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The secret that makes you beautiful

the secret beautiful

Have you ever had one of those moments when you think you’re teaching your child and they’re actually teaching you?

It reminds me to be humble.

It was one of those days when I’d about had it with their repeated mistakes, and I was feeling self-righteous and angry and rather astonished that they just couldn’t learn a simple lesson.


It was a day to swallow my pride. To learn my lesson.

To trust in the power of a God who cares so deeply about the intricate, unknown details of our hearts and lives, that He would teach me through my own child.

That He would teach me that the secret to being beautiful isn’t found in a pretty face or a perfect life. That it lies so much deeper than that.

A lesson so simple, so straightforward and yet…so profound.

In the chaos of getting ready to leave the house there’s a mad rush all mothers know. Wake up, get breakfast, pack lunches, dress kids, change diapers, get bottoms on potties, tidy up, and out the door on time without completely losing your sanity and your temper.

This day was no different.

As I was setting our alarm I heard my son screaming from the garage. This is not terribly unusual so I did what I normally do: roll my eyes as my temper starts rising, take a deep breath and remind myself to not get mad that they’re goofing around or just plain faking. Again.

I open the door to find he actually did get hurt. An instant bruise boils to the surface in the tender spot behind his ear. He cries out in pain as I see the long raised purple line where his head met the open door of my truck.

My boys are known to run laps around our living and dining room and we all fare better when they have their socks off. With their socks, they end up piled up on one another or slung into a corner. They’ve {kind of} learned no socks is better!

They haven’t seemed to learn that a blanket lying on the floor will do just as much and even more damage when it comes to taking a face plant. It’s happened too many times to count and with three boys under 7, I’m all out of fingers.

And often low on patience.

This particular morning when my son slipped and fell in the garage, it was because he was running and stepped on a piece of slippery matting on the concrete floor. Like the blanket on the hardwood floor he fell fast, and hard. Crashing his head against the open door of the truck he suffered pain.

After making sure he was okay, we got loaded in the car as I began to explain in a frustrated tone how I want them to start learning from their mistakes. That they need to realize that if they run onto a blanket or slippery mat on a hardwood floor they will fall, every time. Every time it will slip out from under them and they will fall flat on their face. Hard.

I slapped the back of my hand into the palm of my other for effect.

The effect jolted me.


On my face.

How many of us have blankets we step on over and over again? How many of us fall flat on our face every time?

Every single one of us has a blanket or a slippery matting we find ourself running onto and falling smack on our face over and over and over again.

One of my favorite quotes from Pema Chodron is: “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”

What is it for you?

A person? An addiction? An old wound from your past that you haven’t healed and can’t stop from repeating?

Like I told my boys in the car that morning, it’s time to learn from your mistakes. Time to stop running onto those same slippery mats and expecting a different result. For some of us that might mean removing someone or something from your life. For others it means digging even deeper into the fabric of your soul to find healing.

Whatever it means for you, it is worth the cost. This life is about being brave and that means facing our fears and our insecurities head on. Demanding from ourselves and others that we will live this life with intention. With the purpose to become better, wiser, braver and less bitter. That we learn empathy. That we give grace and compassion not only to others, but to ourselves.

That we let this life break us, so that He can remake us whole.

I don’t know what struggle you face today. What fear, shame, insecurity or lie has you believing you’re not worthy. Not good enough, smart enough or beautiful enough to matter. Face your fear. Stand up in the midst of the mess in your life and start cleaning up.

The secret to being beautiful isn’t found in a pretty face or a perfect life.

It’s found in making your weakness your strength. Finding your strong. The strong that stands in the middle of a mess and says yes. Yes to me. Yes to learning and living and failing and trying again and again and again, as long as it takes because that is beautiful. That is real.

We will fall and we will fail but we have the choice to get up stronger.

Our story is all that we have at the end of this life. beautiful definition

Make it a good one.

If you’d like to read more about standing in the middle of your mess and breaking free from the illusions that everything can be perfect, you should check out my new book Pretty: Breaking Free From The Illusions of a Superficial Life.

I pray that in reading it, you will find that you are not alone in your fears, failures and imperfections –and that you will find the courage to stand in the midst of them and break free.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Cindy July 7, 2014, 1:11 pm

    I love how you take a blood and guts moment and turn it into a beautiful lesson from the Lord. It blesses my heart.

  • Angie Young July 20, 2014, 3:39 pm

    I really needed to read this today. My father died last year. And as hard as it has been, I’ve moved on. But some of his family keeps digging it all back up. They refuse to Let It Be. So I know that for me to really truly move forward, those people have got to be taken out of my life. I hate it. But no peace will come until they are gone.

    Angie Young

    • Tammy July 20, 2014, 3:59 pm

      And sometimes we just need space for a season. And when we’re better able to stand on our own feet we can let people back in with better boundaries and health. Praying for you Angie and so sorry for the loss of your father. xo

  • Shiru August 31, 2015, 12:54 pm

    I’m so glad I found your page. It is so insightful. Keep doing the good work.

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