Thursday, September 13, 2007

I AM -- Beautiful to God

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 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 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.


Alana said...

Wow, the answers to those first two questions could have been word for word written by me as well. The study looks really interesting.

Anonymous said...

First, I have to say you're such a great blogger Xandra - I don't get online for a few days and come back to find so much to catch up on here - so cool!

Secondly, I love your answers as usual...getting to know more of you and your heart through your honest and deep answers. Yep, am truly loving this study!! :)

Karen said...

These are great questions and I love your answers! I am so with you on the whole self-image and weight thing. I'm going to check out this study!

Amanda said...

Great answers. I love how open everyone is with their answers. Looking forward to reading future posts.

Ken and Alex Henderson said...

Hi Xandra, You have a beautiful name by the way. I could really relate to your answers on this lesson. I guess since the time of Eve women have been struggling with food and consequently weight issues I am sure. I pray that God would help you to see yourself with kinder more accepting eyes. You are beatiful. :)

Heather C said...

I love your idea of becoming so immersed in the Word that everything else takes a back seat... now for me to put it into action! :)

The Preacher's Wife said...

What an awesome thought to be so focused on ministry we forget our thighs...:))

Thank you so much for being a part of this study..