3 Keys To Being Beautiful

key-74534_1920“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a very familiar quote to me.

I’ve had my share of battles with the meaning of beauty – be it physically, mentally, or emotionally. Growing up, I felt that I was never affirmed of my own ‘beauty’ and the only way I gauged my own beauty (which I equated as self-worth) were by the praises of people around me and attention from boys (you read correctly, boys, not men).

To make the long story of my journey thus far brief – the long battle with the perceived definition of beauty physically was against the media’s standards. We all know that people appearing on TV screens, fashion magazines or billboards mostly have flawless skin, prominent features, perfect body proportion, ideal body weight, and toned abs. I was far from that (still am) and tried various kinds of diets.

To add salt to the wound, the reality of life affirmed the distorted perception with interactions with church guys who would joke about my height – being a petite (under 5 feet) with no consideration whatsoever about how I felt. It didn’t help also when I had to choose corporate attire when most of the sizes are pretty much for the “standard average height”. They thought that their jokes were funny and cute, but far from it. I thought it was disrespectful.

Although I was not obsessed,  the perceived standards set by the media affected me. I was unhappy on the inside and looking back, if I had a better perspective, perhaps I could have been more happy and less hard on myself. It would have been easier also if someone, especially an older women,  had counseled me. Boys at that age are just being idiots and also learning a refining journey. Well, we can’t blame them, can we? My suspicion is that women from the baby boomers generation are battling with the same thing themselves.

To say that I did not compare my physique with other girls/ women around me would be a lie, and I used to blame God for making me ‘this way’. How I thought about myself had affected how I feel in general. I felt that, no matter what I did, I would never ‘measure up’ literally and figuratively. It was very tiring.

However, as time went by, by the grace of God and with great people around, coupled with a few more years of wisdom – I’ve learned that with ‘men’ (i.e., human beings), you will never be enough. But with God, on the very first day, I am already enough. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

I no longer think that Psalm 139:14 is a Christian cliché anymore because it is a known fact that every single human being on this earth has their own insecurities, physical insecurities included.

The main thing in life is to be the best that you can be whether it is physical (health, fitness and appearance), career goals, relational goals and even spiritual development. We owe it to ourselves to live the best we can because we only have one life to live. I resolve to build a healthy biblical perspective about beauty and intend to pass that on to the next generation.

So, what have I done to improve my quality of life? Basically, I’ve adopted a renewed perspective on body, mind and spirit-man. These are my 3 keys to beauty:

Physically: I made it my goal and discipline to work out as much as I can to improve my fitness and achieve a toned body (note: a toned body, not a skinny body). I would be conscious of the type of food I eat, how it made me feel after that and be mindful of my meal portion. Balance is key.

Mentally: I daily remind myself of my focus to stay fit in order to function better and effectively, and hope to stay in shape (or better) as I grow older. I can confidently testify to you that the only way that a Christian woman can grow in her faith and spirituality is by the reading of God’s word. The best selling book throughout the centuries. Yes, it’s the Bible.

Emotionally: Through many days or night of tears and frustration, the Lord has taught me to appreciate how He had created me and helped me to comprehend with a deep conviction of my identity in Him. With the firmer foundation of my own identity, I am able to respond to those jokes more graciously. Firstly because I no longer need their approval (or the world’s). Secondly, to joke about others is a reflection of the other person.

My dear friends, our physical body will continue to waste away until the day we return home to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures say that we will be given a new body (1 Corinthians 15:35-55). So why waste so much of our earthly time to focus on something that is not of eternal value?

If you are reading this and you are not a Christian and think that you cannot relate to my statement, perhaps allow me to challenge you to think of living a meaningful joyful life in the long run. Choose positive values and filter messages that place ridiculous standards upon you. Don’t be deceived by ‘power’ of Photoshop!

One last thing that I’d like to encourage us all. When we stop focusing on ourselves but start adding value to others, you will find that beauty is truly skin deep.


timmie-liew Timmie

Hello, my name is Timmie and I’m from Malaysia. I am a lawyer by profession. I am a charismatic, passionate person and enjoy beautiful things in life such as travelling to different cities to appreciate the culture. I love fashion and appreciate ‘coffee time’ with people to talk about life and build meaningful relationships. I’m passionate about the things of God, the Church and authentic leadership. My deepest desire is to embrace all that God has called me to be and be a blessing to whoever that God has placed in my life past, present and future. Our God is a GREAT God, and the best is yet to come !🙂

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Free Webinar This Weekend: The Christian Women’s Guide to Self-Love

Who here likes free?

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MRP had an awesome conversation this week with therapist Nichola K. Brown (which you can read by clicking-> here). Nichola is also hosting a FREE webinar this Saturday, February 10th, “Loving Me: The Christian Women’s Guide to Self-Love.” Click the link to RSVP and find out more about it!

MRP Interview: Nichola K. Brown

This year, the Modern Ruth Project will feature occasional interviews with specialists and professionals who are experienced in each month’s topic. This past week, I had the pleasure of talking with therapist, author, and founder of Keilah Restoration Ministries, Nichola K. Brown. Nichola specializes in empowering individuals and deeply desires to help women understand what it means to be loved by God.  

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MRP: In your experience, what are some of the most significant mental challenges faced by women?

Nichola: Statistically, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, the most common mental disorder for adults [overall] is depression and anxiety.  And the church isn’t really equipped to deal with anxiety/depression, which starts in the brain. You can’t really tell people to pray. It needs to be taken more seriously.

MRP: In your opinion, where do insecurity and low self-image stem from?

Nichola: There can be so many factors. It can go all the way back to your family origin, your household, or school. For example, if a teacher didn’t think highly of you or you were bullied or if there was verbal abuse in the home. It varies from person to person and could be triggered by anything.

A woman goes through about 7,000 to 9,000 thoughts per day. So let’s say, you make a mistake. [Now] you have a whole story you created from that action. Whatever an external encounter was, we [mentally] create a narrative and elaborate story that’s not even true.

MRP: Can a negative view of oneself be easily overcome?

Nichola: Anything is possible through Christ. We are so resilient and God made us in such an amazing way. As easily as we learn, we can unlearn.  But it will take energy, effort, and intentionality. It’s not impossible but not easy.

MRP: How can women start to improve their self-image?

Nichola: You can listen to sermons. Put words of affirmation on your mirrors. Flood your minds with words that counter those negative thoughts. Focus on and memorize affirmation Scriptures.

Usually, people come to therapy when they’re in crisis. [But] I’m a huge advocate of everyone going to therapy once a year, just like a physical exam.

Proverbs 20:5 says “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Connect with someone who can really help you. You aren’t alone in this feeling. There are a community of people struggling with the same thing and there are counselors who are willing to work with you.

MRP: What’s one thing you’d say to a woman who is struggling with crippling self-esteem?

Nichola: I’d say “God loves you as you are.” He is not less pleased [with us] when we are in a place of brokenness for He sees us in such a different way. Sometimes, we push God away because we think we need to be in a healthier place. But that doesn’t make Him love us any less. God is still present in the despair.

The decisions I made were so different once I really understood that love is not based on perfection. And once you receive His love, you’ll understand why identity is so important in our faith. It’s the core foundation of everything you’ll build on.


MRP thanks Nichola for sharing her wisdom with us! Nichola is also hosting a FREE webinar this Saturday, February 10th, “Loving Me: The Christian Women’s Guide to Self-Love.” Learn more about Nichola and her ministry at https://www.keilahrestoration.com. Also, check out her book, Sabbath Season: A Call to Rest on Amazon.

If you’re interested in seeking therapy, please visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists, http://www.christiancounselordirectory.com/FindATherapist, or https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/ for a therapist near you.

Un

girl

I contracted the un disease when I was about 8 years old.

Accompanied by her mother, my best friend Keisha and I went to see a movie on a cold January afternoon. The movie was, in my very urbane and elementary school aged opinion, totally stupid and I remember not really wanting to see it. But it was Keisha’s birthday. So what the birthday girl wants, the best friend does to make her happy.

Afterwards, while leaving the movie, someone approached Keisha’s mother, gushing over how gorgeous Keisha was.

I could have easily been her daughter, too. But the praise didn’t go to me. It went to her.

The encounter was brief but I remember watching them interact while I thought to myself, “Why didn’t he say I was pretty, too?” The slight made me crawl within myself and feel less.

That was the day that I met un and carried it home in my lap. Un buried itself in my skin and spread like a virus.

Unpretty.

Unimportant.

Unworthy.

Every trait I had, every compliment I heard was immediately contaminated. But one (of many things) that I love about Jesus is He is unafraid of the diseased. He heals us with the truth.

What others see as nonexistent, He knows and celebrates it as wonderful. What man thinks is meaningless, He knows and declares it as powerful. And who the world sees as worthless, He knows and deems priceless.

You are unbeautiful. You are unimportant. You are unworthy. God handpicks those of us infected with un and takes it away.

“My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn’t think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame. What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important.”

-1 Corinthians 1:27-28 (CEV)

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Jennifer Jen

Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 32 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms :-). In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!