Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Days I Don't Feel Pretty

When I went into labor with Kevin my water broke at two in the morning. So I did the next logical thing. I put on some makeup and semi-fixed my hair. My husband wasn't quite following my logic. He kept following me around telling me we had to go (we weren't going anywhere until our pastor's wife arrived to stay with Micah). When I was trying to decide if it was time to go to the hospital when I was in labor with Caleb, I was fixing my hair. So you could say that I try to pay attention to my appearance.

In spite of my best efforts, there are plenty of times when I don't feel pretty. It's frustrating to put the time into fixing my hair and still think it looks bad, especially since I don't particularly like fixing my hair. But I've observed from female interactions that we are all this way (well, I think some people enjoy fixing their hair). We don't feel pretty.

I'm not here to tell you how to feel pretty but I can give some suggestions that have helped me on days that I really don't feel pretty.

1. Continue the routine. I still fix my hair and put on some makeup. I'm not saying you have to be fancy but continue what you typically do on the days or weeks you are struggling with your physical appearance. Don't just give up. Your care for your appearance says something about what you think about yourself and affects how you view yourself.

2. Forget about it. Seriously, do the best you can to fix up and then leave it behind you. Smile and go about your work. What's most important is in your heart and you can have a lovely heart even if you don't feel like your exterior matches. Even pretty people can look very unattractive when they are grumpy. Don't look at yourself in every mirror. Train yourself to move your thoughts to something else when you think about how bad you look.

3. Focus on others. Part of that training your thoughts means giving yourself something else to think about. Focus on the others that God has placed in your life for you to bless. Love your husband; be kind to him and care about his burdens. Train and love your children. Involve them in your life and work. Reach out to those around you instead of focusing on yourself. This is actually excellent advice even on days when you do feel like a million bucks. Forget yourself and think about others.

Something I've learned is that no one else knows what I wanted to look like. They don't know how I wanted my hair to look or what I wanted to look like in that outfit. And secondly, most people are internally preoccupied with themselves and not paying that much attention to me. Sure you'll meet some critics but they will criticize regardless. Let them.

Now of course there are other things you could do. Get a new haircut. Overgrown layers are a killer on my hair. Spend two more minutes on your makeup. Work out and save some money for some new clothes. But sometimes none of those things are really the problem. The problem is often within us and all the external changes in the world won't fix that. Serve with your heart. Oh, and enjoy the days when you do feel pretty!

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