A Different Kind of Beauty

  • Buy chart paper for Science project.
  • Make sure shoes are washed for sports day.
  • Plan menu for dinner guests. Buy ingredients. Send reminders.
  • Get volunteers for Sunday School.

These, and a hundred little thoughts, swarm around my mind every single day. And that’s not even counting work-related assignments.

Women’s minds have been aptly described as “spaghetti” – there’s a tangle of thoughts and to-dos which can’t always be neatly compartmentalised. Even if you have a Type A personality, your mind hold too many bits, bytes and bobs to neatly tuck away in folders.

We tend to carry the mental weight of everything from making sure our family eats healthy to meeting impossible work deadlines.

The last person to get any attention in this whole rigmarole of responsibilities is – you.

You simply don’t have the time to take care of you.

In fact, we may feel like it may be selfish to actually put our needs on the list. Even if it’s at the bottom of the list.

But, perhaps we could use another perspective.

The Word of God tells us that the greatest commandments are these: To love God and to love others as ourselves. (Matthew 22: 36-40)

To love ourselves, therefore, is clearly Biblical. In fact, God commands it.

How do we do that? How do we indulge in self-care when we barely have time to breathe?

First, perhaps, we can reconsider what loving ourselves is really about.

We have been conditioned to believe that self-care comes down to spa days, dark chocolate indulgences, more time to exercise, retail therapy, and lighted candles around bathtubs.

Hands down, those are good things. But do they really nourish the deepest parts of our souls?

As women who have been bought at such a high price, our needs cannot be satisfied with mere baubles and distractions in fancy packaging.

We need more than anything to be refreshed and replenished – and that happens only in the presence of God.

Spending time with God is not something we check off the list because that’s what Christian women are supposed to do.

Neither is it something we do for God, as if He needs our time.

No, we carve out (fight for, plan for, rearrange our schedules, do whatever it takes) time with God because we desperately need Him.

When we meet with God, we have the chance to look into the face of our Creator and reflect His beauty to the world. That beauty, that grace, is something a spa day can’t ever give us.

When we meet with God, we get to lavish in His love. We let it seep into our souls till we are convinced that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. No soak in a bathtub full of relaxing salts can ever ease our burdens like His unconditional love.

When we meet with God, He tends to our hearts. He is the Bread who nourishes us and the Living Water who quenches our parched spirit. Healthy eating may be good for you, but it won’t ever deeply satisfy your soul like His Word does.

Pedicures, dark chocolate covered caramels and reading a good book on a hammock are all excellent ways to unwind. You won’t find me giving those things up soon. But let’s also learn to unwind in the presence of our Creator who urges us to hand over our burdens to Him so He can give us rest.

Don’t get off your knees till  you’ve heard Him whisper in your heart, till you know that you’re held, till you’re convinced that He is rejoicing over you with singing.

In that love song, in that whisper, in that embrace, you’ll find yourself filled to overflowing. And ready to pour out.

This post first appeared on Indiaanya

Image credit: Unsplash, Alex Blajan

30 comments

  1. Doug Terry says:

    Please explain in the Bible where Easter got its name and where is easter supported/justified where Our Father commanded/commended Easter and lent. Is it pagan?

    • Susan Narjala says:

      Not sure, Doug! Sorry.. but it still feels wonderful to celebrate the resurrection of the Saviour and to set aside 40 days to intentionally pursue Him 🙂

  2. Donna L. Smith says:

    Thanks! I look forward to reading a new message with scripture for the entire Lenton season!

  3. Jennifer says:

    What an amazing reminder of how spending quite time with our Saviour refreshes our soul so we can all we were created to be! Thank you !!

    • Susan Narjala says:

      You’re most welcome. I crave for those times of refreshment, too 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Linda says:

    Loving the Lent Bible plan so much that I Googled you and found your blog. Its clear that God has totally gifted you in your writing. It is profound and personal, provides reflection and practicality in a new way as I try to find time daily to hear God’s whispers. Thank you for what you do, your transparency and honesty.

    • Susan Narjala says:

      Thanks so much, Linda! That’s such a blessing to hear! It’s amazing what God does with our mustard-seed-sized faith and obedience. I so appreciate your stopping by my blog and writing in.

    • Laura says:

      I’m enjoying Your Journeying with Jesus study so much that I looked up your blog, too! The Lent study comes to me right after a women’s retreat and fits so well with the study there…like beautiful God winks.
      Thank you for your thoughts and questions in the study and your blog!

      • Susan Narjala says:

        Thanks so much, Linda! When I wrote the devotional last year, I had no idea that God would use it to bless people living thousands of miles away. He is amazing! I feel privileged to share some of what He has been laying on my heart with you. Thank you for writing in.

  5. Leon Hampton says:

    I was touched in reading today’s blog,, ‘A Different Kind of Beauty’. What you wrote equally applies to men. Things will not fill the longings of our soul, but God’s love will (and how desperately we need to know that love.) I have long thought that the reason God tells us to pray is that it changes us.
    Your article is well written. I do not pray often enough nor long enough. Thank you for the encouragement to do so.

    • Susan Narjala says:

      Thanks, Leon! It’s a challenge to me, too, to pray more! There’s so much joy in the Lord we miss out on when we choose not to spend time with Him. Thank you for your transparency and encouragement!

  6. Leon Hampton says:

    P.S. I’m enjoying the Lent devotional, too. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

    • Susan Narjala says:

      Thanks, Leon! Hope it continues to be a blessing to you and draws you closer to God during this season of Lent.

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