I have spent a lot of my life feeling that beauty was a waste. I craved it, pursued it and spent hours creating it, but it seemed indulgent rather than important. It was careless pursuit, not a critical pursuit. As I scoured thrift store for beautiful treasures I felt pangs of guilt.

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“I should be cleaning our closets, not finding another treasure.” I scolded myself.

When I took time to put on mascara and lipstick I had a nagging sense that my priorities were all wrong.

Setting the table with our “good” dishes, pretty napkins and candles was just silly if it was only the four of us at home.

My heart craved beauty but my brain disagreed.

Over the last months and years, I’ve begun to rethink my perspective on beauty. Beauty matters. Beauty is not a waste. God created a beautiful world and called it good. God made us creative. He gave us an innate sense of beauty and a desire to seek beauty.

But I have misunderstood beauty. I’ve tried to use beauty to prove my worthiness. Instead of letting beauty wash over me and fill up my soul, I used beauty as a tool to feel good enough. A perfect home, beautifully set table, delicious meal or the right shade of lipstick could never make me more or better. Misused, those things become a wall between myself and others. I am already enough. I don’t need to prove my worthiness; I’m already worthy.

When I start from a place of knowing I am worthy, beauty becomes a gift to myself and others. Beauty inspires instead of distracts. Beauty connects instead of divides. There is no need for comparison, because each of us is worthy and amazing in our own unique way.

Beauty is everywhere.

There is beauty in a sink full of dishes after a delicious meal shared with treasured friends.

There is beauty in the red lipstick kiss I leave on my son’s cheek.

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There is beauty in the way the sunshine filters through tall, dry grass as I hike the hills near our home.

There is beauty in slowing down, breathing deeply and just being.

There is beauty in two hearts truly knowing and loving each other despite the messiness of relationship.

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There is beauty in the bravery of trying something new.

There is beauty in letting the moment be whatever it is, without trying to control it.

There is beauty in the pain of being human, the tears of a friend sharing in my pain.

There is beauty in a carefree moment of laughter and being silly.

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There is beauty in a vintage wool rug, a worn chair and a cozy blanket.

There is beauty in accepting things don’t have to be perfect.

There is beauty in an amazing thrift store find.

There is beauty in an orderly, cleaned out closet.

There is beauty in seeking out beauty and sharing it with others.

There is beauty in choosing hope, choosing joy, choosing love.

And there is so much beauty in knowing I am enough just as I am. You are enough. You are worthy. You are amazing. You deserve sunshine and good coffee.

There is beauty in knowing beauty matters. Beauty is not a waste.

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