Engaged: Beautiful Outside

If I had $1 for every comment on my portraits that said “Beautiful inside and out” I could buy a brand new camera. I get what is being said and I love that my work reveals inner and outer beauty but I am going to give a new definition to “beautiful outside”. Everything we are comes from Christ. Our “outer beauty” is His image and it goes without saying.  We are all beautifully designed to be unique creations. It’s our conduct that truly makes us beautiful… or not.

My grandmother used to tell me I was “being ugly”. Outer beauty is a result of engaging with Jesus in the areas of submission, service, simplicity, and solitude.

Rebellion against God is ugly.

The opposite of submission to God and His word is rebellion. Sister, if you are feeling a distance from God, it may be that submission is your next move. Remember, rebellion is what got Satan and his demons kicked out of the presence of God. A rebellious spirit looks like hatefulness, misery, violence, impatience… see where this leads? It’s ugly. Submission to the Lord makes us strong women IN Him – beautiful!

Refusal to serve God is ugly.

The opposite of service is simply seeing a need and refusing to do anything about it. This one can really get us. We are perfectly capable of meeting most of the needs we see every day. God has given us everything we need to pick up after ourselves, to do the work we are called to do, and to simply be kind to those around us. Often when we think about service we think of needs God has not called us to meet. The devil is tricky! He will point out a massive problem and pull on your heart which brings a sense of hopelessness because you can’t feed an entire nation. All the while the kid next door isn’t getting dinner and you’ve got more than enough to share. What we must remember about service is to stay focused on Jesus and follow his gaze. He will show you what he wants you to do. You’ll know. Service makes us competent women IN Him – beautiful!

Complexity CAN be ugly.  Confusion IS ugly.

There is a beauty in complexity but when complex situations are confusing it can get ugly if the parts are not all being moved in accordance with God’s will. We’ve all benefited from simple messages proclaimed by a minister on a Sunday morning but we are well aware of the complexities of ensuring Sunday morning services happen every week. This complexity is beautiful simply because all the moving parts are being moved by ONE. As a body of believers we MUST focus on Jesus to keep complexity beautiful. But as individuals interacting with others on a day to day basis we love others well when we surround ourselves with simplicity. Simplicity is having just what you need and no more. Simplicity will look different on different personalities so we must be careful not to judge based on our own needs. What would require a huge amount of attention and maintenance for you may be quite easy for her to manage. Simplicity makes us classy women IN Him – beautiful.

Clamor is ugly.

You can be in a crowd of 10,000 and still be in beautiful solitude with Jesus. We are not talking about living a lonely life. This is about focus on Jesus. God told us very early on in Genesis, “it is not good for man to be alone”. He gives us each other as helpers, we are his ambassadors, his body at work here until he returns. Solitude is about resting in his presence no matter where you are. Solitude is a challenge for a mom with little ones or college student in the middle of a busy campus or a manager overseeing a major project but it is not impossible. Solitude greatly affects our countenance. A full house at Thanksgiving will challenge our solitude. A hostess engaging in solitude will know exactly what time every dish will be ready, who is at her house, what is on television, where everyone is sitting and completely calm and joyful as she goes about her work. You will know the hostess who needs some solitude if you see her. Solitude makes us peaceful women IN Him – beautiful.

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