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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Inside Story

I have dimpled thighs.

And some gray hairs.

My teeth would be a whole lot whiter

if I drank less Diet Coke.

And you know what else?

I have a pooch.

No, not a dog, although I do have two of those.

No, I have a tummy pooch.
No washboard abs on this girl.
Not anymore, anyway.

I am imperfect.


Less than ideal.

But you know what else?

I am more than the sum of my parts.
My imperfect parts, that is.

I may be imperfect, but I am perfectly so.

Perfectly Imperfect.

Just like my well-loved French pitcher,
there is a beauty to my scars. 
My blemishes.
My signs of age.

A nobility to those wiry gray hairs,
and those crinkles now appearing
to frame my eyes and mouth.

As a woman, I struggle as to whether to
embrace or erase
these changes.

The culture as well as the cult of youth
encourages us to wish away
that which has been hard earned.

"How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth..."
{John Milton}

And yet, I know.
Oh yes, I most certainly do know...

That the measure of my worth

as a woman

and as a child of God

lies not in what the eye can see

but rather in what is hidden away from view.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; 
it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, 
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.
 {Antoine de Saint-Exupéry}

Love yourselves, imperfections and all.
Just as God does.

"So we do not lose heart. 
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day."
{2 Corinthians 4:16}


Robin Johnson said...

Amen! I think alot of us are in the same boat - I know I am! Thanks for taking the time to write this post and remind us all that we don't have to be perfect!

Unknown said...


beautiful words...thank you.



Rose Garden Romantic said...

So true! Great post. This is one of my newly found favorite quotes on the subject:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but
rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up,
totally w...orn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!’”
— Hunter S. Thompson

Anne Marie said...

very well said fact, so much so, I want to link this post on my sidebar if that is okay...i am beyond shocked at those in blogland sometimes who are so petty and rude to others...and others find it and encouragement and love and those are the things of a true woman and person of God.

LuLu Kellogg said...

I definitely love you the way you are!

I have decided to grow old with a lot of grace and a wee bit of vinegar! Tee hee!


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and heart felt post Anne, something all women need to think about! I am definitely not the person I used to be, but that's okay, my hubby still loves me just the way I am, pooch and all! :)
Have a lovely day.

stefanie said...

girl, I was just thinking about all this, this morning...thinking which cream would help...hahaha...but my inside is wrinkle free!

Olive said...

What an inspiring truth. If only teen girls could embrace this! ♥O

The Flying Bee said...

Beautifully said, my friend. :)


Sweet Magnolias Farm said...

Ah ...Love your post ..especially the part about the wash board abs ..what are those ???

Yes it's all about our insides ...and less about our outsides when you get right down to the nitty gritty of things. And with God that's what matters you are so very right ..sometimes we all need a gentle reminder and you so sweetly and gently reminded us all where our focus should be.

Blessings ..Sara

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Beautiful post, Anne!

Anonymous said...

I loved this.The way the words flowed with the photos.How awesome.Great words to always remember as we age,ugh age isnt a good word is it? lol.Happy rest of the week Anne!

red.neck chic said...

I love you AND this post.


Mandy said...

I LOVE it!! Thanks for the reminder:)

Debra@CommonGround said...

A perfect post and you, are a perfect friend!
love you dear,

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Lovely post and I adore that old enamel French pitcher...imperfectly perfect as it is!
...and oh so blue.
Well said Anne!

Joanna said...

Thank you for this post, which came as a great reminder - I am 45 and well past my best, but I am me - lumps, bumps and grey hairs all. Although it's sometimes still a shock to catch sight of myself in a mirror (who is that old woman?!), I would not consider having surgery for cosmetic reasons. It would be false, almost me but a shiny not quite real version. Real is good!

You are a star for being so honest. I love how you related yourself to that beautiful pitcher - which I love BECAUSE of its imperfections. Perfect choice of comparison.


Amy Kinser said...

2 Samuel says that God sees the heart and man sees what's on the outside. I so want God to be pleased with what He sees.

I say that we EMBRACE those few extra lines we are getting, and that little extra poochiness around the middle. My little girl told me the other day that I had lines around my nose now that make me look like a cute little puppy dog. All I can do is smile!!

I read something the other day that talked about "real women". Girl, let's be REAL fake stuff going on here. I am who I am and I love who I am...wrinkles and all.

It seems to me that you are one beautiful lady on the inside and the outside.

Diane said...


Dorthe said...

Dear Anne,
So beautifully spoken,-and so right.
I for sure knows that I am not a washboard woman,anymore--wrinckles,yes---tired eyes ,yes, and-and--- but as you so wonderfully said,
it is the inside that counts,-- and I dearly hopes my inside is better than the outside.
Anne this is a very beautifull post, dear-thanks.

Unknown said...

That was just perfect timing. I have been having some health issues and on top of all of it I was kicked straight into menopause. I cannot take any hormones so I feel like crap all the time. I feel like I am frumpy and old and yes my pooch is really bothering me now. I feel so unwomanly and so not sexy! I feel old. I am trying my best to tell myself that I am the same confident (young inside) woman I always have been. But oh I so dont feel it................

And............the hot flashes dont help. You would think I could loose the extra 20lbs because of all the sweating I am doing! But, oh no! Not this time!

Thanks for this reminder! What a God thing!
Much blessings

Jennifer said...

Obviously you've seen me undressed! I have told a friend a time or two when they are beating themselves up "please don't put yourself down, talk to yourself as a friend would" , more so as God would don't you think? This is one of the most real, true and beautiful posts I've come upon. Thanks and God bless you every little bit and piece, Jennifer jennsthreegraces pooch and all

Sherri B. said...

What a beautiful seems it was just for me. When I face the mirror, looking back at me is, sometimes a stranger, and so like in your post I ask God to show me the beautiful woman that He sees and He reveals a soft and sweet heart that is still being molded by His loving hands.

Thank you so much for sharing this.

Alice said...

Awww, you can't be getting gray hairs and wrinkles--you look so young in your photos!

I get so tired of magazines and commercials advertising anti-aging-anti-wrinkle products using a model so made up and the lighting so washed out that her skin does not even look real. If women think they will look like this they are sadly mistaken and woefully misled.

I love that you chose this beautiful chippy French pitcher to remind us that our flaws do not necessarily make us undesirable. And thanks for reminding us that it is what's on the inside that counts.

Junebug Furniture and Design said...

So very true! A read some time ago: Upon completing the universe, God, our Great Creator pronounced it "very good." NOT "perfet."
Thank you for reminding me today, but, I still will be coloring my hair!! XO Glad & Celia/Junebug

Vicki said...

Anne, you know I would gush over that beautiful vintage, chippy pitcher all day long but likely walk right past a shiny brand new one. It is the imperfections that attract me and the mystery about how it got that way. This is what should be embraced. I wonder where it has been and what purpose it served. I would never want to "fix" that old pitcher and would proudly take it home with me with its chips and imperfections. Those chips and scars are signs it was well used and purposeful in this life. I love it just the way it is. It is more beautiful to me because it had a purpose in life, has a history to tell and is perfectly imperfect. I'm so glad I can see its beauty and yours.

Linda said...

Amen and Amen! Very well said! I have lots of grey hair, wrinkles and pooches! But God and my husband thinks I am beautiful and thats good enough for me. I love your blog, too.

Unknown said...

Drinking up these words. Drinking. Them. Up! xxx

Little Leslie said...

I hear ya sistah!!! I stay away from the butcher's shop around Thanksgiving, because of my turkey neck.

It's me said...

What a beautiful words so true....from a beautiful child of !! and blessings you....Ria....

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

My wirery chin hairs are applauding you.

Another funny story (are you sick of my funny stories yet?)
ten years ago as hubby and I sat to the opening curtain at the Moulin Rouge, the girls began to walk out and hubby leaned over and said, "See honey, they have cellulite too"

Precious. Your opening line made me think of that. :)

PS LOVE that pitcher!!!!!

Jennifer said...

Anne, I just had to write something about your post today and what it meant to me, how I feel and how it touched me personally.... heart and hugs, Jennifer

Blondie's Journal said...

Well said, Anne. Self acceptance=Happiness!!


mzzterry said...

Lovely. It takes most women years & years to get to this wisdom & sadly in our society so many never do. Learning to love yourself "wrinkles and all" is a freeing thing. Bless you for sharing this. You are a beautiful lady, both inside & out!

Unknown said...

It's a struggle everyday to reconcile with what you see in the mirror when you get older. But think of it this way - we're prim honey, we're prim! LOL And besides, you look so young! I just finished the best book that really resonated with me from the first page. It's called The Pull of The Moon by Elizabeth Berg. You might like it.

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Beautiful post, Anne! Thanks for sharing your thoughts ~ I echo them, also!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Rachel Noelle Pallas said...

~*Just perfectly imperfect..just what I needed to read today..especially coming from you..beautiful on the inside and out~*~Hugs,Rachel~*

hilary@oldhousetruelove said...

that is one of my most favorite quotes EVER from The Little Prince... great post Anne!

Unknown said...

Anne, you are all care and compassion...
this is a beautiful says it all and very well.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Anne so well put and so true! You are so young to understand this already. What a wonderful young woman you are. Blessings to you from another perfectly imperfect person!

Prior said...

So true! Lezlee

Jennifer Pearson Vanier said...

Thanks, Ann, I needed that. Although I do miss the "old", I mean younger me some days more than others.

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

Hi Anne, this is a beautiful post... thanks for sharing!!! hugs~~~ Daphne

undomestic mama said...

This is definitely something I need to remember! Thanks for posting.

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Anne!
I can't agree more! I think you are beautiful both inside and out and it's wonderful that you embrace yourself just the way you are.
I think it takes the years of aging and maturing and realizing that life is more about living than trying to maintain youthful looks.
Mine are fading but I've earned every line and wrinkle and I think they look pretty good on me!

Big hugs

Unknown said...

Wonderful words, and great character on the lovely pitcher.

Itchin' Stitchin' said...

Just made me feel so much better about the gray hair that is popping up on me.

Lululiz said...

Started reading your post and went, tick, yep thats me, tick, yep, thats me as well, tick, yep, me, tick, yep, me as well, LOL! Whats a few wrinkles and grey hairs when you have as much inner beauty as you have? And that beauty shines right out through your lovely smile.

Theresa said...

Oh Honey, I am 56 years old and have gray hair, which I cover up... wrinkles which I cover up and can't run around quite as fast, but I still run around:) Just keep smiling and age beautifully! HUGS!

Farmgirl Paints said...

I got all that too...blasted aging. Oh well. It's inevitable right? WE can't stay young and beautiful forever. I just want to age gracefully. Is that too much to ask?

Julie Marie said...

Hello Anne... I so love this post! I am alot older than you, sixty one to be exact, but that is only a number... I am young at heart, and I love my laugh lines (yes, I laugh ALOT! and they show!) and I am no longer a size 7... but so what! This world is so obsessed with everything being geared towards the 20~somethings... I have read so many posts lately about the same things you just blogged about... PLEASE ladies! I have my favorite saying posted on my sidebar, with a picture of me now and one when I was seven years old... the quote is "You aren't just the age you are, you are all the ages you ever have been"... many days I AM that seven year old little girl... more often than not, my posts are lighthearted and downright silly! (like todays!)... I wish all ladies would realize how beautiful they are, at any age... my sister has a Native American shop and deals with so many wonderful Native Americans... they look up to their elders with the highest esteem and regard, and go to them for their wisdom... I love that... you are beautiful Anne, don't change a single thing!...One of my favorite books is by Naomi Judd called "Aging Gratefully"... she has a wonderful sense of humor and a great outlook on life and aging...We all seem to treasure the older, chippier, shabbier antiques more than the shiny new things... think about it... they have alot more character and life to them... xoxo Julie Marie

Heaven's Walk said...

Ohhhhhh.....THERE'S that awesome blue pitcher you just nabbed! BEAUTIFUL, Anne!!!!! You lucky girl!!! :) I loved your post today, sweetie. I am soooo with you on every word of it. I tend to look at myself and think, "Ugh! You're flabby and jiggly and poochy and wrinkly....what happened?????" But I know that my blog-sistas, friends, family, and most of all - my God - love me exactly the way I am, flaws and all. Thank you for the wonderful reminder, Anne. YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!! :)

XOXO laurie

Laurie said...

I thank God for you, Anne friend. I may be chippy on the outside, after all, I am 56 and a nana, but I know He is making me into the person He created me to be, just like He is with you. YOu have inspired me once again.

God bless!

ShirleyC said...

Great post, and I love that old pitcher!

Lili said...

Genius Anne!! I will forever think of my imperfect self as having the attributes of a favorite shabby but tres chic French pitcher! xo ~Lili

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Great post. Such true words. I am in the same boat you are. I do cover my gray, but I'm not having plastic surgery for the wrinkles. I am not that vain. I embrace life and I am just so happy to be alive, after having cancer 7 years ago. God loves my inner beauty and I hope others do too! Have a wonderful weekend. Love & blessings from NC!

Privet and Holly said...

I'm sure you've read
my own musings on aging....
It ain't for sissies,
that's for sure! And
not just because of what
we see in the mirror, but
because of societal pressures.
I would love to see a new
generation of strong women
just resist the messages
about eternal youth. We
HAVE earned this "patina,"
darn it!!
xx Suzanne
PS: Your pics are gorgeous.

Anji Johnston said...

...and all of the above! XxX

Kate said...

Beautiful words that come from a beautiful heart.


very merry vintage style said...

Oh I just love this post... Thank you--you are quite a talented writer!

Unknown said...

Thanks Anne , Something to think about when I'm feeling old and dumpy.
You gave me a lift!

Marci said...

i figure we have earned each wrinkle and battle scar!
it shows that we have character...some more than others.
i'll wear my character as a badge of courage!*smile*

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Anne,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us.
I can relate to exactly what you are saying, I have the smile lines around my eyes too. It is what is inside that makes one beautiful as a person.
And oh yes, I do remember the Bay City Rollers myself and loved them and all their tartan.

Have a happy Halloween, dear friend

north pal said...

i love milton's quote. i put it in my favorite quote's book. and, you are perfect,God made you.Bestest,Denise

Junk Girl said...

Lovely! Just like you and your blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne
When I was 34 I saw my little itty bitty wrinkles and thought "ugh" Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer that same year.
Well , I got a whole new attitude about growing older , real quick :)
I said , Lord , bring on the wrinkles and the saggy under arms and bless Him ,He did. lol ( I could've skipped those under arms :)
I am so thankful to have this opportunity called life - gray hairs , cellulite and all.
I'm still me , a very thankful me. The packaging is just a little bit different these days :)
Thank you for such a sweet post. I was wondering today how we could expect children to be kind to one another and not to bully when we as adults have not yet mastered that.

The Feathered Nest said...

Beautiful post angel......absolutely beautiful. xxoo, Dawn

Jaime Haney said...

I love this post! there are so many of us in the same boat! I've got that pooch too, I call it front butt. hahah I hate it :( and don't think I could ever embrace it, but I do love that it's there from my beautiful son.

Tricia said...

What a great post Anne. I wish aging was something I could embrace...the best I can do is to hope to age gracefully :)

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

It is way too much work to try and be perfect. I would much rather spend that time having fun in life and, as you said, embrace the perfectly imperfect me!!

Well said my friend, especially the pooch part!

trash talk said...

If I said getting older doesn't bother me...I'd be lying BUT in the words of the great Popeye...I yam what I yam! Besides...if I don't embrace myself...who will?

Julie Marie said...

Hello Anne... I just wanted to stop in again and read your post one more time... and I loved reading all of the comments... all of these ladies are beautiful too! I am soo happy to read that they are all living their lives to the fullest and accepting who we are, just the way we are... beauty truly does come from within... and I know all of these ladies are all beautiful inside as well... I want to keep a positive attitude forever... I lost my daddy several years ago at age 91... he refused to use a cane to walk, even though he struggled... he said "I'll use one when I get old"... my daddy, I miss him and love him... he had the right idea about getting older... xoxo Julie Marie

Anonymous said...

Anne, once again...beautiful words of wisdom!
Thank you! As I'm about to jump in the shower and dress, fix my unruly, straight, unmanageable hair and cover my under-eye-circles with Almay's concealer, add blush and lipstick to my pale lips...I'll think differently about the not-so-perfect and aging results! I should know better than to pick on myself! Thanks for the reminder!

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Thank you Anne. We are all going down the same road and that was very inspiring!~Hugs, Patti

Viva la Cottage said...

Anne, how wonderful to read your words on a gorgeous sunny morning. I was feeling uneasy about a post that I follow that was just mean. What I love about blog land is all the lovely, kind and encouraging words I see... you have renewed me!
Thanks... and just look at all the responses.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Dear Anne:
What uplifting and wonderful thoughts to share with us. Thank you, my friend.

I once told my daughter-in-law that I'd like to have the deep furrow between my brows filled. Her reply was, "What? Do you want to look like you never had a serious thought in your life?" How wise of this young woman, don't you think?

I hope you have a lovely day today, my Perfectly Imperfect and Sage friend.

Marlene said...

Beautiful Post! You and that Pitch are my kind of Perfect...:-)

VS said...

Oh so true Sweet Texas Gal...
So poigant & beautifully put FRIEND, thank you!
I will never forget a comment one of my friends Mom said to me when I was in highschool & we were all laying at the beach in our bikinis...she was very tiny & really a cute 'Friends Mom', but she had a scar on her tummy from her appendix surgery & lots of stretch marks from having so many kids.
Laying on the beach with the bright sun shining on our faces & the waves crashing at the shore she said, "My body, scars & all, is like a road map of my life. It reminds me of how far I've come & where I have been & I love each & every one of my imperfections!"
That stuck with me, all these 40 years later, she has been that little voice in my head saying 'it's ok to age, each & every wrinkle or scar has a story to tell'.
I wish I could find her to tell her 'Thank You'!
Big Hugs,

HRH Sarah said...

Thanks for the lovely reminder. I once heard a talk by Kimberly Hahn, and she was addressing how our culture treats aging and imperfections. She has 6 children, and multiple C-section incisions. She said when we go to Heaven, Jesus will want to see the scars that we bear for His sake. As you said, every crinkle and mark is a badge that you have earned.

Junk Exchange said...

when i was but a boy w/ curls of blonde hair and eyes of blue and heart charming abilities .. i played to thunderous applause the role of 'the little prince' ..

Unknown said...


Erin said...

What an uplifting message. I love things that are aged and imperfect. Why shouldn't I extend that grace to myself? Thanks for the perspective, Anne. :)

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anne! I thought I was the only one who felt that way...
Hugs ~ Jo :)

Unknown said...

this is so beautiful. it's hard to remember sometimes when you look in the mirror, it's hard not to see all the flaws.....thank you sweet friend! have a beautiful weekend! xo susan said...

I love your post! You said it beautifully and I'm with you, age looks much better that way :)

Anonymous said...

true that!

Anonymous said...

sending you {{{GREAT BIG HUGS}}}} i just love this post! i am the worst at not doing things becasue i tend to let my imperfections get the best of me...

Lana Manis said...

Dear Anne ~ you are a true beauty, and that's what counts. Your loveliness shines through in every single post you make. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. :)

p.s. from your description, we could be twins!!! ;)

My Arts Desire said...

Beautifully written, Anne. Such an important message for us all to remember. Loving the heights to which your photos soar as well! Xo, Sue

Lara said...

Wiping the tears of awe of my keyboard..
You write so beautifully - loved this!!
We must embrace our flaws - even the ones that we need to pluck, tweeze or suck in every now & then.
:) Lara

maría cecilia said...

I absolutely agree with you!!! Enamelware is my big flea market addiction and I have a huge collection of these amazing imperfectly perfect beauty!!!!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Oh Anne, you are beautiful inside and out! As I am getting closer to 40 I sure am going through the changes. I'm accepting everything BUT the grey hair. I visit my wonderful hair girl every 8 weeks so I don't look 60 :) So many of us are in this boat and we are all a gift from God.

Faded Charm said...

Oh Anne, I know exactly how you feel. why is it we love imperfections on our stuff, but not on ourselves? If only it worked that way. You worded this perfectly and just know you are not the only one out there to feel this way. As long as our husbands love us for who we are that should be all that matters.

Enjoy yor weekend.


Kathy said...

Lovely words, I enjoyed each one!

re:Inspire said...

Hi Anne,
You could not have said that any better. Thanks for the encouragement to love our flaws and to remember what matters most!

Missy @ Chateau Chic Boutique said...

Oh Anne, thank you for this lovely, heartfelt post. It is all so true. I definitely don't have the body and "abs" I once had - but my children are my treasures and worth every stretch-mark and sag. My gracefully growing wrinkles and creases are just the proof of my love of laughter. God has perfect eyes to see our hearts, not our appearance. Thanks for the reminder that I need to practice more of His ways.
Have a week full of blessings!
PS AnneMarie had a great idea to place this post on her sidebar, I think I'll do the same if you don't mind.

Tracy said...

Anne, I'm stepping through your blog and I just loved this particular post. I was drawn to the pitcher at first, then to your thoughts. It is always so encouraging to see bloggers share not only their photos, but their faith. Thank you for the encouragement to see with God's eyes. Life is beautiful that way!

A new flawed friend

Carrie Garvin said...

Wow~ what a beautiful blog---you are so young- and wise. I've enjoyed reading your entries.

Heart Vintage Design said...

Inspirational post!

Maria said...

Wow, you write so beautifully - you really have a gift. Love this post! Thank you!

Love you! You are in my thoughts and prayers!XO

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