Saturday, December 31, 2011

Perfectly Imperfect

With the New Year fast approaching, I’m becoming a little introspective as the rest of the world I suppose. I have been hearing lots of New Year’s verbage lately such as… resolutions, goals, quitting bad habits, starting new habits, and making fresh starts. Each New Year promises to bring positive changes for us all or at least we hope it does.

The biggest resolution I hear about most is losing weight and getting in shape. Maybe that is because I work at a fitness center. I work in the children’s area so I am expecting to see first hand floods of children being dropped off come January. The place will be filled with masses of people working toward their goal of the “ideal” weight and shape.

I read an article recently while in a waiting room about “How to look your best in your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.” It sounded interesting. As I read on I learned about the pressure Hollywood puts on actresses to look “perfect” for the world. The ladies interviewed described that they felt most comfortable when they had no make up on, their hair was out of place, and they were dressed in sweatpants and a t-shirt. That definitely isn’t the picture that is presented on the red carpet for everyone to see.

The world’s view of beauty is an image of perfection and Barbie is their model for inspiration. I watched a video recently that tore into this whole idea. Check it out below…

Check out this great MSN video: Barbie’s 39” bust, 18” waist stir body-image debate

Nobody is perfect. Computer programs have been developed to try to present the perfect image, but it doesn’t come close to reality. It can erase our imperfections; take twenty pounds off, darken skin tones, remove blemishes, and even change the color of our eyes. The goal is to somehow present a better image than what was given. The problem with this is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The idea of images of models, actors, and actresses needing “touched up” implies that nobody is perfect. Even Hollywood needs help looking pretty.

Have you ever felt imperfect? ...Overweight or underweight, too short or too tall, the wrong hair color, skin color, or body shape. It’s hard to be comfortable with ourselves in a Ken and Barbie world. Feeling “not good enough” can consume us, as we compare ourselves to Hollywood’s version of beautiful or handsome. The only problem with our measuring scales is that we can never measure up to that kind of beauty.

I have had to learn over the years to become “comfortable in my own skin.” My health problems have had the potential to affect my self-esteem in a negative way. With all of the medication I am on and the side-effects they have, there is no possible way I could ever measure up to Hollywood. My weight and shape change from day to day. At one point I had a variety of totes of different sizes of clothes in my garage. Not knowing which size I would fit into each season, I wanted to be prepared. I’ve had to learn that it’s not what’s on the outside that matters, but what I look like on the inside. The Bible says in I Samuel 16:7…
“People look at the outside of a person, but the LORD looks at the heart." (NCV)

We can become so obsessed with our outward appearance and what people may think about us, that our definition of true beauty becomes distorted. Beauty to us can become not eating or purging to become that perfect size. It could mean working out 24/7 to have huge muscles and that chiseled six pack. Or it could be having the perfect shade of skin and the right color of hair. That may be your idea of beauty, but God has a different opinion of you.

Psalm 139:13-16 says…
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.” (NCV)

God made us just the way we are on purpose. He likes your hair color, eye color, skin tone, and personality. He loves your voice, your freckles, and your laugh. He loves you… for YOU! As you are preparing to make New Years resolutions for the upcoming year, make it your goal to become beautiful inside first. Learn to become comfortable in your own skin. It fits you well! I pray your new year will be filled with exciting possibilities and incredible adventures.

Living to leave a legacy,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is God blessing me or punishing me?

Check out this video I shared recently at a Ladies Retreat. I pray it encourages you as you listen. God is BIGGER than any circumstance you may face. He specializes in turning bad situations around to bring about something good. Trust Him with the details of your life today!

Living to leave a legacy,