Loving The Real Me
Loving the Real Me
When you become a Christian, you don’t become the man or woman God wants you to be overnight. I have come to realize it is a lifelong process… full of ups and down, twists and turns. My real journey started a few years ago, after becoming a pastor’s wife. I felt the pressure to become someone I was not. To dress a certain way, to talk a certain way… not because anyone told me to, or even expected me to… but because I had this preconceived mindset about what a pastor’s wife should be! I had such high expectations for myself that I really left no room for error, which in turn left me feeling inadequate and overwhelmed.
If you are not a pastor’s wife, you can still relate! We all have these preconceived expectations that have been formed in our minds by the lives we grew up in and around. We have shaped expectations for ourselves not based on scripture, but based on the world and what the world says we should be and how we should dress, act, and do. I wrote this blog three years ago, at the beginning of my process of becoming The Lesser Me. I thought this was the concept behind The Lesser Me at first, but later God began to reveal that this was just a pruning process… a very necessary one! I hope you enjoy reading this blog, although it was written years ago, I laugh at how it still applies to me today. It has been a great reminder for me to be real, to love me the way God loves me, to see myself through God’s eyes, and to stop trying to impress everyone around me and just focus on God and his plan for my life! My prayer is that it will encourage you as it does me.
I know, this sounds CRAZY… but, I don’t like the “real me.” You know, the me that wakes up in the morning with smudged mascara, crusty eyelids, ratty hair, bad breath, and kinda grumpy… the me that starts the day by getting slapped in the face by my toddler’s sippy cup… while she whines for juice. I roll out of bed, trip over toys, clothes and who knows what on the floor, to then stumble into the kitchen like a zombie to make juice (because I was too lazy to make it the night before, when I poured the last bit). Then once the little monsters (that I love so dearly) wake up, I make their breakfast (by pouring cereal and milk into a bowl)… followed by making myself some hot tea. All of this before I even look in the mirror or brush my teeth or even get changed out of my tee shirt and shorts into something that wouldn’t embarrass the heck out of me if an unexpected visitor showed up. This is the real me. The me only my husband and kids see. The me that I am not proud of or want to even tell you about! But, the reality is… that “me” exists! I cannot continue to ignore that she does! I am not even close to being the picture of perfection I constantly daydream of. I could never feel confident waking up in one of those screen print shirts with the trendy fonts that reads “I wake up like this: gorgeous!” To me it would be a sad, sad joke.
I prefer everyone else in the world to see the “put together me.” The me that takes an hour (or two) to get ready while I ignore my kids or snap at them so that I can create the illusion of that “put together me.” That me that paints my face in detail and carefully curls my hair and puts it into place with pins that poke and give me headaches, the me that changes 5-6 times before feeling confident when I chose the perfect outfit for the occasion ( that won’t show my muffin top and post baby rolls- can I get an amen!), and shoes (we must never forget the shoes)! During this time that I have focused solely on me, there has been who knows what going on in the rooms next to me! But, at least I can leave my now completely destroyed home with confidence that whoever I see outside the walls of my now devastated home, will see me and think “oh, she must have it all together”…. bahahahaha! Tricked you didn’t I?
Well, unfortunately, the joke is on me.
I still have to return to the overturned house just the way that I left it, when “the world” thinks it is spotless. I still have to spend hours cleaning up the mess that was made while I was creating that illusion for all of you to see! For some crazy reason I get satisfaction in knowing that I can hide that side of me so “effortlessly .”(insert sarcastic face here) But, I feel like God has been working in me… showing me things about myself that I had never noticed before. When God reveals my flaws, my selfishness and my sin it is never easy for me to except his truth in my life and apply it. Instead it will dwell in my heart, consume my mind and convict me to the core. (Before I actually decide to do something about it!)
As if I have to say it… the “real me” IS me. The real me is the good the bad and the ugly. (you can thank my wonderful husband for teaching me that cowboy reference) God loves me for who he created me to be. He loves the real me, but, because I am not loving the “real me,” I have not yet learned to love myself as God loves me. And if I am truly concerned about loving others, like my husband and children, then how can I love them with God’s love -unconditionally; when I cannot even do that for myself?
Knowing that I (man) am made in God’s image, you would think I would be more excepting of myself since I am excepting of God’s greatness. So, this leads me to believe, that in order to really, fully love the real me, I must redefine my definition of beauty. When I was a little girl, I remember my mom always reminding me and my sisters that beauty is only skin deep. She would say “Amanda, you are so beautiful, but beauty doesn’t last forever. The most beautiful girl in the world can be ugly on the inside, and what do you think that girl will be when her outer beauty fades? Ugly. Don’t ever let your inner beauty fade, that is what will always shine the brightest.” I have said the same thing to my ten and four year old daughters over and over, which is great… unfortunately, I am not showing them with my actions. Ouch! That hurts… I can feel my inner beauty fading right now just writing this! So, the question is how do I change the mindset that I have allowed to take my inner beauty captive and warp it into ugly? How do I love the real me more and the put together me less? Well, the only thing that I keep hearing over and over in my head is God’s word from John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I need to focus on the Lord, trust in Jesus’ words, and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and steps. I am confident if I can do these three things that I can be the beautiful example that my daughters need me to be in this superficial world.
1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” Simple, but so far from simple to apply to our lives with excellence.
And my goodness, if my husband can see the real me 80% of the time and still tell me he loves me daily (and mean it), then why can’t I?
I must constantly remind myself that my inner beauty is more important than what the world says my outer beauty should look like. And if my inner beauty is reflecting the image of my creator, it will in turn shine through my outward appearance and positively effect those who I come in contact with. I must be diligent in allowing the Word to prune me to become more like Christ.
I hope that this blog will inspire encouragement to those of you who never feel like you are good enough , who always compare yourselves to the most beautiful woman in the room, who are never satisfied in the way you look, constantly critiquing yourselves in the mirror (pointing finger at myself). Let me lift us up today with God’s words from the beginning…
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image;
he created him in the image of God;
he created them male and female.
Then in verse 31, it says, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed.”
Ladies! God created us in His image! We are all very good indeed!
I know because of the fall of man this scripture changes our original nature from good to evil, but God made all things new through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! In Ephesians 2:21-24 it says, “Assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the Spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness, in righteousness and purity of the truth.”
Ladies! We can be made new in that untainted good nature just as Adam and Eve were created! Made holy and righteous in Christ and through the renewal of our minds in the Word, and guidance with the help of the Holy Spirit! We were all created in the most beautiful image of God! Let’s stand firm in that truth when we start to slip into our selfish desires to please the world around us by changing who God created us to be into what the world wants us to be! Does that mean I am going to stop wearing make up? No… I am not quite there… and not sure I ever will be. But, I do know God is stirring up this confidence in me that I am who he created me to be, and I need to stand firm in that truth by having confidence that who he created me to be is enough for this world!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts today! I appreciate your support and want to always give back to my readers! This week I am so excited to reveal my latest artwork that goes along with this blog quoting scripture from 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” I will be hosting a giveaway and the winner will be announced Tuesday, April 24th! Follow the steps below to enter to win!
Enter to win this beautiful necklace by:
- Commenting on this blog page.
- Sharing this blog page on your Facebook Page and tagging friends who will enjoy it too.
- You must like my The Lesser Me Facebook Page (link is in side bar)
Winner will be announced April 24th at 8pm on The Lesser Me Facebook page! I hope you enjoyed today’s post, I really am looking forward to getting to know you all better! Thanks again, and have a blessed day!