9.08.2011

Free Printable: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Teaching adolescents, I see how cruel they can be to each other for no reason at all other than owning the "wrong" clothing, using the "wrong" makeup, wearing the "wrong" hairstyle. For instance, I had a female student last year who was constantly pointing out the flaws of her classmates and wrote a paper entitled "How to Not Be Ugly," in which she included helpful tips like "watch Jersey Shore" and "only buy Victoria's Secret pants." I cringe knowing that someday, hopefully, she will cringe, too, at her flippancy and shallowness. This same student once told me that "I should go tanning; I'd be so pretty." I smiled at her when she provided this unsolicited beauty tip and remarked that I was content with myself, that I was more concerned with improving other aspects of my life.

Her comment has not, however, kept me from admiring the healthy glowing tans of some fellow teachers and friends, the irony, of course, being that fair skin is actually healthy, and tan skin is not.

Unfortunately, this student's attitude about appearance, I'm sure, is not at all new from centuries of adolescents--and adults--gone by. We live in a world that is constantly picking away at our natural selves and telling us what we are not. Your skin is not the right color. You do not have attractive thighs. Your cheekbones are not pronounced. You are not tall enough. You are not skinny enough. Your bangs are not cut right. Your body is not shapely. Your clothes are not in style.

You're not, you're not, you're not.

When did we get away from what we are?  Because the truth is, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, exactly as we are. My fair skin is wonderfully made. So is my barely perceptible need for a 34A bra. So is my nose that sometimes feels too big. So is my struggle with acne (still.). So is my bone-y butt. So is my left foot that is bigger than my right foot. So are my shoulders that sometimes look too broad for a halter top.


To print, simply click on the image, then right click and save to your computer. You can then resize as needed. Click here to view my other free printable.


God makes no mistakes. Beauty is fleeting. The only thing eternal is what's on the inside. No tanning booth, push-up bra, facial treatment will save my soul or make me happy. It's easy to say, but difficult to remember, and even harder to live by.

There can never be a more beautiful you. Remember that next time the world, a mirror, or a careless 14 year-old tells you otherwise.

15 comments :

  1. How sad that a 14 year old girl has been conditioned to think in such a shallow way. I had the pleasure of working with a group of high school students a few years back on a community project and can attest to the fact that there are plenty of kids in that age group who have their values straight. Hopefully, like you said, this young lady will get her values in line someday.

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  2. So perfectly said. I've always distanced myself from those kinds of people, not always intentionally, but I want to be surrounded by people who accept me and aren't judgmental of others. There is so much beauty in people that isn't always seen on the surface. I wish we could all love each other the way God loves us. Blindly and unconditionally. I'm so glad you're getting this message out there. We all need to be reminded of this.

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  3. Amen! The girls in our church home group studied some on this topic last fall (using some of the material at the girl talk blog) it was eye-opening to realize and have our hearts revealed on the topic of beauty and judgment. Most of us hated parts of ourselves but were so insecure about them we mentally judged others in order to bolster our own weak self images. The semester was really spent earnestly seeking to understand the Father's love for us as his daughters and to seek healing that would free us from self-loathing (or self-boasting) and instead focus on the God who made us all...and doesn't make mistakes.
    Great post.

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  4. I love that Psalm! I've struggled with self-esteem issues for this reason my whole and am just now, in my mid-twenties, able to look in a mirror and not want to change everything I see. God made me curvy and curly and clumsy for a reason and no matter what the world says, He loves me. My husband loves me. My friends and family love me. What more do I need?

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  5. Thank you so much for posting this. What a wonderful reminder. My favorite part is "God makes no mistakes." Oh so true, so thankfully true.

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  6. Oh blog BFF I love this post. I have a great friend who will tell me, "Jen, you are made in the image of GOD and He does not make crap." Such a great reminder...especially for those days that we just don't feel very pretty. Thanks for this!

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  7. This post is fabulousness.

    If only you could know what you know as an adult (ok, most adults) as a teenager. The world would maybe be a nicer place! And models would be pale with small ta-tas and a few acne scars...you know, real.

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  8. Amen Erin!! LOVE this, it's so great and I really needed to hear it today!!

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  9. Here, here, Erin! Oh, and I think our bodies might be the exact same. Ha. :)

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  10. You know, sometimes I hesitate to post stuff like this because I know it's not what everyone wants to read, but all it takes is the encouragement of a few people to know that I totally did the right thing by listening to what God put on my heart as soon as He put it on my heart. You ladies are the best. :)

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  11. Ah, I needed to hear this. Thanks for the reminder :)

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  12. Aislinn Manning9/09/2011

    The following link is a post by a girl I worked with at Lighthouse Christian Camp for many summers... this year they did a program where they focused a lot on respect, beauty, appearance, etc... you should watch the video at the end, it made me tear up... maybe because I know a lot of those girls, but I think the music and the way it was done is just pretty powerful and sends a great message: we are all beautiful!!

    http://meganpatricia.com/2011/08/14/beautiful/

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  13. Kids can definitely be mean but it's sad to think that this poor girl has never been taught about her own self worth other than the image of her beauty. Great reminder to be happy with who we are...really, it's so much easier:)

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  14. Beautiful post! This is one of my favorite verses.

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  15. So true! It's hard sometimes to remember who made us and that we truly are in His image. What a powerful and amazing idea when you really think about it. If we all just keep reminding ourselves daily, maybe our insecurities will eventually fade (easier said than done, I know but can you imagine?)

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