I recently returned from a wonderful weekend getaway with my husband. We spent our weekend at a campground near the beach, and had a fabulous time. We spent our time soaking in the sun by the pool, eating hot dogs and s’mores, attending a concert at the campground, and playing a game of Risk (I won!). It was refreshing to have a change of scenery and spend some good quality time together not distracted by electronics and our usual daily activities. I love going on vacations for those reasons, but there is something I enjoy far more when I go out of town…I leave most of my makeup behind.Honestly, most of our vacations are spent by pools or oceans, so what good is makeup when I’m slathering on sunscreen anyway? A few years ago when I was putting on my BB cream before heading to the pool, it seemed like such a waste, so I decided to forget about it. It took some courage to walk down to the pool and not feel like everyone was staring at my blemishes that first day. But every day got easier, my husband told me I looked beautiful, and boy did I feel relaxed! What a relief it is to not be burdened with applying eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara every day!
From that time on, I decided to not worry so much about my appearance and enjoy myself while on vacation. I spent a lot of time contemplating why I did the things I did. Was I wearing makeup to make myself feel better, or was it for others’ approval? Was I using makeup to enhance my beauty, or did I feel I had to wear it to become beautiful? These are questions I started asking myself. Don’t get me wrong- I love makeup just as much as any other girl. It’s hard for me to not pick up the newest tube of mascara when it hits the stores! But I had to decide if it was worth obsessing over, and I decided it wasn’t. Now, there are days I walk into Wal-Mart wearing only a layer of tinted moisturizer and lip gloss and I feel great. Of course, there are still days I like to glam it up and bring out the Urban Decay. The difference is I wear it because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.This weekend, I went to the bathhouse to get a shower and there were 5 young girls getting dressed. Let me remind you we were at a campground, ok? These girls were blowing drying and flat ironing their hair!! I had to wait for a shower stall to come available, and this poor girl stood there applying powder to her face the entire time I waited. She was so beautiful already, and I’m sorry I did not tell her that. I felt so sad for these young girls since they could not relax in their natural beauty, even while camping.
When I got back home, I ran across an article about the song “Try” by Colbie Caillat. This song has beautiful lyrics, and the video is astounding. It shows beautiful women taking off their makeup, and guess what? They are still beautiful! Unfortunately, our American culture makes women feel they are not accepted unless they have the right makeup, hairstyle and clothing. This video actually brought me to tears as I thought of the beautiful women in my life that are pressured to fit in by conforming to society’s definition of beauty.
If only we could look at ourselves the way our loved ones see us, or more importantly, from God’s perspective. The Bible teaches us to focus on our inward beauty. Proverbs 31:30 Says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.” (NLT Version) Ten years from now people may not remember your hair color, your weight or your clothing size, but they will remember the lifestyle you led and the way you treated others. Why don’t we spend more time becoming the person God wants us to be instead of focusing so much on our outside appearances?
I challenge you to take inventory of yourself today. In the words of Colbie Caillat’s song, “Look into the mirror, at yourself, don’t you like you?” Then walk out the door with a smile knowing that is all that matters.