/ / / Finding Contentment With the Girl In the Mirror {Proverbs 20}

Finding Contentment With the Girl In the Mirror {Proverbs 20}

Finding contentment with what we see in the mirror is not easy, especially when we are constantly comparing ourselves to those around us.  #Biblestudy #Proverbs #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Proverbs 20:29 says:

The glory of young men is their strength,
    but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

The young may have strength…but gray hair is the splendor of the old.  Wisdom comes through many years of righteous living.

Yet our culture despises gray hair.

When I linger in front of the mirror for a moment…what do I see?

A gray hair popping out, that BIG sun spot on my cheek, and those bags under my eyes.  Then there’s my beloved muffin top – possibly the thing that makes me most insecure. For me – all it takes is a mirror to get me discontent.

The only thing worse than a mirror is comparison.

We all do it – we compare ourselves to…

1. Ourselves and our pre-baby days. I marvel at pictures of myself from high school and college.  I wonder why in the world I felt fat back then because I was not fat at all. I only wish I could be that thin again!

2. Our siblings – Both of my sister’s are size 0 – need I say more?! (I’ve blogged about this struggle here.)

3. Our friends – I have some tall friends who make me feel short. You know who you are!!! Lol! Those who know me well know I ALWAYS have a heel on unless I am exercising.  Even my flip flops have a heel.  (I have issues right? Lol!  In case you wonder, I’m 5’2″.)

4. Our foes – if comparison turns into jealousy then we are way off track from where God wants us to be and we have gone from being a friend to a foe. Jealousy is ugly and deadly – it’d be better to pluck our eye out (Mark 9:27) than to covet our neighbor’s beauty.

5. Strangers – I’ll admit it – I’ve walked through the mall and have seen beautiful women my own age – thin, tan, shiny hair, glowing skin… and I’m floored…how do they do that?

6. Celebrities – Comparing yourself to celebrities is a lose/lose situation – they have trainers, cooks, nannies, hair stylists, fashion designers, and airbrushing! We can’t possibly keep up.

So what can we do?

It’s a matter of mindset.

What is it you don’t like about yourself?

Now praise God for it…go ahead – do it.

Does it feel strange?

Here’s my prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for my blessed life.

Thank you for my muffin top – it means I’ve had an abundance of food.

Thank you for my gray hairs – it means I’ve been blessed with years.

Thank you for my bags under my eyes – it means I have been blessed with many people in my home to love and care for and a thriving ministry on-line.

Thank you for my sun spot – it reminds me of all those fun days on the beach and at the pool.

Thank you for loving me and dying on the cross for me.

I love you Jesus. It’s in your name I pray, Amen.”

That’s a strange prayer isn’t it. The world says – suck the muffin top in or get a tummy tuck, color the gray hairs, conceal the bags, have the sun spot removed and on and on it goes.

Now try again to thank God for that thing in the mirror that drives you nuts!

It’s hard I know – that’s because you’ve been focusing on it and thinking so negatively for so long that your mind can barely bare the idea of actually praising God for how you are made. You have been beating yourself up with comparison!

Dear God, “I Praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14)

Focus on the wonderful things he has given you – eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to serve, feet that walk, a heart that beats, lungs that hold air, a brain that can read and understand this, and a heart to feel God’s love – wow – you are amazing!

Aren’t you wonderful (and I don’t mean this in a prideful sense)? God made you and he says you were wonderfully made – trust him that he made you the way you are for his purposes!

Proverbs 31:30 says,

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

May we remember what is beautiful in God’s eyes – beauty is vain – it is fleeting.

No one is going to outrun old age unless they have an early death. Whether we like it or not – even the most beautiful woman in the world will eventually grow so old that no amount of plastic surgery can correct the weakness of her bones, her hearing, her eye sight or the wrinkling of her skin, the spots that appear on her hands or the arthritis, dementia and frailness that sets in.

But her gray hair – it will be her crowning glory.

“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” (Proverbs 16:31)

John Piper says “The fight for joy is a fight to see.

It is a fight to see things from God’s perspective rather than this world’s.  We must fight for contentment with the girl in the mirror.

Choose contentment today.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6)

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Chime In**

Do you struggle with contentment with the girl in the mirror?  In what ways?

36 Comments

  1. Courtney.
    I’m 29 and have more grey hair then my grandma (she’s never colored her hair). I don’t struggle with criticism on being over a certain size or weight BUT I do get very hurtful comments about my being underweight (I’m a size 2 and have medical problems that prevent me from gaining proper weight….even after 3 kids)
    I know the shortness factor…I’m 5’4″…the cabinets in my apartment are so high I have to tip toe to reach the bottom shelf and stand on chairs to reach the rest. My husband thinks it’s cute. My two oldest kids (11 and 9) think it’s funny. My oldest is 5’2″.
    You know what?? I love it all! My grey hair tells me that I have stories to tell. ( they do get covered though because I have a hair dye addiction). I have pregnancy mask from my now 4 year old….I earned it. My small size means i can run and hide behind my husband and be fully protected and unseen ( unless you’re standing behind us lol) it also means that I’ve been fighting an invisible illness for almost 30 years and am slowly kicking it’s butt ( I used to only be 95 lbs…..2 years ago). It’s all stuff that I have been given….and for a reason. And I embrace it.
    Foes, strangers and celebs…..I don’t worry about them…..if I were to do things to their standards….they wouldn’t notice..so why bother. No sense in cluttering my mind with them….clear mind, happy heart.

    1. I struggle with this everyday. I suffered from acne since I was a teenager and now I am turning 26 and Ive been putting on full face makeup for the past 3 years and I am beginning to hate it. These breakouts are due to my hormonal imbalance and it has left so many acne scars that I cannot seem to bare to look at outside of being at home. I am on my journey of becoming more modest in the eyes of God. But being as though I struggle with the appearance of my face I tend to “paint” my face which I know is not Godly of me. This is really something I need to fix within myself and work on being a stronger Christian woman.

      1. Jennifer, being modest doesn’t mean not wearing make up. When woman wear it to show off themselves – to attract attention to themselves for self glorification – THEN it is immodest. If you need it, sweet one, to cover scars, then do so.

      2. Hello Jennifer, I too suffer acne and have done since 15 yrs old. I am now 37 and through the years have found the only thing that has worked is cutting out dairy. I then only reintroduced it slowly with grass fed, organic milk products a year ago. I am so happy as now I can eat dairy and my skin is pretty clear. From what I can gather from research, the omega 3 and omega 6 levels in organic grass fed butter and cheeses seems to be good for my skin, but if I try the normal dairy it has the opposite effect. Goat’s Cheese is good for me too. My skin also breaks out from some processed sweets and confectionary such as chocolate. I am just happy to be able to eat butter again, I have lashings of it on toast every day. I hope this helps you and God Bless.

  2. Hi Courtney!!

    Wow Thank you for this post!! It touched my heart!! Thank you for being so honest and real, I appreciate it. I know there are many things that I struggle with, however I trust that God made me exactly the way I am for a special purpose! God is good!!!

    Thank you Jesus, you know exactly why I was made the way I am, and I know I might not be fully content with myself right now, however I believe that I can work my way there.

    God bless you and your family

    Sincerely,
    Jessica Medina

  3. I do struggle with my appearance. I was anorexic from junior high until I was 20. Even then I still felt fat, I weighed 90lbs. Now I really have a hard time with my body image, I’m 34. I’ve got that stupid muffin top that just won’t go away. I know it’s there because I was blessed with a child, but still I struggle with it. I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, so I’m coming to terms with that and the effects it is having on my body.

    1. I am saying a prayer for you right now. I was recently diagnosed with Grave’s Disease which is the opposite of Hoshimoto’s but carries some of the same side effects especially with treatment, so I know your struggle well. I have been learning that God is helping to make you a warrior for those with similar struggles but no faith. Let God’s light shine through you!

      1. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease in December. I know exactly what you ladies are going through. I pray that we all have a successful journey throughout the treatment process. God Bless.

  4. I have been struggling with and praying about this a lot lately so this post really struck a chord 🙂 Thank you for all you do!

    Signed,
    Another Short Girl 🙂

  5. Contentment with oneself can be a life-long struggle. At the age of 71, I’m still learning to “like the girl in the mirror”! Thanks for your wonderful and encouraging post.

  6. Thank you for this post! Psalm 139 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I need to remember verse 4 and hide it in my heart and use it often. I am constantly thinking about wanting to change my big thighs and butt. My stomach is not what I would wish for but I can suck it in when I want to. And I don’t like my short neck complete with the “chicken waddle” thing…don’t take a profile picture of me, not good. Okay, now you’re getting a great picture right? LOL! Anyway, I’m 5’1″(age 43)…I don’t mind my height, I lovingly call myself “Petite Pear” (Pear is my body shape).

  7. I really needed this today. Who am I kidding, I need this everyday. I am severely obese and nothing I do seems to help. I usually avoid the mirror. If I do happen to see myself, the resulting feelings are disgust. Thank you Jesus for loving me.

    1. Of course He does love you. You can make the changes you need to to bring your weight down and get healthy. Have you heard of ?Jason Vale? He has an amazing 28 day pro game for people who need radical change or even Banting diet. Give it a try…remember we can do ALL things through ?Christ who strengthens us.

  8. I am 4 10 obese-but my clothes hide my sins of overeating. So, I am again starting Walk Aerobics! I am so thankful for Leslie Sansone Tomellio-she is always so cheerful and helps so many people when they WORK (WALK ) the program. I did it before and with God`s help I can do it again. I have grey hair too-I colored it twice wanting to have my auburn hair back-but I use a purple shampoo and my hair shines. Beauty is only skin deep and I am striving for the beauty inside that only He can give. Thanks Courtney for bringing this up for us! I am trying to see the positives in this negative world.

  9. Thank you for the reminder of how to deal with discontent and for being so open! I am a firm believer that the more open we can be as women about our struggles the more we can help each heal. I love reading stories about people’s struggles with image( especially beautiful women like you!) because I have problems too! And I realize that every woman no matter their beauty struggles even when we logically know it doesn’t make sense. Recently I have been struggling strongly with jealousy of woman in beautiful clothes!
    Your words of wisdom are exactly the answer. Verbal praise and thanks to God for what we do have is a physical and mental way to
    Fight the negative thoughts and dwell on the true blessings He has given us. Thank you so much for the reminder!

  10. Thank you Courtney! This really put things in perspective for me. I turn 65 next month. And I’m supposed to look like this! Mission accomplished. Lol. Thank you Lord for contentment.

  11. I am at the point in my life, at 32, that I am coming to accepting myself for me. The woman God made me to be. The beauty He sees in me, I’m taking it and running with it. It’s a wonder feeling to finally be content with who I am. And the thing that gets me through is truly that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And BTW I’m 5’3, and taller than my mom, aunt and grandma. 🙂

    1. And…. I have always found that older women are absolutely beautiful. I remember being a little girl and looking at the “older”, grey headed ladies, and thinking how beautiful they were/are. They seem so feminine and frail, not in a bad way. I always thought, I want to grow older and look graceful like they do. I think it’s a beautiful thing.

  12. Loved this post!
    We all have good and bad traits, but it is so easy to negatively focus on the bad. 🙁
    I have been trying to be thankful for the hard things too. God wants us to be thankful in everything!

  13. Thank you for being so open and honest! I struggle in many of the same ways. How funny it is when my little girl who is 4 said to me the other day that she wants to have a “big” tummy like mine someday and she puffed out her flat little belly! Cute!! She doesn’t care that mommy still has a baby bump. My husband is a gem and has never said anything negative about my appearance- EVER! I think that insecurity is a secret sin and that’s something that God really puts on my heart. I am so thankful to be alive and healthy and I do my best to take care of my temple. The inside of me is what is most important and I definitely need to work on that 10 times more!! Thank you for your ministry and true words to help us gain perspective. Hugs, Shonda

  14. I need this today as tomorrow I turn 42. I have the muffin top, the greying hair (which I love) and dark circles under my eyes. My husband made my week when he told me at a random moment that I am beautiful… I could have kissed him over and over but he was driving.

    Thanks for this post… it was just the reminder that I needed.

  15. WOW – thank you. You could be describing me so easily. Love how you turned into positive thinking. Speaking life. Love!!

  16. Courtney, Thank you for your honesty. I am glad to know there are others who feel this way. I turned 50 this year. It is the season of my life where I will and have been experiencing many changes in my body. Thank you for reminding me …the next time I am experiencing my own, personal “tropical summer” to thank God instead instead of being embarrassed and wanting to go hide somewhere! I have often struggled with body image in my life, but realized it was causing anxiety in my life, that kept me from doing anything out of my comfort zone. Not experiencing the Joy we should have in our Christian walk. God loves us just as we are…and I thank Him for it daily..

  17. Thank you for this post because at 35 years old I struggle with my muffin top, and most of my life I have struggled with the idea of wearing glasses because I don’t like the way I look in them. So this is a work in progress for me, but I have learned to take better care of myself by eating right, and exercising. I know that by trusting the Lord he will help me with my contentment of my body.

  18. Courtney,

    I have stumbled upon you on instagram and saw your post about this entry and decided to look it up. WOW! When you were describing what you see in the mirror I thought you were looking straight at me…problem per problem! Thank you for this post. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for the scripture references. I will be 40 in October and have set the goal to be happy and contempt with myself by that goal mark (for example, a healthier lifestyle with food, exercise, spiritual growth, and better financial standing). I fight a daily battle inside my head trying not to judge myself so hard and remember God made me just the way He wanted and that is all I need to know…but those demons are sometimes so hard to fight off.

    Keep up the great work you are doing on this blog…it is beautiful. God bless!

  19. Wow, Courtney, that was so touching because so many of us, me included, can relate to this struggle. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing your heart. This was very encouraging and a very good reminder to value the right things and to be grateful for God’s blessings and not to try to live up to the images I see around me. But, just be the best me!

  20. I have always been thin and tall (except for that awesome muffin top that came with my kids and the lack of toned muscle where my thighs used to be) and I welcome Grey hair… 31 and just waiting for the first one, I am very excited about it! My struggle for the longest time was my feet. I have long toes and before having my first child I was a 10.5 shoe size…which was impossible to find shoes for my wedding. After babies I am a size 11.5-12 depending on the shoe. I used to be so humiliated by my huge feet, but one day I decided to stop thinking so much about myself and just let my feet be comfortable. ..it has been life changing. People still comment about my big feet/long toes but God made them to give me balance and gosh do I need it, so I am confident that they are just perfect. And I am almost always barefoot now, which never ever was the case when I allowed humiliation to rule my footware.

  21. do i struggle? pick the topic! and it’s not always comparing with others…it’s just looking around and being discontented(!) – so glad that you used the word of contentment in this post.

    my weight (not ok), my hair? (coloring every 6 weeks), torn up carpet in my house that needs replaced, women in church that appear to have more friends, teeth that are too tiny and starting to move again,…
    unfortunately, without focusing on God – i could go on and on some days – and that’s sin.

    perhaps today/tomorrow i need to EMBRACE what God has given to me, ENJOY my present situation, and ENCOURAGE others, instead of focus on myself:)

  22. I loved this post! I have been struggling with my weight for almost 8 months now (post baby bod!). And I’ve always struggled with hurtful words and comments about my ears (they curve and stick out) so much that I don’t ever wear my hair up anymore. This was such a wonderful reminder to be thankful for the things we have instead of thinking negatively! God bless you! ❤️

  23. I needed to hear this post today and all the comments. What we may see as a flaw others look at us and see as beautiful.

    To all my short girls, I’m 5’4″ when rounding haha, I love my height. Some of the best gifts come in small packages. Recently I found another reason to love my height, just last week I found out my husband “wished he was taller” (he’s 5’9″) and I was able to respond “well, you’re tall compared to me and if you were any taller I wouldn’t be able to reach your lips to kiss you.”

    All that said, I have plenty of nit picky things I don’t like about myself on the outside and inside. My big physical crutch at the moment are the bags under my eyes. I’m still in my 20’s but they have gotten worse even in the past five years. They look worse when I smile, but I love to smile. I feel like they distract people from seeing my eyes and seeing me. I have decided to get surgery in August to fix them and in that I have struggled with the Godliness of that decision. Regardless I need to learn to love myself more and pray to see myself the way God does.

  24. Thank you Courtney for your honesty and transparency. I am 42 I have a stomach that looks like I’m still pregnant even though my son is 2 yrs 6mths. I dislike seeing my stomach and the way it pokes out in my clothes. I constantly put myself down because of it. I also have broad shoulders with big arms. Another of my struggle is with grey hair whenever I see them I pluck them out because I see it as a sign of ageing.

    I have struggled with self esteem and body image for sometime. I need to be thankful for a body that carried two healthy children and limbs that work. I also need to start taking care of myself by exercising and eating more healthily. I tend to go through phases where I do exercise and healthy eating for a while then I stop. God has blessed me with this body and if I take better care of myself then in time with prayer and submission to his word I will get to the place where I am content with my body.

    God bless you, your family and ministry.

  25. I struggle with this horribly! I diet, workout 3-5 times a week, I’m 105 pounds after 4 babies and I complain not being toned enough. Also, my biggest insecurity… My boobs. I have had 4 kids and my bra size is a 34 AA. I HATE my boobs and have wanted plastic surgery so bad. This post was amazing to read and gave me a breath of fresh air in addition to relief. I am trying to settle in with God’s purpose for me and accept that He made me this way for a reason and loves me because I am made “perfectly”. However it is extremely hard to believe at times… Thank you Courtney!

  26. So glad I took time out to read this! I’ve had the same thoughts and feelings written here. It’s such a struggle but with God’s help we can overcome. Continue to look at the big picture…our time on this earth is short and temporary. Thankful that since Jesus lived a perfect life, died a perfect death and rose again our bodies will be made perfect in heaven! There we will be free from disease, scars, discontentment with our weight or outward appearance, jealousy and envy. How wonderful! Thank you Jesus and thank you Courtney for sharing your struggles so we do not feel alone!!!

  27. Thank you for this post, Courtney! I have been struggling with my body image for a long time and before I became a true follower of Christ, I took matters into my own hands and got plastic surgery. Since then I have struggled even more with my body image. The surgery did not make me feel more beautiful because now all I see is how I tried to “fix” what I thought was wrong with my body. As I draw closer to God each day I feel sadness that I took his creation and changed it for worldly beauty. Thank you for giving women a platform to speak about all of these struggles. At least we know we are not alone.

  28. I’ve come back to re-read this post for the second time, but the first time since having my second child, I am once again encouraged. I am 27 years old, 5’1″, and have had two babies in two years. My husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first just a month and a half into our marriage, so I went from feeling like beautiful bride with minimal body image insecurities to feeling UGLY. At least, that is what I used to think. It’s funny, now I look back at what I looked like after baby #1 and I wish I was her again! haha
    God is so good though. He has been using my children to teach me to appreciate my bread dough like belly, the extra stretch marks and the overall weight gain. Sometimes I still look in the mirror and wonder how on earth my husband thinks I’m still the least most attractive, but more often than not, the Lord is helping me to see a princess of the King of kings. I see a woman whom He has called to be a wife and mommy and He is worthy of the “cost”. As I work towards eating well and exercising away the weight I am realizing how much more content I am this time around. I haven’t completely overcome the lies the enemy has filled my mind with yet, but every day Christ is giving me strength to not succumb to them. I find that the more time I spend on having an intimate relationship with my Savior, the more I love my life and who He has made me to be.

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