{Body Image} You’re Beautiful When You Lift Up Others

True Beauty | www.lydiaglick.com

Dear daughter, there’s something I want you to know and recognize when it comes to the subject of beauty. The most beautiful women I know are the ones who lift up and encourage the downtrodden around them. In addition, beautiful people are those who create, give and share beauty and love with the world. Beauty is so much more than a beautiful face, it is a beautiful life.

For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. ~ Sam Levenson

It’s so important to see the worth in others. Especially those people who most never notice, and who may not have the strength to see their own purpose and value. Your most difficult experiences in life will bring you to a place of understanding people who desperately need someone to simply care about them. It is in that place that your beauty will shine the brightest. Elisabeth Ross says “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” She’s right.

Not only is it important that you care for others, it is vital that you share the unique passions, art, ideas and vision that only YOU can to bring to the world around you. Creativity shatters obstacles and breaks down barriers. When people feel trapped in impossible places, it opens their prisons. It brings possibility and hope to bleak situations.

“God created us in His image, and He gave us an imagination with His imprint to create things for His glory!” – Alisa Hope Wagner. 

Dig up and nurture those talents deep inside of you! As you share the creative ideas God has placed within you, beauty will radiate from not only your soul, but from your actions and will spread its gifts to all who encounter them.

“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.” Madeleine L’Engle

When we lift up others, creatively solve problems and dare to dream big, our perspective changes, our burdens become lighter, and our trivial problems are suddenly not so pressing. We begin to see a picture much bigger than our own tiny selves. And the result? Light pierces the darkness, others are strengthened and encouraged, and you are developing the atmosphere of Jesus who is our great example, and who did this better than anyone else in history.

So dear daughter of mine, fill yourself up with the beauty of Christ. Breathe it in. Look to Him every morning when you wake up. As you dwell in that source all day and every day, you will come to a place where you can see the world through His eyes, and share His radiance, love, light, and beauty everywhere you go. “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 3:3, NIV)  

By sharing beauty and kindness you will receive favor and feel a satisfaction and fulfillment like no other.  Your beauty will shine like bright stars in the darkest night. And when you lay your head on your pillow at night, you can rest in the peace of Him who created you, and lovingly formed you for a beautiful purpose which is greater and more important than you can ever imagine. 

~ Justina Dee

This is number five of seven posts on self image I’m writing for my daughter. Click here to read one of my favorites! 

Body Image: Embracing Your Imperfections

You're perfect in your imperfections." Body Image Series |LydiaGlick.com

To be comfortable in your own skin –

this is a destination I want so much for you to reach. It is the place in womanhood when you will wake and walk and sleep, and never think for one second that the body that is housing your soul is not beautiful or capable enough for the journey in front of you.

It is the day you understand what it means to embrace your physical flaws, knowing that your imperfections, your scars, your pain and your inadequacies are all opportunities for grace, healing and redemption to be known in your life, your body and in your heart – and then in turn you will be equipped to extend life and love to those around you.

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. ― Steve Maraboli

Deep and meaningful radiance flows from a woman who embraces the person God created her to be. This kind of beauty draws people near you instead of intimidating and pushing them away. It creates a space to bless others, and leave an impression of loveliness that will forever be imprinted on their hearts.

Your message, your ministry, your influence is built from your flaws. People relate to HUMANITY…not perfection.” ― Mandy Hale

Dear daughter of mine, may the song of your life continue to be a delicate melody that grows stronger and more meaningful with every day. And may you soon understand that those things which you perceive as less than perfect, are the very notes that make your life’s song an unforgettable work of beauty that lingers in the heart of all who behold it.

~ Justina Dee

Thank you for visiting my blog! This is one of the posts in a series I’m writing for my tween daughter. You can read more here. 

10 Things That Make You My Beautiful Girl {the next five}

As a mother learning to help her daughter navigate the treacherous waters of body image, I am learning one of the most valuable things that I can do is help her understand the true definition of beauty by identifying teaching, encouraging and reminding her on a daily basis of things about her that are beautiful – and unrelated to weight, size, and our warped and idiotic (I know it’s a strong word, but it’s true) cultural ideals of beauty. I want my daughter to understand and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that even if she loses all that this world shallowly defines as beautiful, her inner beauty will still remain, and shine clear and bright in a dark world. Last week I began a seven-week series on body image, by writing about five things that make my daughter beautiful, and this week I am sharing five more. If you have a daughter, I encourage you to make a list of at least ten things that make her your beautiful girl and read it to her. I know she will be lifted up and encouraged, as my daughter has been!

6. Your identity

A person’s name is a way we identify someone. When Daddy and I found out you were a girl, we spend countless hours pouring through baby name books, looking for the perfect one for you. We wrote many lists of names we both agreed were beautiful, then carefully researched the meanings. Then (together) we prayerfully decided on the name we gave you on that unforgettable day you were born. Amazingly, the meaning of your name has proven itself to be a true representation of your remarkable and strong character and personality! Your identity comes not only from your name, but from the story, personality, gifts, talents, passions, hopes, dreams, family, friends and experiences (both the good ones and the difficult) that make you, YOU. Your personal identity is completely unique, 100% original and beautiful in every way, and I am so thankful that I have been given the privilege of seeing your identity and story grow and unfold into something more amazing than I could have ever imagined!

7. Your strength

I’ll always remember the way your tiny yet very strong fingers wrapped around mine when you were a baby, and you squeezed with all your might. And I remember the day you decided you wanted to roll over, and you practiced relentlessly until you accomplished the amazing feat. Even when I was pregnant, I could feel that you held an incredible sense of determination. I’ve seen what happens when you set your mind to something, and your tenacity and “stick-to-itivness” inspire me every single day. From pushups to a difficult math problem. From teaching your dog a new trick and not quitting till she gets it right, to practicing a dance routine until you can perform it perfectly. From learning a new volleyball skill with Daddy to following through with a personal decision you made about anything from eating healthy food to keeping your room clean, your determination to finish the task you’ve started is a rare and valuable quality. Keep on working hard, flexing the muscles in your spirit, body and brain, and growing stronger ever day. Your strength is beautiful and powerful, and will help you accomplish great things.

8. Your hands and feet

I’ve always loved these words:

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 NIV

This verse reminds me of YOUR beautiful hands and feet. I know that you want to travel to foreign countries and share the Gospel someday, but let me tell you a little something about you that is happening at this time in your life. I’ve seen your feet run towards those who need help. I’ve seen them walk into places and lives void of the Gospel and share the love of Jesus with people who may never have heard of Him before, as you served refugees and orphans. I’ve watched your feet walk beside a little one, holding their hand and helping them stay safe along the street. I’ve seen those beautiful feet of yours walk towards a person who is sad, so that you can give them a hug. I love the way your feet can’t stay still when you hear music you love. Those feet of yours have been dancing since you were a tiny girl – bringing joy everywhere you go. I’ve seen you dance in praise when no one but me is watching and it makes (happy) tears roll down my cheeks. I know God loves watching you too. I love the way you kick off your shoes and run barefoot every minute you can. And your hands! They are incredible! They care for others, they create, they make music, they draw, dance, hold books while you read, they write, they help – I could go on and on and on. Your hands and feet are perfect, and absolutely beautiful.

9. Your knowledge and love of learning One of the things I love most about you is your unstoppable desire and quest for knowledge. When you want to learn about something new you will research it for hours on end. It’s exhausting for me to even think about it! I love when you gain new insight and understanding on a matter and the light bulb goes off over your head. I’m in awe of the way math comes so easily to you. How quickly you learn foreign languages, and when something interests you, you give yourself no rest set until you’ve learned more about it. Your intelligence, knowledge and love of learning is an incredible gift, and it is beautiful.

10. Your sense of adventure If we lived in the days of pioneers, you would be on the wagons rolling west. If there was an uncharted mountain looming in front of you, you’d want to climb it. If someone was in danger, you are the girl who wouldn’t stand on from the sidelines wringing your hands as you watch, but instead you would bravely run to help.  Your wonder & excitement in not only the big things but tiny treasures like hummingbirds and butterflies are a joy to see. Always keep your sense of adventure. Never lose your wonder. They are beautiful.

Blessings to you my friend, and to your daughters. Thank you for taking the time to visit my little spot on the web. May each of us understand more of what it means to be truly beautiful. ~ Justina Dee

Related post: 10 Things That Make You My Beautiful Girl {The First Five}. Next week’s Healthy Monday post: “Body Image: Why Eternal Perspective Matters”.  Also coming soon: How Your Unique Creativity & Talents Make You Beautiful

Sweetmama {In Honor of International Women’s Day}

 

Sweetmama #lydiaglick

She walks into a room and her very presence brings a calm, beautiful serenity that gently settles over everyone like a cool, soft, sheet on a summer night.

Sacrificial love pours from her life like water from never-ending vessel, selflessly, quietly & gracefully serving all she encounters.

A loving and timely word spoken from her understanding heart – which has felt and endured much pain, encourages weary souls along their tiresome journey. When people are with her they find themselves aspiring to greater and nobler dreams than ever before. 

Hospitable and gracious is she. Dignitaries, and people of importance love her excellent company and worthy conversation. But of much greater concern to her, are those who are never seen by the crowds hurrying and bustling along life’s Busy Boulevard. The ones who desperately need love in order to simply survive are not only noticed but sought out by her. And she extends her hand, draws them close and carries them to the safe, warm light and comforts of home, giving freely of all she has.

The future is clear to her. No, she may not know exactly what will happen each day, but no matter what comes her way she is certain of her destination and she rests in supreme confidence on the Love of her Savior, leaning on her Beloved every single step of life’s way.

There is a bold and creative beauty in her eyes, one that takes risks and seizes moments others have not the courage to grasp. She sees potential and opportunity where most see nothing but bleak darkness. She’s a visionary and forerunner who blazes trails others will later follow.

To be with her is to learn from her. From the simplest of tasks to the most formidable, she carefully teaches and shares purposeful meaning in all sorts of matters.

Each day is filled with opportunity,  and she is master of the moments, never squandering a single minute. Instead she rises early and orders her day and the events and tasks – as well as opportunity for quiet, peaceful moments it holds – in such a manner that when she finally lays her head on the pillow at night she knows she has done all she could do to make the world a better place for those she so desperately and tenderly loves.

Impossible, you say, for a woman to be all those things? I say it is not only possible, but  it has been done. One of my childhood and lifetime heroes (who is advancing not only in years, but also in radiant beauty, and is lovingly called “Sweetmama” by her family) is all these things and countless more.

Although most have never met her, and they certainly don’t know her name, to me “Sweetmama” epitemizes the essence of beautiful womanhood. Years may have stolen some things from her, but her beauty shines on and grows only stronger with time. I honor her, my mother, my grandmothers, my sisters, daughters, aunts, friends and all the other brave and TRULY beautiful women in this world on this “International Woman’s Day”. 

May God bless you and cause His face to shine upon you,

~ Justina Dee

Some favorite, fitting quotes:

“Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:28-30  (ESV)

“Beauty… when you look into a woman’s eyes and see what is in her heart.” – Nate Dircks

“You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen.  But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul’s own doing.”  ~Marie Stopes

“Elegance is timeless” ― Habeeb Akande

“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” ― Sam Levenson

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.” ― Audrey Hepburn

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ― Kahlil Gibran

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross