Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pretty is as pretty does!

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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)

I have had an image problem every since grade school. It started when I got glasses in 5th grade. Other girls had prettier clothes, curly hair, and straighter teeth. Most of my clothes were handed down to me from my sister who was 17 months older than me. My hair was straight and my teeth were crooked.

My mom always tried her best, though, to focus on what was on the inside but still, the world tried to draw me to only what was on the outside (my appearance).

Two of my mom's favorite sayings were 1)"Beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes all the way to the bone" (meaning, just because someone might look nice they could be mean and cruel and that is what leaves a lasting impression with people, not the fact that they looked pretty on the outside) and 2)"Pretty is as pretty does" (that was usually followed up with--and because you just did that, you aren't so pretty right now).

As a mom, I have wanted to instill in my children how precious and beautiful they are. They have all heard the 1 Peter 3:3-4 verses shared above but I try at every opportunity to show them what that actually looks like in the world (even for my boys).

Recently, my daughter's basketball team had a series of basketball games they played in order to compete at the trophy level. All season, their coaches had taught them important skills to play a fair and great game of basketball as a team. In their most recent games, they truly displayed what Peter called "the unfading beauty of a gently and quiet spirit". They played well, they played fair, they knew they were to submit to their authority (coaches and referees), and I truly saw all 13 of them display true beauty.

Yes, it was difficulty when the other team broke the tie and won within the last 20 seconds of the game. The other team along with their coaches had not displayed the same fairness in play and submission to authority BUT I was so proud of how my daughter's team responded. (Not saying there weren't a few tears.) After the game, I game each girl a hug and whispered in her ear how proud I was of her.

We must all answer to a higher authority one day. What is on the inside needs to be the most important thing in our lives. We may look good on the outside but how do we respond to pressure, unfair treatment, stress... Others are watching us to see how we handle things.

Pretty is as pretty does!!! Would others be able to see that on the inside, you are truly a beautiful person by how you interact with others, encourage a friend who is struggling,...?

I want to challenge you to do some self-reflection. True beauty starts on the inside and should ooze out. Are you oozing with beauty?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Competing in the Games

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." (1 Cor. 9:24-25)

Only the best of the best even make it to the Olympics. I love listening to the stories of how various Olympic athletes have persevered and made it to the Olympic games. Often, various members of the athlete's family are interviewed. Stories of races won and races lost have gone into making that particular athlete the best they can be.

Athletic training takes lots and lots of time, energy, and money. It is important to try and get the best coach, spend hours and hours honing skills and strengthening muscles.

As a skier myself, I know a little of what it takes to actually ski down a slolam course (and survive) but clearly not at the top speeds of the world's greatest athletes. As a mom, I am trying to instill the importance of hardwork into my children. As I sit and watch the Olympics with them, we marvel at the precision of each athlete when they are competing.

As a Christian mom, I cannot help but think that ultimately, I want my children (and myself) to recognize that everyday we should be training to share Christ with others, treat others as Christ would do, and build others up in their faith. We can only do that if we have studied God's truths in scripture (just as an Olympian studies their chosen sport).

I desire to get the crown that will last forever and I desire that for each of my children. Teaching them God's Word, teaching them how to study God's Word for themselves, and then living it out daily is important for our training.

I challenge you to not only run the race Christ has set before you but do it in such as way as to win the prize--the crown Christ Himself will give us.

With love and perseverance,