Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fairy-tale femininity {Leslie Ludy}


"When I was a little girl, I loved wearing frilly, lacey, puffed-sleeved princess dresses--the more poof, the better. But back then the Disney Princess outfits hadn't come onto the scene, so I had to settle for wearing fancy nightgowns or bridesmaid dresses my mom picked up at second-hand stores for my "dress up" collection. They were always about five sizes too large, but I loved wearing them anyway. I would twirl around the backyard and pretend I was the most beautiful princess in all the land.

--Nearly every woman I've ever met has at one point in her life imagined that she was a beautiful princess, twirling gracefully in yards of satin and silk, with gallant noblemen fighting duels in order to win her hand in marriage. And judging by the hundreds of little princess walking around Disneyland, this is a dream that continues to thrive within the hearts of little girls everywhere.
--For some reason, the idea of becoming a princess seems to capture the intrinsic longing in every girl's heart to be fully feminine--to glow with grace, radiance, and loveliness. It's an innocent desire. In fact, I believe it's a God-given desire. But as we progress from childhood into young womanhood, the culture quickly warps and twists our longing for feminine beauty into something altogether different than the Disney Princess version.

--In all of the fairy tales I'd grown up with, the heroine might have been beautiful, but she was not admired for her sex appeal. Rather, she was admired for her poise, grace, gentleness, courage, and feminine charm. (And, by the way, the idea of graceful, heroic femininity didn't originate in fairy tales--they are part of God's perfect design for a woman.) 

--When I was young, I had spent hours imagining I was a captivatingly lovely heroine, exuding a sweetness and charm that caused even the birds to come rest upon my finger as I walked through the forest. When I saw injustice, I would quickly rush to offer help and protection. And when confronted with evil, I would sacrifice my own personal happiness to protect what was right. I used to dream about meeting a gallant prince who would be fascinated by all the amazing qualities he saw in me; a man who would slay dragons and conquer kingdoms in order to win me for his own.

--[I had] come to the sad realization that modern guys couldn't care less about feminine grace or nobility. They measured your worth based on the size of your chest and shape of your body. . .Modern culture scorned fairy-tale femininity. Nearly every magazine cover or fashion ad portrayed the same image of "beauty"-a haughty-looking young woman with an icy scowl on her face, waifish clothes draping her anemic body, and her lifeless eyes lacquered with ghoulish black liner. This, apparently, was the standard for womanly allure--the type of girl that guys were attracted to and that society applauded. 

--So I traded my pursuit of true feminine beauty for the cheap counterfeit presented by the culture. . .

--Then I began to read about the amazing, world-altering, Christ-built women of days gone by. I came to realize that though truly beautiful feminintiy may be scarce these days, it didn't used to be quite so uncommon. Woman who exuded enchanting beauty can be found all throughout the pages of Christian history. [they] rejected the empty feminine charm of the world and embraced an altogether different kind of beauty-the beauty of Jesus Christ. They showcased femininity as God intended it to be in all it's elegance, grace, nobility, and lasting loveliness.

--Captivating femininity  isn't supposed to only be found in Jane Austen novels or Cinderella stories. Words like enthralling, enchanting, breathtaking, stunning, delightful, and noble should be the description of every set-apart, Christ-built young woman. It's God's perfect design for each of His royal daughters. Our desire to be a radiant princess  didn't originate with Walt Disney-it's a desire placed within us by our Maker. He created us to shine with royal beauty. Not to dazzle with a self-promoting beauty; but to be a sparkling reflection of the stunning beauty of our King.

--When Christ overtakes a woman's life and transforms her from the inside out, she becomes truly feminine--a picture of elegance, grace, and loveliness blended with sacrificial, selfless devotion to her King. She becomes a true lady, carrying herself with poise and confidence, yet deflecting all attention away from herself and toward Jesus Christ. She is enchantingly mysterious, holding her inner life sacred and guarding her heart with quiet tenacity.

Noble, breathtaking, captivating, Christ-centered femininity is truly a sight be behold. It's a beauty that does not draw attention to the woman, but to Jesus Christ. It's a radiance that is not dependend upon age, circumstances, of physical enhancements. It's loveliness that flows from deep within--the refreshing beauty of heaven, of a life transformed from the inside out by Jesus Christ.

--Even now He is gently whispering to you, calling you out of the world's darkness and into His marvelous light. "Listen, O daughter, consider and lincline your ear; forget your own people also, and your father's house; so the King will greatly desire your beauty.""

Taken from The Lost Art of True Beauty, Leslie Ludy



{Note from Mich--I highly, highly recommend reading this ENTIRE book--or at least the first couple of chapters. Excellent stuff. (I'm not  100% "pro-Disney", though I love the princess movies and Disneyland is my favorite place on earth.) There ya go. ;)}  

9 comments:

  1. I tagged you on my blog. http://gabrielleatelier.blogspot.com/2012/06/tag-from-hanne-col.html

    -Gabrielle

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  2. At 27 I still struggle with image and at times I wish I was beautiful and alluring. But God has worked in me and I'm not the person I was and for that I'm grateful.

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  3. Hi Michaela, favored fellow High Kings fan!! Thanks so much for visiting and following my blog - I've been perusing yours as well, and I'm excited to follow you, too!

    First of all, thank you so much for this lovely post - I definitely want to read this book someday. And to answer your lovely comments:

    - Thanks for your insights on JG's voice ... I've been listening to his recordings more closely since reading Jessica's brilliant remarks, and I'm thinking you're both right. I've also decided that I'm liking his more mature voice better and better - it has a more raw, vulnerable sound than his teenage voice. (And I do enjoy a smattering of Andrea Bocelli myself, in between JG and the High Kings ...)

    - I'm glad you like my little music tags! I designed them myself ... I'd be happy to make you some if you like! I don't remember the exact dimensions but I can look them up if you'd like to make them yourself, too. :-)

    - And finally, you're very lucky to have seen the High Kings five times!! I haven't been to one of their concerts yet, but I'm determined to get there someday! Do you have a favorite singer? :-)

    I look forward to reading your blog more! Sorry to leave such a terribly long comment ......... *blushing sheepishly*

    Love in Christ,
    Vicki

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    1. haha, not at all! I LOVE long comments, and I'm really, really super excited that I *finally* have the reply button--so I can actually reply to each separate comment. Um. . .all I had to do was switch my comment settings to "embed". *ahem* Yeah. But anyway--I've been so excited about blogging! The Lord has blessed me so much these past few weeks. I recently deactivated my facebook account. . .and it's been a GOOD thing--I've learned so much, and have become "close" to several of the girls on blogger. It's neat to meet so many like-minded young ladies. I'm really planning on making my blog a bigger part of my life.

      I'm so glad you appreciated this post--I wasn't sure what the reaction would be. I love Leslie Ludy's straightforward perspective.

      Jessica really hit the nail on the head, didn't she? I personally like JG's younger voice better--as in O Holy Night. That's probably the only song of his that I actually like. ;) hehe I dunno. If I'm going to listen to crossover it HAS to be Andrea Bocelli. And yay for THK's! You really, really, really need to see them if they come to your area. THEY.are.amazing--and even better IRL. The accents. . .are to die for. Plus they are just really sweet guys. Darren's my favorite. Totally. And all my sisters love Brian (but who doesn't. ;) Who's your favorite?

      You'd make me some music tags? Really? That would be fantastic! If you email me we can talk over the details.

      Favorite singer overall, or out of THK's? My all-time favorite singer is (duh) Andrea Bocelli. And Darren is my favorite HK voice. Or Martin. Ok, both. Nah, all of them. ;) I also like a few Broadway singers and Opera stars.

      Ok. . .this is more like an email. ;) See what the "reply button" has done to me? :P

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    2. Hey Michaela! Yes, I definitely loved the post - it was very inspiring and encouraging. :-) And good for you on deleting your Facebook account and spending time in the much more worthwhile world of Blogger ... *cheesy grin*

      I can't decide which of the High Kings is my favorite either ... I'm partial to Finbarr because he reminds me of the original Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, whom I like even better than the High Kings; but I like them all. Each of their voices is so different, but they all sound so perfect together!

      Yes, I'd be happy to make you some music tags! I don't usually do much emailing from Blogger (I'm kind of Internet-paranoid, *blush*), but if you'll leave me a comment with what you have in mind, I'll be happy to post them up for you!

      Have a great evening!! :-D

      Love in Christ,
      Vicki

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    3. Yeah, they are all so good. Finbarr is a sweetheart. :)

      Alrighty--I understand the email thing. I'll leave a comment and let you know asap. Thank you again so much!

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  4. Hey there Michaela! I just found your blog. Very nice :) I LOVE this post because I love Leslie Ludy and especially this book!

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    1. Thank you, Christianna! I'm checking out your blog now. :)

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