Hey beautiful! Yes You!
Quit swiveling your head like a steering wheel. Looking to see if I am talking to someone else.
Because I am talking to you.
And you are beautiful. So beautiful and loved.
I know there are days you feel unloved. Days you feel about as beautiful and put together as a smashed crayon with the paper ripped off. Days you ask what am I doing? Days you doubt your impact on anything more than your ability to ruin things.
But I am here to tell you that you are beautiful. You are loved. Even when it feels like you are not.
We see people differently.
When I met my husband, he was so gorgeously handsome. I mean my girlfriends could not keep their eyes off him and kept telling me they would be happy to take him off my hands.
And when we got engaged, people were telling me that we would have the best marriage because he was so handsome. (As if his looks were all that were necessary for a great marriage!)
Well years have passed, and time has diminished some of his jaw-dropping looks, but to me, he is looking better than ever.
And no, it is not because he undertook some ab-defining exercise program or got some cuts and tucks here and there. Or started using some eye un-crinkler, line disappearing moisturizer. It’s because I know him so much better. I see his actions. I know his attitude. His heart.
I see how he patiently talks to our teen son and explains things to him. I notice how he looks out for us and plans for our future. I observe how he sweeps our daughter’s floor and plays peek-a-boo with her toddler. I see how he mows the lawn on the hottest days, so our yard looks nice. I notice how he helps his sister and mother, using his vacation days to do chores and tasks for them. I hear him ask me how I slept last night and encourages me to take care of myself. I appreciate how he encourages me to get together with girl friends and go on sister trips. I watch as he cleans the dining hall after the homeless have eaten. I watch how he wipes the inside of the fridge until the shelves sparkle.
This and a million other things.
Things that serve his family and others.
Things that communicate his love to those who matter to him.
I love him more than when I married him and find him more attractive. Not because he romances me on weekends. Surprises me with flowers every month. Or whispers how beautiful I am at odd times during the day. Or gets me diamond jewelry every birthday. (The usual things movies and advertisements say communicate love and devotion.) Because these are not his normal ways of communicating his love. (And if I was looking for only these things, I would miss his unique way he shows his love.)
No, I love him more because he gets up in the middle of the night to retrieve an escaped dog. He spends hours researching his sister’s health problems. He works hard to provide for his family. He communicates his love by doing, serving, and showing concern.
His actions. His attitude, romance me.
What makes you beautiful?
And the same applies for you.
It’s not make-up and high heels and jewelry that make you beautiful. It’s your heart of service. Your love and devotion you show to your family and others.
It’s getting up to comfort a sick child in the middle of the night. It’s the hours you spend planning the family vacation. The multitude of dishes you wash each and every day. It’s making meal after meal when you no longer even know what to make. It’s getting up early and doing the morning routine so that the house is ready to welcome the rest of the family as they tumble out of covers.
It’s choosing not to buy that new dress so that the kids can have new clothes. It’s wanting the best for your family. Not leaving them just the leftovers of time and materials at your disposal. It’s you defending your tribe to others. It’s your encouragement on their down days. Your cheering them on. Your laughter that circles the house and brightens their day.
It’s thinking of them daily. Thinking about their needs. Helping them achieve their potential.
All these things make your beautiful. And more beautiful as time goes on.
It’s your heart. Your attitude. Your actions of service.
These make you beautiful to others. To your tribe. To those who know you.
Remember you are beautiful, despite how you feel.
I want you to realize this.
Even when you don’t feel beautiful.
And when one of your tribe members says, “You are beautiful.”
I want you to quit thinking deafening thoughts aloud in your gray matter that you are not beautiful. Quit listing reasons you are not beautiful. Or the reasons you will never be beautiful. Or why you don’t deserve to be called beautiful.
Even if you are standing in the kitchen in your torn nighty with un-brushed teeth and night sweat skin and feet that need some serious lotion to stop the flaking.
Quit the talk that negates their proclamation of you.
Because to them, you are beautiful.
Even standing in your nighty.
Because they are looking through eyes different than yours.
Because they are seeing straight into your heart and soul. They are seeing the real you who fiercely loves them back. The you who serves them day and night and even worries about them in your dreams.
They are seeing the true you.
The beautiful you.
Sure, high heels and makeup may shine up the outside a bit and make you feel a little more beautiful. But your tribe doesn’t need those reminders to see your true beauty.
Just hug them back and say, “Thank you.”
Accept their free-word-gift of encouragement without criticism.
And keep being your beautiful self.
Because maybe the real question isn’t if you are beautiful, but what makes you beautiful.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.
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