I Sing Because I'm Free

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Self-Acceptance…and a song I wrote about it

on June 25, 2015

“Playing Dress-Up”

She’s watching everything I do 

“Mom I want to be like you”

she wants to paint her face like me 

I swore I’d put aside

the things I see in the mirror that I despise

I’d look at myself through my Father’s eyes

but who am I kidding? 

I catch my own self 

trying to fit a mold never made for me

trying to change the things I see

with my eyes

such a hypocrite, I talk a good talk

but when push comes to shove

can I walk the walk? 

cause deep down I’m still a little girl

playing dress-up 

with those lines on my face 

I drew lines in the sand 

cause I don’t want my girls

giving into the world’s demands

trying to be a size 

He never made her to be

trying to look like a Barbie Doll fantasy

instead of the masterpiece

He made her to be 

Recently, I told my husband that I hated the lines on my face.  I didn’t even notice what I was doing as I said it.

“Stop criticizing God’s masterpiece!”  my husband said to me.

Instead of accepting myself, I have tried to hide, cover-up, and change the way I look for years. My flaws have screamed at me when I look in the mirror.

Even though I have struggled with this, I’ve always thought that I’ve done a good job hiding this from my daughters.  I tell them to be themselves, to not worry about what other people think about what they wear and how their hair looks.  They are beautiful, and they don’t need to change a thing.

But the other day, as I was getting ready, I was putting on my make-up and my (almost) 10 year old was standing with me, watching my every move.

“Momma- can you curl my lashes?  I want you to put some make-up on my face!”

“Baby, you are gorgeous without any of that.”

“But why do you do it then?”

Good question… one I didn’t have an easy answer for.  To feel better about myself… To hide the dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep…to look pretty.

vanity, vanity… all is vanity

And then I thought about all those mornings I try on garment after garment, and while I don’t usually give a voice to my thoughts- those negative, self-deprecating thoughts are still there… and my girls are watching me.

I need to practice what I preach. Because deep down, I am still a little girl wanting to live up to something I am not… and it is time to embrace who I am.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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.

1 Peter 3:3-4

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31 responses to “Self-Acceptance…and a song I wrote about it

  1. paulfg says:

    Julie – Julie – Julie … that isn’t a you thing, that is a me thing – that is an all of us thing! Your words, music and words below “got me” big time! Thank you!! ((hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Harris says:

      Oh, Paul…. I almost didn’t hit *publish* because of silly negative thoughts I have- even about admitting these things. But there is definitely a freedom in revealing our struggles…because they connect us- all for His glory!! Thank you, Paul, for sharing your thoughts and for always caring 🙂

      Like

      • paulfg says:

        I think you may have touched on something both universal – and also “gender specific”. The universal being “am I presentable” to some standard we never really understand but is mostly driven by “others and them”.

        The gender specific is how do I move more easily in different scenarios? Do I wear a suit or casual, do I brush my hair, do I wear smart shoes or not, will my appearance be “the me I want to be” in this or that situation – and how does that “me being me” remain true to “me being me” wherever I am.

        (as a bloke I liked to think “this is me – take me or leave me – and then got “left” so many times I couldn’t be “the me I am” and wish to be).

        In that conversation I think the female gender has the much – much!! – tougher time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Julie Harris says:

        Paul, you have perfectly captured my “dress-up” struggles 🙂 I am on a stage every Sunday leading worship at church…and sometimes I wish it didn’t matter what I wore. But it does. It is a hard balance to be modest, appropriate, comfortable, presentable… while at the same time trying not to draw attention to myself- because it’s supposed to be all about Him and NOT about me… I still say choir robes are a wonderful thing- although for many churches they are a thing of the past 🙂

        Like

      • paulfg says:

        I was going to press the “like” button (as one does when drawing the conversation to a friendly close), when the thought “Ask Me” popped into my mind. I have never “asked Him” when looking in the wardrobe – and now I am sitting here wondering why. Why do I ask Him so much – and on this one stress quietly without thinking He might be interested (or more honestly – that I never even think to include Him).
        Dressed by God – it has a certain ring to it! 🙂

        Like

  2. paulfg says:

    Reblogged this on Just me being curious and commented:
    “Stop criticizing God’s masterpiece!”

    Music, words, insight, truth. I heard the words – and saw my mirror – deep down inside.

    Julie I love you lady, you have put down on a page such honesty it connected somewhere in the deepest part of me. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa says:

    Beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Denine Taylor says:

    Beautiful! Thank you! I too have a little girl that just turned 11. I see myself doing the same things as you mentioned here. I try to protect her. She is a lot like me. Doesn’t fit the world’s ideas of who she should be. She is an original and I want her to love herself and accept herself just as God made her to be.. Leading by example is hard, but she is part of my incentive. I don’t want her to grow up feeling like this. Maybe it is something each of us must learn, and something we can only get from God. Thanks Again. God Bless.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Julie Harris says:

      “Maybe it is something each of us must learn, and something we can only get from God.” There is so much truth in your comment…I have struggled for years with feeling like I do not “fit the mold”… but there really is no such thing. I lost 100 lbs before I had my oldest daughter (she is 12) and I am so thankful that I am healthy…but when I look in the mirror, some days I still see that same person I used to be…and those same insecurities creep in without me even realizing it. Life is such a journey and He is continually showing me to let go- let go of the things I cannot change and to focus less on ME and more on HIM… all to Jesus I surrender!! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts… it means a lot 🙂 Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Denine Taylor says:

        I was watching you singing in your video. . I looked at you thought how truly beautiful you are, in inside and out. The truth be known, I have always been a little jealous of you. You have a beautiful peace about you. I see it and I see Him in you. In your words and post, I can hear Him speaking. Your words are full of truth and they always bring a peace that edifies the soul/spirit. Funny, how we can see these things in others, but sometimes have a hard time seeing them in ourselves. Blessings to you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Julie Harris says:

        Denine…I don’t have the words to say how much your comment and your words mean… I lead worship at our church, and honestly- sitting at a piano and singing is when I feel “at home”. That is when I am most at peace and where I always feel His presence. Thank you for your kind words…I have (and still do!!) struggle with jealousy… I think we all do- to some degree 🙂 Thank you again. God Bless you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Denine Taylor says:

        It’s nice to know, in this world full of “perfect” people. The truth is we all still have struggles. knowing that. I believe it helps us not to feel so alone I thank you as well!!! . Blessings.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful!! And I love you’re honesty. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear sis Julie,
    Your song always successful touched my heart and you thought was so true. Beauty not came out from what people see from us physically but of our inner self. Thank you for sharing your beautiful song and thought,sis 🙂 blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kev says:

    I love it Julie! I think it’s great that your little girl wants to be like you… what more could you ask for? 😀 Hubby’s right btw… that was a great response he gave you. Blessings and, Kudos!

    Like

  8. Oh Julie, the words are incredible and this song touches hearts! It describes so many of my patients who never realize their true beauty within. This is meant for Christian radio. Thank you for blessing my life today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Harris says:

      Thank you so much, Ellie! It is so hard at times…even when I am trying and saying the right things- my girls can see right through me…our words mean nothing if we can’t live them out ourselves. Thank you for listening and for your encouraging words…I’m so glad to know that the song blessed you 🙂 all for His glory!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful post! Great reminder. Smart husband. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lorriebowden says:

    Julie, this made me cry. I send you beautiful living energy because this is what lives inside…and outside of you!! I send it back because you send it first! Much love to you ♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bette Cox says:

    I may be the oldest one in this bunch of commenters… for many years I worked in a business office meeting the public, as well as being active in church (Bible teacher and musician) and community issues (activist). What I looked like (dressed like) was the first impression most new people would get. Bad – they’d not listen. Okay – they’d be more apt to pay attention. I had no idea who would be looking at me, but the Lord knew. I learned over the years to just ask him, “What do you want us to wear today?” Makeup? Yes, enough to keep people from “majoring on minors” so they would hear His voice whenever I spoke, played the piano, taught Bible lessons or led a secular public meeting – it took a long time, believe me, to get to the point of just asking the Lord about my appearance. Practice, practice… I’m still practicing. 🙂 http://www.BetteCox.com

    Like

    • Julie Harris says:

      Bette, forgive me for my late reply… thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

      “…it took a long time, believe me, to get to the point of just asking the Lord about my appearance.” This is wonderful….I do believe He cares about every detail of our lives and wants us to go to Him with every concern- even our appearance 🙂 I will practice doing that right along with you! Many blessings to you and thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment… what a blessing 🙂

      Like

      • Bette Cox says:

        Julie, I do this even when buying groceries, nowadays. I didn’t do it one day, just wore ratty jeans, no makeup, old t-shirt – and ran into someone I needed to speak to and pray for. I went right ahead and greeted her, etc. but the slightly unkempt way I looked was a distraction to ME. So, from then on I just ask the Lord about what to wear, where and when, and keep in mind that I may be the only Jesus-container some people will encounter today. (Even at home – repairmen, delivery men, neighbors, etc. who occasionally come to my door – I had to greet one of them in my pajamas and robe at noon, I had gotten too busy doing other stuff to get dressed…) Have a great day in the Lord!

        Liked by 1 person

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