The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

When You Wonder if You’re Beautiful

d6.16Welcome, friends! I’m so glad you’re here.

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At Proverbs 31 today, I’m talking about daddies and daughters and the one thing that could set you free to dance. It’s a story about refusing to settle for less than your Father’s lavish love and grace.  I hope you’ll take a moment to read it here.

But before you go, I’d love to tell you one more dancing tale.

Think of it as an invitation to become the woman God’s always dreamed you to be…

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I noticed the change in her eyes the moment her Daddy handed her that red rose and told her she was beautiful.

I’d told her, too, of course, as I was helping her get ready for the Father-Daughter Dance. 

I’d told her when I’d zipped up her brand new dress and listened to her chatter about disco balls and dancing shoes and the lyrics to her favorite song.

I’d told her when I’d smiled at her gap-toothed reflection in the mirror and wound her fine blonde hair around the steamy silver curling wand.

You are the prettiest six-year-old I know.

I’d told her when I’d dotted her puckered lips with light pink gloss and dusted her wispy bangs with a poof of hairspray.

You look like a beautiful ballerina.

I’d told her when I’d watched her practice her groovy moves on the living room floor and when I’d snapped photos of her posing like a pop star on the back deck.

Your smile is going to light up the dance floor.

But it was her Daddy’s words that made my girl cheeks glow with ruddy radiance; her Daddy’s words that made her eyes sparkle with confident joy.

It was her Daddy’s words that made my daughter stand a little taller, her Daddy’s words that made her hold her head a little higher.

It was her Daddy’s words that trickled truth into my daughter’s heart and shined contentment through her  smile.

 A mother may instruct her daughter in beauty, but it’s a father who calls it out.

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Hannah handed me that red rose before she grabbed her daddy’s hand and skipped gleefully to his waiting truck.

“Put it in water, okay, Mommy?” she said as she waved one last time at me over her shoulder.

I nodded and watched my dancing duo pull out of the driveway and disappear down the hill for their special night.

And then I sat on the front step and remembered how I’d felt when I’d first heard those words, too…

You’re beautiful.

I wasn’t wearing a fancy dress, just old pajamas covered in spit- up.

I wasn’t heading to a dance, I was just heading into another day with screaming children and dirty dishes.

But for some reason, on that day long ago, my Father’s words had stirred something deep within me–

“You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare…” (Song of Songs: 4:7, The Message)

I’d read His whispers on the wafer-thin pages of my Bible that morning while my baby snoozed in my arms and my saggy-diapered toddler stacked blocks at my feet.

I’d known my Father’s voice since He’d captured my heart as a little girl.

I was familiar with His gentle kindness and His saving grace.

But these words… they were new to me.

They were like water for my parched heart.

“You’re beautiful…”

The baby woke and the block-tower collapsed, and I scribbled that holy writ in my journal with a bright red pen before the day unfolded in sticky spills and angry wails.

And over and over again, I read them aloud–in between diaper changing and toddler chasing, face-wiping and baby burping–and slowly, my Daddy’s declaration seeped deep into the jagged cracks of my aching soul.

“You’re beautiful…”

Oh, how I wanted that to be true.

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Later that week, I gathered for a Bible study with other moms like me, our babies crawling at our feet while we poured over the scriptures together. And I asked my friends what they thought about those crazy words that Beth Moore had scripted across the first page of our weekly lesson— 

 “Christ sees you as beautiful. I also believe this is how the enemy sees you. He just does not want you to know it. His job is to deceive us into believing we are so much less than we are. Why? Because he knows we’ll act like who we think we are.” 

We read that passage aloud over the din of baby babble and the clank of sippy cups. And we lingered long beneath the weight of those words.

Some mamas seeped tears.

Others oozed giggles.

But, together, we began to wonder if true beauty is a choice rather than a hair-style; an act of faith rather than a formula.

What if true beauty has less to do with the shape of our bodies and more to do with the shape of our souls?

What if the path to true beauty isn’t a bulge-battling work out, but a doubt-defying calling out; an invitation to believe we are who are exactly who our Daddy says we are.

It was a wonderful and frightful thought.

The kids grew restless and hungry, and one by one, we packed up our diaper bags and headed for home.

But the musings of the morning haunted me as I drove across town in my dusty mini-van,.

A nameless yearning rose from the depths of my soul, and I realized that I was desperate to see myself through my Father’s eyes, desperate to believe that what He says is true.

You’re beautiful.

That red-inked verse ran through my head over and over again.

And on that ordinary day, with my babies wailing in the back seat and my gas tank looming on empty, I decided to take Him at His word.

There were no lightning bolts from Heaven, no angelic choruses sung in harmony through the clouds.

Just a subtle shift inside of me, a quiet commitment to choose truth over lies, acceptance over rejection.

And from that day on, the woman staring back at me in my mirror never looked quite the same.

Oh, she still had  stretch marks and extra skin. 

She still had hair that refused to grow silky long and legs that dangled skinny like a bird’s.

But her Daddy says she’s beautiful.
And for some crazy reason, she chooses to believe Him. 

It happen overnight–this transformation deep in my soul–but little by little, I began to let my Father call out the beauty He’d placed inside of me.

I began to trust His gentle whispers of truth more than I heeded the Enemy’s noisy lies.

I began to seek His perfect face more than I worried about the blemishes on my own.

I began to live like a daughter who is loved.

Because I am.

And you are, too, my friend.

And just as I wanted desperately to believe that simple truth thirteen years ago, I want desperately for you to believe it, too.

Because beautiful women live beautiful lives.

And you were created to live life to the full.

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I don’t care what the magazines say or what the television commercials tote, true beauty isn’t activated by a product or a procedure.

True beauty blooms best in faith.

So, lean in close and listen to what your Father has to say.

“You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare…” 

The sun had sunk silently into the silver night by the time my daughter came home from the Father-Daughter Dance on that cool spring night.

Her cheeks were flushed and her shoes were scuffed from a night of boogieing in her Daddy’s arms.  She had pizza sauce on her dress and limp strands of sweaty bangs in her eyes. But her happy smile could have rivaled the wishing star that dangled in the velvet sky.

“Did you have fun?” I asked as I helped Hannah slip on her pajamas and climb into into bed.

“Yeah” she sighed. “It was great.”

“What was your favorite part?” I asked, bending low on the bottom bunk to bid her good-night.

“Oh, I don’t know,” she replied as she nuzzled her rosy cheeks on her pillow.

“Probably just being with Daddy….”

Her voice tapered off in sleepy thought.

“He just makes me feel ..so… so….”

Her eyelids fluttered and she exhaled a contented sigh, “….beautiful.”

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It’s a Daddy-Daughter Give-Away!

Today, I’m excited to be giving away one copy of Angela Thomas’s book, Do You Think I’m Beautiful?

If you’ve ever wanted to see yourself through your Heavenly Father’s eyes, this book is a great place to start.

It’s a perfect summer read to work through with a friend or just savor on your own as you sit in the sun.

I hope it will launch you into some honest conversation with your Daddy.

If you invite him to speak to you through the pages of this book, I have no doubt that He will.

If you’d like to be entered to win Angela’s book, just leave me a comment and finish this sentence–

“I feel most beautiful when…”

 

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33 thoughts on “When You Wonder if You’re Beautiful

  1. Bronda

    I feel most beautiful when I look down the pew and see the three precious children God has blessed me with worshiping with all their hearts.

    June 16, 2015 at 10:24 am
  2. I feel most beautiful when I am completely in step with the Father, letting him lead and blotting out the lies of the enemy. Oh if it would happen more often!

    June 16, 2015 at 10:44 am
  3. Shellie

    I feel most beautiful when I can momentarily forget all the ways my earthly father has crushed me and walked away from me. And I see my beautiful twin girls in love with their Daddy, feeling completely sure he won’t ever abandon them.

    June 16, 2015 at 10:44 am
  4. Hope

    I feel most beautiful when I’m enjoying God’s wonderful creation outside. It could be hiking in the mountains, walking on the beach, taking a stroll across a field or just sitting on a porch. Seeing and experiencing how glorious God’s creation is just reminds me that He doesn’t make junk—it’s not in Him to do anything, but perfect. Just as He spoke all this incredible creation into existence, He formed me. As I look at His creation, it’s like I get to see a reflection of myself in His eyes…I see His love and I am beautiful.

    June 16, 2015 at 10:52 am
  5. jamie riskedahl

    I feel most beautiful when I am immersed happily in the mission of motherhood God gave me. When I’m accepting it and all its craziness not fighting against it for something “better” to do for God.

    June 16, 2015 at 11:08 am
  6. Jessa

    I feel most beautiful when I look into my daughter’s eyes and see her beauty and tell her she’s beautiful! I was never once told I was beautiful until I met the Lord Jesus Christ a few years ago. It’s difficult to believe God sees me as beautiful but I want to believe it. Thanks for a wonderful reminder!

    June 16, 2015 at 11:27 am
  7. Pam

    Sadly, I’m not sure when I feel most beautiful. Even during my time with God when I feel fully joyful, fully content and fully peaceful, I can’t say I feel beautiful. I still struggle with the outward beauty that is now fading …

    June 16, 2015 at 11:47 am
    1. Shawna

      First, by looking at the picture to the left, you do look beautiful! Second, God thinks you are beautiful, as does your family and friends. I know it is hard to feel beautiful at times but keep telling yourself you are and you will start to believe it. Trust me I do this often and am finally starting to feel it!

      June 16, 2015 at 4:39 pm
  8. Liane

    I feel most beautiful when I exercise. Even though I have no make-up on, my hair is a mess and I am dripping with sweat (or glistening as I prefer to call it!), knowing that I am taking care of my “temple” so that I can carry out God’s plans makes me feel gorgeous! This is my first visit here and I am so thankful that God lead me here today. Thank you for your words Alicia!

    June 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm
  9. Kami

    I feel most beautiful when I look around at all of the beauty the Lord created in this world and recognize with awestruck wonder that He created me too. I am beautiful because My Father created me.

    June 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm
  10. KMcDaniel

    I feel most beautiful when I become basked in the presence of God. It’s then that I realize that regardless of my faults and failures and blunders and flaws (physical, emotional & even spiritual) HE loves me. This is a beautiful post and one our young girls need to get in their hearts so they don’t follow the world’s standards as to what “beautiful” is.

    June 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm
  11. Sue

    I feel most beautiful when I am enjoying time with my husband – riding our motorcycle or just enjoying a few minutes alone. I’ve never thought I was and wasn’t told I was beautiful until he very fiercely argued with me that I am. He stated that I was insulting him by saying I wasn’t. That was early in our marriage and I’ve come to realize that this is also how God responds when we say we aren’t beautiful, free, perfect… Thanks for the reminder that our Daddy sees us as beautiful daughters made to dance, laugh and enjoy His love.

    June 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm
  12. Stephanie

    I feel most Beautiful when…. I find myself helping someone spontaneously and realize later that it was God’s hand.

    June 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm
  13. Anita

    I feel most beautiful when I hear God whisper to me when I am down. I was singing a song “You are welcome in this place sweet Holy Spirit and as I did I felt compelled to dance around the room and I just imagined Jesus with me. My daddy is not saved, and he did not say “I love you” as I was growing up. But I could her Daddy God say I love you Anita and you are mine.

    June 16, 2015 at 1:11 pm
  14. Lydia

    I feel most beautiful when….I remember that our true beauty is what’s on the inside, from a heart full of God’s love. A heart that overflows and spills over into every area of my life. It is sometimes easier said than done and yes, our enemy wants us to forget about the beauty of God’s love deep in our hearts. We just have to have faith and believe it. Even when we can’t see it or feel it we can know it is there simply because God says it is. And He says I am beautiful and I am loved!

    June 16, 2015 at 1:24 pm
  15. Jennifer

    I feel most beautiful when I’m at peace, not worrying, not striving to be someone else, but just resting in who God created me to be.

    June 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm
  16. Holly Surels

    I feel most beautiful when I am in God’s presence listening to Him tell me how much he loves me just the way I am. Broken, hurting but Beautiful in His eyes.

    June 16, 2015 at 1:50 pm
  17. Janice

    I feel most beautiful when I am completely absorbed in God’s presence during my quiet time. I feel loved and special.

    June 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm
  18. Shawna

    I feel beautiful when I know God is with me and loves me. I feel beautiful when my husband gives me that certain looks and a little wink…it still makes me smile and sometimes giggle. I feel beautiful when my daughter looks at me and tells me I look pretty. I do not always have these felling beautiful feeling but when I feel this I also feel God telling me yes you are…stop it! and then I feel beautiful again.

    June 16, 2015 at 4:35 pm
  19. Kathy Scott

    I feel most beautiful when I am seated in the presence of the Lord, enjoying His Word which nourishes my spirit and transforms me from within.

    June 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm
  20. Joy

    I feel most beautiful when … I’m not sure when I feel most beautiful. I used to feel beautiful but now I just feel worn. I would love to feel beautiful again.
    Anyway, thank you for your post! You have touched my heart and perhaps I can feel beautiful again. May God bless you and your ministry to His daughters.

    June 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm
  21. Patty S.

    I feel most beautiful when God crushes my pride, humbles me, and I experience the depth of His mercy and grace.

    June 16, 2015 at 8:40 pm
  22. lc

    when (if) a suitor pursued me, showing I was worth sacrifices to spend time with me and get to know me. Take me out to eat and dancing, never looking at or flirting with other women.
    Over time, (not just one or two nights) that would help me feel beautiful, worthy, young, alive, etc.

    June 16, 2015 at 10:21 pm
  23. Lisa Jackson

    I feel most beautiful when my children are nestled under each arm with their heads on each of my shoulders. It makes me feel blessed and grateful that God allowed something so precious to be given to me, on loan, of course. It’s the peace at the end of a very often hectic and busy day that makes me feel purposeful and beautiful!

    June 16, 2015 at 10:43 pm
  24. Mary T

    I feel most beautiful when I am aware of His Presence in me and with me…God’s everlasting Love….for me…His daughter whom He has created to bring Him GLORY!

    June 17, 2015 at 12:23 am
  25. Leiann K

    I feel beautiful when…..I can’t really recall when I have ever felt beautiful….but I’d like to learn.

    June 17, 2015 at 11:09 am
  26. Jenn

    I feel most beautiful when I am fixing my eyes on our Abba and He shines out on to my little family. When I see the evidence of His outpouring: my step-son’s mother tells me that he wants to go to a certain store today, because Jesus will come to take us home soon and he would really like to see if they have a toy he’s been wanting; and when my husband’s truck radio is always set to our local Christian music station, and not the rock music he used to prefer; when they both hum hymns of praise.

    June 17, 2015 at 6:29 pm
  27. Rita

    I feel most beautiful when I remember Whose I am! And when I don’t listen to the lies of the enemy trying to convince me to feel hopeless & discouraged rather than trusting & leaning on God’s Word & promises!

    June 18, 2015 at 2:43 am
  28. Judy

    I feel most beautiful when I’m sitting on the beach with closed eyes and remembering being loved by two wonderful parents, and when I open my eyes and see my beautiful family loving Jesus and each other.
    You have a much needed ministry. Thank you.
    Jeremiah 33:3

    June 18, 2015 at 3:24 am
  29. Stacey

    I cannot answer this, as much as I am trying to think of a time. You really stopped me in my tracks with this question. I need to see myself as God sees me so that I can love others better. Thank you for provoking my thoughts.

    June 19, 2015 at 2:08 am
  30. Teresa

    When I know without a doubt that God has called me to do something and he gets all the glory!

    June 21, 2015 at 8:40 pm
  31. Rhonda

    I was not prepared to be stopped in my tracks with that question, I feel most beautiful when the Holy Spirit is speaking to me and through me when I am teaching little ones.

    June 23, 2015 at 2:54 am

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