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Brush and Detangler
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We drive into the parking lot and I jump out of the van, grabbing my usual parking-lot-tools of brush and detangler, open the back door and begin to quickly spray and brush my four-year-old daughter’s hair. It registers that she has chosen a green and blue flower print shirt and bright pink pants to wear today and that her shoes are on the wrong feet. I grab her backpack and lunch and we head up to her classroom.

As we stand in line to sign in, I glance around at the other children. Several of the little girls have elaborate braids and bows and sparkly ribbons falling from their perfectly arranged hair. They have adorable, matching outfits without stains and their shoes are on the right feet. And once again, I wonder if I am failing as a mother.

I have always fallen into the not-so-girly camp. I’m not a tomboy, but I tend to do my makeup at stoplights, usually have short hair that can be styled in minutes and don’t mind wearing last year’s (or last decade’s) clothes. I think I usually look nice, but I do not spend much time in front of the mirror. And I’m probably creating the same sort of habits for my daughter by having her hair cut in a short bob and allowing her to pick out her own clothes.

Inside or Outside?

The Bible encourages women not to overly focus on outward appearance, instead placing importance on the heart (1 Peter 3:3-4), but there is a whole book in the Old Testament that applauds the outward beauty of women (Song of Songs). So which is it, inside? Or outside? Or both?

Honestly, I’m sometimes confused. But I know that I want to help her to discover who God created her to be. I want to help her find the talents and the gifts that God planted in her heart before she was born. But I know she will learn from me and from her little friends at school.

So, for my part, I want to be an example of a woman who places value on herself because I believe God values me. That will encompass areas of health, character, beauty and spirituality. Someday that will probably include lessons about braiding her hair, applying mascara and choosing the right shoes for the outfit. But I think I’ll prefer the lessons where she learns to offer grace to the undeserving and love to the brokenhearted.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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