October 29, 2008

"If the barn needs paintin'..." and update on Melanie

First, the update on Melanie. She is responding more to painful stimuli, which is a good sign. The latest request is prayer for Jeff and other family members, as this trial continues. As always, you can check the CarePages site for the latest word on Melanie.
Jill is back home with her family in Michigan and while she is happy to be home, she is still praying for Jeff and Melanie and their precious little ones. Many of you have checked the CarePages site, and I appreciate your prayers for this family. Y'all rock!!!

Okay, on to the barn.

How many times have I heard a preacher say, "If the barn needs paintin', then paint it", especially in connection with a woman wearing make-up? Oh, too many to count. And it has been across denominational lines, from the Baptist to the Assembly of God to the non-denominational!

So, why am I writing this blog? Because I heard a story, not sure if it is fact or fiction (and the sad part is that I can't even remember where I heard it), that gave me pause...especially being the Mom of two teenage girls!

The story relayed was about a pastor and his wife and it was said that in about 17 yrs of marriage, he had never seen her without make-up on. She would apparently rise early in the morn, wash off the previous days make-up and re-apply, all before her pastor husband awoke. Then something happened that she was not able to keep her routine...and the pastor saw her true face. The story concluded by saying that within a year, the marriage ended in divorce....more than likely because of deception!

I was telling my dear hubs about this when a question dawned on me...why can't pastors just say from the pulpit that all women are beautiful in the eyes of God. Why have they spread for years the very idea that the 'barn' may need paint??? And, do I really want to be compared to a barn?????

See, I struggle just like many other women, with being beautiful. I know that dear hubs loves me, but "You're beautiful" just can't seem to cross his lips! I know that to the worlds standards, I'm not beautiful...but do I really want to listen to the world or to what God says about me? I'm short and have always been on the heavy side...or at least felt like it! I was never 'thin'! My legs are short, of course!, and much like the lover of Solomon, I can say they look like tree trunks! My face is scarred from years of acne and the chicken pox (at 16!) and my hair looks like I comb it with a rake, unless of course, I spend money on product and time and energy getting it into 'place'! My hair is curly, which for me is another way of saying it is unruly!!!

I don't usually wear make-up, unless we are going to church or out somewhere nice, it is too expensive to use everyday. When I do wear make-up, I don't use much...enough to cover and give some color. I know dear hubs doesn't mind, because he will show up at random times of day and ask me to go somewhere with him...and he says it doesn't matter how I look! For most of our marriage, I have taken this to mean he doesn't care...about me! However, I am just now beginning to understand that it means I don't need makeup for him to love me. While he may not be able to say the words, he does find me attractive, just because I am me.

So, our youngest has fought the battle of make-up with her Dad for years! We would catch her at school wearing another friends make-up...way too heavy or the wrong colors for her! She didn't care...she just wanted to wear make-up. I always questioned how I was supposed to make her feel okay about herself, when I didn't feel okay about myself? Her Daddy kept saying she didn't need make-up, she was pretty just like she was, and I agreed....but she also saw me in my insecurity!

Well, God has used the story above and two scriptures to draw me a bit out of my insecurity...1 Peter 3:3,4 says Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. And another popular one, 1 Sam 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

In typing this out, I am beginning to see that the original change of heart began when dear hubs and I began having devos together. As we seek the Lord in unity, I am beginning to feel more attractive...even if I look like I comb my hair with a rake! Why? Because God knows my heart! Because as we come together in unity before God's throne, we both look good in our Heavenly Daddy's eyes! And boy, does hubs look good!!! (but only to me!!!)

Now before ya go tellin' me 'bout it, do I think we should look our best??? To be honest, I'm not sure how to answer that! Just like every other lady, I so enjoy getting dressed up...it makes me feel beautiful, even if no one else sees it that way! However, I desire to be beautiful, no matter what I am wearing - whether Prada or Wal-Mart...because it is not what I have on that counts...it is the heart! See, we are right back to the issues of the heart!

I will agree that especially in this day and age, we as women must dress modestly! I think sometimes we get so caught up in following a certain 'rule' that we forget the heart of the matter - the heart!

One thing I have learned from the Lord this year...NOTHING CAN CHANGE UNTIL THE HEART BEGINS TO CHANGE!!! Yes, I can tell Bunny to not wear make-up but until she begins to understand that this rule is because she is beautiful and doesn't NEED make-up, she will continue to rebel against the rule. Although, being a freshman, even her Daddy has begun to let her wear make-up! We as parents have to prove to her precious heart that she is beautiful...inside and out!

This is hard, y'all! My heart aches to see so many young girls trying to get away with too much make-up and too little clothing...and Bunny is one of those struggling to find who she is in Christ. I wish I could tell my 16 yr old self what I have learned in the last few months! I would have saved a lot of tears and anguish!

Ladies, you are beautiful to your Heavenly Daddy! He doesn't ask anything other than for YOU to come to Him. For my college aged friends, God finds you beautiful! He made you beautiful, you are the work of His hands...as are we all!

Oh, and a miracle...I'm standing in the kitchen last night, cutting hubs a piece of banana bread when he comes in the doorway and says, "You look good!" Oh, yeah!!!

I hope and pray that you feel beautiful today! You are!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at spirittosoul.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Cheers,
Alex

Pen to Paper; Spirit to Soul said...

Hi, Alex. Thanks for dropping by. The link in the blog has been closed because Melanie is back to a very full life as wife and Mom. We praise God for all that He is continuing to do in her life!

Pamela