Thursday, August 17, 2017

When I Don't Feel Pretty

Imagine for a moment that you have an event you are attending. Regardless of what the event is or who you are going with, what you are wearing is perfect. If it's an evening gown, you don't need Spanks, if it's jeans, there is no waist gap. Your hair has been flawlessly styled in way that will not result in a headache from being pulled up or back and will not require 3 shampoos to remove every styling product known to mankind. Your nails have been perfectly manicured and will not chip or break. Your makeup is been applied by an artist that gave you the eye look you have made less than pinterest worthy attempts to repeat yourself. Everything about your appearance is stunning perfection and you feel absolutely beautiful. 

And then 'it' happens. (take 'it' for what you will)

Your child forgot to pick up a toy that you missed and twisted your ankle trying to catch your balance and caused a small tear in the seam of your clothing. The rain has started to come down sideways and no umbrella in the world is going to protect the masterpiece upon your head. The phone rings with unexpected devastating news and now your mascara is clumping in the corners of your eyes making them burn and tear furiously. And then someone asks you an innocent question and you break. Into a thousand pieces, scattered everywhere. And all the kings horsemen and all the kings men have no hope of putting you back together again.

Years ago I read somewhere that the way to tell if you have a good man is to see how he handles lost luggage or tangled Christmas tree lights. I have no idea why those are the qualifying circumstances. But apparently how a man handles those particular situations are key in gaining insight to his personality.

Women? No such litmus test exists. We are way too complicated in what we want and don't want at the same time that anything is likely to set us off in untold ways and no standardization is possible to name. But we all have our things, don't we? Unique as they are to each of us, they exist and they are ugly.

This morning played out much like this scenario for me. I woke up early thinking I was doing good. I had horrible writer's block and then my 14 year old woke up. I still hadn't finished the post I had started writing when the spoon clanging on the bowl started. Deciding to stop writing and start exercising instead, I was taking out my frustration throwing punches in the air and doing pushups harder and faster than was probably wise. This was only making matters worse because I know I am getting weaker right now not stronger and the difficulty of continuing was deteriorating my mood even faster. Then came the knock at the door which my son did not hear because of his headphones and now I am loudly encouraging him to answer the door which he did not hear 3 times. Why? Because I wasn't about to stop. I had to keep going. By this time I am full-blown ugly, feeling untold amounts of guilt, and disgusted that earlier I had written in my journal that "fruit is the key...what are your actions or inactions producing?"

And here's the thing. We all deal with this. I know I'm not the only one. But I wonder if this is what is part of the key to abiding. Is it the realization that when the ugly comes out we need to claim the promise that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake and that He is right there with us, ready to clean up our mess, calm us back down, and put us back together again? Is that what helps us understand? Paying attention to our ugly to see His beautiful?

As I sit here reflecting on all of this, I am reminded of the words I read in 1 Peter 3 on Saturday: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair or gold jewelry or fine clothes, but from the inner disposition of your heart, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God's sight." 

No matter how we pretty it up, no matter how flawless or fancy our clothes and accessories may be, if it only takes a minor inconvenience or disruption to cause an explosion, we are in a heap of trouble. Let's make our prayer today to trust that we don't have to hold it all together on our own and that what disrupts us is being given as grace to remind us that He is always with us.

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