Julia Ismail, blog writer for Milk and Honey, attended a Handmaidens event on Femininity & Beauty and featured us in her blog!


Pure Beauty

If you are wondering where the party’s at on a Saturday night, I know I don’t have to tell you twice, sisters! Introducing… the Carmelite Sisters. Look no further because they are life-changing women.

Astoundingly hip, vibrant, innocent, young (there were 20-something sisters), and truly God’s sweet bunch of the most joke-filled, joy-filled people I’ve ever met.

The Carmelite sisters do outreach programs for young women every month called “Handmaidens” and tonight’s topic was: beauty.

Well, first of all, let me preface this by saying that the Carmelite Sisters do not wear an ounce of make-up, not a drop of nail polish, and their fashion statement is gracefully wearing the beautiful black and white head-to-toe linens of their habits. And the biggest kicker: Peering inside the convent there is not a single mirror to be found.
(Talk about a piece of Earth where “selfies” are nonexistent)

Most of these bare-faced beauties don’t even know what they physically look like!!!! It is fueled by the motivation that they don’t want to focus their time on Earth on their physical beauty, but would rather spend their time focusing on God and what they can do to help others.

Sister Faustina gave the talk about beauty and she shared some eye-opening gems:
She said, “As women, we are called to reflect God’s beauty. We should be the most inwardly and outwardly beautiful people in this world. Why? Because we know God.”

*Now as a side note, this nun does not wear makeup, as mentioned before, and literally doesn’t know what she looks like, but I promise she is one of the most pure, naturally beautiful, radiant women I’ve ever witnessed! She oozes beauty and grace, probably because she is unconcerned with her image!!! — God’s reverse kingdom, go figure!

“We are not supposed to abandon beauty, but to baptize it and reclaim it for the Lord.”
“We are called to be pure”
“We are meant to live a life of peace”
A study was published by Sarah Swafford on Emotion Virtue asking male college students what makes girls most attractive? What makes us attractive is our femininity, confidence [in Christ], and commitment. What makes men most attractive? Masculinity, confidence [in Christ], and commitment!
I think the focus would be foremost internal: cultivating your heart that is eternally beautiful – pure, holy, and fixed on Jesus.
We can learn to focus less on the externam and be transformed from the inside out. We would know who we are by studying His word and believing what we read about who we are in Christ, remembering we are royal daughters of the King of Kings. Secondly, we would begin to feel again: wearing clothes that make us feel ourselves in respect to God, talking about things that make us feel better after leaving the conversation, moving our bodies in what feels free, using our energy in what makes us feel like we are living our purpose. It is living from the heart versus living for the mirror, as if we ourselves were part of the sisterhood.

Colossians 3:12: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other.”

I left feeling changed and transformed in a way I never had before. I can honestly tell you, I haven’t worn makeup a day since hanging out with them. Being with them was like walking out of the set of a real-life Sister Act, and I wanting to grasp every piece of the holiness, grace, and beauty they embodied.
I learned so much about beauty from women who didn’t even own a mirror.
Now, that’s beautiful. Thank you, Jesus.

I told you it was a party!


-Blog originally written for Milk & Honey.