I seem to have so many blessings it’s tiring me out lol! Life is so full of good things, my wonderful family, incredible parties and BBQs, sailing, plants and allotment, great friends, writing, blogging etc. I just wish I had extra energy to enjoy it all more! Now approaching my 67th birthday and having to “pace myself” somewhat it reminds me of the saying that life should be lived to the full not limping to the finish line but skidding into last base lol!
God has been good to me and my more frequent times of rest are punctuated more and more by my heartfelt thanks and appreciation of all He does for me on a daily basis.
I realised in early adolescence I was not to be one of those beautiful types with delicate bones, perfect features and bushels of shining curls. While I looked reasonably OK, my too round face and slightly saggy chin ruled out any such notions.
My self-perception, regarding looks, later became very confused. I was told often I was beautiful, but photos always brought me back to reality. Mirrors were the most confusing of all, a casual glance might depict me as surprisingly beautiful or jarringly ugly. It’s only in my latter years I’ve come to understand. You see it’s Jesus coming through, lighting up my plain face that transforms it – beauty of a different kind.
If I was naturally beautiful it wouldn’t be so noticeable. What is so nice about “my realisation” is it means anyone can be beautiful regardless of their actual physical appearance. How many times have you seen a plain (even ugly) person transform into beauty when they fall in love? I’ve seen it often, love itself, being a part of God, transforms. Not only that but this kind of beauty doesn’t fade, has no need of creams and face lifts (in fact these things tend to reduce it). If anything, it grows more apparent with age. So, if like me you don’t rate high on the physical looks scale, remember God’s love makes us all beautiful!
I chose this recent photo from my daughter’s 40th birthday party as somewhat of an example. My kids got so many compliments of how young and beautiful their mother was, some even commented directly. It all depends on how you look at the photo you see, the round face and “turtle effect” saggy chin are there, but I think the photo also caught something else. The couple I was talking to were wonderful people who I thoroughly enjoyed conversing with (as were many at the event). Forgetting my less than perfect self among such a glittering assortment of good looks I was fully engaged in conversation with them.
Noticing the same effect in others, when happily relaxed with friends, or simply in love, I’ve termed a phrase, “their light’s come on”. Even more wonderful we can turn on other’s lights by sharing love, especially God’s love. Though I’d have liked to be beautiful I’m thankful God made me the way I am so I could understand this. There are no “ugly” or “plain” people in God’s eyes, because He loves us all. He even chose that kind of body for Himself – “there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isiah 53:2).
What’s grown within this earthly shell?
Like seed casing
Shelters the essence within,
A means of transport and protection
Finding fertile ground in which to develop.
Unseen it grows, encased, embalmed,
Till, no longer containable.
The husk bursts,
Is blown away on the winds of time.
What has been born within
I use to be so arrogant, so wholly stuffed with pride,
When looking in the mirror my concept of me lied.
Others were beneath me, I only knew the way,
Little was I knowing the falls I’d take one day.
Decked in all illusions I briskly trod along
Not seeing all around me the places I’d gone wrong.
Until one day it happened, illusion stripped away,
With horror I acknowledged my inner self that day.
When stripped of all my vaunting, how shriveled up inside,
My inner soul was reeking with the awful stench of pride.
From then a humbler being, I walked within the realm,
My acid thoughts undoing, no more beneath prides spell.
A wiser, fuller creature I hope from that day on
To give to others glory and echo in their song.
A song of love, and heartfelt, admission of my ills
As love rose up within me, as understanding thrills.
I see now all my folly I wrought within those days,
I hope now I am wiser and walk within God’s ways.
Even if not a believer it is a profound truth of life that what we are becoming is far more important than where we are going or what we are achieving.
I’ve found some of the toughest times in life have softened and molded my character transforming the arrogance and pride of my youth to more patience and compassion.
On stating that a very opinionated and argumentative family member reminded me of myself at that age. My youngest daughter, bless her heart, said, “but mum I can’t imagine you ever being like that.” I laughed, and said you’d never believe how much “tenderizing” it took to get me this far!
The secret of contentment in old age is being at peace with yourself, liking who you have become (even if we are none of us perfect.) No great achievement can satisfy if we cannot look to our heart with the peace of surrender.