Beauty is only skin-deep.

My mom, (and yours too, I bet) always said: “Beauty is only skin deep.” In other words, cultivate the inner beauty, not just what others see. Wise words for sure, but you don’t realize how wise until you are much older.

As a young girl, I begrudgingly remembered to have manners and be kind, but I was pretty enough–not drop dead gorgeous, just symmetrical enough–to slide in under the wire. If I made a mistake and apologized quick with a little lash flutter, I was often excused for any perceived transgression.

Now that I am older, I understand better what mom meant. But let’s face it (pun intended), after five plus decades of gravitational pull, skin-deep beauty is a real process. Cover the age spots, use bondo on the wrinkles, and spritz on artificial color and glow!

Basically, I re-excavate my face every day trying to look like I did 40 years ago.

Symmetry is hard to achieve

but much more accessible than beauty. Why? For symmetry (thank you, God), there is medical intervention. There is Botox.

But hey you, with your youthful good looks? Do me a favor, and don’t start yet. Give us in the older generations a running start!

Botox is not for the young. It is for those of us whose eyebrow has fallen and it can’t get up. No, not plural eyebrows. Just one! If aging happened symmetrically, we could all age gracefully with little or no complaint. But it doesn’t happen all at the same time. So most of us go kicking and screaming. Straight to the med-spa.

And there is more gravitational elusiveness

Yes. Gravitational pull would not be complete with a discussion about ‘undergarments.’ The girls are basically housed in full Kevlar body armor all day so no one sees what a 36 long really looks like. Or how gravity affects the drooping skin on the torso. The cruel joke is that the lady who created Spanx didn’t need it as badly as we who are a generation older than her. But we wear them, and suffer in them trying to look like her generation.

Nothing is going to change gravitational pull, years of pregnancy and nursing, and yo-yo weight gains and losses.

So, younger, smarter women: while you can, flaunt the girls because one day, you will just wish you could put them back where they belong without all the binding and gasping. You will just have to trust me on this one.

Beauty is only skin deep.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment [take that, Mac and Sephora and Spanx!], 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

Cultivating the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is only done when we care more about others than ourselves. We practice that (without thinking) as moms every day, but then one day, all of a sudden, we have…time.

“What is this slow pace? This margin I have created? I think I’ll go do my hair and makeup.”

And then we look in the mirror and realize, we don’t look the same as we did when we were young. We’ve still “got it” but we have to work harder to show it. It is a little…unfulfilling.

We need to express our inner self in a way that helps us recognize our beauty through God’s eyes. For most of us, that will be expressed through service.

Enter a younger, tired mom

Even through her exhaustion, she looks pretty. The comparisons start and even in a full face-load of makeup and perfectly messy hair, you know you will never compete with her youth, sparkle and messy mom-bun.

But here’s where we do sparkle

In the middle of a bunch of young, beautiful people who need to know deep truths about God, and life, and love, and holding on to truths, friendships, marriages and promises. YOU sparkle!

You know that stuff, don’t you? You have lived it for a lot of years. You have learned the lessons. You have experienced the peace of God that transcends the trouble. THAT is the secret to your inner beauty.

And your inner beauty has never been more needed or important than it is today.

This is the counter-balance to the gravitational pull of our bodies. When we find worth in our inner beauty, we will no longer come up short in the silent competition between women for who looks the best. Let everyone else win!

God sees your heart. And it is so much more beautiful! And your inner beauty has the power to change the world so much more than good looks!

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