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I Don't Look Cute at the Beach


Living a life of hope & wholeness and sometimes writing about it. 


I Don't Look Cute at the Beach

Elizabeth Moore

I don’t look cute at the beach. 

I’m fine, believe me. This is not some self-pity, self-loathing thing. It’s just the way it is. I don’t look cute at the beach. 

Now if you catch me at a coffee shop in mid-November before the finals-grunge sets in, wearing some dark jeans, sweater, scarf, and a coffee mug as an accessory—I be looking right. 

But at the beach. Nerp. 

Now, some people are total babes at the beach. They’ve got the flowing wavy blond hair and tan everything going on. And if I really use my imagination, maybe I can pretend I look like those people. 

But alas, I rock the one-piece and shorts, my skin is pale-until-burned, and when I throw my head back to attractively emerge out of the salty water, my hair parts in the middle and separates into sticky, stringy clumps. (Mmm…can I get a wink?) If you're lucky, I'll trip on a baby wave on my way out and smack my sunburned face into the water. Bonus points if I get seaweed around my nose. Good. 

Yeah, maybe not so cute. But that’s okay. Cute comes and goes with time and peoples’ opinions. Cute can change as quickly as I jump into a pool fully clothed with make-up on. No, I don’t set my identity or my worth on cute. I’ve done that before. It’s exhausting, and frankly it sucks the life and personality out of everything.

It’s times when I don’t look cute where I thank the Lord my beauty does not come from outward appearance! Like, praise you Daddy, because if my beauty was dependent on my cuteness or my attractiveness to others, I’d be up a creek without any friends. 

My beauty does not lie in what my fellow beach-inhabitants are seeing. My beauty is so much deeper. My beauty doesn’t even come from me, nor is it about me. 

Beauty exists because God exists. Beauty dwells where the Spirit of God is, and by His insane but wonderful love, He dwells in me! His Spirit in me makes me come alive, and when His Spirit pours forth from me, beauty pours forth as well. It can’t be helped; it can’t be stopped. Beauty will exist where the Spirit of the Lord is. He makes everything beautiful in its time. The heavens declare His glory, the skies proclaim His works. Those who look to the Lord are radiant. 

So even here on the beach, even though I don’t look cute, I can still throw my head back and laugh at the days to come. I can thank Him for the strength and dignity He’s given me, because His Spirit gives me beauty that doesn’t spoil or fade, beauty I don’t deserve. 

So whether I’m rocking the middle part and one-piece bathing suit or a coffee mug and cardigan, who cares? Charm will deceive, outward appeal is fleeting, but a woman with the Lord’s Spirit is to be praised. She knows where her beauty comes from.