Lately, I've become so critical of myself and how I look.
Life seemed much more simple when I could throw on a tee, athletic shorts, and chacos everyday. Throw my hair in a braid, brush my teeth, splash some water on my face. Good to go. Nobody to impress and no standard acceptable dress to live up to. Life was easy.
Now, I constantly feel pressure from the world to look and dress a certain way. I know though that these thoughts are simply my own insecurity. This is something I thought was a (long) phase in middle/high school, yet the lies of the world attack me again telling me that I'm not good enough because I don't have perfect skin, perfect hair, or am not skinny enough. I am so quick to recognize the beauty in my friends, both their inward and outer beauty. I see their unique beauty on the outside, but even more then that, I see loving, encouraging woman that the Lord has created so perfectly. I see the beauty so clearly in others, yet am so critical of myself. I've been praying a lot lately, that the Lord would once again remind me of where true beauty comes from.
Beauty is so much more then outer appearances. Beauty is a heart that is fully pursuing and conforming to that of Christ's heart. How often I pray for this, yet do not recognize that the Lord is simply waiting for me to rest in Him. I become so caught up in criticizing myself that I forget that He already calls be His beloved, and there is nothing that I did or can do to earn that.
So here are some photos of a few of those people that have helped me to have a better understanding of true beauty.
These ladies have taught me so much in so many different ways. They are all so unique and different in every single way, but I believe that that is why God places people in our lives from different places and backgrounds. We all have something to share and teach each other and I am so thankful for what I have learned from these precious friends. Whether I still hang out with them every week, or it has been months since our last coffee date or adventure, I am thankful for these women. They are beautiful.
I also realized in going through old photos, that I love photographing people. I don't do it often, as many of my friends usually start out feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera or claim they are not photogenic. Even still, it is something that I am going to strive to do more, as every person has a unique story and was created and made beautiful by our Maker. I mentioned in a post last week that I wanted to strive to see the beauty and blessings in everyday things. Even more then that, I want to see more clearly and recognize the beauty in others and the blessing that true friends are. So with that, thank you to all of my friends that have taught me just what beauty really means.
Don't strive to fit into the worlds mold of beauty. Embrace who the Lord has made you to be.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5