Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I Think I Touched A Nerve

with this post - I've Always Thought You Were So Beautiful.  

 I had many sweet comments that really encouraged me.  God gets the glory for His work in my life.  I also had so many who could relate to what I shared, and that made me sad.  

A casual friend sent me a private message.  She mentioned how we as woman have bought into the culture - we all judge each other - whether we comment aloud or just give someone a makeover in our minds.  It made me think how many times I have thought those kinds of things, too.  Her wise words and shared understanding gave me a lot to think about.

My post wasn't about sympathy, but I wrote it because I want to be able to be free.  Free of judgement, free of expectations, free of _____ (fill in the blank.)  I wanted to open dialogue.  I don't want to compete with anyone.

Most of you know I have six children.  We had them in 'batches'.  The first three are 25, 22, and 20.  Then we have a 5 year gap and have three more who are 15, 12, and 9.  I bring this up because I saw huge changes in the expectations of pregnant women over those years that I was pregnant and giving birth.  By time I had the last two, pregnant women were supposed to do it all and be sexy while doing it!  Really?!  

Where do these ideas come from?  

My weight didn't hold me back from doing things I wanted to do, mostly, but meeting new people or going into a new situation makes me uncomfortable.  Will people see me for who I am or just the weight?  Will they talk about me behind my back or to my face?

My daughter is a pretty girl with a great personality.  She is often judged by people who assume things about her.  Some women and young ladies are catty toward her.  It hurts her.  Why must some people put others down, or speak negatively about them in order to feel better about themselves?  She has told me she feels like she can be herself around guys more than she can around women, because of how she has been judged by women.

A friend told me that she had a "friend" who, after my friend lost some weight, asked another woman from church if my friend had gained her weight back!  Why?  Did it make this woman feel better, if my friend had gained her weight back?  Sometimes we feel better about ourselves if those around us are just like us - don't anyone dare rock the boat!  I've seen women turn on a 'friend' because the friend has dared to step outside the prescribed box she had been in.  Judgement comes flooding in to make the person feel better about themselves.  

What if we just decide to opt out of the judgement of each other?  What if we just decide to encourage one another?  What if we tell each other what we appreciate about the other person?

What kind of confidence might that give us?  What an amazing burst of encouragement that would be!  What might we be able to do in serving God and one another?

I'm willing to find out.  Several years ago, I opted out of competing with others.  I live my life for my family, my friends and mostly, by grace, for the Lord.  I've focused on encouragement - not of everyone but of those that the Lord has sent my way.  I'm working on the judging thing.  

So, how about you?  Are you in?


  1. First I want to say I think you are amazing. What ever you do, lose weight or not, you ARE amazing. But I will be supportive of you. I think your journey can be an inspiration. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.
    Good Luck my friend, you will be OK. I know, because you are a child of God.

  2. I'm in! Let the haters be, it has nothing to do with me! Hey, I just made a rhyme, lol!

  3. It continues to amaze me at the things some people say. One of the best things about growing older is to "dismiss" hurtful is a blessing to know yourself and what a beautiful person you are both inside and out...."pretty is as pretty does", my mother always told me! Blessings to you Deanna!

  4. I'm in:) I try really hard to love with my heart and not with my eyes! Enjoy your day dear amazing friend, HUGS!

  5. The older I get the more I am learning not to judge, just accept, think the best, and most importantly, be an encourager of others. I think your posts have helped others to think about this.

  6. We place far too much emphasis on outer beauty anyway, when what the Lord desires is the beauty that is within. "Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel; rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." I Peter 3:3, 4

    I'm glad you started this conversation. You're touched a nerve. The right perspective of beauty is something I think all women struggle with.

    This verse just came to mind too...
    "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."

  7. As I've matured I find myself more accepting, less judgmental. It's something completely counter to our western culture that is constantly telling us all that we need to change this or that about ourselves, our homes, our wardrobes, our cooking, our lives.
    Thank you for this thoughtful post, Deanna.

  8. Excellent!!! I love what you have said, and I'm in 100%.

    I am a huge believer in the power of words to encourage and edify. One sentence might not mean that much to the one saying it, but it could make or break the moment for the one hearing it.

    As talkative as I am, I work really hard on making my words kind ones. When I fail, and I try to make my "repentance as notorious as my sin" as Charles Spurgeon would say.

    But then, there is the whole silent judging thing that you bring up. It's far too easy for me to take vain glory in holding a tongue and neglect to hold the heart just as accountable.

    I did a lesson a few years ago and repeated it recently on the "whatsoever things are true..." passage from Philippians. I remember vividly that the expression "Lovely" actually means "toward love". I challenged myself (and my class) to take our thoughts about others and picture ourselves picking them up and moving them in the direction of love.

    To this day, it is a remedy for the judgmental thought WHEN I employ it.

    I'm in with you, Deanna, and committed to employing it even more intentionally.

    (And right now, I am in need of practicing it toward the woman you referenced in this post.)

  9. And even without reading that, I know I need to apologize for the length. Your post inspired me.


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