He finds me beautiful

My husband makes me feel beautiful. I don't believe there has ever been a day in our 7+ years of marriage that Tim hasn't told me how beautiful I am. Some days I don't believe him because I wonder how can I really look all that beautiful in baggy sweats and a spit-stained sweatshirt, but he just shakes his head and repeats, "You are beautiful. You are." And he always has countless ways of telling me why I'm beautiful to him each day.

The other day when we were walking around a Japanese garden in Houston, Tim snuck this picture of me with Felicity. A few minutes later as he was reviewing the pictures, he grinned, "I think I found my new favorite picture of you." I scowled, "Is it ugly? Are you being sarcastic?" (I can't tell you how many bad pictures he accidentally snaps before getting a good one. What can I say? I have a mean thinking face, and it does not photograph well.) He shook his head, motioned for me to come to his side and showed me this picture. I stood there puzzled because there is nothing particularly astounding about me in the picture, but he just beamed, "You are beautiful. You are."

I never knew how much feeling beautiful would mean to me. I am my own worst critic, and I rarely look in the mirror with kind eyes so his constant encouragement is what I need to keep going. He doesn't see the soft skin I now have lining my mid-section as a flaw. I think he actually finds me more attractive with curves. He doesn't see the bags under my eyes because his brown eyes are fixed on my baby blues. And he doesn't see my imperfect smile because he is completely in love with my smile lines.

The world is full of critics. Having four kids so close together has pretty much put me in a category of my own so I rarely know what's in style or how to wear it. I just do the best I can to look presentable, albeit stained in spit-up, and I know that no matter what anyone else thinks, the one person who matters most to me in this world will always find me beautiful. Always.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley