She is Beautiful

Hey pretty girl, I see you wishing that mirror showed a few things different. I see the way your shoulders drop just slightly when you think you’re not enough.  I see those jeans that never zip, and a job that just won’t stick. I see you wishing your hair had a little more curl, and still loving a guy that wanted another girl.  I see those eyes that have lost their pretty shine, and all the times you tell everyone that you’re doin fine. I see those dreams you think aren’t possible.  I see you thinking they must be for another girl in another world.  I see you pretty girl, and I’m asking you to stop wishing and waiting.  Stop minimizing who you are, and forgetting how far you’ve come.  Stop focusing on where you’ve been, and start walking towards where you’re going.  Because if you could see what I see, you’d realize you’ve always been so much more than pretty, girl.  You are beautiful.

I’ve been thinking about what being beautiful means to me.  Where do I find beauty?  What do I proclaim as beautiful?

See, I’m tired of living in a standardized beautiful box, tied up with a bow, waiting for someone else to open me up and say what’s inside.  No, beauty is in our living, in our doing, and in our growing.  Beauty is messing up, saying I’m sorry, learning, and going forward.  Beauty is giving someone your time, your smile, your words, or your hand, and not expecting anything in return.  Beauty is jumping off cliffs not knowing when you’re going to hit the water, but trusting the splash and the swim will be well worth your leap. Beauty is sometimes the ugliness you feel as you’re changing into the new person you’re called to be.

Beauty is being afraid of the plans God has for you, but marching on because THAT’S WHY WE’RE HERE.  Beauty is loving, trusting, and living with your whole heart because there is no other way.  Beauty is letting go of any thoughts, people, or lies that keep you from God, or tell you that you are anyone different than who God says you are. Beauty is listening to truth that sometimes hurts, and then adjusting accordingly.  Beauty is still believing when everyone is telling you to quit.  Beauty is then taking their hands and bringing them along with you, or raising them up above yourself.

Your beauty doesn’t fit in those jeans.  It doesn’t need to.  Your beauty doesn’t have a fancy title. It doesn’t need to. And your beauty does not get defined by another person. It doesn’t need to.  It doesn’t need to because the truth was already spoken over our lives, even before we could think about living them.  The truth is that we were created beautiful.  He said we were created wonderfully because He created us in His own image.

“For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.”

Psalms 139:14

I want you to find beauty in so much more than faces and places. I  want to dig down deep into hearts, see souls poured out, and live life with arms wide open ready to embrace whatever is in front of you. You are beautiful for more than anything you think you can see in that mirror.

“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul. She is beautiful.”

-F Scott Fitzgerald

Running Scared, Chasing Dreams

I’m a runner, but I haven’t always been a chaser. I’m a dreamer, but I haven’t always been a believer. Now I’m running scared, chasing my dreams, and believing the God that put them in my heart.

My running started in high school cross country. I ran cross country because high school boys. I hated running actually. And my plan was quickly foiled as no boys were impressed while they waited on the bus for my running partner and I to finish our first race. Even our parents had gone home. Forsaken us as lost runners, most likely to ask permission to quit cross country the minute we arrived home that night. But my parents are those wise kind of people that don’t let you quit things that are good for you. So I finished the season and tried to learn something. I learned it would be best to not sign up for cross country again the next year.

My dreaming started out like the dreams of a lot of little girls. I dreamed of being a singer, a writer, and then of course, Miss America. So fancy and attainable. But it wasn’t long until my voice was muffled by the opinions of people I thought were important. Then all the words I tried to write came out cattywampus on notebook pages. And just like that pageant crowns were being placed on the heads of other girls.

Now I’ve found what I was missing, GRIT.

I didn’t have any fight in me. No dirt on my knees from crawling to a finish line. No hoarse voice from making them hear my songs. No tear stained pages from pouring out my heart with words that I fearfully felt. All I had was a notion that I needed a platform, a stage, and a crown to be who I thought I was supposed to be. I was running with no determination. I was dreaming with no doing. And I was standing on stages where I didn’t belong.

Now, Grit says I run miles and miles on country roads just to see how far I can go.

Grit says keep running because life is a race you have to finish strong

Grit says I sing songs to the beat of my own heart, to lift my head, so my blood bought crown stays straight.

Grit scares me. Grit means I might have to put in more than I get out sometimes. Grit means not giving up when I just want to quit running against the wind. Grit means tasting the gravel and the dirt that people cast on me, chewing them up, and having the tenacity to spit them out every time.

I’ve found Grit and now I’m running scared because I know what it means. I’ve found Grit and now I believe my new dreams aren’t just dreams but commands. I’ve found Grit, and sometimes I have to wear it around my neck so I don’t lose it.