True Beauty Conversations: The Real Cinderella

Julia and I are exploring the meaning of Beauty, intersecting Beauty with the word of God, and letting Beauty live in our lives. Inspired by a joint feeling of just not measuring up in the beauty category, we’re tackling some hard questions:

  • What is Beauty? And does it reside in me?
  • And when my husband says that I’m beautiful, how can I receive those words as truth in a culture that says the opposite?
  • What am I going to teach my daughters about Beauty?
  • And most importantly, what does the Word of God say about Beauty?

Join us as we converse about a topic that touches the heart of all women.

Hi, it’s me again! In an effort to respond to both of your letters, Melissa, as I said I would, I’m back again this week, addressing these words.

I don’t think Cinderella’s life was all that glamorous. I mean–glass slippers?! Ouch!


Give me running shoes any day!

That’s to say nothing about the dress:

I bet she just threw some coins in that fountain, and is peering at her reflection, wishing that cinched waistband felt more like yoga pants.

Extend yourself some grace, Melissa. Life isn’t a fairytale. Marriage isn’t a fairytale; not even close.

I think your words resonate with a lot of mamas; they sure resonated with me, and there is no baby cookin’ in this oven!

Our princes walk in the door, and all we want is a break. We see them as our knights in shining armor, rescuing us from the constantness of motherhood–and we want that rescue to begin immediately!

Our princes want to rescue their lady, they really do, but they also want to kiss their bride and all of that gushy stuff.

When you started talking about your prince; I thought of my garden.

Weird, I know. You talk about our histories, and I think of The Ugly Duckling. You talk about your prince, and I’m about to talk my garden.

Bear with me.

You know gardening. You took this lovely picture of your peas flowering:

You know that gardeing takes work.

When flowers, herbs and vegetables all have their place, and are well maintained, the garden flourishes. It’s beautiful to look at. Each plant compliments the other.


Let the garden grow unattended for a week. Its probably okay.

Let the garden grown unattended for a month–there’s a problem. Weeds take over.

Isn’t gardening the perfect metaphor for marriage? Marriage takes work. When you stop working at it, the weeds grow.

But–when we and our princes are gardening our marriages—beautiful things happen!

We flourish.
We compliment one another.
We are more beautiful.

Beautiful, because our husbands cultivate our lovliness through love, adoration, and by rescuing us from motherhood every once in awhile.

So, I don’t know. Hopefully Cinderella was a gardener. And after this:

there was a lot of gardening going on, so that she could reveal her most beautiful self in glass slippers and binding waistbands for all those terrible Disney sequels that never measure up to the original.

Breathe on my garden, fill the air with spice fragrance. Oh, let my lover enter his garden! Yes, let him eat the fine, ripe fruits. ~Song of Songs 4:16b