Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wrinkles! Flab! Gray Hair!

I found 3 gray hairs on my head this year. At first  I tried to pass them off as blonde but they were stiff little buggers and this did not fly. " Nope, those are definitely gray." Or so says my husband. [By the way, Randy, the ones on your chest aren't blonde either. And no... the beach sun did not bleach them.]  A friend suggested that I pluck them out since there were only 3. WHAT! Pluck out my badges of honor. I didn't come by these three hairs easily I'll have you know! They were earned through hard labor. Besides, they match the 3 wrinkles on each side of my eyes. My mom says, "Those aren't wrinkles, those are expression lines." Thanks Mom, that really helps:(   My daughter is the honest one. She says, "But Mommy, I think your wrinkles are cute. I think that you are the second cutest girl in the whole wide world." [ She's the first, or so she believes...her world isn't very wide yet.] "And Mommy, your belly isn't fat, it's just mushy. I like you just the way you're cuddly." I like Michaela's viewpoint the best. Cuddly, with cute wrinkles. I got my hair permed once; Michaela didn't like it. Everyone else did. She didn't like it because,"You don't look like Mommy." She had a point. Why would I want to change the way I look? If it's good enough for God, it should be good enough for me. Which brings up the question of vanity. Am I vain? The answer to this would have to be yes. I've certainly confessed it often enough. Do I want to be vain? The answer to this is a resounding, NO! The Lord has given us a natural cure for this type of vanity. Wrinkles! Gray hair! Mushy bellies? The medicine is slightly bitter but definitely effective.

We live in a world that is caught up in vanity. Look at movie stars. Look in fashion magazines. [I do not read these.] As a matter of fact, I rarely watch movies anymore. There are very few good ones. I don't watch much TV either. The things that used to draw me, now repulse me. Hollywood has gone over the edge and the landing will be rough. Occasionally a good movie will come along, but these are few and far between. Many books disgust me; I often toss them down after a few pages. I choose my books with more care now. The fine arts have lost their artistry. Or maybe I should say - authenticity. Instead of pointing to a greater truth, they point at themselves. True art is lost when it comes from the ego...the false self. Art inspires awe when it unveils true beauty; when it's aim is a truth greater than ourselves. Vanity is the word that comes to mind when I look at the fine arts in these days. I find that I have to search more diligently for honest expressions of these gifts now. When I do find them, I value them all the more. It is like digging for treasure. Sometimes all I find is fools gold, but here and there I will find a gem.

Thank you, O Lord, for helping me find gems of wisdom and pearls of truth in the midst of depravity. Purify me, that I might be a good example to my daughter and the youth of the world. Draw my eyes away from myself and towards Thee; for in Thee lies all truth.


  1. Yes, it is unfortunately how vain our world has become.

    That was certainly a good point of view your daughter had when you changed the way you looked. Although a perm isn't being too vain I don't think ;)

    I think we all suffer with vanity at some point in time. It's important to not become stuck in it, and it appears to me that you're doing a good job.

    I was born with a port wine stain birthmark covering 3 of my fingers and palm on my right hand. I was always given the option to have it removed, but I figure, God made me this way so there's obviously a point to it. So why should I change the way I look just to fit in with how everyone else looks?

  2. My daughter has one on her back. It's quite large and grows as she does. Hopefully it won't bother her as she gets older.

  3. What a beautiful post Mary and it reflects my thoughts in full.

    We have to be careful though not to confuse a good healthy physical neatness with senseless vanity :) Many of us Catholics have to be careful because fighting immodesty and vanity and pride does not mean going around shabby, with grey hair, or gloomy looking ;)

    A hug to Michaela.

  4. Women AND men are taught that if they don't look like a toned, buffed, 20-something year old at all times they are "damaged goods" and unworthy of things like love or to be the desire of someone's heart. Being in a wheelchair AND in my late 40's I struggle with feelings of being "unacceptable" appearance-wise....especially of those extra 20 pounds I put on over the past few years. Hopefully we'll teach our children what "beauty" REALLY is and how to see it in themselves and in others.

  5. Rachel,
    Exactly! I want my daughter to feel beautiful on the inside and to look at others this way,also. We are all God's children.

  6. Thanks Gabriella! I agree. I just want to be careful in what I teach Michaela.

  7. If it's good enough for God, it's good enough for me! Great attitude!

  8. I hope your daughter grows to appreciate her uniqueness. I'll admit that I was picked on as a kid for my birthmark and it really did bother me sometimes. Even now I sometimes pay for things out of my left hand even though I'm right handed so people don't comment. I get sick of cashiers asking what happened (as if it's any of their business anyways). But it's true that God makes us how we are for a reason, even if we don't know it yet.

    But even if there's something that we don't quite like about ourselves, sometimes we do have crosses to bear, and it helps us see our imperfections and look to heaven with yearning, which isn't a bad thing.

    Anyways, sorry for the long comment. I just really hope your daughter doesn't hate hers. I wish that people didn't have such a focus on being a perfect human being, since that is impossible.

  9. You are doing your daughter a great favor by helping her accept herself. Excessive preoccupation with our looks is a major time-waster, to say nothing of our inner contentment. I wish I had known this better when I was younger, but thank the Lord I realize it now.

    Also--thanks for your comments on my blog (womanatwell).

  10. I was reflecting on my comment here, saying we shouldn't spend excessive time on our looks, and realized I had just spent lots of time on updating the looks of my blog! I beleive there is a balance, and of course when someone has a birth defect like a cleft palate that gets in the way of their health, they seek corrective measures. We always need God's wisdom to do what is best.

  11. Funny and cute post. I have had bleached blonde hair for about 8 years, maybe more and my gray hairs just blended in with the blonde. Now that I have dyed my hair back dark, I now have a new worry... all those nasty gray hairs showing. I'm 32, and I'm lucky to look young for my age. I'm now worried about the gray hair growing in between dye jobs, scary. I never had to worry about this before. I'm afraid it will make me look my age or older. Why does being a woman have to be so difficult?

    Men have it easy, they get better with age.

  12. Mary vain? :o I think not! Your eyes are clearly focused on the Lord and not upon yourself except as a desire to grow even closer to the Lord.

    Your Brother's Thoughts...

    p.s. I looked up vain. "excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited: a vain dandy." Not a match Mary! Note the keyword "excessively"... :)

  13. Funny, John! The word "excessively" is duly noted :) Love, your sister with the 3 gray hairs. Oops! Make that 4! Ha!Ha! Did you notice dandy rhymes with Randy? Just kidding!