it's different when you have a little girl. i think, mostly, because i once was a little girl. i was a pre-teen. i was a teenager trying to figure out who i was. and i was a young adult longing to find the man who i so dreamed about. i understand lucia. maybe not her right now, but as she steps into independence, little by little - and begins to try and define who she is by what she sees and what she is told - that i remember.
and so today, as i was rocking her to sleep, i was watching an American Idol clip on youtube (i'm a sucker for singing competition shows... i know, i know...) and a girl sang a Beyonce song, "Halo." I'm pretty far removed from pop culture now that i am married with kids, and don't have a TV. with that being said, i am well aware that Beyonce is our cultures definition of a powerful, "fierce", and beautiful woman. she is what many women aspire to be. not her exact career, perhaps, but what she personifies in her songs, on stage, and in her image. she is WOMAN.
this totally saddens me, as i watch my little girl start to smile and as i know her beauty is being compared to that of other babies. (i've heard those conversations and know they exist). she is stepping into a world that has a VERY VERY wrong definition of beauty. it's crippled our men (and marriages), lead to pornography addictions, and lead countless (or probably all women at some point in time) to thinking they are not enough.
bottom line: i don't want my little girl to derive her perception of beauty from beyonce. or whatever pop culture has cranked out when she is older. not only is it unattainable, but it's also false. i am reminded, by God, that a woman's beauty is "the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
as i was praying in my journal, asking God to guard little Lucia's heart - that she would let herself be defined by God's fierce love for her and His jealous dedication towards her. that, when born again, her beauty is found within Christ's death on the cross - and in her hope of a resurrected body on the day of the Lord.
after that I turned to John, where I've been reading, and came upon chapter 12 - the story of Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus with her costly perfume... wetting them with her tears of love and devotion, drying them with her hair - the greatest glory/beauty a woman displayed in that day. this, i said to myself, is true beauty.
even as i type it, my heart is rattled, as i wake up to see my postpartum self, and end my day more disheveled than i began. even i must remind myself that extravagant devotion, the kind that offers everything - our 'beauty', our fame, our hope for worldly success, our future to the feet of He who died on our behalf, and who is now glorified, TRUE BEAUTY, at the right hand of God.
my prayer is that Amos' heart and eyes remain pure and moved only by this true beauty found within a woman, and that Lucia pursues, even as a young girl, the beauty that God esteems. and that the hope that these two prayers would become a reality is only found in the gospel - a regenerate heart that lives for the things of the Spirit.
and let it be so.
check out the posts over at After His Smile HERE and Mike + Brit HERE.