Monday, March 25, 2013

Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women Edition 3

Today’s edition to the series is brought to you by my dear co-worker and friend, Emily.   

Emily Barnes
Emily and her husband, Alex.

At work Emily and I are cubicle neighbors.  Our shared wall provided a perfect atmosphere for our growing friendship.  The wall is tall enough that you cannot see into the other’s office, but short enough to throw an emergency chocolate ration over with ease (we’ve refrained from this delivery form since a piece of chocolate took several weeks to locate).  Our wall also possesses a little gap by one edge due to the window sill and heat element, this lovely little spot provides enough space to pop your head around the corner for quick questions or school-girl whispered conversations.  Some days I don't know what I'd do without her.

Isn't she the cutest?

This blog exists largely due to Emily.  She is one of the main administrators of the My Year of Faith blog our diocese has created for the Year of Faith in the Catholic Church.  I am a contributor to the site; while writing my first post we had several conversations on being inspired to write our own blogs- something we both had thought about for a good while.  So we made it our new year’s resolution to challenge and support each other in this new adventure.  I am so glad that we did!

Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women

By Emily

What makes a beautiful woman?

She does.  It isn’t about the clothes, the accessories, the hair, or the makeup.  It’s more about how she acts and feels.  A smile is beautiful  If a woman is happy and confident, that is what radiates.   And we girls deserve to radiate, don’t we?   

What makes you feel beautiful?

My husband.  That may sound like a cop-out or too cheesy, but it’s true.  We haven’t been married very long, but we have been together for nearly six years.  He was the first male I can remember, other than my father, to tell me that he thought I was beautiful.  And that has made all the difference.  There are many days that I do feel it, but he always sees it.  And he makes it a point to tell me every day.  

 What has had the greatest impact on how you view yourself and encouraged you to be beautiful?

My understanding of fashion.  I know that sounds so backwards, but I have come to believe that what I wear makes a difference.  Growing up (mostly the awkward years), I really struggled with my confidence and image.  I wanted to be “fashionable” and fit in.  But, I still believed in modesty, which typical teenage fashion did not usually take into consideration.  Those were rough times.  But, as a entered college, I started to realize that clothes could be both fashionable and modest!  So, I began to wear less of my usual hoodie and jeans ensembles.  And, as I made that transition, I began to feel better about myself!  Today, I think I am a much more confident (and beautiful!) woman because of how I understand my clothing.  

 What is your beauty go to for the days when you feel anything but beautiful?

I try to put in some extra effort.  It may seem like an inconvenience at the time, but it ends up making all the difference.  It helps to boost my confidence and feel better about myself.  And, my confidence level influences how beautiful I feel.    

What would you like to share with other women to encourage them to recognize their value and to be beautiful?

We all deserve to smile more!  As women, we tend to worry too much.  Trust me, I am guilty of this too.  All that worry is just stealing our joy.  And, we deserve JOY in our lives.  So smile and be happy.  A genuine, joyful smile is always the most beautiful.  And, the best part?  Joy is contagious.  Spread the joy and smiles ladies.  We all need more of that!

Thanks a bunch, Emily!  You're the best :)

Read more from Emily at Raising Barnes.

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