I don’t feel beautiful. Maybe I never have. I’ve always been on the chubby side, with brown eyes though I really wanted blue. I was considered “cute” or “funny” and that was okay with me. Growing up I remember one of my sister’s friends saying, “your sister is the ‘pretty one’ and you’re “the one who can sing.'” Why we feel the need to classify others, I’ll never know. I’m not sure I even thought “beautiful” was something I could aspire to be. Maybe wearing a special dress, going to prom, or my wedding day would make “beautiful” attainable. The truth is I’d rather do just about anything than spend time in front of a mirror. I’d rather be comfortable than wear heels. There are days as a mom, I’d rather be playing and enjoying life than even take a shower.
The days I knew I was least lovely and certainly most pungent were the days I was on a horse, in a fishing boat, or 4-wheeling through fields of cow patties. Those were the days with my Grandpa. To him, I was the most beautiful thing in the world. He always made me feel like I could do anything and everything was possible. It didn’t matter that my preteen face had pimples or my hair was oily and unwashed. Through his eyes, all he could see was love. I’m not sure anyone has ever loved me any better than my Grandpa.
As I raise my three beautiful girls, I want them to feel beautiful. There are certainly days I want us to escape to the farm, throw our hair in ponytails, and ride through those same fields with carefree abandon. But I know it wasn’t those fields, it wasn’t my youth, and it wasn’t even the life I was living that made me feel beautiful. It was his eyes. Eyes that saw beauty in the pimply faced girl. Eyes who saw joy in the dirty face he treasured. And eyes who knew what was possible in me. I wish I could see myself through Grandpa’s eyes again.
My prayer is to give my girls what he gave me. Eyes that see beauty in the dirty smiles of life well-lived. Eyes that treasure them no matter what age, stage, or awkwardness in their lives knowing they are still becoming who they are meant to be. Eyes that delight in them, not for what they appear to others but for who they are to me – my treasures.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
True beauty is felt when we delight in our girls and point them to a Father who is enthralled with their uniqueness. This is where confidence is fostered and felt. This is how they grow up knowing they are treasured.
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Is there a family member who made you feel beautiful over the years? How can you be to your girl what that loved one was to you? How can you point your daughter to the heavenly father who is enthralled with her?
Tiffany Travis Sexton is a single mother of 3 beautiful girls and 2 hilarious bulldogs. Originally from Jackson, MO, she now resides in Franklin, TN.