// if every girl could see her beauty, we would be an army //

Beau-ti-ful (adj): possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc; delighting the senses or mind; excellent of its kind; wonderful.

This is not a cry for attention.

It is not a plea for compliments.

It is merely me stating a fact when I say that most of the time, I don’t think I am beautiful.

I tend to look in the mirror and harshly critique every flaw I see (and believe me, there are many). We all do it sometimes, ladies; don’t deny it. We nitpick and tear down every aspect of ourselves that we don’t quite like, out of sheer instinct. It’s an instantaneous reaction to seeing our own reflections.

Now, obviously, this isn’t the way to live, isn’t the way we should view ourselves.

So what do we do to combat our insecurities?

Women of the world have begun a movement of self-empowerment. They are defying the standards for beauty that society and media sets. These daring women say things like “Be your own kind of beautiful” and “Love yourself” and “Find acceptance in yourself”. And on the surface, that all sounds lovely, but they’re completely missing the point.

True beauty is not loving yourself. It is not from any sort of outward adornment, but it is also not from “finding yourself”.

Would you like to know where true beauty begins?

It starts in the heart. It starts with God.

Beauty doesn’t come from anything we have done for ourselves. We do not become beautiful; we simply are beautiful because God made us, and each of us are precious in His sight.

True beauty is being so in love with God that you don’t even care about whether or not you are what the world would call “beautiful”. True beauty is being confident in the fact that you are beautiful not from what you have made yourself to be, but from who God lovingly created you to be. True beauty is caring for others more than yourself.

No amount of encouraging platitudes on self-worth can help you when you don’t have the proper perspective. The fact of the matter is that you’ll never be happy with yourself as long as you’re looking at yourself to be perfect.

Yes, we will still have our days when we’re disgruntled with our appearances; we’re only human. But in those moments of self-degradation God whispers a reminder of the truth into our hearts:

Your beauty shouldn’t come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in My sight.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, crafted in My image.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears Me is to be praised.

Man looks at your outward appearance, but I look at the heart.

And then our perspectives are righted, and the world is sunny again.

From what I’ve observed, the most beautiful girls are the ones who are so wrapped up in the things of the Lord that they are oblivious to their own radiance. They are the girls with a smile and a kind word to everyone. They are the girls who live and love with reckless abandon. They are the girls who strive for His glory and not their own.

What if we all were girls like that? What if, in the midst of this self-worth movement, we encouraged others to look not within themselves but to the Lord for their security? I believe that, if we all had the proper perspective on beauty, we would be an army of truly confident girls and women.

A Note To Everyone:

You, my darling, are beautiful.

You don’t have to try.

You don’t have to listen to the lies society feeds.

You don’t even have to find yourself.

You simply are.

You can rest in the truth that you are made in His image.

You are loved and lovely in His sight.

So many days I listened to the voice inside my head

I never thought that I’d be someone who could be misled

I wanted the mirror to show me something I could not see

I needed explanations for expectations I could never reach

I know I’m not the only one who’s ever cried for help

And Jesus did for me what I could not do myself

He changed my life by changing my mind

He healed all that was broken inside

I’m loving what I can see with His spirit alive in me

I’m finding beauty for the first time

Looking through my Father’s eyes…

// Holly Starr, Through My Father’s Eyes //

{love, Em}

// a welcoming note //


Hello, my friends! Welcome to my blog, and thank you for taking the time to visit!

For my first post, I think it would be fitting to explain why I chose the title I did: A Portrait of Grace.

I’ve always loved the verse in Britt Nicole’s song “World That Breaks” that goes,

And You are, You are the answer
The hope and the end to the searching
You are, You are the portrait of grace
You’re the one steady thing in a world that aches
In a world that breaks

So very beautiful. But really, when you think about it, God isn’t the only portrait of grace.

We are all portraits of His grace. As we grow and learn and stumble and get back up again, His loving mercies are interwoven through each day of our lives. On my own, I am nothing but a jumbled mess of brushstrokes that can’t even be classified as art, but I know my Creator can turn even the most broken canvas into a beautiful, radiant portrait. Portraits of grace are far from perfect; they are messy at times, especially from our limited point of view. But they are lovely in their messiness, and one day we’ll be able to see exactly how His grace turned us into masterpieces.

And this is what this blog is: a glimpse at the messy but grace-covered canvas that is my life. It is the musings of my mind, the breathings of my heart, and the scribblings of my pen. And I would love it if you journeyed on this adventure with me!

{love, Em}