Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Let Me Take An Unfiltered Selfie~ July 11, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:17 am
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Do you know that there is an app that “touches up” your photos? I logged onto Facebook the other day and I had a recommendation to use said app.

Now I’m not sure what the ole’ Facebook is trying to imply, but color me offended!

The advertisement showed a beautiful young lady’s before and after the app worked it’s magic. I was not pleased with the results. The original showed each tiny freckle, her laugh lines and sections of stray hair that fell around her face. The retouched, so-called better, picture showed a spray tanned, perfectly manicured face and each strand of hair was placed just so. No more freckles, no soft lines to reveal her personality and no playful wisps of hair floating in her eyes.

Now you tell me how that kind of phony picture is more beautiful than reality?!

Yet another problem of the world we are living in. I’d like to go back in time and slap the fool who started the whole airbrushing craze. Now thanks to this app, you too can look just like the girl on the cover of a magazine. The completely unrealistic, professionally retouched, elongated here, slimmed down there version of what a woman should look like.

No. Thank. You.

I prefer to get my standard for beauty from the Bible:

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.” (SOS 4:7)

Those creases around your eyes…evidence that you laugh often, not a flaw.

The stretch marks that reach around your hips & creep down your thighs…reminders of the miracle of life that came from your body, not a flaw.

The wild hair that gets frizzy & unmanageable when it rains…a unique feature you inherited from your grandma, not a flaw.

The abundance of freckles, too numerous to count…yeah, I love freckles, not a flaw.

Every part of you is a lovely reminder of what an awesome, creative God we serve. All so uniquely different & yet the same- beautiful, treasured, valued, irreplacable- just as we are.

Here’s one final thought for you, my paraphrase of 1 Peter 3:3-4:

Rather than worry yourself over the latest hairdo, makeup trends & fashion faux pas. Instead of looking in the mirror in disgust at the cellulite dimples, spidery veins & bags under your eyes. Just maybe, it’d be better to concern yourself with what is on the inside making its way out. Your words, your thoughts, your service to others, the love of God pouring out of a willing vessel…these are the things that make you radiant, not the newest shade of lipstick or the hair product that cements every hair in place.

(This is not an actual translation but can be filed under Valerism should you need a reference.)2f07e870b6a1e1d9fb2ff4e39cf46f86

 

~What You See Vs. What The World Sees~ May 14, 2013

This past Sunday, as part of the Mother’s Day message, we were shown a video produced by Dove.  In this video, women were asked to sit behind a sketch artist who then drew them based on their descriptions of themselves.  He did not see their faces beforehand, he only had their words to go on.  They were also asked to get to know one of the other women from the study.  Then they sat behind the same sketch artist and answered the same questions about the other woman.

The outcome was astounding.  When the two photos were placed side by side, it was obvious that the women did not see themselves in the same light that others did.  The self-descriptive photos showed a less attractive version of the same woman whose beauty shone through in the sketch based on someone else’s words.

It was upsetting to see just how harshly we women judge ourselves.  When we look in the mirror, we see every flaw: a crooked nose, a pimpled chin, crows feet at the corners of our eyes.  We are so focused on all the things we don’t like about appearance that we cannot see the beauty that lies in our individuality.  When others look at us, they see our hearts, not our flaws.  While we are busy critiquing ourselves, others are admiring us for who we truly are.  Why is it that we can see the beauty in others but refuse to see it in our own reflections?

It made me think of how many times someone has given me a compliment and I have quickly shot them down.  My husband tells me all the time how beautiful he thinks I am.  Instead of hearing the love in his words, I come back with comments like, “I look awful today!” or “You have to say that, we’re married.”  When someone praises me for being a good mother, I have been guilty of thinking to myself, “if only they knew how many mistakes I have made just this week, would they still think so highly of me?”

I don’t know why so many of us are hard on ourselves but what I do know is that is not how God intended for us to live.  Every feature that we despise about our appearance was created by the hand of God.  By fussing about all that we find fault with, we are insulting Him!

“He has made everything beautiful in its own time.”

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

That includes us too.  Everything that God created is a work of art, each one magnificent in its own way.  Try to see yourself as your loved ones see you, or better yet, the way God sees you.  Watch this video and you will see precisely what I mean.

“I will praise you because I, (insert your name here), am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, and that includes me.  Now I know that full well.”

(Psalm 139:14-made personal)