By Anne-Renee Gumley
I just took inventory of my bathroom drawer. It is filled with all sorts of short-term solutions for my visible long-term problems:
eye cream: for those puffy, tired mama eyes
mascara: to elongate even the shortest eyelashes
toner: to cleanse and hydrate my dry, crackly lizard skin
self-tanner: a sure sign that I live in a cold weather state
tweezers: for pruning my bushy, rebellious brows
whitening paste: to achieve that toothy Hollywood glow
smoothing serum: to make my naturally frizzy hair somewhat less Einstein-ish
advanced care body lotion: for doughy, dimpled, post-baby skin
and a serious arsenal of makeup: to cover up everything some board of beauty products deems a “blemish” or problem area
All this ladylike organizing brings me to one conclusion: without all this stuff, I’m a mess! It’s as if the world is shouting at me from every direction, “You’re not good enough!”
The grocery store line helps to feed this inadequacy. Style and celebrity magazines use their glossy pages to dictate trends to the masses, as if we’re somehow confused on what we actually like to wear. (Really? I‘m supposed to enjoy taking care of my family in high heel leather booties and silk harem pants?) House magazines beckon the viewer to do yet another total room make-over, feeding discontent toward the four walls you call home. Parenting magazines are even better, showing pictures of popsicle holding cuties while proclaiming how to discipline (or not discipline, as the case may be), weaving fantasies of family weekends in the Hamptons and implying that well-adjusted mothers use only certain exclusive lines of women’s and children’s products. “Improve yourself.” “Discover your true you.” “Buy this and you and your family will be thrilled with the results.” The guilt builds as you go through the line. I’m not using this or doing that. I didn’t know the latest “must have” is metallic eye shadow and organic cotton pajamas. I’m so out of touch!
Every once in awhile, when I’m feeling brave enough to face the world without my armor of beauty supplies, I don my favorite ripped jeans, soft lifeless t-shirt, hat and flip-flops and enjoy going against the flow of materialism. Deep inside I know that living a life that is pleasing to the Lord should be number one in importance. He made me the way I am for a reason (unbeknownst to me). Scripture says I’m made in the image of God. I am “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as Psalm 139 declares. So if that’s true, why in the world am I trying to cover up his creation? Why do I think I have to be someone I’m not? And more importantly, what happened to focusing on the beauty within, simply living life for his glory?
So what if these tired mama eyes have laugh wrinkles? And yes, that is a grey hair peeking out of the brown. It’s ok. I hear it can be a real crown of honor, in fact. It’s time to rejoice in and embrace who God made me to be. Thankfully, I know that at the end of the day my worth is more than the contents of a bathroom drawer. I’m one of a kind. I am priceless!
Anne-Renee is a full-time mom, works/plays part-time at her family's party store where she does all the ordering, and is an aspiring writer. She is mom to Kailee (7) and Jamison (5) who keep her laughing. She's been involved in a MOPS group since Kailee was a baby and has functioned as a Discussion Group Leader, Discussion Group Team Leader and Co-coordinator.