Youthful Inside and Out
But I digress. Once I got home, I really started thinking about youth. Most of the women in my Virginia Beach area appear young for their ages, and so I don’t stand out so much here. Must have something to do with the healthy, laid-back, beach lifestyle—California girls look young too. Right? I stopped and really asked myself, what are my secrets for looking young? And might there be some spiritual applications?
1) Spend More Effort on Health than Beauty: What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. ~I Peter 3:3-4 The Message Version
Finally, give time and energy to a good regimen for skin health--not make-up. I buy quality serums, creams, and moisturizers, but most of my make-up is Covergirl. Concerning those facial creams, remember ingredients matter, not name. Wal-Mart carries plenty of quality skin care products.
2) Say No to Stress: Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. ~Matthew 6:27-28 NIV
Have you ever taken one of those “real age” tests? A lot of the questions have to do with stress factors in your life. Nothing will age you like stress. Now, I can’t say that I don’t have any stress factors in my life. There are some stresses we just can’t avoid like a death in the family or the loss of a job. However, I have gone to great lengths to keep stress to a minimum in my life.
How do you say no to stress? Most of the time saying no to stress means saying no to people. When you take on too much responsibility, get too busy, or give into pressure to become involved in activities that you don’t enjoy, stress is certain to ensue. Guilt is probably the #1 reason people over commit and stress out. Say no to guilt, and say no to stress.
During that quiet time with God recommended under the first point, ask him what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your time, and don’t let anyone pressure you into things God isn’t asking you to do. Ultimately, keeping busy with “good” things can keep you from accomplishing God’s unique plans for your life. Let’s face it, no matter how hard you work, you can’t fix the world. No matter how hard you try, you can’t please everyone. Concern yourself only with pleasing God, and leave the world fixing to him.
3) Learn How to Play Again: And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 18:3 NIV
When I take stock of my own life, I find I make much time to play and be like a child. One of my favorite activities is worship dance. Through that avenue I find time to play, exercise, and find refreshment in God all at once. Nothing lifts my spirits and energizes me like dancing in God’s presence. In addition, I love to act and sing and paint. The arts fuel the imagination and the inner child. Part of being youthful is not being self-conscious, but rather freely enjoying yourself and the beautiful world God has given you. Spending time out in that beautiful creation is yet another way to play and stay youthful. I love to walk, ride my bike, and swim outdoors.
Play reduces stress and feeds our spirits. It allows us to be like the little children God has asked us to be. It frees us to rest in his arms and not take so much worry and responsibility upon ourselves. Think of it from a parent’s point of view. Yes, you have jobs you want your kids to do, but nothing gives you more joy than watching them at play or at rest. So play hard, then take time to cuddle in the arms of your heavenly daddy and cast all your cares on him.
Be young, be healthy, be free!
What are your secrets for staying young and/or beautiful?