Oh, the joys of dieting and being self-centered. I’ve been there. From wearing clothes that were so big that I thought they would fall off, to wearing clothes that were so tight they cut off my circulation when I sat down, leaving what seemed to be permanent marks. At times people have glanced my way with compliments in their eyes, and at other times they have looked at me with a sort of quiet compassion.

From shakes for meals,  to counting calories and sitting down to many pre-measured meals, I’ve learned to appreciate every controlled bite.  Completely missing Gods blessings of feasting and enjoying food, I lost much more than weight. I’ve made a full circle from here to there and back again, repeatedly. Yet for some reason it’s becoming much more difficult to attain the goal I have set for myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve had six children, or possibly just because I am growing older.

Lately I’ve noticed how my daughters are decorated in beauty. As I stand at the mirror getting ready to go, taking time to put my makeup on, they rush in for a quick brushing of the hair, and a carefree smile of contentment. Their skin and hair are flawless. They are reminders of the youthful beauty the Bible speaks of.

I remember watching my mom get ready to go out when I was a young girl. I would watch intently as she’d brush her hair, put on lipstick , and put on her dress, one that I never thought I would be tall enough to wear. I see her still as I glance in the mirror now as a grown woman. I see her in my face and in how my dress fits around my figure.

The priorities of the world are clear. Women are to resemble the only body I’m capable of drawing – a stick figure. It is strange how such standards change over the years. There was a time when it was deemed acceptable to be a bit more curvy – a bit larger than a thin sixteen year old, which is the standard of today.

When we are young, beauty is a natural blessing from our Lord. When we become older, beauty is a result of Christ being reflected in our lives, because of the years spent feasting on His characteristics. For true beauty grows with age, from the inside out. Our focus must become less on ourselves, and more on God’s beauty.

I’ve seen many women who are growing in their years who are madly rushing about to find ways to retain their natural youthful beauty. The thick makeup, nose jobs, and trendy hair color cannot disguise what has been growing in someone’s heart through their lifetime. Any root of bitterness, cannot be hidden.

If I were to spend even half of the time on building a heart of thankfulness and joy into my character as the days go by in my life, God’s beauty would shine through.

If He truly does judge us by our hearts, why is our waistline and hair color our priority? What we are, how we live, who we serve, and who our eyes are focused on will show in those upcoming golden

As my youthful beauty seems to be poured into my girls, I will keep myself ready to reflect the beauty of God, to keep my focus on Him with a heart of gratitude. I must learn to rush by the mirror like my girls do, in order to get to what really matters, in order for me to be a mirror for the one above me.