Friday, March 7, 2014

Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore - by LaNae Valentine & Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen - Review

Picture and Description taken from Deseretbook.com

Description:

We've all heard the old adage "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But who is the beholder? Women today are bombarded by harmful messages in society about their bodies and appearance. We often feel inadequate and overwhelmed by the impossible-to-achieve ideals touted in the media. And sometimes our harshest critics are the eyes looking back at us in the mirror. No matter the source, when our image of personal beauty is threatened, it's important to remember who the rightful beholder of true beauty is—is our Heavenly Father. The adversary, ever jealous of our bodies, wishes for us to forget that our bodies are temples. He wants us to resent them as prisons and abuse them with unhealthy words, unrealistic views, and harmful behaviors. But the scriptures help us remember that "the body and the spirit are the soul of man" (D&C 88:15), "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" (D&C 18:10), and that to discover our royal heritage, we mush look inside, "for the kingdom of God is within [us]" (Luke 17:21). By accepting these truths we are freed to see true beauty in and around us.
The essays in this uplifting compilation, much like their authors, come in every shape and size, but each reaches toward the same conclusion: beauty is truth. And the truth is that everything God created is beautiful, your body included—freckles and all!
Compiled by BYU Women's Services, this volume includes chapters by the following contributors:
  • Cynthia L. Hallen
  • Jana Parkin
  • Jennifer Blaylock
  • Ron Bartholomew
  • Wendy Ulrich
  • Kathryn Soper
  • S. Michael Wilcox
  • and many others
My Review / Thoughts:

This book falls under another book that I probably wouldn't have picked up at the store, but when I saw it come up for review, I jumped at the chance.  It is full of inspirational stories, that every woman, young and old should read.

I love how it feels so personal.  Each essay is written by a different individual, and talks about what they think "beautiful" is.  It is so touching.  Everyone has insecurities, even if they say they don't.  We are usually our own worst critics.  I know I am.  This book really helped me to see how different and how beautiful we all are in our Heavenly Father's eyes.  Notice I said "different".  No one person is the same.  How thankful I am for that.  We all need to find our "beautiful".  

I have to admit in my head I am still young, and skinny.  I seriously have to wonder if it is me staring back at me when I look in the mirror because my outside is not what I see.  I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but I can honestly say that sometimes I think a stranger is looking back at me.  Like I said, in my head, I am still that 18 year old, skinny girl who just got married, and is looking forward to a life with her spouse.  How thankful I am that I am NOT that 18 yr old anymore, because life is so much better now than it was then.  I may not be skinny, and fit like the world thinks I should be, but I am happy with who I am.  This book made me realize that it is OKAY to be who I am.  I have never really been one to "follow the crowd", but every girl wants to hear they are beautiful.

So many times in this book, these short, sweet essays women talk about how they use to see themselves, and how their perspective has changed.  Beauty is so much more that what we see on the outside.  This book helped me realize how important it is to build a person up, and never tear them down.  Words are so powerful.  I have to admit I am the type of person who usually doesn't care what people think about me.  I don't care if others think I am beautiful, or out going, or funny, or anything.  The only thing I want people to think about me is that I am a good person.  I don't know if people think that or not, but I sure hope they do.  I hope that I am never the cause of someones embarrassment or discomfort.  I know I probably am at times, because I have the "open mouth insert foot syndrome".  BUT, I can say that, that is never my intention.  I don't have a filter, and sometimes that is a bad thing.  I speak before I think.  This book really showed me how important it is to THINK before I speak.  

If you are a woman, read this book.  Know that you are beautiful just the way you are.  Heavenly Father made you, you are a Princess, a Daughter of a King.  We can always strive to be better, but don't ever fall into the pitfalls society thinks we should fit in.  Each one of us is a divine daughter of God.  Every person has something to contribute to this world.  Be kind.  Remember you are beautiful because Heavenly Father made you!

This really is such a great book.  So inspirational, and touching.  Be good to those around you.  Build people up, never tear them down.  BE BEAUTIFUL!!!

Source:  I was given this book by Deseret Book in return for an honest review.  I am not affiliated with Deseret Book in any way, and was not compensated for my review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

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About the Authors

LaNae Valentine is the director of Women’s Services and Resources at Brigham Young University. When she’s not working to support, connect, and empower women she enjoys visiting family and friends, cycling through Utah’s back roads and canyons, cooking, reading, and doing yoga.
Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen finished raising seven children and is having a hard time sitting still. A doctoral candidate at Brigham Young University in marriage and family therapy, she is a managing editor of theBYU Women’s Studies Journal, serves on the board of local arts organizations, writes music with her husband, and walks every morning with her BFF.