Sunday, May 31, 2015


Around March last year, on our way to church, I had a seemingly innocent conversation with Harmony that I had no idea, God will use to change my point of view.  I will never forget that moment.

While my husband was driving and I was sitting on the passenger seat, I hurriedly applied my makeup finishing touches before we reached the church parking lot.  As I looked through the visor mirror, I happened to glanced in the back and saw Harmony staring intently at me as if to say something. 

Me: Yes, Harmony?

Harmony: I want lipstick too.

Me: Why do you need lipstick?

Harmony: So I will become beautiful too!

Me: Oh, but you don't need lipstick or makeup to become beautiful! You are beautiful just the way you are! What matters is beauty on the inside when you show kindness to other people, and you obey God’s Word.

Harmony: So why do you need make up? You are beautiful too without it!

Silence. Cricket, cricket, cricket.  I was speechless. I had no words to say. I could not explain to her why I feel the need to put make up on to make me look beautiful because I feel like the beauty God gave me was not enough.

I could not explain to her why I needed layers of eye shadows and thick mascara to pull other people's eyes away from eye bags because they perceive eye bags as tired-looking instead of seeing a confident, busy mother giving her all to run a 24/7 operation called "home" and raising an army called "family."

I could not explain to her why I was embarrassed about my uneven facial skin tone because other people stare at it, judging it, instead of understanding that I suffer from adult acne from time to time due to lack of sleep or stress brought about by many twist and turns in life.  I could not explain to her that I sometimes ask God why my natural skin color darkens when acne heals and scars replace them. 

I could not tell her why I need a concealer to cover the lines that show the faded years because people view it as "old, ugly and dry" instead of "wise, mature and full of experience." 

I did not have the guts to tell her to believe in her own beauty in Christ when I, myself, have a cake of products painted all over my face. 

I choked back my tears as I asked myself what kind of role model I was portraying to her. With all the makeup on my face, I could not "make up" an answer.  I frantically searched for words, my heart and mind raced for an explanation.  Because I am very much aware that at her age, whatever I say to her at that moment when she was looking to me for an answer to a simple yet profound question, will be etched in her heart forever.  Thankfully, she saw a herd of sheep and was distracted so I was saved (thank God for "squirrel" moments! lol). 

That night, as I was putting my makeup kit back in the bathroom cabinet, I asked God to help me portray to Harmony the role model she deserves—one who does not need this world's approval and who will always see herself as a confident, beautiful-in-her-own-way woman bought by the blood of Christ, freed from her past and forgiven from her sins.  And when Christ died on the Cross of Calvary for her, He accepted her entirety--including all of her age lines, her acne spots, her eye bags, and all of her imperfections.  As long as she is walking in His will, as long as she is striving to become more like Him and less like her, she is a beautiful creature God is molding and shaping to become who He intended her to be. 

It has been over a year since that conversation. I can say I have used my makeup kit only once—for my husband's work Christmas party.  Don't get me wrong.  I am not saying don't take care of how you look (or smell!).  I also have nothing against wearing makeup. This is not to judge women who put on makeup everyday. Each person has her own conviction and this is certainly not to chastise anyone.  In fact, I still have my kit because I intend to use it for special occasions.  And as a mother, I am also looking forward to that day when Harmony is old enough for me teach her how to properly apply makeup—not too much that it changes who she is, and not because she is yearning for attention, but only to enhance what she beauty she already has.

When she is old enough to understand, maybe then, I will be able to put makeup on again. But until then, you will see me running around confidently in my ‘au naturale’ state—eye bags, age lines, acne scars and all.  And I dare say, there is nothing wrong with that. =)