Day 7: Finding my beautiful

Thought for the Day: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know a woman alive who is completely happy with her body. No woman I’ve met has ever said, “I eat healthy, I exercise, and I love the way I look 100 percent.” Not me, and I doubt you do either. Some perceived flaws are related to weight. But just as often, we find imperfections that exercise can’t cure, such as body shape, height, genetics, or signs of aging.

We tend to focus on what we see wrong with our bodies, including negative impressions and comments that stick with us from childhood. In middle school, weight wasn’t my biggest concern, but rather my ankles . . . yes, my ankles! A boy I liked once called them “tankles.” You bet that left a scar.

I will always have cellulite, stand 5’7 {dec63}, and have a low waistline. In the grand scheme of life, I know these are shallow concerns. But if I allow my brain to park in a place of dissatisfaction about my body, it gives Satan room to strip me of motivation by whispering, “Your body is never going to look the way you want it to look, so why sacrifice so much? Everyone eventually falls apart. Your discipline is in vain.” That’s why I have to seek the Lord’s perspective, such as the reminder in Psalms:

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name . . . and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1 – 5)

I’ve learned through God’s Word that the body He gave me is good. It’s not perfect, nor will it ever be on this side of eternity. But my body is a gift, a good gift for which I can be thankful. Being faithful in taking care of this gift and walking according to God’s plan gives me renewed strength to keep a healthy view of my body.

God didn’t curse my body with tankles and cellulite, and He has not cursed you. When I chose to view my body is as a good gift from God, I thanked Him for making me just the way I am. He revealed some benefits of my larger ankles, such as: I can hike with my husband, stand cheering for my kids at multiple sporting events, chase my dog through the yard, and never have a sprained ankle. Oh, what freedom! What redemption! What a sweet gift! I am able to look at those airbrushed, skinny-ankled women on TV or on the magazine covers and be happy for them without loathing myself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” I’ve found my beautiful. And I like my beautiful. I don’t have to hold my beautiful up to other people’s bodies with a critical eye of judgment. I pray that you see your beautiful today and enjoy the blessings of the body that God gave you.

Comments

  1. Thanks again. I really appreciate this forum and all these comments. I am so grateful to know that I truly have a sisterhood in Christ. When I feel alone or tempted, I can add to my focus thoughts and prayers for all of you as we walk this journey together. Lysa, I thank you and I thank God for you for doing this work in your life and compelling you to reach out and share this with others. It gives me hope in so many ways. This is a reminder to me that God is restoring. He can take even the worst of our sins, forgive us, draw us near to him, and turn them into opportunities to change lives. Lysa, I’m sure you never thought in your deepest despair that the Lord would use your struggle, your obsession, your addiction, to teach you and lift up so many others. Praise God! My heart is just so full of joy for this. it gives me hope and reminds me that he can use every single oversized meal, our binging, our shame, and our defeat, and turn them all into victory for EVERY one of us.

    Something that occurred to me as I read comments above is that when I am critical of myself, I am also very critical of others. I have been praying for God to give me his eyes to see the world. I didn’t realize that learning to love and accept myself with my faults and my failures might be the way the Lord would do this.

    Before when I would lose weight, I would buy cute clothes to show off my figure and be filled with pride and a sense of being better than others. It made me feel like I was better than them. I would never have thought to tell a person how big I once was, or about my struggles, and I would go right back to judging others! And then my weight would climb again and I’d be back in my own addiction. For the first time in my life, I see that we all have our struggles, and that God made us all different…but all the same in only ONE area – that we need him. And that should be my focus whether I am healthy or in my addiction. I need to be humble, and loving, and supportive…and use my struggles and failures and God’s successes and victories as a means of drawing near to others, intimately sharing and encouraging them in the faith. I praise the Lord for changing me…for carrying me through this challenge and strengthening each of us.

  2. Sharon Meeks says

    My church begins the study next week and I looking forward to it. I believe God is at work in me. Thank you very much for this website.
    Sharon

  3. Diane Jendrek says

    God blessed me with a good and well proportioned body. I am the one who chose poorly and now my “good” body is covered up with all the evidence of years of bad eating habits. My sin is out there for all the world to see. It does not glorify God or his creation.

    With renewed commitment to healthy eating I am praying and learning to trust that God will once again allow my good body to rise up from the depths of all this excess that now covers it. I know that it took several years for the damage to get to where it is now. I will just have to stop complaining that it is “never going to change”. It will as I do.

    My body is the temple of God’s Precious Spirit and it is time I treated it will more loving care.

  4. sandie webb says

    Yesterday our pastor was giving his annual series of sermons on tithing. In talking about the love of money or whatever the addition we might have I came to a sudden realization. We either hoard or consume when we are addicted. There is not a time in my life that I haven’t been consumed by worring about weight loss. It began in first grade and I’m now 65 years old. At times I’ve even been thin. At one point, I was a Weight Watcher Leader. I wake up each day trying to decide which diet I can possibly stick with. It comsumes me to the point that I’m ashamed of wasted brain energy.

    God gave me such a creative mind and so many talents. I do so want to be free of this addition. It really doesn’t matter how we look but it is how we love and treat others. This series of inspiritional messages redirects my daily thoughts. I can also pull them up at work and read them again during the day. What a blessing!

  5. Hello sisters in Christ,

    This is my 7th day on my journey and I know it is a gift from heaven because of the Holy Spirits confirmation this morning which lined up with Lysa’s teaching. I woke up with the scriptural thought that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by God. For the first time when I undressed, I looked at myself to see one thing of beauty, and I did. I realized that even though those dear and near to me cannot see any beauty in my body, God sees me through the eyes of Jesus and His righteousness and is available and willing to renew my mind and body so I can soar like the eagle and rejoice in God and be thankful that He created me in His image and that He is my help in time of need. What a God we serve. Rita

  6. Debra Compton says

    I had an eye opening revelation a few years ago. When we are critcial of ourselves and critcial of others physical appearances, we are being critical of God’s work! He created us in His image. He has woven each of us in our mother’s womb like a seamstress knits a tapestry. We are in fact a work of art created by God. So remember when you condemn yourself or other’s appearances you are condemning God.

    Psalm 139:14
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

    I try to remeber this but I still struggle with condemning myself. I love this devotional and I’m looking forward to buying a copy of the book. Be blessed!

  7. I understand completely the nickname concept — I was called PIG during all my school days. I was never that overweight, but I was larger than most. It always hurt me, but I acted like it didn’t. My family moved from our hometown after I was a freshman in college and I was able to escape this nickname after a couple of years. I was recently back to my hometown for a funeral for my best friend’s father and really didn’t want to go, but knew I needed to support her. I ran into a lot of old friends and thankfully, none of them called me by my nickname. This continues to be a problem for me, but with the Lord’s help I will overcome it. Currently, I am not obesely overweight, but I need to loose a few pounds. I am working very hard to loose those pounds and I’m really appreciate all that Lysa has done to put the encouragement out there for us. Merry Christmas to all of you!!!!!

  8. Thank you

  9. What an excellent devotion for today!! I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!!! Thank you, Lysa for this insight as to how God sees us!!! <3

  10. gonna try today, to see myself as He sees me… i love me… i am fearfully and wonderfully made… my BEAUTIFUL!!! thank you…

  11. melody davis says

    I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed reading the posts after each devotional. This one struck a cord with me because when I was younger I stepped off a curb wrong and fell to the ground. I felt the large vein in my leg snap like a rubber band. It was very painful at the time and the vein just coiled up in a bumpy mess behind my knee. It is visually unattractive but does not cause me any trouble walking or running. A year or so ago I was in the shower shaving my legs and thinking ” I hate how this looks….I wish this never happened to me!!” Just then the holy spirit whispered to me ” At least you have two legs that still work.” There are so many people who have lost their limbs and have to find the courage to get through each day. Since the Lord spoke to me I no longer worry about the cosmetics of how my leg looks but am grateful for what I do have. I am trying each day since I have started reading these to take one day at a time and ask God’s help making better choices for myself. I want to do it for myself and to try and set a good example for my daughter. Thanks for all of you who write….you are so encouraging!!!

    • It is important to set good models for our daughters since the world gives such ungodly measures for them. We had it bad when we were growing up but nothing like what our today daughters have to face. Our god- given responsibility to be heal.thy role models for them.

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