Tag Archives: feel beautiful 2015

The Real Beauty We Reflect with J. Parker

For the last four months, we’ve been hearing from some fabulous blogger wives who have weighed in on feeling beautiful. Not just knowing logically that God made us to be beautiful, but embracing our own unique beauty.

The Real Beauty We Reflect with J. Parker

But it’s Christmas Eve, and for those who celebrate Christmas, the coming of Jesus is forefront on our minds. Isaiah 53 is one of the clearest Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah. Early on, it has this to say about Jesus Christ:

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this verse and what it means for our sense of beauty. Because what I take away is there was no physical reason for anyone to be attracted to Christ. Unlike his the first of his earthly royal line, King David, we have no indication in scripture that Jesus’ appearance was even worth mentioning.

Yet people were drawn to him. Disciples left their homes for him. Followers were persecuted for him. Missionaries endured torture for him. Christians throughout centuries have looked upon Christ and seen a beauty unlike any other — and they have sacrificed their lives in so many ways for him.

Something deeper and more eternal about Jesus left its imprint.

I think you have something deeper and more eternal about you as well — something your husband is drawn to that goes beyond your physical beauty.

While I believe that we should take care of our bodies, expend some effort on our appearance, believe in our beauty, and work on our attitude of self-confidence, when it comes down to it, my husband doesn’t love me because I’m beautiful. He appreciates my beauty, but he’s most attracted to me when I reflect Jesus Christ’s beauty, when I am the woman God created me to be.

And we all display God’s beauty as His creation. When we lean into our deeper beauty, we become even more attractive. Never discount your beauty — regardless of what you look like. You are God’s beloved masterpiece.

And look for that beauty in others. Let’s even rethink how we define beauty. To help you understand what I mean, take a look at this compelling video:

Don’t tell me those people aren’t absolutely beautiful. To me, they are God’s gorgeous children.

I don’t care what you look like, you have beauty given to by the Creator. You are the daughter of the King of Kings, beautiful wife. Live into your beauty, and let your husband appreciate both your outside appearance and your inner loveliness.

In this season we celebrate Christ, let’s learn to reflect His beauty.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Note: I will be on hiatus for the next week, spending time with my family. See you in 2016!

Permission to Feel Beautiful with Bonny Logsdon Burns

We are nearing the end of this Feel Beautiful series, but I definitely haven’t run out of favorite marriage bloggers talking on this subject. And each has something special to add to this conversation.

Today we have Bonny Logsdon Burns, who runs the Oyster Bed 7 site with lower-drive wives in mind. Her outreach for godly marital intimacy is amazing, and she has a compassionate heart for those who struggle with libido. She’s delightful in so many ways, and I can’t wait to share what she has to say on feeling beautiful. So here it is!

Permission to Feel Beautiful with Bonny Logsdon Burns

I love this series. I feel more beautiful already! The wisdom in each guest post is as unique as the author’s brand of beauty. Thank you, J, for allowing me to accompany all these great encouragers!

For a long while I was not in a good place with sexual intimacy and part of the struggle was trying to reconcile the inner beauty/outer beauty mindset. Scripture seemed to tell me inner beauty was the only thing of value. However, my husband likes me wearing makeup and nice things, which involved my outer beauty. And honestly, I felt better about myself when I spent time on my outer beauty. But, wasn’t this focus on outer beauty a sin?

Can I be both Mother Theresa and Marilyn Monroe (the faithfully married kind)? Is that OK with God? If so, how does that work?

1 Samuel 16:7, “…..The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

It is interesting to me that in verse 7 of 1 Samuel 16 (above), it says the Lord does not look at outward appearance as a man. Yet, just 4 verses down we read:

1 Samuel 16:12 — “He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.”

Then, I saw all of these heroes and heroines of God described as having physical beauty.

Sarah             (Gen. 12:11)
Rebekah        (Gen. 24:16)
Rachel            (Gen. 29:17)
Abigail            (1 Sam. 25:3)
Esther             (Esther 2:7)
David              (1 Sam. 16:12)
Joseph            (Gen. 39:6)

God is not against physical beauty.

1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment….rather it should be that of your inner self….”

Peter isn’t condemning a woman’s outer beauty. He is saying do not make it a pre-occupation. (Actually, the whole section is about how a believing wife can win an unbelieving husband over to Christ with the beauty of her way.) Christian women are encouraged to develop inner spiritual beauty. I don’t refute that.

However, God is not against outer beauty. He created original eye-candy! He painted lovely even in normal stuff. See?

Thistle for Bonny's post Beach for Bonny's post Rooster for Bonny's post

In the midst of trying to figure out the balance of inner beauty versus outer beauty, I realized inner beauty and outer beauty are like hydrogen and oxygen. Meld them together and create life giving water, H20. InnerBeauty2OuterBeauty. You see, the inner beauty needs twice the nurturing, but outer beauty is still important and a blessing from God. So, yeah, I think it’s okay to be both Mother Theresa and a faithfully married Marilyn Monroe.

Give yourself permission to feel beautiful.

Knowing that God created beauty, why is it still hard to embrace beautiful?

Saying that you feel beautiful does not mean that you are arrogant or vain. 

Vanity desires to be physically beautiful at all costs. There is no thought to serve any other than yourself. I would venture to go as far as to say it is similar to an addiction, being consumed with thoughts of the mirror and the desire to hear compliments.

Feeling your beauty, will not make you vain, unless you let it.

What if I start letting myself feel beautiful and rejection jumps out of nowhere to trample my heart?This is a real possibility. Your brand of outer beauty isn’t going to appeal to everyone. Just like your brand of inner beauty, having a heart soaked in Jesus, isn’t going to appeal to everyone.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18).

However, both your outer beauty and inner beauty are pleasing to God. He’s really the only opinion that matters.

Beautiful girls can feel beautiful, too.

Accepting that you have pleasant physical features does not mean you are haughty. It’s acknowledging that God is a better designer than Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel, and

Christian Dior combined.

Beautiful Christian ladies who realize their beauty, may experience guilt, shame, or confusion because of it.

My personal story of confusion is from when I was a child. Because of my coloring; black hair, blue eyes, and fair skin; people stared at me. Occasionally, my mother would cluck her tongue at these people (usually boys) and yank me away. I thought they were staring because of something wrong with me. I didn’t know that people stared when something was good, too. It wasn’t until one of my sisters told me I was, ‘such a beautiful child people stared,’ I realized what all the yanking was about.

You may experience guilt over undue attention or guilt for enjoying the undue attention. The attention is a little nod from God. It’s okay to delight in it for a moment.

You may experience shame that men other than your husband notice or shame that your beauty was the (perceived) cause of sexual abuse (it was not your fault!).

Gorgeous Jesus girls, embrace your God given beauty! He wanted you to look the way you look. If you are actively nurturing your inner Jesus beauty, free yourself from the heavy thought that you are causing another to sin with your outer beauty. Their heart and lack of self-control is what is causing their sin.

Christ’s freedom will help you feel beautiful.

“Through faith in Jesus we have received God’s grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory.” (Romans 5:2).

He gave you your beauty so that you can use it to serve HIM more fully.

Admit you’re feeling beautiful, what’s the worst that could happen?

You’ll feel fabulous.

When you start to feel beautiful you might want to take care of that temple you’ve been hauling around all your life. Drink more water, less caffeine/sugar. Eat more fresh food, less processed. Get more sleep and don’t say mean things to yourself. Dance, or at least take a nice long walk. All of this will spill over into feeling beautiful and liking it.

You’ll feel empowered.

Satan uses our negative self-image and negative self-value as a hurdle to many things, including sexual intimacy. Owning your inner beauty and outer beauty chases Satan away and can improve sexual conflict. There’s nothing more attractive than a beautiful woman with beautiful ways about her.

Jesus will be heard.

The reality is, our society values outward appearance. Your pretty face and warmth of heart will help draw people to you. Once they pick up on your hope, you’ll be able to share the story of your favorite designer, Jesus.

..I have become all things to all people so that in all possible ways I might save some. I do all of that because of the good news. I want to share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).

Bonny Lodgson BurnsHi! I’m Bonny Logsdon Burns. I write to encourage the low libido wife at www.OysterBed7.com. I am passionate about empowering and equipping low-libido wives through God’s Word and practical tools. If you are a low-libido wife, please check out my book, Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation. It’s an easy journey that may have profound results.

My husband, Dave, and I are candid about struggles and victories in the sexual arena. We have three grown sons, two daughter-in-loves, and one sweetpea (granddaughter). My favorite thing to do is laugh at Dave’s corny jokes. We are currently relocating to south Florida, please pray for us because we’re living the notion that major relocations cause serious stress. Connect with me through Twitter and Facebook.

Adiós, So Long & Get Gone, Insecurities! with Beverly Weeks

Not only is Beverly Weeks a wonderful advocate for wives, marriage, and marital intimacy, she’s also a gal who cracks me up. If you want to find a wife who fits, “Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come” (Proverbs 31:25), look no further than Beverly.

Married to her husband Rick for 20 years, they experienced great struggle in their marriage and 03redemptive healing from God. Now they reach out to other couples, along with their ministry partners, through the Intentionally Yours website and marriage events. I hope you enjoy Beverly’s authenticity, humor, and godly message about losing our insecurities and feeling beautiful.

Adiós, So Long & Get Gone, Insecurities! with Beverly Weeks

I can hear his heart pounding as he pulls me closely to his bare chest. His hands begin to caress my cheek and glide through my brown wavy hair. He pulls my body closer to him, and for a brief moment we embrace. I can feel the sweat on my husband’s brow as his fingers begin to crawl up my back like a brown recluse spider. I know without a doubt that there ain’t but one thing on my man’s mind, and honey child, I can tell you at that moment he’s NOT thinking about Christmas shopping with me at T.J. Maxx!

With great hesitancy, I crawl under the bed sheets in an outfit that seems to have less material than the average Kleenex tissue. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how I even managed to slip it on my imperfect figure without displacing a hip or causing a serious neck or back injury.  I lean over to whisper in his ear what I have been agonizing in my mind. Anxiously anticipating what I am about to say, my husband sits up in bed. Without regard, I recklessly blurt it out…Honey, hold on just a minute, we gotta turn the lights out!”

My insecurities and low self-esteem begin to attack my mind. I imagine that my husband’s eyes are drawn to the stretch marks, the extra tummy fold. There’s been no time to apply the fake tanning spray, for my day has been consumed with laundry, work, and two high school basketball games. What if he is blinded because my bare legs are glowing in the dark? It is then that I don’t feel pretty enough or feel that I even come close to measuring up to the beautiful women on the magazine covers or the billboards.

For a moment, a horrifying, hilarious thought comes to my mind. Just what if, I am on top and lose my balance and fall down. I could possibly squeeze the life out of him! My neighbor is a funeral home director, and I envision the chuckles and what would be said as our friends and family walk by my husband’s funeral procession. “Here lies Rick…Poor fellow he never had a chance. He was smothered to death!”

I lie there frustrated, disappointed, knowing that once again I have allowed my large-sized insecurities (LIES straight from the enemy and the pits of Hell) to become a hindrance to a passionate night of intimacy with my husband.

Have mercy. Somebody pass me a jar of crunchy peanut butter and a chocolate bar. I am about to step all over my hot pink polka dot painted toes, and I’m gonna need a pedicure by the time I am finished!

You see, for many years I found myself trapped, in the bondage to low self-esteem and my insecurities.

I allowed my pessimistic attitude and negative thoughts to take up free rent space in my mind and dictate my performance or willingness to make out with my husband in the bedroom. It was not until God restored our marriage many years ago and began to do a healing work in me emotionally and physically that I was able to recognize this. I began to cry out, Father God, I need you to set me free! Heal my mind. Help me to enjoy this intimate gift of pleasure with my husband as you intended.

There were days that I would have to look in the mirror and say, GOD, help me to change my attitude. I want to love the lady in the mirror the way that You do.

I want to love the lady in the mirror the way that You do. - Beverly Weeks Click To Tweet

My friend, I found my healing in the cross. I began to read God’s Word and learn His perspective of beauty and how I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I began to repent of my negative attitude which among other things was filled with coveting what other women had. Maybe you can relate to what I am talking about… If only I had her legs, her waist, her eyes, her hiney… If this makes any sense, I had to get rid of my toxic victim attitude and rise above my self-pity! I began to confess to GOD that I needed healing and some permanent fixing!

I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and willing to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. “  

God has done amazing things in my marriage and for our sex lives! The chains have fallen, and I am learning to enjoy this great gift that God intended for marriage. My husband looks at me like I am a precious diamond. He holds me in his arms, and there have been times that I have even seen a tear fall from his eyes. He pulls me close, and the first thing he says to me is honey, you are so beautiful.

You see when my spouse sees me, he does not see the flaws and imperfections. He sees me through the eyes of his Master, He sees me as a beautiful daughter of the King! At the same time I am recognizing that my husband is my perfect gift from God.

What insecurities are you battling with? I want you to know that there is healing made available to you, through the power of Jesus.

Beverly WeeksBeverly Weeks is an energetic, Jesus-loving “girl-next-door.”  Her inspiring, transparent messages are seasoned with a little laughter, candid real life struggles, and filled with Biblical truths. Often times people who hear her speak say the same thing: “She’s just so real.”  An evangelist at heart, she has a love for her audience that is fully evident both on and off stage.

Beverly is a trained Biblical Counselor and Executive Director of a Pregnancy Resource Center. Her greatest joy is being a wife to Rick, and mom to her two children Tyler and Macy.

Blog/Website: Dialog with Beverly through her blog post, and follow her speaking schedule. She would love to meet you at an event in your area. www.intentionallyyours.org

Booking Beverly to Speak: If you are interested in booking Beverly for a speaking engagement, beverly@intentionallyyours.org. Available For: Church Events, Women’s Conferences & Retreats, Marriage Conferences & Retreats, Banquets, Seminars, Pregnancy Care Center Events.

Hey, wait a second, who wrote this? I’m just a simple southern girl, tee-totally in love with my Jesus! I love chocolate, peanut butter with bananas, alfredo sauce, shopping, and consignment shops. Did I say I LOVE chocolate!

Feeling Beautiful Starts in the Mind with Keelie Reason

Keelie Reason of Love Hope Adventure is here with us today! I’m thrilled to have this wonderful marriage blogger provide some practical advice on how to feel beautiful. In addition to the encouragement to embrace our beauty, it’s great to have these specific tips on how to adjust our attitudes to achieve that goal.

Also be sure to check out Keelie’s blog, where you can get practical tips for your marriage and your marital bedroom.

Feeling Beautiful Starts in the Mind

This year, I have seen a lot of great campaigns out there about women learning to accept the way they look. Not only accept the way they look, but appreciate and love their body. It was a topic that just kept coming up over and over.

I read J’s post: Feeling Beautiful in 2015: Fight the Frump and really felt the pull to put together a How to Feel Beautiful Series of my own. Through those weekly beauty challenges, I learned a lot about the way I view myself.

Why I Feel More Beautiful Now Than I Did in My 20’s

When I look back at the pictures of myself in my 20’s there isn’t much difference between the way I looked then and now. So, why do I feel more beautiful this decade then I did last decade?

I’ll give you a hint, it started in my MIND.

Feel Beautiful, Not Look Beautiful

One of the things I focused in on in my series was how to feel beautiful, not how to look beautiful. Ladies, can I just say something? You LOOK beautiful! The problem is that you do not feel that way.

If you want to look in the mirror and like what you see, you have to change your mindset. You can spend hours trying to look better, but if you don’t have the right mindset, you will never see the beauty you already posses.

Take Steps to Changing Your Mind and Seeing Your Beauty

There are some things you can do that will put you in the right mindset to feeling beautiful about yourself. It is so important that you take the steps in the direction of accepting your own loveliness. Otherwise, you can be a runway model and think you are ugly (and believe me, there are runway models out there that feel that way).

Remove Influences That Make You Feel Unattractive

One of my biggest defenses to win the war in my mind is to remove the influences in my life that make me feel unattractive. When I was a teenager, I stopped reading beauty magazines. Even now, I stay away from them.

As much as possible, I limit my influences. If that means I have to stop looking at Facebook for a while, I will…Pinterest a problem? Gone…whatever it is that is making me feel bad about the way I look, I get away from it.

Get Out Of Your Pajamas and Yoga Pants

I love some of the great challenges that Sheila at To Love Honor and Vacuum give about Getting Dressed. For those young mom’s out there with a baby on each hip, I know how hard of a task this can be. Shoot, for those of us that have kids that can dress themselves, it can be a challenge.

Trust Someone Else to Tell You The Truth

Can’t believe yourself when it comes to the way you look? Find a trusted friend and ask them. If you are married, go to your spouse and ask them to tell you specifically a few things they love about the way you look. You can also ask a close family member or friend their thoughts.

The most difficult thing to do is to trust what that person has to say. If your friend or spouse thinks you have nice hair, eyes, waistline…whatever, believe them.

The Benefits Of Changing Your Mind

When you commit to changing your mind and seeing yourself as the attractive person you are, it will have great impact on your relationships. Feeling good about yourself removes the negative thinking from your mind that makes it hard for you to receive love. If you have a poor self-view, you will struggle to go deeper in your relationships, especially your marriage.
I encourage you to do what is necessary to move towards a positive mindset about yourself. Also, it is just as important that you help your spouse feel attractive and good about who they are.

Keelie ReasonKeelie is married to her high school sweetheart, and they raise their three amazing boys together. She blogs about the marriage relationship at Love Hope Adventure. It is her passion to see couples grow in a deeper relationship that is satisfying.

 

 

Embracing Our Bodies After the Babies Come with Jennifer Smith

What a treat we have today! Jennifer Smith of Unveiled Wife is here to share her thoughts on Feeling Beautiful. Jennifer has a very popular blog and a Facebook community of over 600,00! She shares marriage wisdom, daily prayers for your husband, and transparency about her own struggle from unhappily to happily married.

Also check out her book, Unveiled Wife: Embracing Intimacy with God and Your Husband, in which she chronicles her marriage journey. I’m so thrilled to call Jennifer a friend and to have her address feeling beautiful after the babies come.

Embracing Our Bodies After the Babies Come with Jennifer Smith

I had my daughter six months ago, and my son just turned three. I can’t believe how fast they grow up. It feels like yesterday that I was holding my newborn baby boy in the hospital bed just after delivery.

It amazes me how God created our bodies to reproduce and give life. The process of carrying a child, labor and delivery are all together miraculous. Women are uniquely special, in that they are the beautiful part of creation that gets to experience the fullness of this miracle.

Although I have thanked God for the joy in my heart for my children and being given the gift to bear children, my body is also on my mind. The truth is that pregnancy and delivery are very traumatic experiences for our bodies to endure. Change happens. Whether the changes are slight or completely transform our bodies, it happens. Embracing motherhood can be easier than embracing the changes we face physically.

I personally have found myself emotional over the way my body is different now. I have been grateful for the opportunity to have my children, but I have to admit that frustration has also consumed my heart when I realize my body will never be the same. I have gained weight that has been difficult to get off. I have stretch marks and saggy skin. My clothes don’t fit the same. My body doesn’t even feel the same during physical intimacy with my husband.

When I see my body, I am confronted with a choice. I can be frustrated by the change or I can embrace it as my new normal, just like I had to adjust to my new role when I became a mom.

Our culture is not good at encouraging women to embrace the fullness of their bodies. Every advertisement and marketing scheme presents us with a message to be unrealistically better than we are. The world tells us we are imperfect but that we should strive to be perfect, when God tells us He has made us very good and to be good stewards of what He has give to us. Those are two very different messages. Listening to the right message will help us embrace our bodies after the babies come.

God’s truth is beautiful and necessary for every mother to know. He created our bodies, knowing that they would change. We should embrace the changes with joy and confidence. What is a stretch mark in comparison to the miracle of life? What is a few months to a year of recovery in comparison to a legacy being built?

When I accepted God’s truth that He ingeniously made my body to change the way it has after the babies have come, it helped me embrace my body. It helped me be okay with my new normal. It helped me to be intimate with my husband and allow him access to get to know me all over again.

Embrace your body. Don’t see the changes as a negative thing. They are a powerful thing. They are evidence of God’s beautiful design.

Unveiled Wife CoverBy God’s grace, Jennifer Smith created Unveiled Wife, a web-based ministry for wives, in March 2011. She publishes weekly marriage articles including encouragements, devotions, and prayers of the day, all geared toward empowering wives.

Jennifer has served in ministry alongside her husband, traveling as missionaries to Zambia, Malawi, Canada, and Nicaragua. She and her husband have been married for seven years and live in Central Oregon with their two children.