With her head tilted towards the sky and her tutu arranged just perfectly, she began to twirl. Tentatively, her circle started slowly, but as she embraced the movement, her confidence built. She gazed down, knowing her sequined skirt swished with her, and giggled, “Do I look pretty, Mommy? Do I?”
As I gathered her in my arms, and twirled her around, I melted into the eyes of my precious four year old, fashionista daughter.
She craved beauty. She wanted to know she was beautiful. Deep down, she voiced what so many of us think.
“Sweet girl, you are beautiful on the outside, but you know the beauty that matters most to God is on the inside.”
For years, I’ve prayed that my daughters and I would cultivate inner beauty; that we would radiate the love, joy and kindness that only the Lord can grant. We know that charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, yet I ponder the ways to reconcile our desire to don cute new boots and ruby red lipstick with our love for Jesus?
My heart is set on being a woman who whole heartedly pursues the Lord, but as God’s girls, are we instructed not to worry about what we wear?
I’ve dug into the scriptures on this topic, and I can’t get past the fact that we were created to enjoy beauty, all kinds of beauty. For me, there are times I even enjoy seemingly trivial things like fashion and make up.
Scripture reminds us to not worry about what we will wear, but I believe that emphasis is on the “worry.” We are not to become engrossed with it. If we are more concerned with our outside appearance, rather than our heart attitude, than we have a problem. Yet I think we have the opportunity to allow our outer appearance to reflect our inner beauty, while having some fun with fashion, hair and make up at the same time.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made just exactly as we are, but do we convey that? Do we carry ourselves in such a way that others would believe that about us?
I’m a sweat shirt and sweat pants kind of girl. I’d be happy to just live in those every lazy day, but as I stay dressed in them, my attitude follows suit. Early in my marriage, I knew I needed to get out of my fashion comfort zone. About four years ago on my blog, I spontaneously shared about my first Red Carpet experience in which I wore completely designer, but thrifted (second hand) fashion. I was dressed fabulously for under $20, standing right next to women who paid thousands for their outfit, and no one was the wiser. Little did I know there was a yearning from women to learn how to dress stylishly, and do it on a budget.
That birthed the on-going Frugal Fashionista series on my blog. For the first year, I struggled with it. It felt uncomfortable. I hated putting pictures of myself on the blog (and still do.) I tried to understand how the Lord was melding my love for encouraging women with my “always a year behind” fashion prowess, but He was.
As I shared seemingly superficial items on Freshening up Ones Wardrobe, Learning how to accessorize, or even my weekly Frugal Fashionista outfits, women became more confident. They began having fun with fashion, while dressing modestly and helping out their family’s budget at the same time.
As I think through our mission on (in)courage, it’s a home for the heart of women.
Does that allow for talking about both our inner and outer appearance? I think it does. In fact, I know it does.
God cares about every little aspect of our whole women, even down to eye shadow tips.
Last month, when some of the (in)courage girls were at the beach, we started talking about our favorite make up brands. When we got home, this note came through our facebook inbox from one of the beach go-ers,
“Totally vapid question: looking to invest in some decent eye make up….should have written down what you all were using at Hilton Head – remind me/make suggestions will you?”
What followed was one of the liveliest thread of comments we have shared in a long time. Every tip, idea, and favorite product was named. A little cheering section even began with some encouragement to try something new for those that didn’t really wear much make up. I cracked up when I read this final comment.
“I can’t tell you how helpful this whole eye thread was. I didn’t even know I wanted help.”
Sometimes being with our girlfriends is like that, isn’t it?
I love proclaiming Jesus as Lord. Pouring out our hearts and sharing our struggles openly and honestly makes (in)courage an incredibly special place, but sometimes, Jesus loving girls might just need a little chocolate and some good eye make up tips.
I know it’s a delicate balance, yet I can’t help but think that one of my heroes, Queen Esther, carried on some very similar discussions with her girl friends before she approached the King.
Do you struggle with this balance? Is it something you’ve pondered at all?
I sure would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Or better yet, if you want to continue the thread of comments from our beach discussion, “What is your biggest fashion or make up question/tip?”
We could all learn from each other, and I might just follow this up later over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.