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the flaw.

December 19, 2010

I started this post nearly 20 days ago but I wouldn’t finish it for such a long time as I’ve been unable to muster the courage to actually sit and swell up the confidence needed to complete it.  It’s such a sensitive subject only because women, such as myself, can be so very critical.  Of ourselves and of others.  Mostly of ourselves.  Thus causing us to judge others in a rebuttal of our own self criticisms. So to finally take the time to do what I’m about to do, makes me vulnerable to you, the reader, as you receive insight into the inner workings of an overworked, overly tired, overly critical, over achiever.  But I suppose maybe I just need the reminder this week of why those things are not only acceptable, but beautiful.

Recently, a favorite blogger of mine wrote a post to promote a book for a good friend of hers. Although this book, and this blog post, are nothing revolutionary, thanks to recent bolsters to the cause by a major beauty brand…

…it must have just come to me at a moment when I really needed to read it.

I should clarify that I have never been one to suffer from a lack of confidence.  It’s one of those characteristics of me that most people pick out first.  I am fairly self aware in that I can pick out exactly what most people see in me, both good and evil.  And because I have a realistic view of that, I don’t suffer from a huge fear of wondering what the world must think of my flaws real or imaginary.  I don’t cherish my flaws.  But I don’t allow them to suffocate my goodness either.

However, motherhood, among other things, tends to kill confidence.  Because motherhood makes you question every decision you make.  Every word you say.  Every theory you have.  It makes your pants tight.  It makes your nights long.  It makes your years short.  So you begin to see things in yourself that you don’t enjoy and you begin to worry about the long term effects it may have on this little innocent life.  I can be confident that the person I am is okay with me, but will it be okay for him?

So maybe I just needed a reminder that who I am is beautiful.  And that it’s okay to say I’m beautiful.  Every woman is.  In amazing short and tall and skinny and curvy and loud and soft ways.  And to make it even more official in my brain, I made a list of all the characteristics of me that have at times made me cringe, but still deserve to be honored as part of me.

I am beautiful,

– Because I’ve stood up way more than I’ve been knocked down.
– Because gave into love, lost, and then did it again.
– Because my jiggliest parts are an id badge of motherhood.
– Because I am so very unkempt.
– Because I’m a horrible singer without volume control
– Because I work hard and sleep harder.
– Because I’m chosen and loved by the Creator of all beauty.
– Because I rarely brush my hair.
– Because I buy and wear little girls dress up makeup.
– Because I’m covered in freckles, all year round.
– Because my husband tells me I am when I feel my worst.
– Because I’m overtly me (aggressive, uncompromising, sarcastic, rude, sensitive, witty, unafraid, strong) and I’m not sure there exists another with that combination.
– Because I don’t have a pretty smile, but I still do it a hundred times a day and never think twice.
– Because I used to be invisible and I finally let myself be brave.
– Because I’m known well for honesty (albeit sometimes brutal).
– Because I’ve got some junk in my trunk.
– Because I have the longest ugliest toes for a women, but if they are cute on my son, they are good enough for me.

Just to name a few.

So tell me, what do you label as a flaw that really makes you beautiful?  And don’t leave me hanging.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. neeser permalink
    December 19, 2010 11:03 pm

    Laura — I am very familiar with that project, have blogged about it multiple times, can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that you know about it…

    …And for the record, though I don’t know you personally… your spirit shines through this blog, and you are beautiful for all of those things you listed and more. I know we’ve never met in real life and have only ever corresponded virtually, but I’m beginning to think maybe we should change that.

    Merry Christmas to you, Chris, and Judah!

    • December 23, 2010 11:09 pm

      Denise I loved your post! Thank you so much for sharing it 🙂 You are amazing for going out there like that and meeting her. That takes some courage. Thank you for the compliments. I love the blog world for this very reason. I have such a community of people I’ve never met but who I definitely know and love.

      Have an awesome Christmas!

  2. Jeff your Uncle permalink
    December 20, 2010 7:00 am

    First off you are beautiful because you are. You happy because you are. What I am saying is you are beautiful deciding to be beautiful. I have known women who are not half as pretty as you who put some effort into being pretty and trust that they are good enough and they appear to me as beautiful as any. Glenn Close would be a good example she does not have the assets Cindy Crawford has but wow I love Glenn Close and I believe her to be beautiful.

    If you think beauty is your problem, you may want to see your eye doctor or a shrink. Cause anyone can tell you are beautiful.

    What makes me beautiful is that I love. I love God, my wife, my son, my family, people in general, and animals. I probably left things out of the love stuff but…

    What makes me ugly is I cannot get people to see or understand that I love them (in a UN-creepy way). What makes me ugly is that I get angry or upset. (People need to forgive and forget people of this and look back that there is love.) What makes me ugly is someone see me as ugly without knowing me.

    Ugly is easier to get than beauty. Beauty makes you feel good when you give it to others whether they deserve it or not.

    Just thoughts of an ugly old man or a handsome loving uncle, you decide.

  3. December 20, 2010 7:43 am

    love this, laura. just love it. you’re a beautiful mother and friend and i think those of us who are lucky enough to know you, are better for it.

    i think i’m beautiful because jack and lila don’t care if i am un-showered, with no makeup on and too tired to bother putting away the laundry…to them, i am their mommy and a princess and a storyteller and a (hamburger helper) chef and a train for them to ride and at the end of the day, that they are happy means that i have done my job for the day…

    miss you.

    • December 23, 2010 11:12 pm

      I miss you too girl. Even more so now that I work in communist Russia and I can’t email you anymore. I think you are beautiful for so many damn reasons I can’t type them all. But mostly because I wouldn’t be the mom and wife that I am without watching you do it all first. You and I are so much alike, but I swear you do it all better.

      So thanks for giving me such good material to emulate.

      And that was so super corny but I feel as if we should be used to all that by now as much as we gush over eachother 🙂

  4. Nicole Sneed permalink
    December 22, 2010 12:10 pm

    Laura, I’ve always thought you were beautiful. I love your dark hair and blue eyes…I’ve always wanted light eyes myself, instead of the swampy brown ones I was given. 🙂 And I do think you have a beautiful smile. And you have a wonderful, funny personality and an amazing way with words that makes you seem even more beautiful. Although it’s been many, many…many…years since we were in high school PE together, I still think of you as the adorable girl with the quick wit who made me laugh A LOT during our time trying to avoid actually having to participate in physical education. lol And now when I read your blog and see what a devoted wife, mother, career woman, and Christian you are, I can see that you have matured into a very beautiful woman…one that I admire and can only hope to emulate in my own journey into motherhood, working, and having it all. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • December 23, 2010 11:13 pm

      That. Was. Too. Sweet. 🙂 Thank you for seeing all of that in me. That’s a testament to the woman you are when you can see so much beauty in others.

      • Nicole Sneed permalink
        December 27, 2010 12:25 pm

        You are welcome, dear!

  5. Nicole Sneed permalink
    December 22, 2010 12:39 pm

    P.S. I forgot to add what I think is beautiful about myself. Right now, being 9 months pregnant and all, I don’t feel very beautiful. I know that pregnant women are considered beautiful, but as I’m sure you know, it’s hard to feel that way when you are big, bloated, and uncomfortable with clothes that barely fit. lol But I try to remind myself that my body is doing something amazing. And in a few short weeks, I will have a son…MY SON (it still shocks me)…to show for my months of misery. And my guy still finds me beautiful, has no problem with the way I look right now and would be ecstatic about “getting romantic” IF I were at all interested and not so tired all the time. LOL

    But despite the pregnancy-induced lowered self esteem, what I find beautiful about myself is that I AM WHO I AM, and I will not apologize for that. I can be too outspoken and opinionated at times, but I refuse to not have an opinion when it’s my right as a woman in this day and age. I may not seem to some to be the “friendliest” person, but I am real. I am not fake. You can trust me to be loyal, as long as you are loyal to me. I do not love easily, but I love strongly once you have my heart and will be 100% devoted. I am not a cheater and never will be. I was raised with high morals and don’t believe in stepping on others to get ahead. I always root for the underdog. I’m a hard worker and don’t believe in just “skating by.” I have high aspirations to help those less fortunate, although I’m not always great at the execution. I have a cheesy sense of humor that might make me sound dorky, but I love to laugh and I don’t care. I believe my child will enjoy having me as his mother because I love to have fun and can’t wait to play with him. I know none of these things have anything to do with my looks, but I feel like these are the things that make someone beautiful. Being true to yourself and embracing who you are as a person, as a woman especially, can make you more attractive.

    • December 23, 2010 11:16 pm

      I love all of the things in you that make you who you are. They are truly unique and wonderful. But I will tell you this…..get ready to see a change in the way you love. You said you don’t love easy….but be braced for your heart to change greatly. It’s insane what kinds of changes you see your heart make when you meet your little man for the first time. Life is lovely. And you feel as if everything in your life that you never cared for, suddenly deserves a part of your love. And just when you feel like it can’t be stretched anymore, it does.

      I’m so excited for you dear. 🙂

      • Nicole Sneed permalink
        December 27, 2010 12:27 pm

        Thank you! I really can’t wait to feel the love you talk about. I’ve always been somewhat of a guarded person, but I know in my heart that I will love my baby unconditionally the second I see him, and if that opens my heart to loving other people/things more easily, then that’s just a bonus! 🙂

      • Denise permalink
        December 27, 2010 10:01 pm

        Don’t mean to barge in on another person’s thread, but I had to say that that I couldn’t agree with you more, Laura, about how motherhood changes the way you love. I also wanted to add that it is completely normal to feel a lot of anxiety and exhaustion before that, too. At least that’s how it worked for me. When I emerged from the fog of those first 3 weeks, I discovered I was a radically changed woman.

  6. jamie permalink
    December 27, 2010 3:29 pm

    So, I read this today and I thought of your blog post…”If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, your wonderful uniqueness is precisely what brings God joy…He’s smitten with you.” I love to think that God is smitten with me 🙂

    • December 27, 2010 10:36 pm

      Girl, there are very few people on earth that aren’t smitten with you. 🙂 I know I am. And I love that you are loved by the God who loves me too.

  7. StephanieV permalink
    December 30, 2010 5:45 pm

    I LOVE this one! (And all the others too.) So, this keeps coming up with me lately too. I have come to the realization that this thing about myself that I have always feared to be an outrageous lack of ambition, is actually a wonderful ability to find contentment. It drives my mother-in-law nuts that I’m never able to think of something that I want for my birthday or Christmas. I’d love to be able to help her out but I just don’t think like that. (Although, I did discover this year that if I DO think of something and just send her a link via email, she’ll click ‘buy’ every time!) It is also a great balance for my super-focused, hyper-ambitious, insanely successful husband. I think we keep each other in line. He’s always looking for ways to improve something. I’m always pointing out why I’m happy with how things are. Alone, either of us would be a mess. Together, we get stuff done and are able to be satisfied with the results!

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