best self. I tell myself God wants me to be my best inside and out. I tell myself I will feel better if I look better. In my heart I know I am taking things to another level these days. I pray that one day I will be able to stop making excuses. I tell my self I am so small if I keep myself up I can show my daughter and her friends getting older is not a bad thing . Thank you for writing this today. I have more to talk to God about and more truths to realize.

  79. I too like most chased that need and want for a while, but have been so blessed lately with my messages of inside job, listen with your heart, your heart knows, that i simply choose to find the beauty in every single moment, I love watching and waiting for all the tiny miracles that God puts in front of me on a continual basis. I now need God more than i require the need of others. Blessed out of the mess i had created.

  80. Gwen,
    You touched on a topic that has been very much an issue through my years as a youth and some of my adult life. I was the only girl out of four brothers. We didn’t have much money, so a lot of my clothes were from consignments. During, Christmas I would always get a new shiny coat and a few new items that had to last me. My feet grew rapidly and I was skinny. So, my pants were often what we called “high waters”, and my shoes were just too tight.
    As an adult, I wanted to be beautiful on the outside and often felt sad. My mom would say, “Beauty is Skin Deep”. I didn’t understand what she meant. As an adult, I would get looked at as being old fashioned and wore clothes that were too big for my figure.
    Two years ago when my mother passed away, I was at my aunts home looking at old photo albums. When I got to photos of me, I looked at myself then and saw that I was beautiful despite what other’s may have thought. I smiled inside that day and left with a better understanding about how God perceives the beauty within us.
    Today, I feel beautiful both inside and outside. God’s love is present in my walk. My husband recently said, I have a beautiful heart. Thank you for reminding me of Proverb 31:30.

  81. Good morning, Gwen! I always love your articles on Girlfriends in God. The one this morning is no different. It’s interesting and encouraging to see all the blog posts and realize we all walk around feeling “not beautiful” sometimes (often). It’s amazing how adults can label children unintentionally and causes me to think before I speak around my grandchildren. I was always the quiet, “smart one” and my sister was the pretty, “life of the party” one. I’ve struggled with being plain and homely. However, as I get older I’m so thankful that blogs like this and my God remind me that my willing spirit and my appetite for Him are so much more precious in His sight than ôutward beauty!

  82. Exactly a week ago today I had what I thought to be “THE” worst hair cut in my 40+ years. See, I had a picture of what I wanted, however as my hairdresser started cutting my hair it started drying and curling. I have natural curly hair so you have to keep it wet when cutting. Needless to say she was trying to cut my curls off to get to the straight hair. Leaving me with what I saw as a very short, very boyish, very MY HUSBAND IS GOING TO HATE IT hair cut. I thought I looked hideous and I told her so. Much to my surprise my husband thought it was a cute cut, my daughter loved it and everyone raved over it. However, I did cry that night, but God gently reminded me that it wasn’t about a hair cut. He loves me no matter what and my family did too. So I am happy to report that I am loving my new hair cut and have a new undetstamding of how God sees my beauty and I need to see myself through His eyes.

  83. We must have went to school together :)) Marsha Brady was the cool one back then or at lest I thought so. My Beauty secret accessory back then was a little pair of dangling earrings tucked away in my kneehigh socks . As soon as I got to school I would go out to an exclusive area of the playground pull out my earrings for my kneesocks and quietly twist them onto my ears…yes twist! I should have known back then when sitting in class thinking I was cool and pretty when my ears started to throb because I had twisted them too tight God was whispering in my ear’s then, you don’t need these earrings to be pretty you are “Made Perfectly” Now I find myself teaching my granddaughter that her true beauty his her spirit through Christ.
    Thank You Gwen for reminding us That are true beauty comes within~
    Kathy jo

  84. Gwen, I think all of us can relate to wanting the acceptance of other people so much we’re willing to change our physical appearance to attain it. This week I looked out my door and saw the beautiful roses God grows for me. I listen to the music of the beautiful birds which seem to be talking amongst themselves. Sometimes I think God has had them sing just for me. Jesus said,” And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6: 28-29

  85. This week I have spent time organizing photo albums with pictures from the last 48 years of married life shared with a deceased and a second husband, with children and now grandchildren. After one long session of working on this I came down stairs and told my husband that the pictures revealed to me something I wasn’t tuned into. Moved to tears I told him they showed me how beautiful I always looked even though I never thought of myself as so. We are often our worst enemy of deceptive thoughts about ourselves and how we appear to others. Perhaps the photos showed “pretty is as pretty does”.

  86. Hello fellow Smith-Christ follower, broken but saved by God’s grace through His son! I love your posts! I am someone who has always had a weight problem but a teacher took me aside one day and said that I was so beautiful on the inside to not let my physical body get in the way! From that moment I realized that God created ME and that he can use ‘broken’ me in what ever way I am, for His glory! I am loved and I love to share HIM! Blessings!

  87. I came to a realization recently after falling off the diet and workout wagon and watching my weight tick back up and my clothes fit differently that in order for me to be beautiful I have to first be comfortable in my own skin. Just as you said, not some version of media or Hollywood’s definition of beauty, but the me that God made, because everything He made is good. I am beautiful because of him, not because of my size, my clothes, my skin or my hair. Certainly not because other people think so, or think not. But because I am HIs and He is mine! The beauty of the Holy Spirit in me is what makes me beautiful. Do I need to take care of the “temple”? Absolutely! I still need to eat right and exercise, because I need to be a good steward over what God has given me and we only get one “temple”. It was a journey to get here, and I won;t tell you that I still feel a little tinge of envy when I see younger, prettier, more confident well-dressed, size . . . smaller, women, but I remind myself that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made in His image and for that reason, I am beaurtiful!

  88. I have never been beautiful on the outside…but I finally feel beautiful the way it matters when I truly gave myself to the Lord 7 years ago. I was a fat kid and still am as an adult. I am very plain and not what society would consider pretty. My older sister was the skinny and pretty one. I still remember my Dad’s comment to my Mom when I was about 11-12. She’s not ever going to be pretty like Connie…she’s just plain. It wasn’t intended to hurt but it did. I’ve always felt lesser. We were poor farmers so I could never dress in the latest and Mom made clothes for us that were in style but just weren’t the same as store bought. I began having sex with random men I met at bars at age 19 looking for love and acceptance and it was how I fooled myself into feeling like someone saw me as pretty. I had 3 miscarriages and need up a single mom at 26 from one night stands. At least that helped start on a path of responsibility and I went to college and bought a place to have a stable life. I didn’t spend as much time at bars but was still looking for a man to love me and my son. I found him but it was also built on sex. It made me feel pretty to be wanted sexually. I did love him but it ended when he had an affair with my best friend a skinny pretty woman. It broke up 2 families…we had spent years doing things together. I did something stupid then and tried to take my own life. But God wasn’t finished with me yet!! It took time and then one day I picked up a devotional someone gave me after my suicide attempt. I’d been feeling like I needed to find happiness somewhere and so why not try God!!! I’ve been growing in faith ever sense and still at times worry about worldly acceptance…but overall I finally feel beautiful as God’s child.

  89. This past year has been a cleansing process as God reshapes me into the person He created me to be. What was once important (what others think) has been replaced with “it only matters what God thinks of me.” Once I fully committed to this thought process, I literally felt beautiful and covered in His grace. I don’t mean physically beautiful as the world would describe it but lifted up and “pretty” from the inside out.
    To God be the glory that He never leaves me.

  90. This devotion spoke deep to my heart this morning. As I’m currently pregnant with my fifth child (I’m only 28!), it can be very difficult to feel beautiful at times! I find myself becoming overcome with depression as I sometimes think I’ll never get back to the “me” I was before children. But as I read this, I realize that’s not what life is all about nor should I be so focused on it. What matters is the amazing blessings God gives me AND THEIR BEAUTY far surpasses anything else! It shouldn’t matter to me what others see of me but what should matter is what God thinks of me when he looks in my heart & soul.
    Thank you so much for sharing this today, & God Bless you!

  91. I think at some point in our lives, we, as girls or women, desire to be physically beautiful. This is so for many reasons…whether to entice the cute guy at school or work, get the dream job you’ve always wanted, or to have a sense of belonging. I’ve always considered myself a “nerd” and struggled with self-image doubts until I put it back into perspective and remember Who loves me for me as I am. I think I find the confidence easier as an adult now that I’m married for almost 21 years to an amazing man that loves me unconditionally and have 2 boys that complete my world. There will always be days Satan will creep into my thoughts and try to steal my joy, but not today!

  92. Truly seeking the beauty within that GOD the FATHER has given to me. Beauty that is seen in the love HE has poured out on me, in me & desiring it to flow through me. In Christ’s love Me as Rusty

  93. I used to think that superficial beauty would be the key to success. It seemed that all the beautiful women got the best paying jobs. Despite my MBA, I couldn’t get a great job. The excuse I always heard is “your too over qualified”. I would buy nicer clothes, cut and color my hair, and other things I couldn’t afford just to try to look better. Still didn’t work. I was (am) overweight. Once I realized GOD loved me and accepted me as I am, I learned to hold my head high at my accomplishments (i graduated college at age 50), then and only then was I able to obtain a great job (that has been a year now). I thank the Lord every day for showing me how beautiful and worthy I am.

  94. Wow, I can so identify with this devotion today. I have always wanted to be “beautiful” as well. At 54, I still struggle with my image of what I look like and want to “measure up”. When I was a young teenager, one of my friends said, “your hair is what makes you”! Now in my heart I know that isn’t true, however, when I have a bad hair day, well, it’s not very pretty for me! I will be praying for God to move in my heart 🙂 Thank you Gwen 🙂

  95. As always your stories are so real. I can actually remember doing the same thing! Today I deal with trying hide behind the insecurity of Alopecia. It’s so hard…some days it’s easy, others well you just cry. Nevertheless when I just look up I remember that It’s only hair…And Gods plan is much bigger than hair. Thanks again Gwen for the reminder of what’s really important. Hugs and love Girlfriend. ~Mina

  96. Your story reminded me of when I was going to school, in fact, you were me, only that I didn’t think about make up until I was in 9th grade. My girlfriend gave me my make up kit and I would apply it while riding the bus to school, but run to the bathroom before last bell and wash it off. One day I had forgotten and mom happened to be home when I got home from school, boy, did I get in trouble and she called me all kinds of bad names. To this day, I don’t wear make up unless I go out with my husband to dinner and that is not very much. I want to be beautiful but I’m a plain jane. I want to believe I am beautiful in the eyes of God, I know I am it’s just feeling it.

    Patty

  97. I’m a new mommy I quit my job to raise my little girl I’ve prayed for 10 years. I felt why should I work my time away. I sometimes while home don’t put on makeup or fix my hair because I don’t want to waste it just to clean the house so I feel ugly and plain and fat. I know my heart is not ugly I just want to feel pretty and fit

    1. Alicia, as an older SAHM of two, I encourage you to take some time during the day to pamper yourself. It always makes me feel better and ready for the day. I’m not saying anything glamorous but just a bit ready, you know?

      1. Thank you so much I will take your advice ❤️ Did you at first eat more than you were before see I watch every calorie and I feel I am watching more and more I’m driving myself crazy

  98. Am a single who hope 2 be marreid someday and like u all share the word of God wit out shame or fear. Am a + size lady and sometimes I feel bad about it but I have come 2 release that God love me either way and that should be enough for me thanks 4 u words of encouragments pray wit me and for me that the good lord will help me see my self just as he himself sees me and what think or say should not affect d way I live in him (God)

  99. I work hard, but fail miserably at remembering God’s truth about my beauty. Especially since I am now in a middle-aged body. Sometime it is a daily battle against the lies, some time it is a second to second battle.

    Your blue eye shadow story, Gwen, reminded me of a not so subtle comment my brother-in-law made when looking at pictures I had. I was in my early twenties when blue eye shadow was in style. He looked at a picture of me and said, “What is all that blue stuff on your eyes?”.

    Only he didn’t say ‘stuff. He used a more graphic word that starts with ‘S’

    ~ Dorothy
    http://www.dorothysmountainhome.com

  100. Your story had me laughing because it reminded me of the time I was 11 years old and it was picture day. I borrowed my sisters eye shadow and put it on when I got to school. When the pictures were developed my mother asked me what that was on my eyes. I thought I was cool with the eye shadow on but my mother was not the least bit impressed. It never dawned on me that I would get caught but a picture never lies.. God loves us no matter what we look like with all of our imperfections and what the world thinks is beautiful. God sees our hearts and loves us imperfections and all. What a blessing to be loved regardless of how we look or how we feel about ourselves..

  101. My beauty consist in my personality. I am a very strong personality which at time is extremely misunderstood by most. At one point, I argued with God about this because I also have a personality that is not so humble. I used to think that having a personality such as mine was horrible but as I have come to find out and still finding out, that God purposed me with this type of personality and I am learning to use it to my advantage and for His glory. I love my personality moreso now than in times past. I speak my mind and in the times in which we live, that is not a very popular thing which makes me extremely unpopular. Underneath this personality is a loving, caring, compassionate soul that desires the best for everyone I meet. The enemy use to tell me that my personality was a curse but God has shown me, in the times in which we live, He needs strong personalities to do His bidding. Grateful for not believing those lies. Be blessed!!!

    1. Very cool. Yes. We are all surely uniquely designed for His glory. Big personalities and timid ones alike must all lace every conversation with both truth and grace according to the Word. SO – speak on with boldness, friend, and may we always package our truth with grace. 🙂 Blessings!

  102. In the last few weeks I have been shopping for a mother of the groom dress. In my minds eye I saw myself as I looked 30 years ago. Good figure- slim- no wrinkles- size 6. The dresses just didn’t give me that look! This message has reinforced that I am beautiful in Gods eyes and shouldn’t be worrying about “how others will judge me- most of all an ex husband I haven’t seen in 20+ years”. Thank you for this reminder.

  103. I was the same little girl in the late 70’s early 80’s. And Im sad to say that I still want to be that pretty girl that everyone likes! Even thought I know in my head, that Jesus loves me unconditionally. How this spoke to me ensured me that I must do everything that I can, through Him, to show my 10 year old daughter that she is worth more to Christ then anyones approval! I ordered your book this morning and am looking forward to the study. Thank you for the reminder that I am worth much more to Him.

  104. Yesterday, I was just emailing a friend of mine about how, when I was younger, I was so concerned about how I looked to others, and was so concerned about being pretty enough, looking good enough for others’ acceptance – so much so, that I found I still brought those traits into adulthood. Obviously, it’s something God has to deal with in me and I give Him permission to do just that. Thank you for the confirmation and reminder of who I am in Him.

      1. I am 58 and 30 pounds overweight. I just lost 20 in the last 4 months and I plan to lose the other 30 in the next 5. Beauty is an all encompassing word. This decade (50s) it is critical to do your best to be healthy- body, soul and mind. I hope my sisters in Christ will try to do that for the sake of whose we are (Jesus) and the other loved ones He gave us…True beauty is to be the best that we can be because we honor God’s creation of our bodies and redeemed souls! Please don’t use excuses to not make the best effort to be healthy!

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