Don’t Feel Beautiful? The One Thing You Need to Know

The memory startled me.

I know I’m efficient. Tell me I’m beautiful.

Decades ago, the poster hung above my desk in college: I know I’m efficient. Tell me I’m beautiful!

Why did it intrude my thoughts this morning? Why had I pinned it to my bulletin board in the first place?

I don’t recall.

I do remember my heart leapt as I read my ex-boyfriend’s note: “You’re beautiful!” … and sank again because his pencil-drawn arrow pointed to the sign. Oh.

I know I’m efficient. Tell me I’m beautiful!

I’m learning to listen for God’s whisper. To pay more attention to the little epiphanies from nowhere than to the anxieties pounding in my heart.

So the blip of a distant memory made me lean in.

I know I’m efficient. Tell me I’m beautiful!

It’s the current cry of my heart. As I juggle my roles as wife, mother, teacher, daughter, daughter-in-law, step-mom … I know I’m efficient.

I track my people’s schedules, organize our 2-person chauffeur team, and send each family member with the appropriate paperwork and paraphernalia. (Almost) every time.

I know I’m efficient. But sometimes I want to feel beautiful.

You, too?

I suspect most of us want both: to be called efficient and beautiful. We want to know we’re valued for what we do, for how we contribute to our families. But we also want to know we’re beautiful. And loved.

It’s easy to think the two concepts are related. If I can be more efficient, more productive, more indispensable, then I’ll be more beautiful, more valued, more loved.

Even the quintessential Proverbs 31 Woman is described primarily by her productivity.

But the Holy Spirit whispers: What if you’re already beautiful? Already loved?

Hmmm…

What if we are already beautiful? What if we are already loved —

… before we look at our morning to-do lists?

… no matter how many items we’ve crossed off by nightfall?

… even if we no longer fit into our favorite jeans?

… regardless of the tone we used with our kids today?

I wrestle with the concept. 

My soul knows it’s true. But my heart gets caught up in the details. Look what I can do! Love me because of my skills and abilities.

But I’ve defined myself this way. My people haven’t.

My son — God bless him — doesn’t care if his mama isn’t good at cooking every night. As long as he can tell her about his latest adventures.

My husband sees my jeans are snug, but he’s glad for a partner who shares his love of Chinese food and cribbage.

And my Heavenly Father knows I don’t keep His laws perfectly. But He won’t love me more if I keep them better.

In His eyes, I’m already beautiful. And He doesn’t care one whit about my efficiency.

Let’s you and me remind ourselves of this each time we look at our calendar.

Because when we say:

I know I’m efficient, tell me I’m beautiful!

Our Amazing God, Jehovah says:

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”  (Song of Solomon 4:7)

Now that’s a poster worth hanging! 

5 Replies

  1. So fun and informative! Thank you!

    1. Kendra Burrows

      You’re so welcome, Julie!

  2. All I can say is thank you, Kendra! Beautiful message, and beautifully written.

    1. Kendra Burrows

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Cindy!

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