Beauty From the Far Side of the Hill

Gary and I just celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. And even though we’ve had a happy life together, I just can’t believe we’re here. How could I possibly be old enough to celebrate a 44th anniversary?

I remember the first time I realized I was losing my youthful edge. As a conservative young wife and mother, I was relatively content. After all, Daddy said I was beautiful, and my husband, Gary, seemed okay with my efforts.

But then that fateful day came. I was stopped at a red light while driving my daughter, Christina, to cheerleader practice when I noticed a nice young man in the car left of me.

The gentleman was looking my way. Of course, I didn’t look at him. I mean, how tacky would THAT be? But I could feel his stares.

I’ve still got it. Even after all these years, I’ve still got it.

I smiled and turned toward Christina, seated in the passenger’s seat. She was smiling, too. Life was good.

She waved.

I waved back.

Her rolling eyes broke my reverie. Her hand motions signaled my foolishness.

I followed her eyes—past me and straight to the young man in the car next door.

He waved at Christina.

She smiled.

I slunk down in my seat. Reality had it. Needless to say, my quest for beauty was kicked up a notch that day.

I know, I know—it’s awful that I even cared whether a stranger thought I looked good or not. And I hate to admit it, but even now, as a grandmother of four, I still want people to think I’m beautiful. But—being a grandmother of four—I’m often reminded of what little I have to work with.

Praise God He isn’t interested in my age or wrinkles or body shape. He’s concerned with the inner beauty, the only beauty He desires.

So, how do we develop the inner beauty God is looking for? I Peter 3:3-4 says, Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

The first time I seriously read that passage, I thought I was going to croak. (Actually, I thought I was going to throw up, but I’m not sure that’s something I should say here.) A gentle and quiet spirit? Was God really talking to me?

My natural self is anything but gentle and quiet. For me, excitable and loud is probably more like it. But excitable and loud aren’t high on God’s priority list. And neither is lovely, or shapely, or young. Truth is, those words hold absolutely no value as far as God is concerned. That doesn’t mean we have to ignore our appearance. It simply means God isn’t impressed with our package.

But a gentle and quiet spirit? A pure heart? Now, that’s the beauty God is looking for. And that’s a beauty we can all have. But be prepared. This beauty doesn’t come without a price. It takes sacrifice, and it may require some pain. How well I know.

But the rewards are eternal, and they can satisfy for life…a nice long life.

Vonda Skelton

Vonda is a speaker, writer, and motivational humorist who is thankful God can take her messes and use them for His glory. She's the author of four books, owner of The Christian Writer's Den blog, and founder of Christian Communicators, an organization to help educate, validate, and launch women in their speaking ministries. Vonda and her husband have been married all their lives--and they're still happy about it!

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  1. I love this sincere (and humorous) reminder that is so you, Vonda . . . yep, I’m grateful for the makeover that makes us beautiful, no matter what age . . . even if we’re sitting alongside our beautiful cheerleader daughter!

    Hard to believe you have been a bride for 44 years – you’re so beautiful!

    1. Oh, thank you, Verna! You’re so kind to say that. 🙂 I can’t believe that much time has gone by and that we’re as old as we are!

  2. Hi Vonda,

    Happy Belated Anniversary! This July will be our 43rd.

    As per your post, I feel your pain. This, maturing gracefully, is quite a challenge.

    For what it is worth, depressing or not, each time I look in the mirror I have to remind myself . . . Its not going to get any better than this. So its better if I try to appreciate where I am in the journey. After all, it took me more than half my life to look this good!

    “The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord.”
    Psalm 45:11

    His glance of approval is all we need! He only has eyes for us!

    Be blessed, Beautiful!

    1. “It’s not going to get any better than this…” Oh no! I hadn’t thought about it that way before. Thanks for the encouragement. Hahahaha!

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