"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.


Abiding Monday

I am getting so much out of "Surrendering Hunger" devotional, by Jan Johnson

This is day 57.

"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD
looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

"Looks Can Be Defeating"

My outward appearance has been the downer in my life for a long time. I was never thin enough; when I weighed the right amount, I was never proportioned correctly; even when I thought I looked good, my face was such an odd shape!

As I moved through life, my belief that God loves me grows; this helps me accept my body, my face, and my normal shape (even though some would say the last item resembles a pear). There are still days when no matter how skillfully I apply makeup and how deftly I work with my hair, I don't look good enough to suit myself. So I remind myself that I'm OK. I lean forward and whisper to the face in the mirror, "Hello, world. This is me. This face is as good as it's going to get, and that's OK! OK?"

Because God looks on my heart with mercy, I can learn to look at my outward appearance with mercy.

It is a rare woman that is not discontent with how she looks.

There are a lot of beautiful women around who do not think they are. My daughter is one of them.

I do not like my picture taken. I have joked that I should be happy with the current photos, because in 10 years time when I look back at them I will say, "I looked pretty good." Now I say that in jest, but there is truth in it.

I have never been happy with how I look. And I have measured my worth in how I look.

God is changing that.

But I still struggle with it.

I hate how much time I have wasted focused on me!!!

God is changing that too.

I am thankful!


Anonymous said...


Oh...I know a bit of that. I guess each woman look at herself critically in spite of positive acknowledgement from others. But as you said...we need to learn to undo that old mindset that say...you can never be good enough for yourself. I want to say that too... someday! Meanwhile, He is working on the inside and so eventually, the outside...which is all together wearing way will not matter as much.

And I think you look great!



Denise said...

I think you are beautiful, and so does God.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

You ARE beautiful!! Your smile is so warm and loving!!
The first thing I thought of when reading this was DITTO, DITTO, DITTO! I feel the same way!
I read once about how interesting it is that we loved and accepted ourselves as small children and somehow....someway our opinions changed. Maybe it was the first insult that hurt our feelings? I don't know, but it's kind of sad.
Your post is beautiful Mary! Thank you!

S. Etole said...

I'm always warmed by your smile when I come here ... and your words.

covnitkepr1 said...

I look in the mirror and I see me...68 years old and counting. If I don't fit the Hollywood style...Tuff.
I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow, and I’m glad I did. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become one as well.


I think a lot of us women feel this way about our looks. I could identify with what you said about looking back at old photo's and thinking " I did look good then, I wish that was now ."
I struggle with my looks lately too, in 3 days I will be 58 and just saying that age sounds so darn old but I guess in some ways it isn't. I can't even hardly put on eye makeup anymore because It's hard with my glasses off even with magnified mirrors. I think our country is too youth and thinness
obesed and we don't appreciate our elders enough. It is a blessings knowing how much God does love us for whats in our hearts and not just the way we look, I find it so terribly sad to think of those who don't believe in Him. When I start thinking how awful I look now I feel so vain and try hard to think of those who can't see at all or have horrible health issues. Know what is really strange/interesting is when I look in the mirror and see my Mom looking back.

Butterfly Works said...

Know what you mean....there's way too much emphasis on outside instead of inside...there's something freeing that comes with age....I am beginning to think of myself as the ecentric butterfly so I just as well enjoy whatever I look like and give the "beautiful people" something to look forward to...Anyway, Jesus and I have fun.....
of course this is my message today, tomorrow when I can't get into a single pair of pants my message may change......

lori vliegen said...

i love the book of Samuel.....and this is one of my favorite Scriptures! it hits SO close to home for me.......i've never been happy with the way i look, either. and i'm SO with you about having my picture taken!!! lots of things to be prayerful about.....lots of things to change my heart about.....thank you mary! xox, ;))

DJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJ said...

Beautiful Mary, I've always said that when I see your avatar in my comments, I smile in return because your beauty shines through and uplifts me!
So Here's some Big Hugs to a Beautiful Woman for God ~
Women have been "sold a bill of goods" by satan, because he is SCARED of us! We are so powerful in raising Godly children and nurturing others through His Love, that the evil one will do anything to tear us down. When we put on that apron, or artist's smock, or that business suit, and love the world into peace and belief and orderliness, he TREMBLES!
So, let's remind each other of God's Beauty reflected in our hearts. We truly are more than conquerors.
'Nuff said~
Pass the plate; sing the benediction. :-)

laurel said...

Oh my! I have been so struggling with that lately. I lost a bunch of weight and have gained some back and that is all I can see at the moment. When I see your picture I see a beautiful woman with a beautiful smile. I think when we look at ourselves we don't look at the whole package and are blinded by the thing/things we want changed.

Thursday night while driving home I had this thought that seemed to not come from my general mental wanderings that said 'You're beautiful.' I almost started bawling because it definitely wasn't something I'd say to myself so I'm counting on it being from God. I'm so glad I read your post tonight because it reminded me.

Jennifer Richardson said...

I can SO relate! And the harder I try to strong-arm my self-consciousness away, the bigger muscles it gets! Thanks for sharing...it helps so much to hear those laments come from another open heart. Seems like those teeth aren't so sharp when we pull them out of the dark and look at them together.
Always love your posts, Mary:)

Just Be Real said...

Mary, you have an infectious smile. Thank you for continuing to share your real struggles and pain. ((((Mary))))


Oh, you're beautiful inside and out... every creature in the world is beautiful... it's just a matter of appreciation!!!:D


Namaste!!!(God is in you!!!):)


Anonymous said...

This one has been a struggle for me too. God and I are working on this. Our culture's extreme focus does not help either.


debbie bailey said...

I, too, have looked back at photos of myself and said, "I looked pretty good then", even though I didn't think so at the time. I know I'll do the same thing in ten more years when I look back at my photos taken now. "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." Why should we care so much about our outsides? But we do. It's a struggle to see ourselves through God's loving eyes, but try, we must!

Pamela Holderman said...

Yes this a tough one for every woman I know. Thanks for expressing it so eloquently.

Jane Farr said...

Great post Mary. Discontent over our appearance is one of Satan's best tactics for stealing our joy.

Bevie said...

Mary I'm going to tell you how I feel about YOU...I've always known you have a true giving spirit...and as you've grown in your personal relationship with God it's even more so. I've always thought you where the prettiest of all us girls..even been a little envious...I do know how you feel for I've been dealing with those feelings too. In my heart I know God created us and loves us no matter what our size and shape..heheh!!! It's wonderful how you can bring out feelings we've kept inside ourselves for way too long...I know God is working on so many different areas of ME...this one too!!!