Tag Archive | beauty

People Watching

Is it really innocent entertainment? Or is it me passing judgment?
It happens nearly everywhere I go: grocery store, airport, gym, coffee shop…
When I people watch, I find myself comparing how: HER body is solid, her face is flawless, her fashion flatters her, and her hair is perfect. Better than mine. Perfect, if only in my eyes at that moment. Herein lays the Perfection Trap. I want perfection: 30 pounds lighter with those flat, solid abs; hair that stays in the right place despite Houston humidity; white teeth. If I were perfect, my clothes would ALL fit (comfortably, that is), I wouldn’t be so self-conscious…seemingly perfect. I’m pretty sure I heard someone say “RIIIIIGHHHHT!” My brain knows that’s not how it works. But I judge myself harshly anyway. I have fallen into the media’s trap of the ideal, beautiful woman, again and again.
God has designed me the way I am. Yes, I can take care of the body I am given. But I don’t have to hit an extreme to keep it functioning well. The Perfection Trap goes around and around like my dog chasing his tail. Francesca Battistelli song states “perfection is my enemy” and it is true. How can I get rid of the world image stuck in my head and replace it with how God sees me? He specially formed me.
For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 138:13
Beauty from the inside out.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
 

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Other times when I people watch, I find fault in the parents of misbehaving children. I call this the Parent Trap.                                                                                                               images

It’s easy for me to think, “My child would NEVER behave like that, especially in public.” Of course, those of you who know my children realize that they are PERFECT!! Again, I am hearing someone say “RIIIIIGHHHHT!” (My daughters are wonderful women, but not perfect.) Or the ever popular “I would NEVER let my child do that!” Somehow, I manage to judge myself better than those parents! Oh wait…am I the same woman who can’t measure up to worldly beauty? I am asking myself. How can I have such diametrically opposed reactions? I am far from a perfect parent. I have not walked in another parent’s shoes. I have no right to condemn them based on a 5 minute glimpse or the entire picture of their life. Yet I do! My flesh gets the best of me! Even Paul had this trouble:
“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Romans 7:18-19
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

 
Father, I ask for Your vision for myself and for others. May I have Your eyes to see beyond what seems obvious. May I have Your grace for others and for myself. And, when needed, keep one hand on my shoulder and the other over my mouth!
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Isaiah 54:11-12 God’s Glory and Beauty in You

gemstones-5O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted.  Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires.  I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones.”  Isaiah 54:11-12

These verses promise us that God will transform our tempest into His treasure.  He will give us beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).  He will rebuild our walls.  He promises that our ruins will be rebuilt, our desolations raised up, and our ruined cities repaired — even desolations of many generations (Isaiah 61:4).  In fact, He also promises to fill our empty places, as He declares that the desolate cities will be inhabited (Isaiah 54:3).  God declares in Isaiah 60:18 that violence will “no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.”  These verses demonstrate that Jesus Christ Himself will be our Foundation and our Walls, for He is the chief Cornerstone (Psalm 118:22) and our Foundation (“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  I Cor. 3:11).  He promises to establish HImself in us and restore our broken places such that we radiate His glory and beauty.  We are individually, in miniature, a foretaste to the world of what the heavenly Jerusalem will be like at the consummation of the ages.  In Revelation 21, verses 10-27, John gives a magnificent description of the City of God.  “The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.  The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones, the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.  The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each individual gate was of one pearl.  And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.  But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it.  The Lamb is its light.” (Rev. 21:18-23)  This same beauty and glory has been promised to us, as God’s holy habitation.  His Holy Spirit dwells in us from the moment we make Jesus our Lord.  He is the foundation of our life, the source of our very breath.  He will replace our devastated places with qualities of inestimable value that reflect His nature, the DNA of God Himself.  We are to become a house from which His beauty and glory shine forth.  He uses everything precious and valuable to build us according to His pleasure; in fact, He uses His very own self, sacrificed for us.  We can trust Him to transform us!