Welcome Amanda Inman, Dallas-based designer of Interiors and Jewelry. She shares insights about beauty that I hope you’ll enjoy. Shop her gorgeous jewelry over at Inman Studios @inmanstudios.co .

I’ve never really felt like I have fit the cultural standard for beauty. I was always “the smart girl” in school, praised for my brains and academics, and perfectionism. (I was valedictorian of my class in high school!) Through college and my 20s, I consistently spent my money on material things to make myself feel better or more like I fit in. But I slowly learned that no amount of things or clothes or pretty accessories would bring the satisfaction or acceptance I was desiring.

I could not understand why God would make me a creative woman with a love of aesthetics, beautiful things and spaces, and a passion for creativity, if beauty was not satisfying to pursue, and if I didn’t truly believe he created me beautifully.

I honestly didn’t realize how much I struggled with how I viewed my body or feeling unworthy until after I got married. Being vulnerable and seen and known by my husband and unable to hide behind my perfectionism and smarts, I struggled to accept his praise of my beauty and the gifts my body offers to others. I realized somewhere deep down that I questioned if those things he would say to me were really true about me.

In those deep and painful places, the Lord brought conviction that I was not valuing his creation, but then tenderly revealed his love for me, how I am chosen by him, created in his image to be a creator and cultivator of beauty (Eph 2:10). I’ve learned that beauty itself isn’t the ultimate thing to be desired; it is intended to point our gaze to the original Creator, God, and reveals his glory here on earth.

In the last few years, in his kindness God has continued to teach me that he created my body with a purpose. He gave me a strong body to serve and love others through hospitality, creating a welcoming home to host people, making meals to feed hungry friends, giving a hug to a neighbor in need, cultivating beauty that reveals glimpses of His glory. These are ways my body is a gift not just for me, but to be poured out for others.

When I start to question my value or feel tempted to satisfy my longings with material things, I can ask God to give me eyes to see myself the way he sees me, to help me rest in being chosen by Him, and to remind me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” for a purpose. (Psalm 139:14)