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.
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.Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
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,