Love is kind of a hot topic today. I wrote a while ago about the wiring we have as women to reveal beauty. And the effort in aging gracefully. Here’s the truth: feeling lovely is a legitimate longing. Being lovely is an effort with lots of layers. So let’s ask a question: How do you qualify beauty? What does your life proclaim about what is truly beautiful?

My sweet daughter once prayed while dancing around in the living room, “Jesus, thank you for making me so lovely.”  It’s precious, because #confidence, and it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes.

“You are lovely, because I love you.” — Jesus Storybook Bible

It’s a truth I hope to cultivate in my daughter as she grows into a woman who will eventually be prompted to evaluate what she sees. She will eventually order her loves in such a way that what she believes is lovely will be the backdrop to the way she evaluates beauty. What if it were true that as women, we could cultivate beauty that transcended time? What if we prompted a generation of daughters to find security in their loveliness instead of constantly attempting to prove it? What if we recognized the less obvious (more powerful) forms of loveliness because we started treasuring the eternal over the temporary? Oh Lord, give us eyes to see this…

You are lovely.

Not because of anything you put on, took off, did right or accomplished. Lovely, simply because you were invented and delighted in by the one with the informed authority over who you are. As creatures loved by our creator, our loveliness has more to do with who HE is and who he says we are than anything else. And what he says is true.

To adore is to love deeply, or revere. To adorn is to make something more beautiful or attractive. You are already adored. How have you adorned your life? I know this: my body will wear out; so if I have failed to cultivate beauty in my heart, then every other effort in a pursuit of beauty would be in vain, irrelevant and forgotten.

I often snuggle my girl to talk and pray and sing together before bedtime, and one of the last questions I consistently ask her before I leave is this: “Mila, what do I love the most about you?”  To which she answers without a blink of an eye, “My heart.”  I want more than anything for her heart to cling to this truth so that whatever the world asks her to promote, whatever reward others offer for her beauty, she’ll stand fast with her identity secure, knowing what is temporary beauty and what is eternal loveliness. For the greatest of all beauties adorn our hearts, and we are lovely because we are loved.