Beauty. We all want it. Some naturally have it. Some go to great lengths to get it. It leaves me wondering ultimately why? Why so much focus on something that in time will run it's course. There is not an amount of makeup, surgery, or money that can make it last forever. It's great to dress nice, have great hair and own all the right accessories but does it really make you beautiful? I began to think about this because of my desire to ultimately reflect the love of God from the inside out. What I came to realize, as I have many other time is this. Beauty is found within. Period. I particularly like the NLT version of 1 Peter 3:4 that says "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." Unfading beauty is found inside the woman who walks in the ways of the Lord. Who seeks His face & draws her strength and wisdom from the scriptures. America focuses on outer beauty more than any other country. Our woman are taught from young children to be sexy. I remember being a awkward teenage girl, unsure of my looks and very influenced by those around me. Dress better, get a tan, wear your hair like this, etc…it seemed the focus never was on what my heart looked like. The years went on, I tried to keep up. What I realize now looking back is how I began to dislike other woman because of my own feelings of inadequacy. I was so caught up in being the best that if I sensed another woman "looked better" I instantaneously didn't like them. I thank God for freedom from all of that now but what a sad way to exist. I simply needed someone to direct me to the Lord at that time & to be encouraged to learn by heart what He said about me. What I so desperately needed to know was that in the eyes of God I was precious, that no matter what anyone said or thought about me that He said "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5. That He longed to be my source & He didn't create me to be anyone else but me. I am an orginal…You are an original. We all have distinct and individual purpose for our time on this Earth. I encourage all of my fellow ladies to join me as we continue to discover who God says we are. Minus the world's opinion, subtract the lies inside our minds about the definition of beauty, and recognize the hidden truth. Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be greatly praised." Proverbs 31:30 I don't know about you but my greatest desire is for others to see the beauty of Jesus in me first & foremost. That is done by loving others, smiling, and making those you encounter feel cared about every. single. time.