Monday, 23 August 2010

And that makes me beautiful

So there I was, sitting at the park bench to celebrate my nephew's 6th birthday, munching on some corn chips and guacamole, and it happened. My adult nephew and husband were talking 'shop' about my husband's business where my nephew is employed. I saw one of the guests listening to their conversation and I offered this explanation to her of what they were talking about, "they work together".   

"Oh!", she nodded, connecting the dots in her mind. 

She then asked me this question while pointing to my husband, "Is that your son?" 

There it was, the question that immediately aged me by at least 20 years and left my ego bruised for the remainder of the day. 

I quickly answered he her by saying, "No. That's my husband."

Embarrassed she tried to back pedal with her words, and was very apologetic. In her defense, I had had the flu all week and was not looking my best. And my husband has this annoying habit of ageing really slowly - looking younger than he really is. Which is not really fair when I look my age, and he is 7 years younger than me.

This has happened to me once before about 7 years ago. I was a first time mother with Leader Boy Warrior only 3 months of age. I was sleep deprived, still hadn't lost the weight I had put on during pregnancy and was dressed in 'comfortable' clothes. It was 6pm at night and I was in the kitchen preparing dinner. Mighty Prince Warrior was n the office with a client. The client looked at a photo my husband had in his office of me that was taken at my sister's wedding. You know how you look, when you have spent hours on grooming, hair and make-up? That's what this photos was. I was looking good. (Ah, the good old days when I could spend hours on my appearance.) The client pointed to the photo and asked, "Is that your girlfriend?" My husband answered, "No. That's my wife. She's just in the kitchen there." Turning to look at me, he replied, "Oh. I thought that was your mother." OUCH!

Now when this happened 7 years ago, I was an insecure mess and it took me months to get over it. I thought so little of myself that I felt I must be ugly and undesirable. I didn't know what true beauty really was.This time around, I ranted and raved about this women's comment to my husband, and  to my friend Paula ,who was spending the weekend with us. But in the morning, I just laughed it off! Why? Because what she thinks of me doesn't matter. I know that I am beautiful. 
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
My nephew had asked me a year ago, "Aunty Jo, do you think that you've let yourself go after you got married?" I smiled at him and gave him a quick lesson on the changes that take place to a woman's body during pregnancy. I also explained about other health issues that may have changed my body to what it is now to what it was before I had been married. I explained to him that a  mamma doesn't prioritise hours of grooming like they did when she wasn't a wife and mummy, when they can use that time to invest into her family in more productive ways. When I arrived at his 21st party a few weekends ago and found myself surrounded by young women with slim bodies, perfectly made up faces, immaculate hair, tight micro dresses and high heels - I understood where he was coming from. In his world, most of his female friends, didn't look (or dress) like his Aunty! They are today's society's image of what a woman should look like.

A first time visitor to my home was enjoying looking at all the photos on my walls and she remarked how I looked so different in my wedding photos. I agreed with her and told her that when I look at them, it's almost like I feel like they are not photos of me. And in some ways they are not photos of me as I am far from the woman I was 9 years ago. My friend Kerrie said, "You know what it is? You are what the world says is attractive in your wedding photos. But I think you are so much more attractive now as you are." (I know, isn't she a gem?) I thanked her for the compliment. I really understood what she was saying, and could whole-heatedly agree with her.

You see, even though I was a size 8(Aus) on my wedding day and am now a size 12(Aus), I have to remember that my body did an amazing thing growing 3 human beings inside it. And that makes me beautiful. Even though my breasts aren't as perky as they once were, they nurtured 3 boy warriors. And that makes me beautiful. Even though I may have black circles under my eyes, I was reading His Word way past my bedtime. And that makes me beautiful. Even though I may have thrown my hair up in a clip and not had time to put make up on, it's because I was caring for my husband, children and others. And that makes me beautiful.

The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. Psalm 45:11

Still taking lessons from the King,




18 comments:

  1. This is a marvellous post. Thanks for sharing.

    You look pretty wonderful in your profile pic by the way - your real pic, not the one in your post. Wonder who that woman was. Do you think her husband thinks she is beautiful too? Probably.

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  2. She didn't mean it :( Beauty is so fleeting, one comment or one comparison and our outward beauty just seems to fly away doesn't it! I know, that you know, where your true beauty lies, and I see it everytime I am with you and it is being unveiled more and more xx

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  3. There is so much more to beauty than appearance - it's so important to realise this when society places so much emphasis on outward beauty. Thanks for reminding me of the different ways that we are all so beautiful.

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  4. Ah dear friend.... what is beauty, really? That's the question I was faced with a few years back? That's the question that is so misinterpreted in the world around us.

    Woman was created in the midst of beauty to bear beauty.... yet we are so confused in this world about what that really looks like.

    Sounds to me like you are seeing what "true" beauty is...

    You ARE beau-ti-ful!

    xoxoxo

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  5. Great post.. and you are beautiful.. to us and to God..
    But it is important for us woman to realize that beauty comes from withing..and any on the outside is just a bonus..

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  6. Jo I always love reading your posts. Sometimes it is hard to remember that our true beauty lies within us especially when we looking in the mirror after nights of little sleep. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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  7. Thank you for sharing about where you see your beauty coming from. Looking at my own beauty in a new way (God's way) is something I feel that I am really just beginning to learn. For so many years I felt that I so did not measure up outwardly, and spent so much time trying to look better. Now I'm learning to let that go because I know it is not what matters.

    Your beauty shines through everything you share here (and in your comments). Thank you!

    P.S. I've always thought you were pretty outwardly too.

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  8. Love you Jo! This post so wonderful. It could be my favourite post by you, ever! You are beautiful. Your beauty shines forth so brightly from your computer screen to mine. You've brightened my day. As I read this post I winced, and felt sad, and laughed (you got me on non-perky breasts) and smiled. What a lucky man your hubby is. Mel xx
    PS. You could always suggest he grows a beard and see if that ages him! :)

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  9. Lol Jo! good post! Thanks for your comments on my facebook status regarding the book, I actually skipped to the centre chapter and just loved what I was reading, so now I am going to go back to where I was reading from and keep going! Bless you sista! xxx

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  10. I've been thinking about your posts lots and my friends have been talking about beauty too... and I agree that beauty comes from within, but I also know that just because I may not look exactly like a "beauty queen" or match up to what society says is beautiful does not mean that I am not beautiful on the outside too. What you said about asking the right Person (God) whether we are beautiful is so spot on. After all, He is the One who created us and made us and although it's a bit of a cliche, He only creates masterpieces. I think as women it's so important for us not to just say "I'm not pretty but I'm beautiful on the inside" but to really be able to accept, do the best with and love who we are on the "outside" as well. And for many of us the only way we can do this is go to the Source and get our self esteem, worth and value about EVERY aspect of ourselves, inside and out, from HIM. So... seriously you have challenged me (and my friends who I've shared all this with) not just to say "I'm beautiful on the inside" but to KNOW(like my 3 yr old daughter KNOWS) that we are beautiful all over. :-) Katrina

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  11. Great comment Katrina!
    Love your beauty Jo. :)
    Bring society a new beautiful - the God created beauty.

    xx

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  12. One of those moments in life (that we all experience in some way) to bring us humility.
    Beauty is such a struggle for me... still wrestling it out! Sigh!!!
    Thank you for sharing so candidly.
    Big Hugs,
    ~M

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  13. Your words are music to my soul beautiful lady and I love that pic at the top, we are all God's princesses :-)

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  14. Jo,

    I feel like I know you because of reading your blog postings as well as following you on Facebook...and I have to say that you have always struck me as beautiful - a lovely person with a lovely heart for the Lord! So, yes...I have to agree. True beauty lies within. It is a woman who loves the Lord whose loveliness shines through. But I also have to admit that when I read you post it spurred me on to look at your profile picture again - And guess what? You are beautiful on the inside, which is the most important...but, you are gorgeous on the outside, too! "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

    Living for Him, Joan

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  15. Jo, another great post by you! It's such a journey isn't it to get to the place where we truly believe we are beautiful because God thinks we are! I am still on that journey! Growing more in it each day.
    On the flip side and I hope you can see the humour in this: my dh is a few years older than me and I have been referred to as his daughter on occassion:) (albeit accidentally I think, but I do look a lot younger than him!)

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  16. There is NO WAY you look like your husband's mama! I just saw the pictures of you two!

    You ARE beautiful!

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  17. A librarian once asked my darlin' hub if I was his mother.

    Oh, my goodness! Did she have a vision problem?

    So, I'm thinking your husband's client could have the same VP.

    And I just love that that you talk about God being "enthralled with my [our] beauty."

    Even on bad hair days.

    And even when I feel really, really not pretty at all.

    And you? You are lovely, Princess Warrior. Inside and out.

    Sweet dreams.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Love,
Jo Princess Warrior xo