Beauty isn’t everything.

Beauty is, in fact, in the eye of the beholder.

But one thing I learned from studying the Song of Songs is that God appreciates beauty, regards beauty, and doesn’t ignore beauty either, so neither should I.

I think for too long I vacillated between buying all the nice things or wanting all the nice things to stuffing my desire for beautiful things and being beautiful way deep down. I confused appreciation with coveting because the line felt dangerously close. And it was, it is.

Biblical Truth: Anything God makes for good, Satan will try to distort.

Fighting Satan’s ridiculousness doesn’t mean running from beauty and beautiful things though. It means embracing it fully, while asking God, seeking God, imploring God, receiving God, and hearing from God, in His Word. This is what you’ll find if you study the Song with me:

Not one thing beautiful exists on this earth, without God’s hand in it.

So, to celebrate that fact. I thought I would share with you a few of the things that make me feel beautiful. When I put these things on, when I hold them in my hand, I am reminded not of how much I don’t have, but of all I have and Who provides it. Things can be like that, valuable, without becoming little gods for us to worship. They can point us to all that He has given us and all that He has redeemed for us. Most often these things are connected to people, because people matter more every time.

I’m going to limit myself to beautiful things you’ll see a glimpse of in the Altogether Beautiful video segments, or you’d end up with a post that goes on for days.

Beautiful thing #1 –

Giant, colorful, soft leather earrings

My friend, Jen, makes these earrings. I would still love them if they weren’t made by her, but I know they make me feel beyond beautiful because of her. She taught me that a pop of color can make an ordinary day just a hint more spunky and fun. I like that they aren’t totally hidden in my mass of dark unruly hair. They aren’t heavy and burdensome either. There is enough heavy and burdensome in life without earrings to heave around.

I also love that they are designed by hands that care for a family, hands that serve the Lord, and hands that carefully select quality leathers considering the hands that dyed them and softened them around the globe.

Jen, who has been there for me in my finest and in my darkest is altogether beautiful and so is her work. You’ll see Designs by Jennilyn earrings in six out of eight Altogether Beautiful videos!

I have managed to get my sisters and most of their friends slightly addicted to these earrings as well. If you’re intrigued, here’s the link:

Designs by Jennilyn on Etsy

Beautiful thing #2 –

Shirts that proclaim things that matter

I could buy t-shirts for days…it’s true. I’d rather be in a good pair of jeans, Converse, and a t-shirt than anything else, including my pajamas (most of the time). I like my t-shirts to be meaningful, to create conversation. I remember the early days of college, connecting with someone on the first day of classes because I was sporting a St. Louis Blues shirt:

“Do you bleed blue?”

“I DO bleed blue! Are you from St. Louis?”

And that’s all it takes to get a conversation off and running. There are even better shirts out there than sports teams and (let’s be honest) the seven Star Wars shirts I have on my t-shirt shelf. The best shirts do more than those ever could. In the Altogether Beautiful videos, you’ll see my grey shirt with “Faith” written in script and the T creating a clear cross in the middle. It’s striking, modern, and fresh. My friend and fellow social worker and advocate, Kristy and her business partner, sell these shirts on their website, Comfortably Kind. A minimum of twenty percent of the profits go to help local charities, military families, cancer awareness and other things that matter. I super love that and it makes me feel beautifully connected to others when I know we’re working toward something together.

Check out  Comfortably Kind!

Beautiful thing #3 –

Red mug, warm beverage

My youth group in Ohio gave me this mug. There is a long story behind it, but suffice it to say that there are few physical objects in the world that make me feel as loved as this mug. The only physical thing to hold court with it for a piece of my heart is my fifteenth-anniversary band of chocolate diamonds from my husband.

Beverages with people, conversation with people – those are the best moments of life.

It’s just a mug. If it broke, I won’t lose those relationships, but life happens, people move, youth grow up, and hearts ache to be connected. My big red mug reminds me to treasure up every moment in my heart, embrace every relationship even when they’re hard, and call, text, and invite-in more every day because life is short and love is worth the energy.

What is beautiful in your life?

What little things make you feel beautiful?

Thank you for sharing with me and listening to me. You are #altogetherbeautiful with or without any of the things, but may they remind you of how Altogether Beautiful you are to Him.

14 thoughts on “”

  1. I have 2 pair of those lovely earrings and I am wearing some sweet silver ones today! I’m also a fan of “word” shirts, and my slightly funky leggings make me feel youthful and beautiful. Discovering, as I inch toward 50, that beauty is rooted in the eyes of the Father, that wrinkles are cute, and laughter is the sound of beauty within.

  2. Love this!

    Something that makes me feel beautiful that I never thought would are my grey hairs. Most of them aren’t too wiry, and they’re an almost-white sort of grey. Their color contrasts starkly with the rest of my brown hair.

    It’s strange, because I struggled with them for years…but I think I’m getting close to loving them. It’s been the work of sweet friends and strangers alike saying that they look nice, and also just accepting the stress and day-to-day that caused them. It’s all been part of my spiritual-growth story, and so the greys are growing on me–literally and figuratively!

  3. This isn’t theological at all…but I’ve always found useful things to be beautiful – a good working tool (like the carved wooden spoon that was my grandmother’s, worn smooth by time and countless stews) – or a sturdy pair of jeans – or my nearly worn out rocking chair which has rocked dozens of babies in its span of a hundred plus year)…and conversely I find things with conventional beauty – a flower, a sunset, a grandchild’s smile – to be useful simply because of their beauty – God-created, God-gifted beauty to us!

    1. Mary Anne, I love that recognition of the beauty in usefulness. I think that’s just so real and beautiful to see it in the worn from use, well loved, gifted for a purpose things. Thank you!

  4. I feel beautiful when my daughter cuts my hair. She has been doing so exclusively for about 17 years now, not because she has to , but she wants to and takes pride in doing so. We now live nearly three hours apart and she won’t allow anyone else to cut my hair-it definitely keeps us connected in a loving way. And I get a beautiful cut!

    My red glasses make me feel beautiful! I got them 3 years ago and they are my trademark now. Once in awhile I get the dated “Sally Jessie” comment, but I wear no makeup and they make my face glow with color!

    My knitting makes me feel beautiful! The beautiful creations I make are not only therapeutic but they bring joy to me and those who receive them. I lead a group of knitters at church to make remembrance blankets for siblings who have a brother or sister who didn’t make it home from the NICU. We had 2 grand babies who went to be with Jesus and providing this support to children dealing with grief make me feel beautiful and blessed!

    1. It is something to have your hair cut, the touch of another person’s hands lovingly crafting beauty on your head. It’s intimate. I love that your daughter does it. So beautiful! My friend and I were just talking about the bigger the better sunglasses. I told her how they made me feel close to my mom who wore the “Sally Jessie” style when I was growing up. I think clever and creative glasses are the best. I’m sure you wear them well!

    2. Thanks for making those blankets! I have 2 children in heaven, one who didn’t come home from NICU. God be with you!

      1. You are welcome! It brings me joy. I think about our littles while knitting them. Then our daughter wraps them and places a prayerful note in each one as the Mom of the two we have in heaven. A labor iof love for both of us.

  5. I have some fun earrings and necklaces that make me feel beautiful. Also clothes that are blue or have blue in them. I love blue! It’s also fun to use things that I keep just for me – pens, cups, etc. Just makes you feel special. PS My husband thinks I’m beautiful and says so. 🙂

  6. beautiful sentiments; I hold onto similar memories & “things”, but never thought about these making me more beautiful! Frankly, I don’t ever feel beautiful. Focusing on God and His Word make me feel better on the inside, though, and perhaps that makes me more beautiful on the outside. 🙂

    1. His Word does give us new focus. And it shines through each of us uniquely. I pray that of you pick up Altogether Beautiful it will give you a new appreciation of just what God declares beautiful about you – physically even! If you don’t get to read it, I’ll pray He brings that knowledge to you in another way. I know absolutely that you are altogether beautiful, created and saved by Him.

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