Taco soup and a lake view. Two sleeping boys and our third quietly waiting his turn to come into this world. Listening to Dave Barnes and letting my mind take me where it will – a fresh rarity.

My husband is almost forty and I, thirty-one, but I still ask him on occasion, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’ll be chasing that man around in a walker and still asking him that.

When I grow up, and everyday in between, I want to make women feel cherished by their Father – deeply delighted in and dazzling before His eyes. Typing and saying these words out loud together, tears grace my cheeks because I mean it so deeply. I know too many women, some I’m even related to, that haven’t felt beautiful or wanted in years – or ever, if they were really honest. Not due to the lack of effort on the part of those who love them, daughters and husbands and boyfriends and mentors, but because they won’t dare the risk of believing that anyone, let alone themselves or the God of their hearts, could really see them as astonishingly pretty through every layer of their being.

In a TJ Maxx try-on room a few years back, my mom urged me to try on a hottie red dress – the kind that lets every asset have its turn. No doubt it was fun to have on and imagine my man’s reaction on sight, but it wasn’t purchase worthy – made of polyester and about $25 over price. Her urging response hurt my heart:

You have to buy it! You’ll never look this good again.

Lies and honesty buried together in one comment. She sees life as a landslide, a downhill to worse. Has she ever felt pretty? And how many millions of other women like her feel invisible because they aren’t 22, 120 pounds, 5’11” and a 30DD? Memory of what took place or what I wish took place is fuzzy now, but I turned from the three-way store mirror and looking her in the eye said, “Really? Is this it for me?” No sarcasm, but genuine disappointment if even a part of what she said was reality and sadness because I knew her words matched her heart.

I fully intend to feel and be beautiful if I make it to 100 and everyday in between. So little of beauty is based on the outer and I know that to be true deep in myself. I’ve starved, wished for change, compared and belittled my body along with every other woman on this planet, but refuse to do so anymore. In fact, now after two children and today in midst of building another, I feel sincerely pretty and like what I see even naked in front of my mirror.

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

1 Samuel 16:7

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Proverbs 31:30

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

1 Peter 3:3-4

Your beauty should not 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 God’s sight.

The great question is, What kind of life could you be leading if you refused to believe the lie anymore that you aren’t enough or are too much? What measure of adventure with God could be yours if you stopped huddling with the masses warming their hands around the blazing lie of this world and realized, as a child of God, I am His Daughter – a Princess in my own right because of His great love. Consider what you are missing out on because you’ve surrendered or simply resigned yourself to less than His best.

This really isn’t all your fault or mine when it comes down to it.

The story of your life is the story of the journey of your heart through a dangerous and beautiful world. It is the story of the long and sustained assault on your heart by the Enemy who knows who you could be and fears you. John Eldredge

So who could you be? With total freedom in His love, what could everyday really be like for you? No more resignation to hating yourself or pining for those make believe days when you felt thinner or prettier. No more waiting until you’ve lost just enough weight to feel good enough. Adventure comes with fear and change and victory and bloody battle and great reward. But it is REAL and when in the hands of the One who loves you most, even the darkest days have meaning and beauty and purpose greater than any wildest dream.

It is never too late to become what you were always meant to be.Anonymous

The glory of God is a man fully alive. St. Irenaeus