Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From the Inside Out

Last year I got to meet one of my "idols."  A person who I look up to as we have walked similar paths - Liz Curtis Higgs.  I have to admit that I was almost like a tween who had heard that Justin Bieber was coming to town (I'm sure my friends would say I was the tween).  I even got a chance to meet her personally and talk to her.  

Liz and I at the Woman's Journey of Faith Convention.  Even Sam got into the action.
When you first see Liz, you may be shocked.  She's not what you would call a "small" lady, nor does she make any apologies for it.  Liz is Liz.  She's proud of who she is and she's happy.  She's comfortable with herself and who God created her to be.  She's normal, open, humble, funny, and authentic.  She's so comfortable with herself that she informed us that she had allowed herself to go grey.  However, she didn't use the word grey, she said silver, as in a "crown of silver."  She oozes God's joy, peace, grace and kindness.  She is one of the most beautiful women that I have ever met.

I long to be that woman - comfortable in her own skin; makes no apologises; oozing God's grace, love and beauty.  As I have shared previously, I've been praying for that - that my inside matches my outside.  I'm somtimes so focused on my outside too much.  I worry about what the world will see.  What I've tried to hide - my fragility; my hurts; my pains.  I don't want them to see my weaknesses, so I try to protray someone who has it all together.  Who looks good.  Building a home without a foundation.  

This week during my prayer time, I was lead to this verse:
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)
I realized that I've been spending too much time focusing on what people perceive about me and not enough time focusing on my inner self.  The self that God sees. God wants me to have a gentle and quiet spirit.  That doesn't mean that I become a door mat or dishrag, but a spirit that is totally in line with His will filled with all the gifts of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  (Gal 15: 22-23).  

I love how the Message talks about this verse "Cultivate inner beauty..."  It means that I'm going to have to work on it.  It's not just going to happen.  I have to work on my relationship with God daily through prayer and by studying His word.  Through hard work, I may just become like the beautiful Liz!

I'm joining in with Jen at Finding Heaven today for the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.


Linda said...

Yay!!!! I love this post! I, too, am learning how to love me more and more! I have learned how to NOT give a rip what others think about me. If I am only accountable to God and my family, then it doesn't matter what others think. I love me! I am who I am and I make no apologies! I love people like Liz!! True freedom comes when we can be who we are created to be!!! Love you!

Cindy Bultema said...

Love, love, love your post Michelle! Thank you for your authenticity and vulnerability. In the world we live in, if we're going to cultivate inner beauty (and not just outer) ~ it's going to take intentionality, focus, and determination. I admire your commitment and determination to not just know the Truth, but to walk it out! You go girl!
Love to you
Cindy :)

P.S. You are BEAUTIFUL ~ inside and out :)

pinks said...

This made me cry. My brand new son is almost 4 months old. The father rejected me, and I have been so caught up with why he didn't love me that I've been distracted from God. One of my fixations has been the extra weight and stretched out tummy. Thank you for your post. Thank you for the reminder of the inner beauty God gives us. I am so thankful for His love!!

Psalm 139:14

Jen said...

I got to see Liz at the Women of Joy conference, too. I love her! I love her wit, her humility. She is a beautiful person and she touched me deeply.

Your post is beautiful, honest, refreshing. I am so glad you linked up today -- I can take your words and hide them in my heart. They are a wonderful reminder of who I really aspire to be.

Andrea said...

thank you for your openness here. i think that in itself is beautiful and i admire it! i want to be that women who's comfortable with herself too. cultivating beauty... going to be thinking on that one today :)

Amy Sullivan said...

Oh, I long to be that woman too...comfortable in my own skin and apologing for nothing. Some days I think I'm there, other days I know how much work I really have to do!

Anonymous said...

I too long to be that woman. I have always enjoyed LCH...now I love her even more :o)

This is a beautiful post about what so many of us long for. I was just thinking of that verse yesterday....I have learned so much this year from being quiet and learning more about gentleness.

I am so glad He loves us just where we are...and helps us grow into what He created us to be.

Graceful said...

I answer a resounding YES to this post! Thank you for this one!

Emily @ rivendellchick said...

I have never heard of Liz Curtis Higgs. It sounds like I should look her up! :)

In Raleigh our Ladies' Bible Study did a tea with the theme, "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made." One of the lessons that I walked away with was to start with praise and thanksgiving! Gratefulness is a beautiful adornment that scatters worry and criticism. I find that when I walk in thanksgiving, I'm a much more friendly person to be around, and it seems to show on my face! :)

I really enjoyed your post!

Erin said...

Michelle, I loved this post. You know what, you are that woman. Even IF ONLY for sharing your heart on this one thing. But you're beautiful anyway, too :)

I've heard of Liz before, but have never read anything of hers. She sounds like my kind of girl!!

Thanks for sharing :)



Natalie at Mommy on Fire said...

Oh, Michelle. I'm so sorry I didn't make it over to anyone on Tuesday as this week has been nuts but I am so thankful I came by today. This is a wonderful post! You are so dead-on - I love this verse, too. I'm going to put it on my bathroom mirror!

Have a wonderful weekend, Michell!

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