Being Honest About My Struggle with Beauty

Being Honest About My Struggle with Beauty

For a while I’ve been wanting to share some of my history with you.   I don’t know about you, but I have always struggled with my looks.  It’s not nearly as bad as it was when I was younger.  Even 5 years ago I felt much more insecure and ugly than I do now.  I’ve matured and changed in that area, thankfully!

When I was young I was always heavy.  My weight has been a lifelong struggle.  I remember when I was 7 or 8 playing on a softball team.  The other girls were all the typical, skinny girl and their uniforms were always slipping down.  They would talk about ways to keep their pants up, while I tried to hide the fact that I was wearing a size bigger than any of them.  I’d cut out my tags or try to hide it when I changed clothes. I was sharply aware, even at such a young age, that I had a problem that the other girls didn’t have.

In high school, being a cheerleader or drill team member were never options for me.  It’s silly really.  I wasn’t athletic anyway and probably wouldn’t have liked it, but I always wondered what it would have been like to at least have it as an option.  I dated, but I wasn’t that girl who was pursued by the boys.  I was nice.  I’d make friends pretty easily so I got asked out.  To add to the trouble, I am incredibly UN-photogenic.  So when I see a picture of myself, it never flatters me.

As I got older I learned more and more that the problem wasn’t about whether or not I WAS pretty, but about how I felt about myself….how I carried myself.  I knew I had gifts and I started learning to embrace them and began to be more my authentic self.

But then in college I was bullied by some girls in my dorm.  It was a really dark time in my life and nearly destroyed me.  It took me years to recover from that torture and followed me into marriage.  My poor, sweet husband thought he was marrying a cute, confident young woman when what he really got was a heaping mess of tears and anxiety.  He was barely 21 and I doubt he had any idea what he was getting himself into.  My constant need for compliments and praise drained our marriage.

Slowly, very slowly, God began to pull me out of my, let’s just call it what it is, selfishness.  He started to teach me about real beauty.  The kind of beauty that He sees.  Proverbs 31:30 says it so well, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

I had spent my life looking for the wrong things!  Seeking thinness, nice clothes, perfect hair….it all meant nothing.  If I didn’t stop being so concerned about outer beauty I would get to the end of my life and have no real value.  1 Peter 3:3-4 “And let not your adornment be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t consumed with beauty and fashion.  It was more of a lack of worth, I just couldn’t find my own value.  I thought maybe covering up the mess with something pretty would help.  It didn’t.  And since the world didn’t see any value in me either, I had little hope.  When I was about 25 I began to pray.  I would ask God daily, as I decided what to wear and put myself together for the day, “Lord, help me show the beauty within and not place too much importance on the external.”  That became my prayer every morning as I got dressed.

I’ve always been a dressing up kind of girl.  I don’t throw on sweat pants and pull my hair back at the base of my neck because it’s easy.  I fix myself up and so do my girls.  It’s just our nature.  So getting dressed every day is a time for me to breathe deep and remember who I am dressing for.  The King that loves the inside more than the outside. 2 Corinthians 4:16 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Now, finally, in my late 40’s, I am getting it.  I don’t struggle anymore with feeling like I am less than because I am overweight.  I don’t feel insecure in a room full of beautiful people.  I know I have something else to offer.  I still don’t like to have my picture taken, but I make myself do it and just tell myself it’s good for me to be reminded that what I look like isn’t what’s important.

It’s not easy every day, but most days I have victory.  Asking God to direct my focus every morning has become a habit and that has made the biggest difference.

If you struggle with feeling un-beautiful, I hope you’ll find encouragement here.  You can share your own story, ask for prayer, add your thoughts.  Take it from me, an older woman, beauty is fleeting.  God doesn’t care about it.  Even if He gave you physical beauty, it will fade.  Find your loveliness in your countenance, your kindness toward others, your loving family, your compassion.

I’ve never even seen you, and I think you’re absolutely stunning!

Comments

  1. I’m sure glad I stumbled on your site. I felt the same way you did growing up. Taller than all of the boys in my class and heavier than most of the girls. I’ve always felt lesser than the rest and very insecure. I’m 37 now, married to an amazing man and mother to two wonderful boys. What has truly helped me feel better about myself is my husband, who appreciates who I really am, and my boys, because no matter how I look, they see my true self, all they see is the love I have for them. And that has truly taught me that, no matter what is on the exterior, our core is what really matters and shines through. Thank-you so much for this post!

    • Carla, I have the same kind of husband…he sees ME when he looks at me and never cared about my looks. But he still tells me I’m pretty….which still shocks me even after 26 years of marriage. And you’re so right about the kids. They don’t see anything but Mommy! Lisa~

  2. This is a wonderful post Lisa.

    I think you’re beautiful too – you sparkle with a delightful personality and charm. And you know who to pull together a great outfit. But like you said the important thing is your heart before the Lord.

    • Deanna, you are so kind. I do love a great outfit; I’m sure that will never change! But I am glad you heard my real message…..if I put Christ first the rest dims in perspective. Lisa~

  3. Oh Lisa, this is a beautiful post. It echos the heart of most of the women that I know. Thanks for sharing.

    • Isn’t it sad, how most of us struggle with image when we should be focusing on the internal matters of the heart? I am so grateful that my 4 daughters don’t have this deep issue. Lisa~

  4. Oh Lisa, you spoke right to my heart today. Thank you for sharing your struggle. And thank you for being you! XO

  5. Lisa, I thought you were beautiful from the moment I met you! You have such a sweet, genuine, loving spirit that made me know you were the kind of person I wanted to call “friend”. You are a blessing! And thanks for this amazing post which really, really, really hit home for me.

    • Gwen, when we met I was struck by how beautiful you are! When you walked away I turned to my girls and said, “Isn’t she lovely?!” It was your countenance. I admired it immediately. Christ in you and Christ in me sure made a connection. I’m so grateful! Lisa~

  6. This post was so sweet. And true. God is so good to teach us when we listen to Him.

    Hugs.

  7. I was so overwhelmed reading this post today. In fact I am in tears now as I read. It is as if you wrote my story (or at least one very close to it). I too have struggled with this same thing. I am the oldest of 6 children and 4 of us are girls. I got the fat gene. I have struggled with my weight all of my life and as a result my worth as a person. Although I know that I have value as a child of God, I find it difficult in a world full of thin beautiful people to feel valuable. I am now 50 years old and still I pray each day for God to help me accept who I am or please change me. My lack of self worth has caused strain in my marriage as well over the years and my hubby is not one to compliment or encourage. He is a pull up your boot straps kind of guy. Not to mention he is gorgeous and I still can’t figure out why he wanted me. lol Anyway, thank you for the post. Your other posts on modesty have helped me immensely too. Wearing skirts and being plus size without looking frumpy is another challenge for me. BTW I am NOT photogenic either. lol

    • Donna, we have so much in common! I was the only one in my family with a big weight issue also. That definitely made it harder. I thought it was so interesting that you said your husband is gorgeous and you couldn’t figure out why he chose you. From my perspective it is perfectly obvious why he chose you….you are amazing!!! It’s so easy to see in others but not in ourselves. Love to you! Lisa~

  8. Thanks so much for this beautiful post this morning Lisa. Although I haven’t had the exact same struggles, I’ve still struggled with my looks and self-worth for much of my life as well. I had bucked teeth through middle school and have had acne since even before then (still do). And my stretch marks and “mama belly” have been a struggle since becoming a mother. It can be hard not to compare yourself to others especially in a culture that teaches women to be constantly “fixing” themselves with the latest and greatest product/diet/workout. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that true beauty comes from the light of Christ within us! Love you, you beautiful lady!

  9. I know it’s an inward struggle for you, but I think you are very pretty. I used to feel pretty, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve gained weight and have such dark circles under my eyes that it makes me feel self-conscious (like I’m a teenager again). It’s good not to put to much emphasis on outer appearance as a young girl because it won’t last forever. Although, that’s easier said than done in this culture today.

    • Julie, you are a great example of someone that had outer beauty that began to fade a little with age. At the same time we lose our youthful looks, we gain wisdom and strength that young people can’t have. Now if we could just realize it! Thanks so much for adding that insight, Lisa~

  10. Thank you so much for sharing such an inspiring story. So many women can relate to this, and I’m sure it will help us to look to God for assistance. You are an amazing woman, and I’m so glad that I came across your blog!

  11. What a great post! Personally, I think the idea of beauty is highly overrated. But it has taken growing up to get to this place. Now in my forties, I think of beauty as way less important than I used to. I’m going to throw out an opinion I have held for a few years–it is merely MY opinion. I hope I don’t offend anyone. But let me get into pop culture for a moment . . . I remember when Brad Pitt left Jennifer Aniston–my reaction was “well, if she can get left I guess anyone can.” As I watched Britney Spears spiral out of control a few years ago, I felt so bad for her. But I compared her to Jennifer Aniston and thought: I would rather be Britney Spears even on her worst day than Jennifer Aniston on her best day. Because Britney has two beautiful children. She will come out of her troubles, meet a man who is good for her and life will go on for her. Now here we are, Jennifer Aniston is 42 and still childless. She looks like she has everything in the world–every woman wants to be her and every man wants to date her. But I would be devastated if I were 42 and childless–it poses a huge risk that she may never be able to have a child of her own. Britney has moved on and made better choices and will always have her children, no matter what comes. I certainly do not mean that Jennifer Aniston is unhappy–by all accounts I’m sure that she is, her life just didn’t go as she originally planned. But I definitely do not think beauty equates to happiness. Although I really wish I could get these extra 30 pounds off–I don’t think my friends or family love me less because of it. And I certainly don’t think I’ll get more friends if I lose the weight. I know that now, at this age. I endured my husband leaving me for another woman–and older woman who I think most people would agree is not “prettier” than me. Yet he left. Life is more complicated than just about looks. Lisa, you have what most women want. A house filled with children and a devoted husband. It seems pretty simple but also pretty fantastic. The beauty you have is not only in your appearance but also in yoiur grace, your heartfelt home and your family. You should be very proud! You inspire me to be a better mother and wife (hopefully again soon).

    • Eloquence, I’m so glad you brought this up! After all, can we really talk turkey about beauty without mentioning the influence of celebrities? You are so right…..it doesn’t bring them real, lifelong joy and I have more beautiful things in my life than I can even count. Including YOU as a friend! Thanks for adding this to the conversation. It’s a great point! Lisa~

  12. Lisa, thank you for your honesty and for your lovely words! I think most women have and continue to struggle with insecurities. My insecurity was being too skinny when I was a teen and into my 20’s. After having children, I struggled with having extra weight in my mid-section. No matter what our physical issues are, it is an inner struggle with value and worth! And I so agree with you, that our value and worth can only come from Christ! He knows us completely and loves us more than we can fathom. I have to remind myself often, to rest in that truth! I started my blog with a post about beauty and worth. My blog title and verse comes from my belief that God created us to add beauty and a uniqueness to this world. “The King is enthralled by your beauty.” Ps. 45:11 Blessings to you, my beautiful sister in Christ! xoxo Janis

    • Janis, wow! I wish I had known in my youth that the skinny girls also struggled. I noticed your blog title right away and thought, “This girl gets it!” I’m heading over to check it out. Thanks so much, Lisa~

  13. I’m so glad you can’t see the tears running down my face. I was so hoping that my fifteis would be different, and now I look forward to my sixties. The Soft Surroundings catalog arrived yesterday and my first thought was, “Maybe in ten years.”

    • Oh Celia, you always make me cry! You and I should be past this by now, shouldn’t we?! I will often think, I don’t want to still be having this struggle in my 50’s. I refuse. Let’s count our blessings together. I just love you! Lisa~

  14. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a long time now. You have been an inspiration on how I wish I could be but I know God doesn’t make us all the same….well, I know He makes us in His image, but all our personalities and callings are different and for His purpose. Anyway….you are beautiful in more ways than you realize. I felt the same way about cheerleading, drill teams, etc but the thing was, I was very thin in school but I had all the same feelings and thoughts you shared so I didn’t try out either.

    I don’t like my photo taken either until someone told me once that when looking at old photos after her mom passed, she realized there was only 2 of her and her mom and they the last one was taken about 10 years previously. Her mom didn’t like her photo taken either. From that point on, my friend vowed that she would have her picture taken with her kids most every time they asked. She said kids don’t look at our weight, how we dress, etc they just want memories of “me and mom” to look at later in life. That was enough for me to get in front of the camera every now and again vs behind it all the time.

    Have a blessed day and thanks for a wonderful post to make me see myself a little differently too.

    • Vickie, it’s that very thing that makes me force myself to let people take my picture. I only have a few pictures of my grandmother and I wish there were more! I want the future generations to see what I look like. Thanks for making that point. It’s so true! Lisa~

  15. Hello Lisa,
    I have not been over in a while…many many computer issues
    and…busy life. Anyway….
    I look at the post title & I read it and I say,
    “is this a ‘guest’ post”? I only can say this
    I have always thought you were very beautiful
    and what you share & the light of Christ…makes
    you even more attractive! Now….I personally have had struggles all
    my life with my size as well and my hubby has assured me that GOD has made
    everyone different sizes! :) What would this world be if we were all the same?
    I will not share all the many many answers that I have had for that …(ahem) ;0)
    you know depending on my ‘mood’ at the time ;) well… as I as well am maturing, you know this is all the true. You & I sister and I am sure many more have wasted lots of time fretting over this body imagine….when we could of been doing …..you name it!
    Are we blessed to have hubby’s that love “US” and serve a God that “MADE US” the way “HE” wanted! :)
    Have a wonderful day & it was so nice to visit & yes, we think your very pretty!
    Blessings to you !
    Lori
    (you know the one who has a sister Lisa?) ;)

    • Lori, of course I know who you are (and your sister…LOL!). I do hate that wasted time and God had been so patience with me. I just love what you said about depending on what mood you’re in….boy do I understand that! Thanks so much for stopping back by. I’ve missed ya! Lisa~

  16. Lisa, this is so beautiful…it shines like you!

  17. I relate to much of your struggle Lisa. Thank you for sharing and for you transparency – it’s refreshing. It is always a blessing to understand that other women struggle with the same issues of beauty and self worth. It is encouraging to know that God is teaching you through that struggle to develop inner beauty and become a true reflection of the character of Christ.

    I went to my first Weight Watcher’s meeting at age 9 with my Mum who was a size 8 at the time! When I was10 my grandparents bought me a full length mirror in hopes that I would ‘see’ how fat I was and be motivated to loose weight. Though I have never been an over-eater and always been careful to eat healthy ‘real’ foods, I still struggle with my weight. Living with chronic health issues only serves to make this harder, and I still long to just be a ‘healthy weight’.

    I often pray that God will use this battle to shape me, to refine my character and draw me closer to Him. I see in my children an acceptance and compassion for people that I didn’t learn until I was much older, and I think perhaps that in sharing my struggle to see beauty in the mirror with them, they have learned with me to look a wee bit deeper and find beauty in others. Every day I point out godly character traits I see developing in their lives and I affirm their value and worth with quiet words of truth. I use evidences of the godly character I see in other children and adults that they know as examples of how Christ-likeness outshines any physical beauty.

    I wish we women didn’t get so overwhelmed by this struggle, but it’s been a battle from the very beginning, hasn’t it? When I remember Satan’s first words to Eve, I realize that his lies served to shatter her worth by casting doubt on God’s love for her. It’s not surprising that he’s still whispering the same lies into the hearts of women today.

    • Heather, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am really glad you mentioned your children and what you are passing on to them. It’s so important. I am amazed by my daughters and how they don’t seem to have the same struggles. And I know they don’t see other people’s physical flaws. It touches my heart. Thanks, Lisa~

  18. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart, Lisa. I’ve always thought you were pretty, and it was confirmed when I met you; but your beauty truly shines through when you share with your written words here on your blog: encouragement for parenting, talents for homekeeping and design, and the blessings of your life. Your daughters are blessed to have you as their role model for God-given uniqueness!

    • Shari, you are too kind. Thanks for the compliments, but I think it’s Christ that you see when you see beauty in me….at least I hope so! Lisa~

  19. Pennie Prislovsky :

    Hello Dear Beautiful Friend! I know you in person and through your writing. I know what victory God has brought to you that you could even write about this difficult subject. We have struggled upward together , and I praise Him with you and for you!
    You are beautiful inside and out! Just ask me; I know. I also hear our Father singing the “Lisa Song”. Listen other beautiful daughters of the King! Your Father is singing your song too!
    Zephaniah 3: 17. “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

    • Pennie, you are such a dear friend. I have never been concerned about my outward appearance when I am with you. You always look to the heart. That’s a sign of a good friend! I love you, Lisa~

  20. Lisa, this is beautiful. Thank you for being honest and vulnerable to us. Personally I think those are beautiful characteristics in a woman. I think with age comes acceptance and I think our bodies can look one way, but it isn’t always a reflection of our beauty inside or our health. I also applaud you for getting in the pictures. It is a new realization for me. I recently lost my husband and as I was planning for a slide show for the funeral I realized how few pics I was in. Our kids don’t care what we look like they care about the memories, so I am working on jumping in front of the camera’s more often. I remember the first time I read your blog, your beauty showed thru in your words and your care for you home and family. I lost your blog until recently and when I saw the girls room I thought oh that is that beautiful woman with that cool house (I think in Texas, I live here too ) and all those kids! Have a beautiful day!!!

    • Laura, hello Texas friend! I am so glad we reconnected! And I am just so sorry about the loss of your husband. You will be in my prayers, Lisa~

  21. I’m right there with you, Lisa. Bless you for sharing your story! For so many years I struggled with this very issue, although my struggles centered mostly around my birthmark. When I finally began to heal from this issue, I felt ashamed that I wasn’t already fully healed! I’m 49 years old now, and I still struggle sometimes, but I’ve learned that God loves me right in the midst of my struggles. Thank you, Lord, for your healing grace.

    • Richella, I am just so blessed that we are finally getting to know each other! I love your message on your blog. Thanks for joining the conversation here and adding your own struggle. I guess we all have something, don’t we? Lisa~

  22. Oh, Lisa, I meant to include a link wherein I share a bit of my struggle. Here it is: http://www.impartinggrace.com/2012/05/dealing-with-ugly-and-pretty.html

    Thank you for inviting others to share their stories as well!

  23. I can appreciate this so much more than I care to admit. You are beautiful, inside and out, and I’m not just saying that because it’s the ‘right’ thing to say. You are a very special gal, and I love that you shared this! Thank you!!

  24. Awesome timing! I’ve been struggling quite a bit beauty too! I’m 33. My first husband had an ongoing affair with his supervisor when our daughter was a baby. On top of that he had a terrible addiction. Talk about an insult to my already fragile body issues. I honestly believed it was because I was not pretty enough; not thin enough; just NOT ENOUGH. Such horrible, horrible pain to work thru. He was not willing to change his life (more damage to my self esteem) and therefore our marriage ended. I was divorced at 28 years old. My heart was broken and I felt uglier than ever and at no value to anyone. I figured I’d be alone forever with a sweet little girl who couldn’t understand why her Mommy and Daddy weren’t together. After a time, my sister set me up on a blind double date with John. His ex-wife had also left him for another woman. He had no children and had begun to believe he never would, after about 10 years of being alone. It is astonishing how fast John and I connected. It seemed he understood my pain more than anyone could, because he’d been there himself. On top of that, he is incredibly wise, mature, and kind-hearted. We fell hard for one another. Now we are married and have an 18 month old baby girl. My oldest daughter is doing well. And, most importantly, God is healing my wounded heart at the core where the hurt is. His love for me doesn’t hinge on the fullness of my lips or the shape of my nose. He has given me such a peace and more happiness than I ever dreamed I would have. Gratitude is too small a word. I expect to guide my girls through their own struggle with beauty. I intend to tell them how astonishingly beautiful and loved they are to Christ and how He expressed (and expresses every day) His unmatched love for us all. To God be the Glory! He wraps us in His love!

    • Amanda, thanks so much for sharing your story. That kind of pain is so deep it is amazing that we can recover. How great is God to help you through such a difficult time. What a beautiful testimony you have. Lisa~

  25. Lisa,
    I am a very honest person, so know that what I say is true. You are a beautiful person, both on the outside and the inside.

    I want to give you a big hug because I know this pain you must have felt just writing this; bringing up memories that only hurt. Thank you for sharing your journey with us because I am sure so many of us can relate!

    • Amanda, I know you are honest! I’d believe anything you told me. You are so kind, but truthfully, it didn’t bring up pain….just memories. God has been so wonderful to heal me and take my broken heart and make it whole again.

      Thanks for being such an amazing friend. It’s hard to imagine how I made it through before I met you! Lisa~

  26. Thankyou for sharing your heart with us, Mrs Pennington. :) It saddens me deeply to hear stories like this, but I’m so grateful the Lord brought you to a place where you understand just how valuable and cherished you are! I’ve always thought you beautiful: you look like you love to smile, your eyes sparkle – even out of photos! – and you dress so elegantly. Truly, a beautiful person is one that Christ smiles out of, and that is definitely you. :)

    • Bushmaid, you are such a sweet friend to our family! Thanks for the generous comment. You always brighten my day. Mrs. Pennington~

  27. OH this is such a good post. I was allways skinny untill I had eight wonderful blessings. I sooo struggle each day with it and it doesn’t help when you have a husband who thinks I am so fat:(

    • Elma, having anyone think we need to change can be so difficult. I’ll be praying that you find your joy and love for the amazing woman that you are! Much love to you, Lisa~

  28. I haven’t been reading your blog for long, but in all the posts I have read I have always thought of you as someone I admire and look up to because of the love you portray for your family. It makes me hope I can have some of your outlook as my little boy grows up and as we add to our family.
    I know that is not a cure all, but hopefully it is nice for you to hear.
    :)

    • Laura, that is very nice to say. I am glad my love for my family comes through the blog. Yours for your little boy shines through as well! Thanks so much, Lisa~

  29. You are so brave to write about this subject. Thank you for your honesty as well as proclaiming God’s truth on this issue at the core of everyone woman’s heart.

    I grew up very confident about my body and appearance. I was thin, shapely and pretty. I knew that my looks paved the way for me in many ways. I was consistently pursued by young men. I thought I had a very good self-image and my life was grounded on the word of God.

    It was after I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and underwent a 3 month course of prednisone that the truth of my self-worth and self-image came to the forefront. I gained 30 ponds in those 3 months and developed Cushing’s syndrome from the prednisone. I no longer looked like myself. I had the cheeks of a chipmunk, the shoulders of a linebacker, and a hump between my shoulder blades. I never felt so awful about myself.

    It was then that I realized my body image was not grounded in the truth of God’s word but rather in the fact that I never struggled with my weight or my looks. When my body was greatly altered from the prednisone, I came to understand that my view of self was good because I fit the mold of the pretty girl by the world’s standards. I had to “wash in the water of the Word” to set my view of self to the standards of what God says is beautiful. I began to understand that I had considered myself valuable because of my appearance. I didn’t realize that I had subconsciously believed myself valuable because of my beauty. The prednisone revealed my heart.

    It has been 3 years since the prednisone. I still have 10 pounds to lose to get to my pre-prednisone weight. The distinct effects of Cushing’s is no longer noticeable in me. On the outside I closely resemble my appearance before the prednisone. However, my heart is forever altered. It was a difficult and humbling time for me but one I am thankful for. I now have compassion for the struggle women have with their body image. And, I now know that even the pretty girls who seem to be so confident in the Lord just may not really be and they may not even know it.

    Your post is a message all women need to hear. I Peter 3:3-6 is such a powerful passage. It is the noble character of a woman that God considers to be her lasting beauty. A gentle and quiet spirit and a wife submitted to her husband is beautiful. These are two elements of today’s modern woman that are sorely lacking even among Christian women. It is my prayer that I will daily apply God’s beauty secrets.

    Also, for what’s it’s worth, I have been following your blog for a few years now. I have always thought of you as a beautiful woman with much wisdom. I am a pastor’s wife and I have sent your blog to many women in my church. I consider you a great example for women to see God’s principles of biblical womanhood in action.

    Thank you for putting your world on display for all of us. We need more women like you giving us the example of true beauty.

    • Mrs. Manley, you do bless me! I am honored that you would suggest my blog to anyone, much less the women in your church. I have so much to learn from YOU! Thanks for sharing your story! Lisa~

  30. You ARE beautiful! And I think it’s something we all struggle with. I just recently have been eating differently and using different products to clean up my life (for health reasons). Just since May of this year. I stopped wearing make up some days because of the toxins in them. Let me tell you that I really realized how much my confidence was in those things. I felt really insecure around other people. And I was like, “God, this is me. This is who you made me to be. I didn’t come with make up on or a flat iron to tame this poof of hair.” I’m wearing some chemical free make up these days, but I am still working on feeling confident. Like I’m a “normal” person even though I am doing things differently. You pray for me and I’ll pray for you;)

    • Candace, I know just how you feel! I stopped wearing make-up for many years. I was convicted to be myself, just the way I was created. It took a long time to get used to, but once I did I realized that my joy could shine through better without it! I do wear some now. As I got older people started to ask me if I was tired or ill….LOL! So I cover the dark circles under my eyes and a few more tired lines.

      And let’s do pray for each other! We all need that. Thanks so much for sharing your story. Lisa~

  31. You just made me tear up. Alot of what you wrote really hit me hard in places that I try to hide inside of me. I like most women carry alot of insecurities about myself. I too struggle with “beauty”. I really want you to know that you are beautiful! Your beauty shines even in your writing. I love how your closeness to God helps you because I turn to him too when I struggle with taking pictures. I envy your courage to freely talk about your struggle, maybe soon I will too. Thankyou for sharing on a subject that needs to be addressed more often so little girls dont grow up with the same struggles we did.

    • Oh Alvina, we can tear up together! Thanks you so much for opening up and sharing that you have the same struggle. Maybe we can work together to end this silly nonsense! Thanks so much, Lisa~

  32. Interesting perspective we have about ourselves I think. I too, think I am unphotogenic and I am that girl that always has to look at the pic before it hits FB! Most of the time my girlfriends say (when we are in a group setting) “Let Niki see it first!” :( So….I am working on that! BUT……I think you are beautiful and very photogenic, even though you don’t think it. People tell me the same…..even though I don’t think it either. :) I am working on that…..it is all about perspective and perspective in our Father’s eyes! And in His eyes……we are of course…..beautiful!! :)

    Love you and your blog girl!

    • Niki, Oh the perspective thing gets me every time. That’s so true. I’m so grateful you said that, even thought I still think I am NOT photogenic. LOL! Lisa~

  33. I cannot tell you how timely this blog post is. I have a pretty good feeling that I’m going to be reading it often. When it comes to our image, it’s hard to get the right thoughts through our thick heads! I appreciate SO much that you shared so beautifully something so personal.

    • Angela, all of these heartfelt comments are making me so glad I shared. I know just what you mean about being hard to get the thoughts out of our head….that is my problem exactly! Thanks so much, Lisa~

  34. Over the years my weight has fluctuated quite a bit. At the beginning of my marriage I yo-yoed (and 40 lbs makes a difference on a short girl). After each baby there was a fear that the weight wouldn’t come off, and I would work hard to try to hide the extra weight, but not always so hard to work it off. One evening I was praying and I saw a vision. I was seeing myself as if I had God’s eyes for a moment. I laughed out loud because I realized God was showing me entering heaven as His beautiful daughter – looking exactly the way I do (2o extra lbs and all)! I always imagined myself being wholly beautiful in heaven and expected that vision of myself to be svelt! But God was showing me I am beautiful because I am His. No weight or clothes or hair will ever change any part of that truth!

    • Stacie, that is so sweet. I love it. Thanks for sharing that; I never thought of that. Lisa~

      • This reminds me of one of the ways I would encourage myself when my scale wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I comforted myself with this thought, “I don’t care what I weigh as long as every pound of me makes it to heaven!” Stacie, thank you for confirming that ALL of me is going to make it. LOL

  35. I wish I had some eloquent things to say here like the other ladies, but I’m crying too much reading this. It’s like you we’re writing my story. Thank you for reminding me of what really matters. I am so blessed. Thank you for sharing your story.

  36. Obviously this post resounded with a lot of girls. I can’t take time to read through all the comments right now, but it looks like you got a lot of feedback.
    I think all girls fight with appearance/weight issues. It is a voice that never stops in our head. I find that I feel more beautiful when I am eating right, putting a bit of time into my appearance, doing some exercise, and behaving well. If my spirit is ugly, it pours over into how I am feeling about myself.
    I have a husband who unconditionally loves me, and praises my beauty no matter my size. I am so grateful for that.
    I am grateful for my 4 kids, who have contributed to my appearance and even made me feel comfortable in my skin.
    And I am grateful to God, who fearfully and wonderfully designed me. I am one of His marvelous works. And my soul does know this.

    • Hippie Girl, I love that….”when my spirit is ugly it pours over into how I am feeling about myself.” SO TRUE! You are definitely one of His marvelous works! Lisa~

  37. you. are. beautiful. inside and out. the beauty of the Holy Spirit within…shines through all you do. love you friend.

  38. Women being real…it doesn’t get much better than this! Thanks for your transparency friend. It is obviously touching hearts and helping us realize our need for community and more importantly, our Savior.

  39. Mango Tree Mama :

    Thank. You. So. Much.
    I don’t know what else can convey what I’m feeling.

  40. great post–as always. i have such a passion for helping women see and feel their worth–most likely because for years i did not feel like i was worth much (blessings that that has changed!!). your authentic story makes me think about the times in life when the most compliments (of beauty) came my way…it was never when i had spent hours on “the look”, or “the outfit”, but when i was relaxed, happy, and being true to myself!! how do we bottle that up and sell it??? i am so happy that i attended the mommy blogging class and got to meet you and your awesome family….what’s that joke..you never know the power of one, until you spend the night with a mosquito! Keep on keeping on!!!

    • Brenda, I love that point….that the compliments come when we’re relaxed and happy. I’ve had that experience also. You struck me as beautiful when we met and we still talk about the impact you made on our little conference because of your JOY! Thanks for adding to this conversation. Lisa~

  41. couldnt sleep, so i was fumbling thru some awesome recipes on hoosiers homemade… jotting them down at 5 a.m. ran across your entry, what a blessing ! same story here, but GOD is sooo good, God bless you, and thank you for sharing, and reminding me how awesome my ” Father” truly is !!!!!

    • Cheryl, I’m sorry you couldn’t sleep, but I’m so glad you stumbled here! God is so amazing to take our sorrow and turn it into joy! It’s so nice to meet you. Lisa~

  42. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (paraphrased from Psalm 139:14). God made you the way He wants you to be and God is never wrong! I think you are beautiful and so does God.

  43. This is an older post, but I’m just coming across it now. And well … who would believe it! You have issues with how you look…. and I sit thinking, ‘What! Now if I looked like SHE did, I’d have my photo taken all the time!’
    Aren’t we strange creatures.
    I’ve loved reading the numerous comments too – so many of them leading us to the *right* thoughts of how God sees us.
    Wonderful post. And wonderful comments too
    A x

  44. I just happend to stumble on this post via pinterest and I have to say Thank You. I too have struggled with my looks and weight all my life and I needed this reminder right now of God’s love for me and that my worth is in Him. Thanks so much for sharing,

    Janet

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