Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Varina Denman. She is here to share about her newest book, Looking Glass Lies, and to talk about something we all experience… aging. No matter how hard I try to embrace this whole getting older thing, bathing suit season wrecks me every. single. year.
The older I get, the more I want to hideout in a muumuu at the pool. Mercy.
This morning, I looked in the mirror, and (as usual) was not thrilled by the reflection. I’ve learned that it’s best not to give myself a hard time, but old habits die hard, and I still find myself frowning at the frizz, the dark circles, the wrinkles. Heaven knows I don’t want to be young again (once was enough, thanks), but I haven’t yet embraced the older me.
But that’s not surprising. I’ve spent a lifetime criticizing my reflection, and I’ll spend the rest of my life reminding myself not to. I’ve come to realize that life is way too short to scrutinize my appearance to such a ridiculous degree. And it’s a waste of time, simply put, to think so much about myself, so often.
When I look away from the mirror, I see my teenaged daughter with her smooth, vibrant complexion, but I also see my eighty-year-old mother whose face crinkles into an ocean of lines as she smiles at me. We’re all different, yet each of us, in our own way, is concerned with our appearance. This is stuff and nonsense. As Solomon said, it’s meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
My latest novel, Looking Glass Lies, tells the story of Cecily Ross who finds herself scrutinizing her reflection way too often. For most of her life, she has compared herself to other women … and come up short. Like most of us, Cecily has been influenced by outside forces: the media, movies, songs, and advertisements, even friends and family. And on top of that, she’s recently gone through a divorce from an emotionally abusive husband.
Cecily is extremely critical of herself, but she didn’t get there on her own, so I never expected her to recover on her own. Instead, I gave her a loving dad, a licensed therapist, and a support group made up of women who are going through the same struggles. With the help of this team, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.
As I penned her story, I grew right along with her, and it’s my hope that readers will benefit from her journey as much as I did. I’m now more aware of the lies I tell myself as well as the lies I hear from society. My eighty-year-old mother is no less lovely than I am, and I’m no less beautiful than my teenaged daughter. Outside influences would have me believe otherwise, and I certainly did believe them for a while, but now I’m listening to the truth instead: Every woman is beautiful.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How amazing are your thoughts concerning me, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:13-18
Chat with Varina:
Why do you think women are so critical of themselves? Should muumuus be considered appropriate swim/beachwear? (while I cannot speak for Varina, I really want to wear one) Or feel free to ask Varina any additional questions about her book or about her writing process. We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!
Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. Her award-winning Mended Hearts series, which revolves around church hurt, is a compelling blend of women’s fiction and inspirational romance. Her latest novel, Looking Glass Lies, released in May. A native Texan, Varina lives near Fort Worth with her husband and five mostly grown children. Connect with Varina on her website or one of the social media hangouts.
I am super pumped to give a copy of Looking Glass Lies away to you and to one of your friends. To enter the giveaway, simply subscribe to the blog via the pink box over on the side of the screen if you haven’t already. I will choose a winner on Wednesday!
More giveaways are coming as the summer rolls on, so be sure to subscribe so you do not miss out. As a subscriber you will also receive a couple of notes in your inbox every month that highlight my recent musings, design tips (coming soon, eek!) and other encouraging content reserved JUST for the hearts of my subscribers. I want you to feel cared for, noticed, and encouraged in the midst of this big ‘ol online world of ours. So come be a part of our growing family and join in on the laughter and offline discussions. (We do laugh a lot together. Promise.) Know that my inbox is always open if you need prayer as well, valued one.
Before you go, be sure to check out this moving book trailer for Looking Glass Lies: