Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back When I Was Blond.

I came across this picture the other day. We were in Oregon for a family vacation. That's our precious niece Elizabeth, my name sake. OK fine. She's actually named after Elizabeth Bennett, but I like to claim her anyway.

Practically I look at that picture and I think, "Wow. You looked skinny. And why don't you still have blond hair? That looked good."

But emotionally I look at that picture and think, "I'm so glad I'm me now, and not me then."

You see, "me then" was trying really hard. She was highlighting her hair, working out all the time, and worrying about how she looked when she passed by full length windows.

The ironic thing is that "me now" is 15 pounds heavier. I should be trying even harder. But the "me now" has lopped off all her hair and forsaken highlights. The "me now" is usually running places (late) so fast she doesn't even realize she's passing by a full length window and things are shaking where they shouldn't shake.

(Don't you like all that third person business?)

Anyway. What I'm trying to get at is that after being pregnant a burden lifted. It was like gaining weight and getting a puffy face freed me from worrying about how I looked. What I'd always dreaded had happened (getting fat) and all of a sudden I realized I was free. I was free to focus on what really mattered. My marriage. Writing. A precious baby sent from God.

Is it wrong to care about how we look? Goodness no. But when we spend more time thinking about our appearance than our purpose, that's when things become imbalanced. The Bible reminds us that God only cares about our hearts.

1 Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Back when I was a blond I looked better. But I didn't feel great. I'm so happy to be me, now. I'm so happy my thoughts are filled with book ideas and Jane and Matt and Mabel and daffodils instead of highlights and shopping trips and running and sit ups. I'm happy that the Lord reminded me of my purpose and distracted me from my appearance.

Besides, Matt thinks I make a way better brunette.