Have you ever seen a nice movie with a gorgeous character in it and started thinking, “If only…”
That was what happened to me when I watched Kate Hudson’s movie, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”. We didn’t plan to watch it, but it turned out to be a pretty touching and hilarious movie, and one which left a deeper impression on me than originally intended.
You see…it started me thinking “If Only… I could look like a bit more like Kate Hudson…” (haha!) and one which spiralled me into a series of reflections.
My husband upon watching the movie, commented on how quickly guys age and lose their manly beauty, even the really great looking ones like Matthew McConaughey. He lamented on his own future, looking at Matthew’s “then” and “now” pictures, and comparing them with the short-lived fame and glory of the NBA stars. He had been feeling a bit depressed about how it was gonna be all downhill from now, and he assured himself saying that he was just living through his mid-life crisis early. (I kept assuring him that he’s one of those guys that look better with age!)
I on the other hand, was left dumbfounded and in complete awe of Kate Hudson’s elegance and beauty. Well, I didn’t wear it on my face of course, but this time it hit hard cos i’ve not been feeling the best about myself!
You see, after however many weeks, I have succumbed to whatever look works within 10 minutes. Having been busy with the children, then the pregnancy, then the birth, then life with three…who would have time to waste? But I did try a little harder the next day… I cut down on my sugar and salt, i jumped on the home bike, I swam 15 laps of the 50 m pool, I tried standing better, but i realise that i still hadn’t had the time to appear drop-dead gorgeous going out!
It seems that there’s just not enough TIME and PRIORITY for me to spend precious hours doing myself when there are many things to be done…the children need to be fed, prepared, taught, meals need to be cooked, snacks packed, devotionals read and the house straightened so that it’s decent. Besides, every morning there is a heavenly tug in my heart to grab a coffee and talk to God, even when at times I have to do it whilst nursing a baby who is sucking louder than my speaker.
I mean, sometimes I wish i had a bit more ME time…time to look great (or greater?), time to be more sociable (or a social butterfly?), time to shop more (or feel good shopping?), time to read more (and be the most well informed mother?), but I have learned that ME time only works best if it leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to then serve and give out to others, more cheerfully.
Do you ever feel all self pitiful and “wasted”? Like you are tucked away doing the mundane while the world parades its glamour before your eyes? Do you ever wish that your time will one day come when you will have all the available resources you need to do whatever you want done?
Well, while I was musing, I was suddenly interrupted by the loud cooing sound next to me. I looked at her. She looked at me. Then out of the blue, she gave me one of her biggest smiles ever. There she was, 10 weeks old and trying to connect with me…smiling, cooing…trying to gain my attention. I suddenly understood.
I realised that this body of mine, even though by no means a supermodel body, has been one that is used for good purpose. My body is a tool, and not a treasure. With this body I have loved my family, given birth to my 3 babies, nourished, carried, rocked, lifted, hugged, towered over, given pony rides and worked hard to provide, to clean, to cook and to chauffeur. This body has been well used. It has brought wonderful, life giving dividends.
Yes this body as I realise, is God’s precious tool for me to use and look after, and not a treasure too wonderful in need of preservation, I may not be able to preserve myself in my youthful 18 year old figure, and yes the baby fat is still there and had not diminished in its entirety, but but by the time I die, I would be assured that this body of mine had been effectively used according to the purpose it had been created for. Motherhood is a very toilsome job, and my body bears the marks and the scars of it…and on my deathbed i want to know that every faculty had been used to their very best ability, not for myself, but for others I nourish.
In that spirit, i can then look after myself without the added component of having to be…I am grateful for what my life is about (knowing God and glorifying Him), and what it is for (serving others), now i can exercise and eat well because God has made me to prosper…on the inside and out.
One thing I hope for, against all hopes, is though people may not remember me for my youth nor my beauty, they will remember a perpetual genuine smile on my face, a refreshing tender spirit, a softness that speaks of love…and they would feel drawn to Jesus because of that!
So though i may not be Kate Hudson, i am content to be me. I am happy to bear the marks and scars that shout “Motherhood is awesome! But it is not easy!” In Christ I can age with real grace and beauty, because He gave an inner assurance that does not fade with youth.
(This idea that the body is a tool and not a treasure is adopted from a little book I adored – “Loving the Little Years – Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic 😊)