Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Cabbage Patch Doll in A Barbie World

(I wrote this almost two months ago and just found it again. Just thought I would share it...)

"Charm is *deceitful* and beauty is vain, 
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

I've grown up with comments like:
 "You have so much going for you, if you could just lose some weight.
"Just try not to gain anymore weight, okay?"
"You ARE a large lady."
"Well, guys do like slim girls..."

People constantly trying to give me "subtle" diet hints, exercise tips, fitness app ideas, calorie counting, and the list goes on...

I've been larger than most girls my age since I was 12, probably even younger. It's only been in the past few years that I have felt like people watch me and judge me based on my appearance. However true or untrue that may be, the side glances and sometimes biting remarks make it seem like everyone is watching. I'm not unaware that I've got a little more to love. The truth is--I eat less than my friends eat, I love fruits and vegetables, and I basically only drink water (ever).

t h e r e  m u s t  b e  s o m e t h i n g  w r o n g  w i t h  m e,  r i g h t ?

If I don't look like other girls, how can I fit in? How will anyone ever think I'm beautiful? How would any guy ever want to marry me? etc...

One dear lady that I respect greatly, after praying for me, and even praying with me for a husband (it was so sweet) then proceeded to give me a talk about dieting, special meal replacement shakes, etc... What I didn't realize was how much that affected me! Thus started a year of lots of exercising and even healthier eating. I took up running (who am I kidding? You don't just "take up" running. It was hard work.), started counting calories, and ate smoothies for breakfast. Yes, I became one of "those" people. haha. I felt great. I lost 18 pounds. Then, something unexpected happened.

I got pneumonia--badly--for a month.
Bye bye running. Bye bye eating regime. Hello just trying to get better.

One thing after another (sickness, Anna's injuries & surgeries, etc..) and I still wasn't back to running. It finally hit me one day this Spring, while taking a walk with a friend, "I've been trying to lose weight to gain the approval of others. In essence, so that someone will want to marry me." Was it beneficial to my health, yes! However,  in the midst of all that striving after what the world sees as beautiful, guess what was forgotten in my life: God and time in His Word.

Today I've been thinking about Proverbs 31:30. Another version says, "...Beauty is fleeting..."

Do I really want to lose ground in my relationship with the Lord in order to become "beautiful," find a man, and get married? I'm not saying that marriage is wrong--I want to get married one day. I'm not saying that exercise is wrong--God didn't give us these bodies with lots of muscles to just sit around all day!

My thought is this:
Are we letting the world's definition of beauty shape our thoughts, our habits, and our lives? Maybe even allowing it to come through as a "Christian" viewpoint? Many say we HAVE to be "good stewards of our temples..."

Yes, but what about our souls? If my outward body is in shape but my inward man is wasting away, what good is that doing anyone? It's not doing me any good, that's for sure (or my family either, for that matter). When I'm not spending time with the Lord or in His Word, I'm grumpy, easily irritated, discontented, and the list goes on.

I'm tired of being defined by the world's standard of beauty. There is so much more to life than what size pants I wear or how much (or how little) make up I put on.

Don't let beauty (that is for a moment) distract you from the higher things.