There’s nothing like another birthday to make you think of your mortality. The wrinkles, the stiff joints, the gray hair, the progressive lenses, the middle of the night trips to the bathroom. Sigh. The body deteriorates just as the heart of a person really wakes up! How is that fair? What I wouldn’t do to have my 29-year-old body and 44-year-old heart and mind! Sure would make getting up off the floor unassisted
possible a lot easier.
The good news is with age comes a confidence most 29-year-olds don’t have. And I really wouldn’t trade that. Except for the floor thing. Age also brings wisdom. We know that from all the fairy tales and wag-the-finger-at-you lectures we hear as children. But it really is true. So, as I consider my 44-year-old self, I evaluate how I’m aging. What does the mirror of my life tell me? What have I done well and what should I have done better? What would I beat into that 29-year-old head, if I had the chance to do it again?
1. Wash your face. Every night. When it comes to complexion, I drew the short straw. My preteen, teenage, early adult, and even middle adult years have been fraught with acne. I used every medication and product on the market to try to manage the scourge.
And all those years I read articles that said, wash your face every morning and night…every night that you don’t wash your makeup off adds another 100 years to your face…take care of your skin and it will take care of you…blah, blah, blah. But most nights after I rallied the energy to brush my teeth and change into my jammies, I was too tired to wash my face. Seriously?!
Several years ago, I decided to believe the hype and give the practice a try. Goodbye makeup, grime and smog! And what do you know? Washing your face every night REALLY DOES HELP. My skin is clearer, blemish free and brighter, most days. What I wish I
knew believed back then…
2. Moisturize. In my mid-twenties, I chose some extreme medical treatments for my acne that kept my body from producing any oil. So, for the first time in my life, I had a need to use moisturizer on my face. Use it?!? I bathed in it. Drank it. Slept in a vat full of it.
For someone with radically oily skin, this was heresy. The LAST thing I ever thought I would need was moisturizer! I then learned that whether you have oily, normal or dry skin, if you don’t get enough moisture in your beauty routine, your body will produce more. Pore clogging here we come! So, even after I finished my acne treatment, I used moisturizer. And every day since then. Almost 20 years now. I can attest to the fact that skin that is moisturized, doesn’t wrinkle like skin that isn’t. Score!
3. Sunscreen up. I’m not a vampire. Or a ghost – contrary to my scary white legs! I do go out in the sun. I even show some skin. But try as I might, I don’t tan. I learned that many years and many more terrible sunburns ago. And years of watching my sweet Daddy be
tortured treated every three months at the dermatologist for skin cancers have proven that the sun is not the friend we once believed him to be. Well, not to our skin, at least.
Beyond the fatal effects of sun damage, the sun also ages us. I’ve seen many a high school beauty, who applied Crisco before her sun-bathing afternoon, become a woman who looked twice her 35 years. #maybeiexaggeratealittle The first place a woman begins to show age is her décolletage. And then her hands. And her face. And the back of her neck. And her arms. And… What woman wants to look older than she is? #notmema’am
4. Take care of your feet. I’ve never been a shoe horse, but I love pretty feet. Taking care of our feet isn’t just about keeping ’em pretty, though. I don’t pretend to understand all the laws of physics, but I do know that between gravity and pounds per square inch of some kind of force jibber-jabber, our feet take a lot of stress just transporting our little bodies every day.
When we cram them into shoes that don’t fit, pointy toes, or heels that could kill, day in and day out, we are restructuring our little friends. And not in a Fortune 500 kind of way. Between bunions, hammer toes, dislocated ankles and a myriad of other maladies, our feet are really cruisin’ for a bruisin’. So, take care of those guys. Choose leather that gives and conforms to your feet, check your size yearly (feet do grow as we age), wear shoes that actually support those ankles and save the stilettos for the special occasions.
5. Stand up straight. God made you who you are. On purpose. Short, tall or in-between. How many times have you seen someone who slouches, rolls their shoulders forward or stands sway backed and thought, Does she feel okay?… She doesn’t seem very confident… She must want to be alone… Our posture not only affects everything in our body – circulation, digestion, skeletal alignment, muscle strain, breathing – but also, the image we present to others. So, roll those shoulders back, pull in your belly, hold your chin up and get your head on straight. The Lord made you in HIS image. Show the world His glory!
Beyond any natural symmetry or anything you may put on to become more beautiful, the power of a smile to draw another to you is unparalleled. So, increase the real estate of that beautiful face and smile! At friends. Strangers. The new boss. The man on the corner.
Become the woman others are drawn to simply because you invite them in with your kindness. Let the heart you have for good show in your face. Forget about the aching joints, the wrinkles around your eyes and the next laser hair appointment and smile. Tell people you care. Show those you love how excited you are to be with them! Share the joy of the Lord with the world. That’s the power of a smile.
Everyone wants to be attractive. Whatever your style, whatever your definition of beauty, we all want it. There is something in us that wants to be seen as valuable. And our culture tells us that what is on the outside determines that value. However, our Heavenly Father has created us in His image. He delights in us. We are his children. And He has made each of us unique. Like none other. The beauty of Him in our hearts is what draws us to each other.When we love as He first loved us, we are forever changed, as is the world around us. Therein lies our value. Click To Tweet
When we love as He first loved us, we are forever changed, as is the world around us. Therein lies our value. And we are His temple. As a city on a hillside, we are to let our light shine. Be the vessel of the ONE who attracts the world to Himself. Care for your body as if caring for the Lord, knowing that the real value is in the heart beneath. There is no greater beauty.
What does beauty mean to you? What is one of your favorite secrets? Do you have a favorite product or routine that makes you feel more beautiful?