40 comments on “Beautiful Struggles

  1. Ok, so I have trying to think of a response to this post. Partly because you asked me to, partly because its just so raw, and partly because it has made me think about how I define beauty. I grew up in a household that was much more masculine than feminine, so my need to find beauty in looks was never an issue. I was an athlete, and what mattered was that I excelled in the sport. Not how I looked when doing it.

    There has only been one period in my life where I felt like what you described in your piece as being “deformed”, and that was when I lost half my weight after a horrible bad break-up. I was down to 90lbs and I would look like a stand in for a nazi war pick. I don’t talk about it much, but its the only time I’ve ever thought of being ugly.

    For me, beauty has always been a fluid thing. When I was a kid, my dad once told me that every thing one does, each individual’s skill set, defines their art form. So even if you take out the trash, its an art. This is how I see beauty. With that, even things that are “deformed” to me have beauty. So its really hard for me to define things as beautiful, or rather as not beautiful. (taking off Sheldon hat and putting semantics aside). Don’t know really where I’m going with this…Too little sleep.

    However, rotting milk, not beautiful. Makes me puke.

    • As we said before, I don’t think we could have grown up in more different homes! I really, really like what your dad told you about making everything you do art. It’s hard to remember to do that in a job that I don’t find fulfilling all the time. So, I should include tackling tasks like art as part of my new beauty definition!

      Thanks, Chico!

  2. First of all, LOVE the new look! 🙂

    Secondly, you are beautiful! I love how you captured pretty much anything I could think of or have thought of – I struggle with never measuring up all.the.time.

    I think I’ll participate in this adventure with Sarah too – on Monday. I need the weekend to reflect what to write. Ugh.

    xxx M.

    • Glad you like the new look! I was getting ‘restless’ in the old look! And thank you for your kind words and being able to relate to never measuring up! I think it’s something many women struggle with (unfortunately).

      Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! I’ll be looking for them!

  3. nice revamp of blog.
    im not qualified as a guy to say much about a post like this except perhaps the following.
    ditto to what alece said.
    i don’t think i have ever met a girl who thought they looked good in a photo, no worries about that.
    I only know you through photos and yah…you look good.

    have a nice day.

  4. I love how your “Naked Truth” blog is followed up by your thoughts/struggles with beauty. Ironic? hmm…

    Beauty is a hard word that is loaded in our culture. Beauty should just be called comparing/measuring. My beauty lenses for myself suck. That is our culture as well. Not very many girls like how they look. I wish that beauty was known for more than skin deep. There are so many other things that define beauty for me.

    -laughter
    -watching you get fired up over justice and passions of your heart
    -old people holding hands
    -welly eyes
    -walking through life with friends
    -deep friendships
    -large crowds singing praises together
    -Rio margz and fajitas!
    -nature – mountains, glass top lakes, roaring oceans, sharks!
    -kids voices (not all days)
    -dancing faces
    -mud runs with friends
    -playing in the rain
    -words of a sincere heart

    • I thought about how the nudey post came right before the beauty post. Unplanned, I promise.

      I love what you see as beautiful. I love that you shared this with me. Your heart is so beautiful and it calls out to the beauty in my heart and for that I am thankful.

  5. Yeah Great post! I can understand…shopping has always been a challenge for me and my hips..and I agree..I just do not bother weighing myself. Thanks for sharing your struggles and thoughts!

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  7. As someone who has always struggled with the concept of my own beauty (and has only recently come to a tenable acceptance) I so appreciate your openness and candor about your struggles. Isn’t it amazing how so many of us worry, fret, and fuss over our outward appearance when the very things you mentioned and so obviously display in your writing…character, mind, heart, passion, vision…are truly what makes a person beautiful.

    • Thanks for commenting, Sarah! Thanks for the challenge as well, I loved seeing how women in the blogging world rallied together to be open and honest about our own, unique definitions of beauty.

  8. Loved your vulnerability…

    I too have struggled with beauty on the outside.. until I was challenged to ask God and consider what beauty is to Him. It started my perspective going in a different direction. I am slowly but surely learning.

    I’ve written on beauty on my blog too, but not so much about the outward, but about what God is doing in the midst of my life’s circumstances at present.

    I’d love to have you visit if you like.

    Have a blessed day,
    Julie,
    http://jewelsightings.blogspot.com

  9. I have fought the battle with “comparisons” for a long time… I found that I held tight to this scripture which kept my heart in check.

    When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. ~ 2Corinthians 10:12

    My prayer is that you will find victory!

  10. I can SO relate to your writing here! I love how you said “I want to see beauty as a feature of the heart.” That is truly beautiful! I am here from Sarah’s list! 🙂

    ~Jennifer

  11. Hi there, I’m visiting from Sarah’s blog. 🙂 To answer your question, I wrote this about beauty and how I define it ect.

    I just have to say…this:

    “I want to let go of the weight this word has in my life. I want to be fully happy with myself- my character, my heart, my appearance. I want my passions to make me beautiful. I want my laughter and my tears to make me stunning. I want others to be attracted to my heart. I want to be sought out for my words of truth and not my advice on the best shoes. I want beauty to mean more than my appearance. I want to expand its definition in my mind.”

    …was just great. I went back and read it over again. Beautiful. I, like you, want those things very much!

    • Thanks for stopping by OneGirl! I love that you are striving to redefine beauty and are clinging to the heart definition. It’s definitely a challenge, but a challenge well worth taking!

  12. I honestly feel like I could have written this post!

    I too have struggled with my weight… for as long as I can remember. And I too, am a comparisson girl… BIG time!

    Thank you for your open and honest look on defining beauty!

    P.S. I’m visiting from Sarah’s blog!

    • Thanks for the honesty in your comment, Mel! Weight is such a sensitive topic and can cause so much strife! It’s such a battle and to just reach that ‘happy place’ with weight seems nearly impossible sometimes.

      I encourage you to join me in giving these worries to Him who sees our heart-beauty.

  13. I love your blog, and especially this one on beauty. I love that you sounded as if you were telling me over a cup of coffee.
    I love this part: “I want others to be attracted to my heart. I want to be sought out for my words of truth and not my advice on the best shoes. I want beauty to mean more than my appearance. I want to expand its definition in my mind.”
    I love it! I will even post it as a status on my FB page and link my “FB friends” to your blog.Thats how much I loved what you had to say:)

    If you have a chance go to my blog and follow:)
    http://www.reynalay.blogspot.com/
    reynalay@gmail.com

    Many blessings,
    Reyna

  14. Stacey – I have always thought you are beautiful! I’ve enjoyed watching you become happier with your appearance, and look forward to hearing more about how your understanding/definition of beauty grows in truth, depth and richness.

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  18. Whether it’s the mark on my forehead or personality “defects,” i’ve always struggled with beauty. the times i’m happiest are the times i forget how i actually look or what the condition of my heart is. sigh.

    in some of our worship services here on campus, we’ve been singing a song called “draw me nearer.” and part of the chorus says “draw me nearer to Your precious bleeding side.” and i’ve just been struggling with how something so grotesque and disturbing can be called “precious” or “beautiful.” if Jesus hanging on the cross is the epitome of beauty, what is beauty? if something so physically disturbing is called so beautiful, do the most beautiful things come from brokenness and what we’d call ugliness. Jesus wasn’t just torn up and broken for the sake of being torn up and broken…but then again, when we are torn up and broken, there’s a reason for it too. it’s not just brokkenness in it’s purest form.

    thanks for making me think. i like thinking. i love how you risk so well.

    • Your thinking got me thinking. First, let me start by saying that your processing gave me chills because I never considered the physically grotesque which we call beautiful. There’s something mysterious, something deeper there….

      Which got me thinking, maybe Jesus tried to redefine beauty long ago and we just never clung to that. Maybe it is not what IS beautiful but what results that is beautiful. Meaning, maybe it’s not the present thing in it’s present state that is beautiful but, instead it is what comes from, stems from, derives from that thing (whether it be illness, torture, war, etc) that is beautiful. The blooming flowers in the ash after the forest fire. The fire may not have been beautiful, but what happened BECAUSE of it is beautiful.

      Hm…Thanks for sharing! Hope things are going well during your first semester!!

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