Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

If You Want to Grow More Beautiful Each Year

55 Comments

Grow More BeautifulWouldn’t it be wonderful if we could drink a magic potion to become more beautiful? What woman wouldn’t want an elixir for erasing blemishes, wrinkles, and extra weight? My 5 year old neighbor, who wears a princess crown, dreams of being beautiful. My mother-in-law, who visited the hair salon every week until she died at age 90, always cut an elegant figure. That longing to be attractive must be part of being a woman.

When I was a kid, the girls on our block would put on makeup and fancy dresses to play beauty pageant. I dreamed of being Miss America. My mother taught me that true beauty came from inner confidence. I believed her when she said a woman who felt beautiful WAS beautiful, at any age. I even said I’d never dye my hair because I didn’t like the message it gave: “To be beautiful, you have to look young.”

Then I turned 45.

Suddenly I started aging more quickly than ever. I looked in the mirror and noticed the smile lines around my eyes and on my cheeks. And when the gray streak at my temples spread throughout my hair, I ran out and bought a box of Miss Clairol.

Every woman wants to feel beautiful

I read once that women reach the height of their beauty at age 31, but if that’s true, what hope does that leave for the rest of us? Maybe the world’s definition of beauty points us in the wrong direction. We see it plastered all over the media: thin, young women with perfect makeup and hair. When we measure ourselves against them, we can end up feeling less than lovely.

What if that longing to be beautiful is from God?

What if God placed in each woman a longing to be beautiful, but it’s really pointing her towards Himself? In God’s sight we’re never more beautiful than when we reflect Him and his character to the world around us. 1 Peter 3:4-6 explains what kind of beauty God wants for His daughters:

Inner Beauty Scripture

This passage gives me hope.  Although our outer beauty might diminish as we grow older, our INNER beauty can actually increase as we learn how to give God’s Spirit more control over our lives.

Challenge to Grow More Lovely

If I really want that gentle, gracious beauty that God delights in, I have to cultivate it day by day by choosing to say “yes” to God and “no” to my sinful nature. Honestly I’m not sure what inner beauty looks like when I’m racing to get lunch after a busy home school morning. One kid says, “Mom, we’re tired of soup.” While the other one says, “I don’t want a chicken sandwich.”  Believe me, I don’t feel so lovely during moments like those!

But I know that every time we choose a smile over snapping back, every time we breathe deep and count to 10 instead of exploding, we’re saying yes to God’s work in us. No magic potion can make us more attractive, but God’s Word gives us a recipe for beauty:

We can grow more beautiful each year by making daily choices to say yes to God's work in us.

As we make daily choices to cultivate these qualities, we grow to resemble more fully our Beautiful Creator.

Now it’s your turn: Do you ever wish you had a magic beauty potion? Which of these qualities do you most long for?

Linking up with Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesdayKelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup,   Holley Gerth’s Coffee for your Heart, Suzanne Eller’s #livefreeThursday, and Arabah Joy’s Grace and Truth.  Check out these communities for more encouragement.

LIVEFREETHURSDAY

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

55 thoughts on “If You Want to Grow More Beautiful Each Year

  1. Hello friend, I love this! But you don’t look 45! Your tips are great. Unfortunately, we live in a world that believes “Image Is Everything”.
    I would add to your list *Smiles and Laughter makes you look younger too*. I think so.
    Blessings to you

    • Oh, I’m 51, Ifeoma! Left 45 in the dust a long time ago. Yes, smiling definitely makes us more beautiful! (By the way, friend, I’ve tried to visit your blog, but I get a strange message: “This site is dangerous.” I can’t find you on Twitter to let you know…

  2. Lovely reminder that it’s our inner beauty we should ascribe to not the outer beauty. We’ll never be 31 again, but we can grow lovelier every year by tending to our hearts.

  3. In my line of work, this is called a “redirect” and it’s highly effective!! : ) Love this. Thanks, Betsy!

  4. Remember Lucy in (I think) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader? She was looking through a book of magic spells and was tempted to cast one that would make her beautiful.
    This is certainly a tough one because we all struggle with self-esteem issues, and in these days when it takes me twice as long to look half as good, it would be tempting to despair, but let’s pray that the Spirit’s beautification of our inner-woman will make up for the losses that are evident in the outer-woman!

  5. I love your challenge to become more lovely, Betsy. Especially after hitting 60 this summer. {Gasp!}

    Lovely beats pretty. Any day of the week.

    Your words have encouraged me today, girl …

  6. I turned 45 this summer and it seems the wrinkles and gray hair popped up overnight! This touched me so deeply and resonated within me and was something God knew I needed to “hear” today! Thank you for this beautiful reminder of our true source of beauty–our Father in heaven who always looks at the condition of our heart and brings radiance from within! I absolutely love the quote from Linda, “Lovely beats pretty” that may be my new motto ❤

    • Oh Michele, my heart goes out to you! I’m 51 now, so I’ve gotten used to the aging thing. But I was really kind of upset about it for a year or so, maybe when I was 47. God got me past it! Yes! “Lovely beats pretty.”

  7. This is beautiful, Betsy. And with my 56th birthday on Thursday very timely. Cultivating inner beauty with you, friend. Blessings and hugs!!

  8. Yes! I see the fine lines that mark my passage of time and wish for the magic potion at times. I also feel hope when reading the verse from 1 Peter. There is nothing like cultivating our inner beauty to shine for Jesus. Great words today, Betsy! I feel like I haven’t been here in awhile because I am in the midst of 31 days. I am blessed that I stopped by today.

  9. Oh Betsy, I struggle with this every day. I’m 57 and my aging really accelerated 50. Its scary, isn’t it. We need to hear more messages like yours.

  10. Betsy, I love this! I turn (gulp) 65 in three weeks. Yikes. I keep telling myself it’s just a number and have always believed that smiling and shining the light of God’s love is truly what makes a woman beautiful. But… I’m still a bit challenged by the idea of being considered a “senior.” So, thank you my friend for encouraging me to allow the Lord to keep working on the inside and focusing on what lasts forever. God bless you!

  11. Amen to that Betsy! I’m a year behind you. I just colored my grey temple streaks yesterday, ha ha. I’m so glad that God’s recipe for true beauty is different than the worlds!

    • Did you really Valerie! Well, good for you! Even though inner beauty is what’s truly important, a little feeling more beautiful on the outside doesn’t hurt, does it?

  12. I think I’ve been blessed with good outward genes in that I’m told I look younger than my 40 years, but it’s the feeling old that gets me! I love your encouragement to say yes to God. That’s a choice that never gets old.

  13. YES. Needed to hear this today. Getting close to 40 has made me insecure at times. You don’t even realize when you’re young how much identity you find in being pretty…until you see it slipping away! 😦 But I need the encouragement to continue to develop Christ-like beauty, to VALUE this type of beauty above any outward beauty. As I think about the women I know, it is certainly true that the ones I immediately think of when you say “beautiful women”, are the ones who love well (has nothing to do with how they look on the outside at all!!!). May we be that kind of beautiful. Thanks for this, Betsy!

  14. Betsy, I love this. Just yesterday, my boys were asking why girls (and women) want to be beautiful. I think you’re spot on in that it’s something intrinsic within us. When we use people as our mirrors, we’ll always feel less-than. But when we let God reflect through us, His beauty shines through. I so appreciate that reminder!! Focus on Him, not on others. 🙂

    The trait from your “list” I most want to reflect is to love well. Everyone God places in my path.

    • Amen, Jeanne. Let’s let God reflect through us. and I guess we DO do that by focusing on Him rather than on ourselves or others. I’m lifting a prayer now for God to pour out His love over you and through you! Thanks for being here today.

  15. This year I’ve been focusing on PEACE. I realized not too long ago that although I thought I had God’s peace, I was not letting it reign in my life. I would ask for peace in my prayers, but then let anxious thoughts take over almost daily. When I stay focused on claiming His peace in every situation, I am calmer and more patient! This is a wonderful post, Betsy. It blessed me!

    • Thanks Kristine. I’m going to follow your example here and pray more for peace. I think I pray more for other things, and YEP, I get all fluttered and flustered. Need more peace. 🙂 Trust.

  16. Letting go of self-centeredness to really love and care for others. That’s the quality I’m working on. And only by the grace of God! Thanks for this encouraging message, Betsy. It’s easy to get caught up in what the mirror says I am. Blessings, sweet friend!

  17. I so needed to read this. Getting older is such a fear of mine. Its hard to really explain why, lol! Today’s quiet time for me was reading the fruits of the Spirit so God definitely pointed me here today! I want to more beautiful each year! Thanks for the encouragement!

  18. Betsy, my word for 2015 is “fruit,” so I love this! Patience is probably the trait that I need most right now, and I echo Ifeoma above about smiling more. I think smiles transform a face like nothing else, and they come so much more naturally when I am allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me rather being jerked along by my own feelings and emotions!

  19. Oh yes, I wish I had that potion when I get out of bed in the morning and have circles under my eyes. 😉 Betsy, this is so good. I love that verse from 1 Peter and it really gave me pause the first time I read it. I’m a work in progress, but I’m so much gentler and peaceful when I allow space to breathe and be still before God. Thank you for this!

    • Just wait until you’re 51, Abby, those circles under your eyes will be worse. I now have not only circles, but BAGS under my eyes if I don’t sleep enough. 🙂 But yes, you have a great point. We set ourselves up to be more gentle and peaceful when we leave breathing and stillness space in our lives. Thanks for that.

  20. Thanks for this good word Betsy! I live in the south, and as I age seems some of me wants to live farther south lol. It is so true, this inner beauty thing. Outer beauty is diminished when our inner doesn’t shine. When our wrinkles shine for Jesus, the glow makes them beautiful. Love this post, and blessings to you!

  21. Thanks, Betsy! You ARE a princess!

  22. Ha! Your title for this post certainly caught my eye! ; ) Yes, of course I want that potion! These are wise words that you’ve shared here, thank you. I think I could use more of all of those fruits of the Spirit, particularly more patience.

  23. This post (and you) are beautiful! The cultivation the Father longs to do in us takes time and patience. Phooey on 31 years! 🙂

  24. Wise words, Betsy! I want to resemble Jesus more and more as I age. As for which fruit, I’d like to see more of in my life, I do want them all but I think Peace is more vital than ever in today’s world.

  25. Betsy, you are truly a lovely person inside and out. I have known you for several years and you are truly one of God’s jewels. As for me, I am trying to forget the wrinkles and all my body parts that sag and bag. I have sudden found myself 83 years old and having to embrace a new faze of life. This will come to all of us but somehow it always seems far off, but before you know it , with children and all the things that go with it plus trying to be a good Christian, good mother, good wife and good whatever else you have on your plate. And with it sometimes it is with much struggle. I would have liked to have done it with grace and love but have failed to do so. My husband died this year a whole new ball park after over 60 years of marriage. I would like to say I had taken it well but it was and still is the hardest thing I have had to face. I am tired of struggling so I have come to the place of giving it up. I have said To the Lord the things I know. “Lord.I know you love me. So I have given up trying to be a good Christian, and you are going to have to do it in me. I am tired. I am yours. Take me as I am. I pu t my trust in you, not anything or anyone else. Mary Carry

  26. This is so lovely, Betsy. It brought 2 Cor. 4:16 to mind: “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” While some days I feel more like I’m “wasting away” than others, the truth is that these “tents” we’re dwelling in aren’t meant to be a source of glory for us, but stewardship and service. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Grace & Truth!

  27. I loved this post Betsy. This was also a question I had when I believe the Lord gave me His beauty treatments, to prepare me for Him. Just as Esther prepared with beauty treatments to meet her king. The beauty treatments God gave me are for the inner us. I wrote about them in my book. This is definitely where my passion lies. http://Www.innerbeautytreatments.com

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