Just you…Beautiful YOU!

I have a deep love for women. I want to build them up and encourage them and fill them with belief in themselves. I want to empower them. Each and every woman, in my opinion, is capable of amazing things. Women can give life, we manage our homes and family life. We are the pendulum that determines the feel and the security of our households. We are strong. We are powerful.  We are sensitive, loving and emotional. All of this is good. We are smart. We have our head on our shoulders fixed properly. We multi-task and juggle. We do so much. I see how the ways of the world have warped the female perception of what beauty and worth look like. As a result, many women, far too many women, waste their energy and efforts comparing themselves to other women or competing with them. Imagine what would happen if women embraced one another, free from insecurity, and empowered one another for our many gifts and talents. Where one was weak, the other could be strong and vice versa. Instead, far too often, insecurity gets in the way and unity is not found.

I realize that the topic of this blog, female worth and security in an insecure world, is one that is very delicate in nature. I am lead of the Lord to venture down this path, but want to do so ever so delicately. I envision a field of flowers, wild flowers maybe, with petals so delicate and vibrant. I want to walk through the field carefully to not disturb one single leaf or petal. You possess the beauty of a flower and all of your unique gifting and attributes are like the vibrant hues of a field of wild flowers. I have no intentions to damage the flowers, I only want to water and add some "Son~Shine" to increase strength of your stem and luster to your petals.This is a topic that is on the forefront of my mind for many years, but never felt it was the right time to truly dig into this topic. I received a phone call yesterday from a long time friend of mine and I knew, it was the catalyst for this blog. Then I lie in bed last night, dreaming through the night, of this very topic.

Let me give you some background...my friend is someone who confides with me. I know her deepest struggles and her greatest victories. She knows mine as well. We have had a front row seat on each others journey. I have known her since I was a young child. So, when she called she shared somethings looking for wise counsel. It regarded a friend of hers who seemed to be on a path of slow self destruction rooted by low self worth. My friend cares about this woman deeply, and the other woman cares for my friend. However, whenever my friend tries to help the other gal she gets shut down with responses such as, "You really wouldn't understand because you are so beautiful and because you are beautiful you have a perfect life." This crushes my friend. I must stress to you, my friend is gorgeous. In physical appearance, head to toe, she is a very beautiful woman. Her heart, in my opinion, is even more beautiful than her form or feature. To think that someone has  a perfect life because of how they look is absurd, but people make such assumptions all the time. Just as people are judged wrongly for the color of their skin or the size of their clothes (too big) or the blemish of their face, or whatever, you get the idea...it is wrong to make such external judegements. It is equally wrong to judge someone by how they look if they look attractive, or if they have a lot of money or nice things. Their struggle may not be in that area, but everyone has struggles and no man knows the struggles of another or what they have been through or where they have come from. Also, a woman who is beautiful can be just as insecure as someone who feels unattractive. True beauty is a reflection of the heart.

The thing that makes me sad is that I can look at any woman and I literally see so much beauty! I can lock in on strengths and the things they do well and sometimes, lots of times, I also see that they are so focused on what they cannot do or what they do not like about themselves that they are missing out on the blessing of their  own beauty.

The story of my friend is a good example, for the woman who told her she wouldn't be able to relate because of her beauty was such a pretty lady as well. The difference is self worth. When you fail to see your beauty and all God has created you to do and be you are robbing yourself of the joy of your beauty and you are robbing others from enjoying your beauty as well.

Imagine that same field of flowers. You go and pick your favorite one and hold it up in front of your family and friends. They think this flower is beautiful. Next, you begin to pluck out every petal and leaf leaving only a wilting stem, who wants to look at that? This is what happens every time you put yourself down (or others), make jokes at your own expense or point out your flaws and shortcomings (whether perceived shortcomings or real) as though is was some badge of honor or stability. It's not true! It is our job as adult women to be an example to younger women. There isn't a woman on the planet who couldn't name something they don't like about themselves or an area they are struggling in. It is not our job to go around pointing out our weaknesses or anyone elses. Young women...your daughters, their friends, the girls you mentor or work with...they are watching and gleaning from what we do. We must be an example of truest beauty shining through.

"I would like to be remembered as someone who accomplished useful deeds, and who was a kind and loving person. I would like to leave a memory of a human being with a correct attitude and who did her best to help others." ~Grace Kelly

We must empower, encourage and lift each other up. You are extraordinary in so many ways. Stop putting yourself down and belittling yourself. Stop listening to the lies that appear between your ears and stop repeating them. You matter! You are beautiful in so many ways and have so much to give and offer. There is truly  not another soul like you...you have a purpose and the rest of us need what you have to offer.

A big part of self love and acceptance is to not just accept yourself where you are in the process, but to challenge yourself to move forward and change, becoming even more of what God desires you to be. It takes courage, but I know you can do it. You may not have confidence of your own, but you can have God's confidence and that is so much better anyway! If He believes in you and thought how he made you and gifted you was good enough, then you should think so too! A verse that you can recite over yourself to help you grow in your belief in yourself is:

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Cor. 10:5

You have to be the master of your own thought life. We must be imitators of God's attitude and inclinations. If someone close to you does something more successfully or with greater skill and ease than you, then call on them to help you with such tasks or to learn and grow from their expertise. Maybe that is one of the reasons God placed them in your life to begin with? This will profit you far greater than allowing yourself to feel inferior or incapable. Trust me, there will be something that friend will call on and rely on you for. We are ONE, united we can lift and build each other up, divided we are weakened.

Look in the mirror everyday and thank God OUT LOUD for that certain attribute. For example, don't like how your arms look? Thank God you HAVE arms, because someone out their doesn't. You get the idea, now just insert whatever it is you feel poorly about. Find something to give thanks for. Maybe you like your hands, thank God out loud for giving you attractive hands. This can carry over into performance/work areas, not just appearance. You may not be the most gifted person of prayer at the church or prayer meeting, but boy can you organize the event! We all need each other and have so much to offer.

Change on big scales will always start with something small....yourself. Though you are created, built, wired to be BIG & GREAT, on the scale of eternity we are but small. Most feel too small for their choices to make a difference or lasting impact. But this is not true. It all starts with what you do on the inside of who you are. It starts in the mirror. I received a card yesterday with a quote from a book I love, "The Butterfly Effect" by Andy Andrews...

"Not just to you, or your family, or your business or hometown. EVERYTHING you do matters to ALL OF US FOREVER."

You daily habits, choices, thoughts, attitudes and actions have a ripple effect on others.

"If we love until it hurts, then there will be no more hurt, only love." ~Mother Teresa

So love yourself by accepting who you are and what God created you for. You don't have to be like anyone else, just you, wonderful you. Here is the challenge...loving yourself is not only accepting yourself, but it is daring to challenge yourself to change. Change your home, change your town, change your community, country, and changing the world must first begins by looking in the mirror. You can do it, I know you can.

We are all called to lead on some level. We lead whether it is many people or our own children or if you are a youth, your peers at school. People are watching you. You must embrace the leadership skills within you and lead from a place of security and strength. Future generations are depending on it. People want to follow strength and security, not insecurity. Imagine if the First Lady of our country acted doubty or put herself down to seem humble. It wouldn't work. You are beautiful and strong and God made no mistake when He created you. Breath deep and begin the journey of magnificence. You ARE extraordinary and capable of so much. Just be you, you don't have to be or compete with anyone else. If we all do that, God's order of things will fall into place and the world will truly become a better place.

Just be you...beautiful you!