Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Hey Guys, after last weeks post about pure beauty I got such great feed back that I'm hoping to turn this into a weekly guest feature. I'm really stoked that you liked it and were encouraged. self image and confidence is something we all struggle with hopefully we can lift each other up.

That being said I'd like to introduce you all to my first guest. Holly from Lavish Love, As you read her blog one thing  is quickly revealed, this girl is in love with Jesus. I'm always inspired by people who aren't afraid to speak the truth. If that wasn't enough to catch my eye she has 3 little ones and one on the way!! I can only imagine the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that alone gives you. I hope her thoughts encourage you as much as they have me. 

Hi, everyone! I’m Holly from Lavish Love. I am super excited and very flattered to be guest blogging here.  I am a 27 yr old, born again, blissfully married, home schooling mama of 3 (soon to be 4) fantastic little boys. We are suburban homesteaders in sunny California and I simply love gardening, knitting, quilting, reading, playing with my Treasures and being in His presence. So, Amy has asked me some pretty meaty questions and I’ll do my best to give full meaty answers, both Biblical and down to earth. 

1.What does Beauty mean to you? Well, I think my picture of beauty is constantly changing. And I can only imagine that I will always struggle with fully embodying what I know is true beauty and what my flesh tells me beauty is. When I was young, I thought beauty only meant the physical. I wanted to be tall and thin like my mom, who’s 5’9”. But I never grew past 5’4” and ended up being built more like my dad’s stocky irish side of the family. My little brother, of course , grew to be 6’5” and an athletic superstar. In hindsight, now I’m very happy he got all the height. Hahaha. It was in high school that I really came to understand true beauty after I got saved. A state of being. Not something you put on your face. But still I wanted to be the pretty girl. I was and still am a very visual person. Esthetics and image matter to me. 
But!!! What I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that what’s inside is so much more important. We all know this to some degree. It’s not some new fangled idea. But how many of us really grasp it and make a conscious choice to become the woman that God describes as beautiful? I always look to the Proverbs 31 woman. Many women think, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could be like her but it’s so unrealistic.” Well, I’ve spent a lot of time studying her passages, praying and seeking wisdom from older women on this topic and have come to this clarification. This IS attainable. She was human just like us and this is like her “highlights reel.” When we ask Jesus into our hearts, to forgive our sins and become Lord of our lives, he removes our sin from us as far as the east is from the west. (Ps 103:12)  This list of activities that she does may have taken a lifetime to assemble. And two of the verses that always caught my attention are v25, 26 which say, “strength and honor are her clothing (something she puts on; it’s a choice), she shall rejoice in time to come (it’s hard to be the virtuous wife, she may not be having fun all the time but she does it because it’s right) She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” While you ladies may think I’ve gone off topic, I don’t think so. God highly values this kind of  high standards set for oneself, a meek and humble spirit, “a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Prov 31:30) That is what is beautiful. 

2.Have you ever struggled with comparing your self to other women? Can you share some of your secrets for over coming that battle. Absolutely! Like I said before, I can’t help but think, “Gosh, if only I were taller this leftover pregnancy fat would be better dispersed.” Or, “ Good grief, I wish I had her _____” (fill in the blank however you like, it’s all true.) I secretly want to be the prettiest girl in the room. Disgusting to admit, but sadly true. How I get my head back on straight is by getting back into the Word. I pray for God to remove that desire from my heart AND the images of whoever I was looking at from my mind. I’ve noticed that when I start comparing myself to others or feeling puffed up because I like how I look that particular day, it’s typically on a day when I didn’t do my devotional that morning, missed church that weekend OR I spent time looking at some glossy magazine in the checkout line. It’s a combination of avoidance and  spiritual redirection. “Oh be careful little eyes what you see…..” hahahaha
3.When do you feel the most beautiful, and when do you feel the most insecure? 
I feel beautiful when I’m in God’s will. I know that’s pretty vague so here are some examples. When I am not having a good day, typically because I’m throwing myself a pity party, and I don’t have ‘the law of kindness on my tongue” to my kids or husband; I also feel ugly, inside and out. A pity party can mean anything from “uggghhh, I’m so sick of  being the only one who cleans up around here” (not the truth btw) to “so, after home schooling and cleaning and errands all day, I guess I’ll just stay home from MNO and slave away since you have to work late!” (poor man walked right into it when he got home.) On the flipside, when I’ve spent my morning in prayer and then enjoyed my children throughout our myriad of activities and  created a warm and welcoming home for my husband when he gets home from work (all choices, btw), I feel awesome. My husband sees and responds to that…and it just keeps getting better.
4.How do you stay confident in who you are? You know, that’s a hard one to pin down. I am who I am. I have more flaws than I care to admit, physical and character wise. And as a born again Christian tattooed girl, I’ve found that I have to work twice as hard and be twice as nice/ cheerful/ friendly/ whatever to be given a fair shake. It is what it is. But while I’m doing all that… I’ve become that cheerful, friendly, hard worker. I can stand firm in my knowledge of how great my God is. And He made me just how I am because this is exactly how he wanted me to be. Who am I to tell Him He was wrong? 

5.Any advise to girls struggling with their self image? Sadly, you may always struggle with your fleshly view of yourself. Open your Bible and read this love story about a God who created all and loves all and wants all to recognize their worth in His eyes and simply respond to that love and THEN make it your personal love story. You’ll realize who you are and Whose you are. And all the other stuff will seem so silly. Even though I still struggle with my own self image, I can recognize the signs of sin in my life for what they are and turn my eyes back on Jesus. Then I know who I am and everything else falls into place.



Jessica said...

awesome post! So amazing to know that there is One person that no matter how ugly we seem to ourselves or this world, we are ALWAYS beautiful in His eyes. Such a perfect gentleman.

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amy jean
happily married, two amazing children Jovi and Nixon. living my dream life in Hawaii
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