I’ve finally come to the place where I know I am beautiful because God made me so. I’ve said those words before, but the change is that now I can honestly look in the mirror and see this body, worn from many years childbearing and childrearing, and know that the picture in the mirror is not who I am.
I am beautiful because I am beautiful.
I am not beautiful based on my figure, my hairstyle, my clothing, or my accessories. Mother always said, “Pretty is as pretty does.” She said that true beauty comes from the inside, and that if I would cultivate that inner beauty I would grow more beautiful with the years.
My mother is beautiful. When I was a little girl I used to cry happy tears over Miss America pageants, over how pretty the young women were, and I would always say, “But not as pretty as you, Mommy.” True to her word, she’s continued to cultivate the inner beauty and she is more beautiful as the years pass.
Maybe that’s what’s happening to me. Maybe I’m finally seeing the results of years of forgiveness, patience, kindness, giving, serving, and loving. Maybe the hard work of hushing my critical spirit to do what is right and put others before myself is paying an unexpected bonus. Maybe choosing to smile instead of frown really does make us prettier.
Whatever it is, it sure feels good.