Mother’s Day has come and gone. I’m sure for most of you it’s already a faint memory and you’ve moved on to planning for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. But, I will admit that Mother’s Day weekend is still running through my mind and heart like toddlers through a playground.
I had the extreme privilege of being asked to speak at a Mother/Daughter Brunch at Liberti Church in Warminster, PA, Mother’s Day weekend. Admittedly, my first reaction was a deep desire to go throw up! (We all know that public speaking is considered the #1 fear of most humans!) But, I had been praying for some time for God to open opportunities for me to come off my by now very well warmed bench, step out in faith, and come out of my comfort zone, and this couldn’t have been a more fulfilling answer to those prayers!
The topic for the day was “True Beauty,” a topic, and a struggle, that is near and dear to my own heart, and I believe to every woman’s. We all want to be beautiful. We all want to be told we’re lovely, desired. But, like most longings of the human heart, instead of taking it to God, the true lover of our soul, we try to deal with it ourselves. We either delve so deeply into the world’s definition of beauty, buying into its lie of skinnier thighs, bigger breasts and ageless perfection, or we deny our hearts altogether and try to pretend we don’t care at all, hiding under shapeless, colorless, make-up-less looks, as if it’s all beneath us.
God took me to a place of bearing my own soul, looking at some painful places, but also at some great victories that he’s taken me through in this area. It was a great blessing for me to be able to share with the wonderful ladies I met there the great truths from God’s Word that the Lord had shown me about the beauty God has already bestowed on us as women and how we can share this with those around us.
Since then, I’ve really been thinking about the TRULY beautiful women I’ve been honored to know within my lifetime. I am amazed and awed by the number of strong, godly – truly beautiful women that the Lord has brought into my life through the years. I wish I had the time and space to name and thank each one. Unfortunately, I don’t, but I would like to share a few of them with you.
The first woman who comes to mind is my dear friend, Eva. I lived with Eva and her family for about six months when I was pregnant with my oldest child. They opened their home to me at a time when I was very much alone. In many ways, I think of Eva as my spiritual mother. Eva has always been the absolute picture of living every moment of your life for Jesus. She is sold out for Him! She has such passion in her faith that it’s contagious. You want what she has! It’s beautiful to watch. Beautiful to be around.
Next, I think of my friend Linda. I’m not sure there’s anyone who I’ve learned more from in my Christian walk than Linda. I’ve often told her that someday, if I ever decide to grow up, I want to be just like her! She is a friend, a mentor, a teacher and a source of godly wisdom. Linda has a heart that is always searching God’s truth, and truly has a serving spirit. She is that friend you can call at a moment’s notice when you need godly advice. And I have… many times! Her godly beauty shines through each word of truth and knowledge. (Want to be extra blessed? Check out Linda’s blog here: /https://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/7064/
When I think of a gentle and quiet spirit, I think of my very dear friend, Audra! Audra has been through the fire with the Lord, but has been given beauty for ashes! Though she has been through so many deep waters, her heart has always remained open to whatever God is trying to teach her through each trial. She is a faithful and true friend who has allowed herself to be laid bare and be transparent for the sake of others. Her beautiful, sweet heart definitely shines through on her face!
“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…” The last person I’ll mention, though my list could go on and on, is the beautiful Debbie! Debbie is the very picture of joy! From the very moment I met Debbie, she brought nothing but joy and laughter into my life. Every thought, every memory I have of her makes me smile. Her enthusiasm and love of serving Jesus just bubbles out of her! Even when things are dark or difficult, Debbie sees the light, she sees the song, and finds a reason to praise! Debbie is a truly beautiful woman!
The interesting thing about these four women? I don’t think even one of them would say they were beautiful if you asked them. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’d argue the point with you. But, when I look at them, I see beauty – absolute, pure, true beauty! The best kind, the kind that goes from the inside out – all the way through! And isn’t that what we all REALLY want?! I know I do.
When I think about what I want for my life, how I want to be seen, how I want to be known and someday remembered, it’s the things that I’ve seen and learned from these beautiful women that I hope are also said of me and seen reflected in my life. Of course, it’s nice to be told we’re physically beautiful. We all love to hear that. But, that only lasts so long. The Bible tells us, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting…”Prov. 31:30a. Physical beauty fades with time. Studies tell us that our body begins to decay by age 20! But, the rest of the verse goes on to tell us, “…but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”Prov. 31:30b. How much more do I long to be like these women whose beauty is so deep that it shines from within their souls and then shines forth illuminating their lovely faces! THAT is the beauty that lasts for eternity!
For those who may be interested, attached is the recording of that Mother’s Day event. Feel free to give it a listen.