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Today’s Truth

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

Friend to Friend
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!

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 at church. I think even Marsha Brady was wearing it on TV. Trust me, 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.

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

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)

Join me in chasing His beauty today.

Let’s Pray
Dear God, You are the true source of all that is good and lovely! Help me to quit chasing the attention and approval of others and instead pursue the deep beauty found in Your presence and Your promises.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now it’s Your Turn

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. Write in your journal about what God is teaching you.

GIVEAWAY: CLICK HERE to take this conversation deeper in the comments section of my blog. Today I am giving away 3 FREE digital copies of the My Strength My Song CD to random blog commenters.

More from the Girlfriends

Portions of today’s devotion are excerpts from Gwen’s book, Broken Into Beautiful, which features her testimony, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God brings restoration to the hearts of those wounded by painful life experiences. Explore God’s healing and hope for your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful. To order the book, go to Amazon, your favorite Christian bookstore, or for a signed copy, order from Gwen’s web store.

Get 20% OFF Gwen’s BROKEN INTO BEAUTIFUL book today when you order from her website and use the coupon code: 20OFF

3 Responses to “Chasing Beauty”

  1. Julie says:

    God’s timing and his sense of humor always gets to me. Needed this reminder.

    I have this red picked at pimple that scabbed then I picked and just made it worse, I’m afraid it will leave a scar ….overnights I’ve put toothpaste , honey, it did help alot but still there when I woke up this morning….grrr….I looked in the mirror and did not like how with it I felt less beautiful…and when I start to allow myself to those thoughts I allow a space for Satan’s lies to come in….so I needed this reminder. Thank u.

    it also reminded me of my Saviors scars on his hands and feet, and the beauty in those marks that saved me and made me beautiful in Him.

    God bless,Girlfriends in God is a blessing in my life!

  2. Cindee says:

    I was just cleaning up the the kitchen and was thinking, when people look at me do they
    see Jesus? I want that deep beautiful feeling inside, I want Jesus, I want all the ugliness inside of me to disappear. I buy all those beauty creams for the exterior but
    I don’t do much for the inside. The timeliness of this is GOD! Thank you for Girlfriends in God!!

  3. Deb says:

    Dearest Gwen.
    I have struggled my entire life with considering my identity as the one the world sees. Cruel kids, harsh words, and over endowment of some of my assets at an early age made me a great target for unpleasant nicknames. At 57 I am still way too concerned with my outward appearance.

    So what does one do when one is concerned about outer beauty? She gets involved with a cosmetics company! It is only after becoming a beauty consultant and allowing the philosophy of God first, Family second, Career third did I take hold of beauty actually being what is inside of us. You see, through this company, I became a Christian. I became the woman God wanted all along… Well, I am still a work in progress, but it took feeling beautiful, secure, loved, and being in an environment where I could help others to see their own beauty, that I actually was able to see past my own reflection in the mirror. Does that make any sense at all? Now, I consider it my mission to show all women that inner beauty reflects on the outside as much as the layers of cosmetics we try to hide under; actually more so. Insecurity and self-doubt can take its toll, so when a woman feels beautiful on the outside, her true inner beauty starts bursting forth. I am thankful God uses me to help others recognize this about themselves using skincare and cosmetics as the vehicle.

    Now, I still frown when I see that reflection of myself in the mirror – and I am still entirely too vain. However, I have finally outgrown the struggle of seeking my identity. As a daughter of Christ, I know He loves me just as I am. I thank you for sharing with us today.

    Blessings,
    Deb

    PS. Blue eye shadow still works – just not the way we wore it in the 80’s! Lol!

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