Saturday, April 26, 2008

a beautiful image

Adorable. Cute. Beautiful. I've heard these terms more in the past year than ever in my life. (They were not used to describe me, unfortunately!) Everywhere we go, people fall in love with Sam. I can understand why. He is a captivating child. But it has made me wonder what beauty is. What is it that people are drawn to in other people? As the saying goes, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and that is true. If you ask me what movie star I think is attractive, you will get a different answer than if you ask my best friend who she finds attractive. And yet, there are some people that seem inherently beautiful...

Lately I've struggled more with my self image. I've had a baby, and even though I've been able to reach pre-pregnancy weight, I'll never have pre-pregnancy shape. I find myself ashamed at my vanity. And yet, dissatisfaction haunts me. And I know in my heart that vanity is ugly. But it's hard to remember when I look in the mirror, or see celebrity photos.

Giving Sam life has forever altered my body, but his life has changed my heart. Although he does have nice physical features, I've come to see that the reason Sam is so appealing is his tremendous JOY. His happiness is absolutely magnetic. I've also met many an old lady that radiates beauty despite the wrinkles. I've come to believe that our spirit is well over half of what makes us attractive to others. I want to be like Sam--to love simple things and people the way he does--to be joyful. I think this is the best kept secret to beauty.

A long time ago, my friend Leia and I were working on a school project, and she accidentally burnt my finger. That scar remains, and I call it my "love scar". I can't see it without thinking of Leia. I want to feel that way about sags and stretchmarks. Without them, Sam would not be here. I want to be a more joyful woman. And I want to learn to see the beauty of a body which has been torn to give life to another. After all, that is the beauty which our Lord possesses.

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