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Well, not for long. When I find something that I love or that brings me joy or solves a problem in my life or even a really good sale somewhere, I just can’t keep it to myself. Part of the joy for me is sharing the excitement. I really do want other people to experience the same good things that I do. People will often ask me, “How do you do this thing?” or “What do you use for that thing?” When people ask I love sharing, so I want to share something with you today, but I want to explain why I think it’s worth sharing first.

One night over 6 years ago, I was sitting on the couch in my living room, enjoying conversation with a long time friend that I had not seen in a long while. My daughter, Sydney was sitting on the brick seat in front of our fireplace quietly brushing the hair of her doll and listening to us catch up. At some point my friend asked Sydney about her doll and in her sweet, innocent voice, she answered the questions. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her and my heart was so full as I watched her love on that doll.

As I made the transition from that conversation back to catching up with my friend, I told Sydney how beautiful she was, and with no hesitation and with the same confidence and innocence that she spoke of her doll moments before, she said, “I know”.

My friend immediately turned to me and remarked that my daughter sure had a “healthy” self -esteem. Her tone dripped with disgust and her facial expression and body language implied that she didn’t approve of my daughter’s reply to the comment. My friend went on to tell me that I shouldn’t tell her how beautiful she is and that I should focus on other qualities like how smart she is or how gifted she is at her sport.

And although, I am always up for a good well-informed debate, this was not one of those times. There was nothing to debate.

I do spend time affirming the gifts that God has given my children and we do spend time talking about how they can use those gifts well and how God cares for and looks at the beauty of our hearts, but also I will never stop telling my daughter how beautiful she is…both inside and out. You see, I knew then from years of experience that the world would eventually begin to tear her down, that careless words would wound her, that her very wiring would cause her to be harder on herself than she should be, and that the sweet innocence and confidence of her words would soon fade to insecurities and fear of not measuring up to peer standards. If there is anything I can do to encourage my sweet girl through the insecurities and harshness of this world, then sign me up…I’m going to do it. If I need to remind Sydney with my words or show her how to wear makeup or do her hair to support her, I’m in... for all of it.

I mean my friend wasn’t wrong that night. In fact I agree with her. ALL moms should tell their daughters how they were fearfully and wonderfully made just as they are…that they were carefully crafted by the One who hung the stars and the moon…that loving God and loving people is beautiful, and that every feature of her was made to reflect the very image of our creator.

But can we just be real for a minute? As long as we understand our eternal value, there is nothing wrong with feeling pretty, with feeling good about ourselves, with having a humble confidence in who we are AND how we look. I love pretty things. I love fashion and makeup. I love how a sick pair of shoes or the right color lipstick makes me feel. I don’t always have time to devote to these things, but when I do it gives me a little boost of confidence. “Look good, feel good, do good”. It’s not just a phrase that people throw around; it really is a thing, for me anyway. When I make an effort to look good, then I feel good about myself and that makes me so much more productive and so much more able to love others well. I know I can’t be the only one.

So here we go. I’m going to share a secret. People are always asking me about my eyelashes. Are they real? Well, yes, they are real in that they grow out of my eyelids, but they haven’t always grown this way. About a year ago, I had an unfortunate experience with my eyelash curler leaving my left eye bald. Yep. You definitely read that right. Eye lashes gone. And to be honest I ‘d already been struggling with the whole eyelash thing because as the years have clicked off my lashes have naturally thinned. I tried everything to overcome this unfortunate run in but nothing worked. In a desperate attempt I visited a friend who applies professional false eyelashes, but she told me that she couldn’t help. Apparently you need eyelashes to put the fake eyelashes onto. Who knew?

She sent me away with a little yellow tube of serum called Grande Lash-MD by Grande cosmetics with instructions to apply it at night before I went to bed. I was skeptical, but also I was willing to try anything at that point. In about 5 weeks, my lashes had not only been restored back but they were longer and fuller looking than they had been in many years. It may seem like a silly thing to some and that’s ok, but it gives me a little pep in my step. So the secret is out. I hope it helps you. If you don’t agree with nor remember anything else that I've written today, I hope you will hang on to this: In the words of my friend, Camille, “You are a queen.”

Without ever having laid eyes on you, I know that you are beautiful. I hope that in your head you just said, “I know!”

And if it makes you feel pretty or more confident to face the world with pink hair, then you should rock it. I wish I could, but I simply cannot. If it gives you joy to wear fun shoes or you’re more comfortable in a pair of ripped up jeans, then wear them. And if having eyelashes like a doe makes you smile a little bigger, then put some mascara on those bad boys and go encourage the next girl!!!

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