Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Unfading Beauty

About 3 years ago I started on a journey.  A journey of being healthier and happier.  And 3 years later I've done that but not at all in the way I had expected.

You see, 3 years ago I joined Plexus.  I used it, sold it, lost weight, and felt better.  And in some weird way, I thought this would make everything about life better.

Can I be honest with you?

It didn't.

The truth is, I think we can become so focused on how we look that it starts becoming an idol in our lives.  What's the scale say?  Did I take my supplements?  How many calories did I consume today?  Did I exercise long enough and hard enough?  Is what I'm eating healthy?  Low carb, high protein?  What about gluten and dairy free?  Maybe I should try that.  Did I drink 100 ounces of water?  I wonder if I've worked hard enough to eat cake at the birthday party.  Have I done measurements lately?  What about adding coconut oil or apple cider vinegar.  

And life quickly becomes all about stuff that's not necessarily bad but that can become bad when it consumes your thinking and way of life.

I've had to take a step back from a lot groups and things that have aided me in focusing on lesser things.

Because at the end of the day, life isn't about what I look like.  It won't make one difference when I die if I was a size 0 or a size 10.  What will matter is how I invested my life in others.

And before you start thinking this is a post bashing Plexus, it isn't.  I love Plexus.  I've met some truly incredible people as a result.  And I'm still taking some of their products and I still sell it, although I don't actively promote it anymore.  I love MLM and direct sale companies and truth be told, if I'm going to buy something, I'd prefer to (and do) buy it from a friend and help them out.

But here's my issue.  I think I need clearer skin.  I buy what I think will help.  I need thicker hair.  I buy some shampoo and conditioner that's supposed to do the trick.  I need better makeup.  Then I need whiter teeth and less cellulite.  And I need some cute polish or designs for my nails.  I need ALL the cute jewelry and purses to go with it.  And I need something for these crows feet and dark circles and and and.....

..... it never ends.  There's always something vying for my attention - trying to tell me that how I am isn't good enough or that I could be better if I just had _____.

And I'm tired of believing that lie.

I've been doing a study on I Peter for the past several weeks.  And over and over again I keep reading how true beauty isn't from outward appearances.  It's not how our hair looks or the way we dress or the size of pants we wear.

But rather true beauty is found from having a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of GREAT worth in God's eyes.  And not only that, it's unfading (I Peter 3:3-4).  True beauty never fades.

Soak that in sweet friends.

My focus has been all wrong.  I have made the lesser the priority instead of cultivating what Christ says is true beauty.  Maybe you have too.

And maybe you echo with me: "I'm done!".

At the end of my life I want it to have mattered because I loved well.  Because I shared Christ with people.  Because I made a difference by serving and giving of myself.  I want to finish on empty - having given my all.

Not having worried about myself.

Is exercise bad?  No.  Is healthy eating bad?  No.  Are supplements bad?  Nope.  Are any of the things I mentioned wrong?  No.

Not unless you've given them too much room in your life.  If they've become your focus, your idol, your priority.

And that's where I've been.

Am I heavier than I was 2 years ago?  Yes.  But I'm learning more and more that it's okay.  I can exercise and eat pretty good and let God worry about the rest.  My body just won't respond how it used to.  I wish it would.  Oh how I wish it would.  But all the doctors and appointments and tests and money spent.....  it's all been for what?  So I can look a certain way.  And really friends, it's hard to admit that.  Sometimes you can only do so much until it becomes futile.

I'm there.

And I'm telling you today I'm surrendering.  I'm letting it go.  Am I giving up on this healthy and happier stuff?  Not really.  I'll still run 30 minutes every day and lift my weights and do my squats and pushups and planks.  I'm still planning on watching what I eat and limiting sweets. I just refuse to allow it to occupy more time and space in my life than things of eternal significance.  I'm refusing to make it the greater when it's really the lesser.  So much less than what really matters.

You know, when my husband can lay in bed beside me and say "No one ever has, does, or will make me feel like you do."..... that's all I need.  He has loved me at every size possible.  And now it's time that I love myself like that too.  That I see myself as Christ does.

So, go buy all.the.things from your friends.  Support them.  Love them.  But at the end of the day, realize what's really important is that Christ shines in and through you.  Put the majority of your effort into cultivating the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth.

It's invaluable.  So are you sweet friends.

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