Today's Questions of the Heart guest is Tess from Little House in Chicago (formerly Book Smart Girl in DC).
I was so excited to stumble upon her blog; it was like running into an old friend. I'm so proud of all that Tess has done since I met her as a freshman and happy that she found someone who sees what a gem she is. I can't wait to see where the future takes Tess and Frank after their May wedding.
Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women
What makes a beautiful woman?
A woman who is happy with who she is—who respects and loves herself, and respects and loves the people around her.
A woman with confidence, self-assurance, and graciousness.
A woman who, when she walks into a room, doesn't declare, "Here I am!" but rather says, "Ah, there you are."
What makes you feel beautiful?
Being around children—they care about how you treat them, not who you are or how you dress, so you kind of have to be the most beautiful version of yourself with them.
What has had the greatest impact on how you view yourself and encouraged you to be yourself?
I'm really grateful to my faith for teaching me to see myself as God's daughter whom He loves.
After that, books and blogs I've read have had a big impact. I've come to see that each woman's talents and beauty are different, and that the immense variety of female beauty is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
What is your beauty go-to for the days when you feel anything but beautiful?
Natalie once said, "Patience is a virtue available in regular or waterproof"—her way of saying that wearing a little mascara helps her mood. I feel the same way—taking an extra five minutes to fix my hair or put on mascara and lipstick do a LOT to make me feel beautiful (this might be a little shallow, but it's true!).
Exercise is also an instant mood-lifter. A good work-out makes me feel strong and beautiful. Like Elle Woods says, "Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy!"
What would you like to share with other women to encourage them to recognize their value and to be beautiful?
Be yourself. It sounds like such cliche advice, but it's so important and so so hard to live by. I think most people live their lives just doing what society tells them without thinking through if they should/want/need to. It's beautiful when women do things their own way—thinking things out for themselves, turning a blind eye to the status quo, and making the effort to be authentic. To me, that's the most beautiful a woman can be—wholly, truly, and uniquely herself.
Thank you, Tess!