With the start of a new calendar year, and coming up on a year of blogging next week, I have been feeling very reflective. I went back to my earliest blog posts, and it’s crazy to see how much I’ve grown in writing in the last 12 months. However, I love that my very first blog post still rings so true, and reading it was such a good reminder of why I started this blog. Towards the end of 2018, I felt myself start to drift away from the mission statement I created for this blog- “sharing my story of navigating life and faith in order to inspire women to be real with themselves and others.” I’m planning on reflecting on this mission and how I plan to live this out in an upcoming post, but today I’ll leave you with my first blog post from January 14, 2018, and a sneak peek of some awesome pictures Karya Schanilec Photography took for my year recap next week!
Lipstick, Extensions, and Inner Beauty
i’m about to give you a glimpse into one of my deepest inner struggles. this is something that i have wrestled with, think i have it figured out, then fall back into doubt and confusion not 2 weeks later. this cycle has been a part of my life for as long as i can remember, and now as an “adult” i don’t think i am any closer to clarity than i was at 14.
here’s my dilemma: as a follower of Christ, how am i supposed to balance knowing that i am made perfect in God’s eyes, yet struggling with self confidence in my outward appearance? at what point is investing in myself vanity, versus empowering myself to show the beauty that i know is inside me on the outside? i would love to share with you my recent journey, and let you know up front- this post will not end in a nice little bow of answers. i think this is something i will always be wrestling with, and i’m becoming okay with that.
in high school, i took the route of “i don’t care what i look like. people will either like me or they won’t but i’m not going to put any amount of effort into my appearance because i don’t want to slip into caring too much about it.” i actively resisted wearing make up or anything other than sweatshirts and jeans to school, and felt proud of myself because i was going “against the grain.” looking back now, what was i really accomplishing? i can tell you for sure my inner beauty (or lack thereof) was not shining through for Christ, and i never once felt like my lack of investment in my appearance brought me closer to God.
fast forward through college, i joined a sorority, made some amazing, fashionable friends, and began to question my resolve to resist beauty. as i became close friends with these girls, the thing that drew me to them was their confidence in themselves. sure, there are things in all of us that cause self doubt, but for the most part they had that pride in themselves that i could not seem to get a grasp on. again, in so many things i prided myself on not caring too much about things that could seem trivial.
so now here i sit, feeling like i may be on the opposite end of the spectrum from 14 year old me. i have started investing in makeup that highlights the parts of me i love, hair extensions that allow me to enjoy doing my hair in the mornings, and clothes that make me feel like a million bucks when i go out in public. my husband has commented recently that he feels i have been able to believe in myself more in all areas of my life, not just my appearance. i truly feel that choosing to invest in these things, although they still seem trivial at times, has allowed me to view myself the way my husband and friends view me, and i would venture to say, the way God sees me.
but give me 2 weeks, and the doubt will start to creep in again. am i just justifying choices i’m making by trying to over spiritualize things? am i becoming self absorbed rather than building a healthy self confidence? should i even be thinking about any of this? the world will give me its’ opinion, loud, clear, and confusing. so i will continue to press in, to search for what God has for me, lipstick, hair extensions and all.
i hope no matter where you are in your journey, that something today will remind you of who you are, and who God is creating you to be.
P.S. enjoy a sneak peek of these pictures I took with Karya to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of xoxo love, laura. also, keep updated on my instagram and facebook pages for a fun giveaway coming up!