Recently I was visiting one of my daughters and her family. This daughter has 2 of my grandchildren – one of which is a 5-year-old granddaughter.
My daughter shared with me that my granddaughter has become very curious about heaven.
Every now and then (seemingly out of the blue) she will toss out a question attempting to further her understanding of the details. Recently, she asked….
“Mommy, will we get to wear pretty shoes in heaven or do we have to wear those ugly sandals that Jesus wears?”will we wear pretty shoes in heaven or those ugly sandals Jesus wears? Click To Tweet
We are Drawn to Pretty
I love how my granddaughter’s question is filled with authentic curiosity. “Out of the mouths of babes” as the saying goes.
As I thought about her question, I thought about the world we live in. “Pretty” is in, “ugly” is not.
People are drawn to “pretty” people, cars, houses, neighborhoods and things. People and stuff considered “ugly” are left alone.
As you surf the internet looking for answers or solutions, websites that are “pretty” in design or wording will grab your attention, but “ugly” websites will turn you away.
Most people will seek out “pretty” places for vacation, but don’t even consider a vacation to an inner city that may be considered “ugly.”
“Pretty” is what we dream of.
Too many people have their “pretty” on, but they are miserable
In June, one of my children got married. I wanted to wear “pretty” heels for the wedding. To say my feet were “miserable” is a severe understatement! I felt the occasion warranted a little misery on my part and I would “suffer through it.”
For some, women who lead, life is an occasion that seems to warrant “pretty” on the outside, but “miserable” (ugly) on the inside.
Keeping all their leadership balls in the air and appearing to have it all together becomes a way of life. They just “suffer through it.”
When the wedding was over, I changed into my comfortable sandals. Interestingly, one of my daughters, after seeing my comfortable shoes said, “why didn’t you just wear those for the wedding?”
Good question! Why was I wearing shoes that made me so miserable, even just for the short ceremony, when my “ugly” sandals would have been just fine?
(Obviously, I didn’t consider my comfortable shoes truly “ugly,” but I clearly didn’t think they were “pretty” enough)
As women, especially as women made to lead, we spend way too much time on “pretty” and not even close to enough time on our “ugly.” It seems necessary to pretend our struggles don’t exist.
Pretending is always painful.
“Ugly” has its Advantages
Life gets tough, there’s no question about that. And, for women who lead, there will be more “ugly” days than “pretty” days during some seasons.
This is true within the context of our own personal struggles and within the context of leading others. The advantage? These are times for authentic curiosity.
This is what great leaders do…
- Great leaders are genuine.
- Great leaders are curious.
- Great leaders take on the “ugly” within themselves by working with God to become more like Him. In turn, they do the same for the people God places in their sphere of influence.
- Great leaders don’t pretend life is “pretty.”
You cannot have the impact God created and designed you for until you are ready to put on your “ugly” sandals and wear them wherever they take you.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (MSG) tells us: “There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
Questions for Authentic Awareness:
Q1 – How has your attempts to be “pretty” (inside and/or out) effected your life?
Q2 – What “ugly” have you been denying/avoiding in your life?
Q3 – What will happen if nothing changes?
Application Tips for Transformation:
A1: Take time to reflect on the questions above and write down your responses.
A2: Review your responses and prayerfully take at least one action towards positive change.
A3: The “pretty” that matters is in the things you cannot see. Pray and meditate on this truth. Listen and record what you hear.
Time to THRIVE:
Know that you are not alone in your struggles. We all have parts of ourselves that we consider “ugly.” For women God has called to lead, acknowledging this truth and walking through transformation is critical.
I specialize in helping women who lead live a thriving life.
Contact me today about individual life coaching centered on “Foundations for a THRIVING Life”