Hello. My name is Toni (but my trail name is Sunbeam), and I got wrinkles, plus what appears to be less-than brown hair but not exactly blond; one might classify it as mildly gray. But whatever.
There’s been a few thoughts in my mind the past couple months (shocker!), so if my ideas about beauty and aging don’t jam with your own, please do not be offended.
Lately I’ve been ever-so-slightly disheartened by some of the magazine ads I’ve seen, the diet-fads I’ve heard about, and the make-over parties I’ve attended; not because I think I need the miracle products that I can’t afford anyway, but because I see my beautiful, sweet friends frown into tiny mirrors, critiquing themselves up one side and down the other: the shapes of their noses. The texture of their skin. The color of their cheeks.
Everything that makes them who they are.
I want to scream at them: “You stop that! You are gorgeous. You are kind and thoughtful and strong and intelligent. And have you listened to the sound of your own giggling? It’s contagious, and I love it, and I love you.”
Girls, we need not be so hard on ourselves. However, I am well aware that I may look a little battle-worn:
Crow’s feet? Ha! They are laugh lines, because I’ve been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by hilarious people my whole life.
Wrinkles on my forehead? Those are called “wrinkles on my forehead”, because I’ve had fights with my husband, and I’ve been worried about my 3 kids, and I live in Oklahoma where tornadoes give me heart attacks 5 times a year.
My ridiculously rosy cheeks? They match the rest of my body. I am pink, people. Hot pink. I might look scary when I run, but I look damn near jovial the rest of the time.
And my hands–they’re rough and calloused and I’m not even sure why. Years of nail-biting, dish-washing and finger-painting, perhaps. My hands are short, and stubby, and amazing. These puppies have bathed babies, wiped noses, and made approximately 2 zillion peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches. They’ve created beautiful works of art. Expensive hand-repair moisturizers can BITE ME.
I wouldn’t trade one tiny wrinkle for any moment of the last 33 years.
Don’t get me wrong: I love me some purple eye-shadow, coconut oil on my scratched-up elbows, and sea-salt-scented anything. I could stand to remember to wash my face at night. I might need to lay off the coffee (decaf or not.) I could use more than one serving of fresh vegetables a week.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m all that and a bag of greasy potato chips. I am actually not opposed to looking my best–but if my best is going to cost me several hundred dollars a year, I feel as though I should get over myself a little bit.
Because guess what? I’m not 21 anymore. I’m not even 29. And that’s a good thing. I’m in a way better place at 33, and I have full confidence that God will increase my awesome factor with each passing year. In fact, the world won’t be able to handle me by the time I turn 55, and I’ll have to just die.
I could write a freaking book about it but I’ll end with this:
“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3: 4
Holla! I know a gal that sells beauty products who’s got that gentle and quiet thing down pat–she’s an absolute inspiration. I’ll be working on my own spirit…and probably earning a few more wrinkles in the process.