Tuesday, May 5, 2015

so much more than "pretty"... maternity outfit and thoughts post


 Navy Blue Dress ~ Walmart
Lace Vest ~  gah!  I can't remember for certain!
Sandals ~ Walmart
Butterfly Earrings ~ zoo gift shop in Indiana

"This is about my own some-day daughter.  When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity, begging "Mom, will I be pretty?" I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer, "No.  The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.
You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing.  But you will never be merely... pretty"."

~  Kate Makkai

I first began struggling with physical insecurity around the age of 13. 
Before that time I was just Rachel: the girl who loved horses, writing poetry, dressing like a fairy-princess, reading (a lot), and being with my family and friends. I never once wondered if I was pretty. I was simply me.

Then I joined a youth group in a new town and was bombarded with girls obsessed with their weight, their skin, their clothes... I came home each week, wondering more and more about the flaws I now saw in myself. I had always liked being tall, but now I was awkward and broad-shouldered. Suddenly instead of the girl with the blue eyes and smile I was the one with that new zit and un-plucked eyebrows. My clothes no longer made me happy, they only screamed my flaws.

And it has taken me years to recover.

Through everything I was blessed with parents who never saw me as anything but a wondrous beauty and a Heavenly Father who continued to show me His incredible love for every single part of me, simply because He created me. He is still showing me this.

I have a daughter inside of me now, kicking me and filling me with so much joy. I've seen little black-and-white ultrasound pictures of her and she is beautiful... but I knew that before seeing her. She is my child. She will never be anything to me but beautiful-beyond-measure.  And, more than any physical beauty the Lord could give her, I want her to be gracious, creative, loving, wise, and... beyond all else... a child of God.
And through all of her growing and failing and trying and learning, she will always be precious to me.

This crazy love I have for my little girl gives me just the smallest glimpse of how my Abba looks at me... His restored child, covered in His grace and growing in His love. Perfectly beautiful.

That is how He sees every single one of you.

I enjoy wearing makeup... but today I've wiped it off (all of it, I promise) and haven't retouched any of my pictures.  Because I don't need it to be everything God created me to be.

 "You have more to do than be weighed down by pretty or beautiful.  You are a fiery heart and a wicked brain.  Do not let your soul be defined by its shell."
~ Unknown

I want to be the mom who sees the joy from a moment captured by a picture instead of how the lighting isn't so flattering on my skin.  I want to be the mom who sees the stories that the flaws and stretch marks on my body tell and smile at their precious meaning instead of bemoaning the change.  I want to be the mom who enjoys an ice cream with my little girl without the "I'm getting so fat" comments.  I want to be the mom who commends my daughter on her growing mind and kind spirit, not just her pretty face.

This all starts with seeing myself as more than my body, my face, my shell.  I am not my 5'9'' frame, my stormy-blue eyes, my long fingers, or my ever-growing waist measurement.  

I am my Father's child.  
If I have His eyes of love, His hands of compassion, His heart of grace... what could be more truly beautiful than that?

"You don't have a soul.
You are a Soul.
You have a body."
~ C. S. Lewis



Hannah Bahler said...

Hi Rachel!

I have wanted to send you a message for a while now. I love reading your blog, and this post was especially beautiful!

Thanks for sharing your heart and I hope that the rest of your pregnancy goes well! Little girls are thee most amazing gift! We are truly blest!


Rachel said...

This was such a beautiful post, Rachel - I'm struggling with this too, and being pregnant makes it harder of course! But you are so right on!! Thanks for the encouragement.

Natasha Atkerson said...

You're a constant inspiration to me, lady!
Keep shining for Jesus beautiful sister.
A modest fashion blog : www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

Sarah Rega said...

That quote from Kate Makkai just took my breath away with its beauty - thank you for sharing her (and your) words of wisdom, Rachel! I look forward to each and every one of your posts.

happyinheels blog said...

I think I have the same dress only it is striped and I shortened it to knee length because I was too tall for it! Haha.
Looking good!