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Inner Beauty



I have a confession to make, as I’ve spent the last couple of weeks in Hawaii, body image has been a real thing for me. Swimsuits and shorts don’t hide the bumps and bulges that jeans and sweats do! I’m also 12 years older than I was the last time I came here, so the whole aging thing is another thing entirely. It brings to mind the line in the old country song Tammy Wynette sang, “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.” Amen!

 

Physical beauty, especially as women, is what the world tells us to spend our time and energy on…oh, and our money! I was surprised and a little dismayed when I read that we spent $528.6 billion on the beauty industry in 2022. Wowza!

 

I know I’ve personally contributed my fair share to that crazy number. Whether it’s the latest face cream that will magically make me look like I’m in my 20’s again or feeding my quest for really rocking shoes, I’ve fallen for the sales job that how I look and what I wear will somehow make me truly happy.

 

And just like you, I’ve never had a dress or face cream or, dare I even say it, a great pair of shoes really change my life. Don’t tell my husband I admitted that! LOL!

 

And even though I believe in taking care of my physical body and staying active and healthy, I know true beauty goes so much deeper. I’m sure you do as well, my friend.

 

But how do we get there? Where’s the balance between taking care of ourselves and looking our best and being obsessed and caught up in the airbrushed ads featuring “perfect” women?

 

Our souls are wired for beauty, true beauty, the kind only the love of Jesus can give us. I love the inner beauty Peter talks about:

 

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

 

When we say yes to Jesus, we say yes to a beauty inside us we cannot begin to contain. There’s no end to the exquisite transformation God wants to do inside us. His perfect love promises to make everything new…The old is gone, the new has come!

 

And when we display that inner beauty to the world, people can’t help but notice.

 

We witnessed it firsthand in a quaint little restaurant in Paia, an island town in Maui we like to call “hippie village.” It’s full of adorable little shops and tons of local artist boutiques. I love it there!

 

The idyllic weather we dream about in Hawaii was simply not cooperating the day of our visit, however. There were bursts of rain throughout the day, and many sought shelter in cozy little places like this café. There was only one waitress, who also had to serve as the chef and beverage maker, and she was totally slammed. She handled her soggy customers with grace and a beautiful smile on her face. She was cute as a button physically, but it was her attitude and the joy she exuded that gave her real beauty.

 

In the midst of the chaos, there was a toddler that was not having a good day! She was exclaiming her dissatisfaction very clearly to her exasperated parents.

 

We watched with wonder as this sweet waitress, up to her neck in orders, went up to the little girl and asked her if she would like to play a game with ice cubes. The little girl whimpered yes through her tears.

 

The waitress then went and got a bucket full of ice cubes, and she gently took the little girl’s hand, led her to a fountain, and invited her to toss the ice cubes into the water. Tears were stopped, Mom and Dad uttered a grateful thank you, and we watched the little girl giggle with glee as she kicked and tossed ice cubes with the joy and wonder only a two-year-old can display.

 

And you know what, this waitress with her beautiful smile and kind heart, made me love the little restaurant as well! Her choice to be positive and uplifting to her customers made the long wait for the items we ordered seem like no big deal. Help did show up after a bit, but her smile and her joy kept everyone at ease until then.

 

Her inner beauty is what I will remember and will be the reason I will definitely go back. Oh, and burger was amazing too!

 

And since I know I probably will never lose my love for shoes, maybe there is a way we can show both kinds of beauty to the world:

 

Go ahead, put on that newest shade of lipstick you couldn't resist, but wear it on lips full of compassion.

 

And by all means, rock those awesome shoes, but make sure you’ve got joy in your step.

 

And use that night cream that makes your skin feel oh, so soft, but let the love of Jesus continue to soften your heart again and again and again.

 

And remember, a smile really can change someone’s day!


And your inner beauty is what the world will remember about you!

 

Hugs and love,

 

Jill

 

 

 

 

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