Friday, May 6, 2011

The Living Truth: True Beauty Conversations

My friend Melissa and I are continuing our conversation about Beauty this morning. We've been talking about True Beauty through a series of letters on Fridays: What is Beauty? What will we tell our daughters about Beauty? We're so glad you're joining us. We would love to hear from you!


Dear Julia,

Two weeks ago I wrote, inspired, about being part of His Story.  And I know that's true- my history, my present, and even my future are Redeemed by His Blood.  They're being used for His Glory.

But the hardest person to preach the gospel to is always myself.

Lately, my story feels like Cinderella's--- and not the good parts.  I feel like all I ever do is cook, or change diapers, or feed babies, or edit photos, or clean (when the mood strikes me), or paint cabinet doors (whose idea was it to remodel the kitchen herself?!).  My hair is limp, my face feels the greasiness of summer humidity, and my daily uniform is a lightweight pair of paint-spattered PJ/sweatpants because I lent a friend all of my maternity clothes prior to finding out about our surprise baby on the way.

And then my prince walks through the door and reaches out to embrace me...

(Cue the uplifting fairy tale music!)

But wait, nope, the Cinderella girl is pushing the prince away. She's gone back to cooking or is sulking with her dinner plate.

Is this what happily ever after is supposed to be?

I don't think so.

But when Derek walks in the door, all I want is a break.  I want to go outside in the evening breeze and paint those seemingly multiplying cabinet doors.  Or I want to sit in the cool basement and leisurely sew some little hand project. I want to go to the gym and swim laps until I'm tired.

And all Derek wants to do is...

Well, you can imagine...

You're married. ;-)

But, by golly, I've been serving people all day and the last thing my exhausted (pregnant) body wants to do is that.  And has he even seen my grungy tired self who hasn't showered in 3 days?  Why would he want me?

Tell me I'm not the only one who feels that way. Tell me I'm not the only one who has a hard time connecting the Truths we've been discussing with that day to day moment when my husband walks in the door expecting a hug and a kiss.

Where is the beauty of a quiet and humble spirit when my husband gets home?  My heart leaps when he comes home, but not in excitement to hear about his day or to feel warm and protected in his embrace.  No, I'm excited because there's somebody home to serve me.  (And, by wild grace, he does serve His maker by serving me.  What a guy!)

But it's not about me, is it?

No, it's about serving and worshiping the one true God.

So where should that truth lead me?

When my husband comes home, he sees my non-showered PJ pant wearing self as beautiful and very attractive (maybe even desirable!).  I should thank God for the sweet grace of his affection.

And then I should preach the Gospel to myself.

"Melissa, Jesus loves you and came to die for you so you might live in joyous freedom from the sin of selfishness.  On top of all that He gave you a husband that sees you as irresistibly beautiful.  What a gift!  The overflow of your heart should be gratitude that spills over into contented service-- in the desire to be a gift to Derek in the way he is a gift to you."

Oh, the sweet Gospel!  It's hope that even I can change.


Twinside Out said...

I love reading these letters - and today I'm even getting to read it on the day it was posted! Go me!!

I can really relate to this. My kids tend to get really cranky right before Daddy gets home, and I find myself counting down the minutes...or maybe seconds. But my countdown starts for the same reasons you wrote about - because I need a break.

And I also push him away when he wants to be affectionate because I'm usually sweaty (and there may also be a good possibility that I may not have had a chance to brush my teeth yet - just being honest!).

So, no, you are not the only person who feels this way! I too struggle to bridge the gap between head knowledge and heart knowledge. Thank you for your words, because I needed to hear this today!

Cyndi said...

I could have wrote this post myself! So true.