I absolutely treasure this picture! It was a gift from our youngest son Tyler, created as a school project probably thirteen or fourteen years ago. Take it all in, especially the unique placement of my ears, my haunting eyes, and my crooked smile, complete with red lipstick.
Anyone who has ever been the recipient of artwork from a child can imagine my reaction as I received this sweet gift. I cannot quite remember exactly how I responded, but I am certain that I carefully chose my words. Sitting in the school pick up line, I am sure that whatever I said made Tyler feel like he was a budding Michelangelo!
Honestly, it’s hard not to focus on the portrait when you look it. The artwork dominates the page, but after a second or two, I carefully read the words Tyler had written. In that moment, I realized just how much this gift meant to me. It captured how Tyler, with the precious perspective of a child, viewed his mom. He enthusiastically drew me as best he could, but the artwork didn’t really matter. The tender words of a child made this gift so precious.
Tyler’s picture is framed and every time I walk past it I smile, remembering the young boy who created something so thoughtful for his mom. While I do laugh out loud when I look at the picture, I love everything about the gift. It is a reminder to laugh more, to not take myself so seriously and to treasure being the recipient of the love of a child.
This artwork got me thinking about this idea of beauty in general. We live in a culture that bombards us with how to be beautiful or that tries to define beauty for us. Full eyebrows are in, skinny eyebrows are out. Center parts in our hair are in, side parts are not. Who says? I like my side part! Who defines what is in style?
Celebrities share their skin care secrets. Social media platforms are full of hairstyling tutorials, make-up tips, and weight-loss and fitness routines to transform our bodies. We are constantly told ways we should improve ourselves, look better, and feel better. It can be exhausting!
For me, it is becoming increasingly more important to teach our children and grandchildren about godly beauty and to model what is authentic and beautiful in God’s eyes. If we don’t, society will, and that can be dangerous!
Have you ever know someone who is radiant? Over the years, I have had the privilege of knowing people who radiate their love of Jesus. To me, they are truly beautiful. In Proverbs 27:19 we read that “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” What are we reflecting to others? Are we reflecting Jesus or are we reflecting society’s ideals?
I love what David wrote in Psalm 139 as he praised God for how he was made. God created each of us and we are indeed wonderfully made. Glossy magazine covers, social media posts or the latest YouTube videos seeking to define beauty fall flat when compared with the knowledge that God carefully created each of us. We have been designed with a greater purpose, thank God!
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.Psalm 139:13-14
This week, Tyler’s picture inspired me to reflect on God’s design. His drawing brought to mind how I tend to focus on what our culture defines as fashionable, beautiful and stylish. Yet, I am thankful for the biblical truth that God carefully designed me, and how I am beautiful in his eyes. I don’t need a stranger on social media to define what is beautiful for me. God made me. He loves me just as I am!
One of my prayers is that women of all ages are able to feel comfortable and confident just as they are. May each of us be gently reminded of the truth that we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). I know I need these reminders to help me pivot from what our culture says regarding beauty in order to focus on what God’s words says. It is my earnest prayer that I reflect more of Jesus and less of me!
This week, I will be praying for my loved ones, especially my children, even though they are grown, my grandchildren, and nieces and nephews, that as they continue to grow and mature, they rest in the fact that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that they know just how perfectly created they are indeed! I will be praying, too, for you, sweet reader! May we each reflect Jesus more and less of ourselves! God created you in his image. What an amazing truth!
Have a great day and just in case you need a reminder, U R the prettiest!