What is your initial response when anyone suggests that you are beautiful?
It really depends on how I feel about myself at the time of the compliment. If I am making progress with my weight loss and feel good about my physical appearance, then I can graciously accept those kinds of compliments. When I feel fat and awkward, I feel as though everyone who makes such a comment must be lying. My husband finds this to be more than a little annoying, because he loves me fat or thin, sick or healthy, first thing in the morning or all made up for a date. His perception of me does not change, it's just my own insecurity rearing it's ugly head.
Do you find that you engage in a lot of negative "self-talk"? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume?
Again, the negative "self-talk" is directly linked to the amount of weight that I have lost or gained. If I am doing well in that area, I am must less apt to talk negatively about my appearance. It's like a defense mechanism...if I point out how fat I am, or how large my thighs are, etc, I am in control. I said it first, so if someone agrees with me or continues on with the subject of my weight, it doesn't seem as hurtful as if they had brought up the subject. I spend quite a bit of my time thinking about my weight, how to lose it, how I will look when I finally get rid of it, etc. It seems like every decision I make is somehow linked to my size...what to eat, what to wear, how I will look to others as I do my day to day activities.
Has it ever occurred to you that you are a City Girl? How do you plan to use this knowledge?
I've never really thought about it in that way, although I've always known that I was a child of the King. (Actually, when I read that phrase in the study, the first thing that popped into my mind was On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura and her sister were looked down on by some of the girls at school because they were "country girls" instead of "city or town girls") No matter what my physical appearance, it's encouraging to know that God thinks I'm beautiful. It's funny, because when I'm teaching Sunday School or bible study, it doesn't cross my mind that I'm overweight. I get so caught up in the Word and in what God has led me to say, that those sorts of things don't even register. Maybe that's the key....to fill me mind so completely with the things that are of God, and stay so busy being used by Him, that the value I put on my physical appearance takes a backseat to the value God puts on my soul.
(OK....I confess. I did the study last week after looking at the Round 1 version of this installment. This question is different from the new one, but I'm just going to leave it the way it is.....)
In what ways has your view of Godly beauty changed as a result of these scriptures?
This week's study and the scriptures that went along with it really made me think about what kind of beauty I am striving for. I'll never be ideal by the world's standards, but that sort of physical beauty should not be my focus. I'm not saying that I shouldn't take care of my body...it is a temple, after all. But my value is not determined by my weight, the condition of my skin and hair or the firmness of my body. I am valued by God because Jesus bore all of my ugliness for me. All I have to do is be obedient and live my life in such a way that the beauty of Christ shines through me. I want people to look at me and immediately see that I am a beloved child of the living God. I want the glory of His character to shine on my face and to be seen in my actions.
If you want to read more about the study, click here.