And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That’s burning up inside…
Sara Groves, “Add to the Beauty”
I have two daughters, tiny sparkly beauties both. One with dark eyes and a sweet smile and curly pigtails, the other with golden hair feathery straight and eyes blue as the sea. They both light up a room the same way they light up my heart.
When I had my first daughter in the sterile glow of the delivery room, I heard my husband softly say, “It’s a girl. A girl.” We didn’t know before that moment if the baby I’d birth would be a girl or a boy, and in that single second when she was placed on my chest, I breathed deep with both joy and panic.
How do I mother a girl? was the question that burned. At her birth I had a two-year-old rough and tumble, sweet and tender, adventurous boy at home. I was comfortable with being a boy mom. But mothering a girl?
How do you pass along generations of unspoken truth, ancient knowledge stored only in soulful eyes and brief nods, knowing smiles and a soft pat on the knee? How do you hand down beauty and passion, drive and ambition, solemnity and care-taking, the feeling of being more than and not enough all at once?
How do I explain to my daughters that women can be the very encouragement that carries us to another day, and women can also be the destroyer of our self-worth?
How do I help my girls see and seek their own deep-seeded beauty when I’m still looking for mine?
Three years and as many kids later, my heart has relaxed as much as our rules. I still worry, but no longer do I panic when thinking about how to teach my daughters what it is to be a woman, because it comes down to this:
. . . This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful . . .
We are invited, each of us, to be beautiful. To see and seek beauty in our everyday, in each other. Our charge is not how to become more beautiful, but to ask instead: how can I add to the beauty?
- Does this action I’m considering taking add to the beauty of this moment, of this relationship?
- Does this conversation with a friend add to the beauty of her heart?
- Will this Facebook post add to the beauty of my life and the lives of others, or is it just filler?
I’m tired of filler. I’m ready to seek beauty.
I want my daughters to grow up on grace-filled beauty, the kind that has been handed down for generations and through friendships, in every casserole dish brought, tissues slid across church pews and movie theater seats, friendships forged and hearts spurred onto good. I want my daughters to feel beautiful not because of their long eyelashes and silky skin and corkscrew curls, but because of the One who placed beauty deep within their souls — as He did long ago in the Garden. Eves’ story is also ours.
As beauty was lavishly poured like perfume from an alabaster jar, it’s ours, this invitation to be beautiful. It’s offered straight from the One who created beauty itself, and we can extend it to one another. And that invitation is the glory of grace, of Beauty with a capital B. That invitation is mothering, is friendship, is healing and vulnerable and faithfilled.
Together, we can be the beautiful feet that bear good news. Together, we can tell a better, more beautiful story.