Last week in Hawaii, I was in my swimsuit for several days. One of my daughters said, “Mom, what are all those blue blood vessels on your legs?”
“Those are spider veins.”
“Why do you have them?” I was surprised this was the first time she noticed them.
“Probably from crossing my legs. I’m getting older, honey. I guess you can get them fixed. That’s what I’ve heard.” I said examining my legs and realizing there was quite a road map forming.
“Are you going to?” she asked.
“Uh, I don’t know.” I glanced over at Bob and asked, “You think I should get them fixed?”
“I think they’re pretty,” he said.
I looked at my legs and said mostly to myself,
“These things are going to be wrinkly rods in a few decades. I could think my veins are ugly, but Bob just said they are pretty. I’m going with that answer. I’m aging gracefully.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. If there is a simple and non-invasive way to fix spider veins, then it’s worth looking into. But my point here is that I’m at REST with the aging process. Of course I like to feel pretty (what girl doesn’t want that?) But I’ve redefined “pretty.”
As a teenager and young adult, “perfect” was my definition of pretty. This was why I honestly never felt pretty. And to think about all the years I wasted thinking I wasn’t pretty, because I wasn’t “perfect.”
ACCORDING TO WHO?
Over vacation, I heard the Lord drop this phrase in my heart even before my daughter asked me about the spider veins.
It felt random at the time, but now I know it matters today — for you — and for me.
Would that describe you? Or does Aging Stressfully more adequately describe the vibes your putting out? Are you trying to age Perfectly? If so, is that bringing you joy?
Is there something that you could decide to just chalk up for “This won’t matter in ten years from now”? Most of the stuff we worry about won’t even matter tomorrow, let alone in ten years.
What is that “thing” that has you all stressed out today? Could you just turn that into joy instead?
This isn’t an attempt to “not care” about your life, yourself, or your responsibilities. That would be more accurately described as Aging Neglectfully. As women, we absolutely want to know that we are captivating. So, you’re never going to hear me say that you shouldn’t care how you look.
If you overeat, neglect good nutrition, or reject physical activity, you’re not going to have as much joy as you would if you were to value your physical health. If you are kind to yourself and treat yourself the way that God would want you to be treated, then you will have more joy. So this isn’t about “giving up on myself so that I give up trying to be perfect.” That’s an overcorrection into the other ditch.
In fact, I am in the nutrition and fitness business, so I place a high value on health. But my goal isn’t resting on a dress size alone. My joy can never be found in what my body looks like — or what am I going to do when I’m eighty-years-old and things have shriveled up and permanently headed south? If this is where I’ve given joy permission to be found, then I’m doomed come another decade or two.
Here are some of my thoughts today:
I believe that joy makes me pretty, not the perception of being perfect.
I believe that knowing how perfectly God loves me is what makes me “perfect.”
I believe that my family needs my joy more than my perception of perfection.
I believe that because I am perfectly loved and valued by God, I am worth treating myself with kindness both physically and spiritually.
I believe that progress and playfulness are far greater attributes than perceived perfection.
Are you STRESSING rather than RESTING?
REST in how much God loves you.
REST in the aging process.
REST in how much joy it brings you to serve others and lead them to the love of God.
STRESS does not look good on you — so don’t fall for it!
JOY looks amazing on you… wouldn’t you agree?
1 Peter 3:3-4 The Passion Translation (TPT)
3–4 Let your true beauty come from your inner personality, not a focus on the external. For lasting beauty comes from a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is precious in God’s sight …