Choosing to Focus on Our True Beauty — Jennifer Slattery

Today I’m excited to welcome Jennifer Slattery as she talks about our true identities in Christ.

Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She’s the author of six contemporary novels maintains a devotional blog found at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com. She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, (http://whollyloved.com) she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Connect with her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/).

Social awkwardness finds me. The more I try to avoid it, the more inevitable it is. I’m the girl who packs my daughter’s shoes instead of mine to a weekend writer’s conference, only to discover they’re half a size too big—enough to cause them to slip, very unglamorously, with every step.

I’m the girl who discovers, after a speaking engagement, that my lipstick turned my teeth bright pink.

And I’m the woman who once attended the Cattle Baron’s Ball in North Platte Nebraska wearing glittery pumps and a full-on gown.

I wanted to look beautiful. To stand out.

I did, but so not in the way I’d hoped.

So, there I was, a grown woman looking like a prom queen wanna-be, surrounded by a bunch of cowboys. I was mortified and demanded my husband take me home. Again and again, stomping my sparkling, mud-covered shoe for emphasis. (Maybe I hoped if I tapped them hard enough, they’d work like Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the Great Wizard would whisk me away.)

All I could think of was the idiot I must’ve looked like.

All my husband could think about was how much he loved me. He grabbed my hand, pulled me close, and whispered in my ear, “You’re here with me. You’re mine. Who cares what anyone else thinks.”

Ladies, I think God’s saying the same thing to us.

So often, we can feel like we donned our best dress shoes only to step ankle deep in a pile of manure. The poo smells, sure. We’re bummed about the shoes and nylons, but what cuts deepest are the inadequacies those experiences expose.

When did we allow our identity to get tied into our looks and fashion choices? When did we trade the depth of true beauty for such a shallow lie? There’s nothing wrong with dressing nice or getting one’s hair done, but as we do, may we always remember where our true beauty lies.

We know this intellectually, but it’s easy to forget in our selfie-taking, photo-shopped culture. To remain centered in Christ takes work, determination, and practice. We have the power to control our thought life and protect our hearts. But we must, daily, make the choice to do so. When we walk into a room full of other women, we can either feed all our insecurities or remember God’s presence and power within us, what He says about us, and determine to live in that.

Truly, we can.

We can soak in God’s truth and rest in His grace. We can give Him the final say.

We can filter every thought and interaction through the lens of His love and grace.

We can live victoriously, like the beautiful, radiant masterpieces God created us to be.

ABOUT HER BOOK:

On the verge of college graduation, Loni Parker seeks employment as a music teacher, but no one will hire her since she’s blind. Or so she thinks. To take her mind off her troubles, her roommate invites her to spring retreat at Camp Hope in the gorgeous North Carolina mountains.

Unbeknownst to Loni, Michael Ackerman, the director, is an ex-con responsible for the accident that caused her blindness. When Loni warms up to camp and wants to return as a summer counselor, Michael opposes the idea, which only makes Loni want to prove herself all the more. Though she doesn’t expect to fall for the guy. Still, her need for independence and dream of teaching win out, taking her far away from her beloved Camp Hope . . . and a certain director.

Camp director Michael Ackerman recognizes Lonie instantly and wants to avoid her at all costs. Yet, despite the guilt pushing him from her, a growing attraction draws him to the determined woman. She sees more with her heart than the average person does with his eyes. But her presence also dredges up a long-buried anger toward his alcoholic father that he’d just as soon keep hidden. When circumstances spin out of control, Michael is forced to face a past that may destroy his present.

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CSH8F97

 

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