Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Velveteen Rabbit Vs. Cleopatra

This photo is of Salisbury Cathedral in England.

Darcie and I still aren't strong enough to go to church, so I turned on the TV to see if I could find some decent preaching.  What I found was several tele-evangelist types sitting in pseudo living rooms chatting cozily with their wives.  

I'm sure we all remember Tammy Faye Baker, bless her heart, as the poster girl of how not to wear your hair and makeup.  What is it with the wives of TV preachers?  The ones I saw today looked like they were going straight from their tv show to an audition for a Cleopatra movie!  I'm talking dyed jet black hair (one was a honey blonde), bright blue eyeshadow sweeping all the way from lid to brow, and black eyeliner drawn on so thickly that any Egyptian woman would have swooned in admiration.

Their husbands, in comparison, were graying and wrinkling naturally.  They looked their ages, which in my opinion, is a good thing.  The women did too, actually.  They just tried to hide theirs under loads of paint and powder.  

But it never works to their advantage.  Why don't they see that they just look ridiculous? I've seen older women with gray hair and sweet smiles and they're beautiful.  Their beauty comes from within and not from paint cans. 

I want to be the kind of older woman with such a sweet spirit that people are naturally drawn to me.  I want the love of Christ to shine forth from the essence of my being.  I want His beauty to make me beautiful.

My hair is turning gray and has been for about twenty years.  The ONLY time I've been tempted to color it  is when Darcie cried because she thought I was going to die soon since I was getting old and grayheaded.  It must be hard for her to have a Mom that's ten-twenty years older than her friends' Moms.  But I read the Scripture to her that says that a gray head is a crown of glory and left it at that.  I keep up with her just fine, so she's just going to have to be reconciled to it.  I just make sure that Laurel is groomed to take my place when I kick the bucket!

I want to be like the Velveteen Rabbit who didn't become real until it was shabby and well-loved.  I feel like I'm becoming more real the longer I live.  I'm not hiding behind things as much and am content to let people see the "real" me. 

I've just had an "ah ha" moment.  That's why I don't want the summer to end!   I became more real this summer on our first beach trip.  We went to Fripp Island with Laurel and her family and another family from church.  We had a WONDERFUL time together, I think because we didn't have any expectations and were very relaxed all week.  None of us women wore any makeup the whole week.  Believe me when I say this--I am fifty-two years old, and as long as I have been wearing makeup, I have never gone a day without it; not even in the hospital after childbirth. I have a story about that which includes Laurel, but I'll tell it later.  I'll have to get her permission first.  I even used to wear mascara to bed!  Needless to say, vanity has been an idol for me.  I'm only now realizing it though.

So for me to NOT wear makeup for a whole week was very liberating.  I felt like a different person in a great way.  I'm learning that who I am isn't what I wear or the cute little house I live in.  All these things will fall away someday and I'll be left with just ME.  I like the person God is making me into, and just maybe, in small, baby steps, I'm becoming that sweet little old lady I so want to be.  If I live as long as my ancestors, He's got about thirty or forty more years to work on me.  I'm sure it'll take every one of those days to accomplish it!   "For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day....


Susan L said...

Debbie, you are funny! :-) Being 50 myself, I enjoyed this post very much.

One nice thing about growing older is how much less you care about what others think. There was a time in my life when I was always in full makeup and nicely done hair. Now my daily face routine is to wash it, put on lotion and lipstick and go! That's it. For nicer occasions, the mascara comes out. There's a lot of freedom in just feeling more like my real self. If I want to get fixed up, I can, and I do think it matters that we are neat and take care of ourselves, but I like being free from thinking I need to look just so.

Like you, it matters much more to me that my "beauty" is working from the inside out.

I want to grow older gracefully, not trying to be beautiful or young-looking. Just real. Just myself. I think it's sad to see older women who can't accept their age or stage of life. And I want to focus more on my spirit than on my physical appearance (though, again, I really do think it's important to take care here).

Blessings to you today,

lydia said...

Love your blog miss debbie and love that you used the catch all "bless her heart" quote. That's a favorite saying of mine and Laurels :) Also, I want to read the hospital, no make up story! I hope Darcie is feeling better soon!

laurel said...

You can tell the hospital story. It is what it is. This was a good post, mom.

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