Wednesday, June 4, 2014

pretty is as pretty does


My 87-year-old Mammie has departed enough wisdom on me during my lifetime that I could probably write a book (and maybe one day I will). But one little snippet has particularly stuck with me:

Pretty is as pretty does.

A simple statement loaded with meaning, she whispers it in my ear when she hugs my neck goodbye after Easter lunch. While my Pappy (mom’s dad) and Nana (dad’s mom) are fighting over who is my biggest fan, Mammie is busy spoon-feeding me some humility on the side.

“Just remember this, Jenny: pretty is as pretty does.”

I have, Mammie. I have.

In fact, it’s something I constantly have to remind myself. That pretty isn’t long, smooth, silky hair. It’s not a flawless complexion. And it’s certainly not a number on a scale. 

Pretty is the overflow of a compassionate heart. Pretty is sweet words of encouragement. Pretty is a dependable listening ear. 

So when I needed a new name for a new blog with a new purpose - to record my journey of faith and failure in living a healthy, but whole, life - nothing else would do.

I’m not going to lie - I want to be pretty - but I don’t want a beauty that is only skin deep. I plan to reach and maintain a healthy weight through clean eating habits and continual exercise, but I also plan on continually seeking and nurturing a relationship with my Lord and Savior above all. 

In the words of Peter, “Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

So that’s my hope for this space - that it will be a place to go for inspiration on eating healthy and living actively, but also a place that encourages continual development of the beauty within. Because that kind of beauty is only cultivated through continual actions of love and humility. 

Pretty is as pretty does.

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