What I see in the mirror…

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High School Junior Prom, Spring 2001

Like most high school girls, I spent a LOT of time in all things hair and makeup-related. In fact, once I discovered the “magic” of make-up and a hair straightener, I spent so much time at the local beauty store (Ulta) that by senior year, I had secured a part-time job there. My friends and I spent hours and hours sorting through the things we were putting on the racks that inevitably every night I would make some purchase before heading home, and upon returning to my parents’ house, my mom would shake her head at the zebra print bag that (often) represented almost as much spent as I had earned working that night!

And if you would have asked me at that time, I would have told you, I still didn’t love what I saw in the mirror.

Fast forward a couple of years…

College days, circa 2005

Now I’m in college. In addition to my normal college things, like going to class and studying and having Grey’s Anatomy marathons, my friends and I enjoy power sessions of kickboxing at the gym before heading back to our apartments to primp (more hours…) before “going out”. Working out was literally an effort to offer some counteracting of whatever we were going to eat and drink that night…

And if you were to ask me at that time, if I looked in the mirror, I definitely wasn’t satisfied with what I saw.

This is how I see myself today…

One more fast forward to today (well yesterday actually)…

I’ve just wrapped up 90 minutes of working out and stopped in the bathroom before picking up my kids because I’m going to be going to the grocery store when I get them and I know its a good solid hour before I have the opportunity to go to the bathroom again 🙂 It feels like such an average day for life these days. I’m so freaking sweaty thanks to my hardest cardio workout of the week. I haven’t showered (obviously) and am wearing zero makeup (not knocking the moms who wear makeup to the gym but that’s just not me).

I catch myself in the mirror. And realize THIS is who I am. This person, the one without makeup and pretty sweaty and in workout gear that badly needs a shower, this is the person my kids know me as. This is who I am to the people at the grocery store. This is who my husband sees when he comes downstairs in the morning showered and dressed for work. If you would have asked 17 yr old me, or 21 yr old me, if the above description would make me feel “pretty”, I would have laughed out old. And you know what? For the first time, I honestly happen to like what I see.

Do I wish I would have embraced the message that beauty doesn’t come from hair and makeup products a long time ago? Of course. Or imagine the hours I could have spent doing something, ANYTHING, else other than primping. Yea. I wish I would have loved my body in those first few postpartum months the way I do now. I AM thankful that I grasp this NOW, that I’m able to embrace who I am, how my Creator has made ME to be, and to run with it, literally and figuratively!

all together beautiful


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