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From Ashes to Beauty: The Why Behind BFAI

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Written by: Adriana Salcedo and Karina Salcedo

“It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” “Your beauty comes from within.” “Beauty comes from the heart.” These are common quotes that the average woman has heard at least multiple times in her life, (I know I sure have). Here’s the thing, beauty is a sensitive matter; and while beauty may indeed come from “within,” no woman desires to hear that it is the ultimate source of her beauty. Why? Simply put, we are human beings. No matter how spiritual, devoted, or wise, each one of us has an innate desire to be beautiful, like our Creator. Genesis 1:27 suggests that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (ESV). God is the embodiment of beauty...He created beauty! Thus, since we are “made in His image” we not only have the desire to be beautiful, we also have the desire to create beauty. We desire to feel proud of ourselves after we accomplished a new hairstyle, eyeshadow color, or matched the perfect outfit—we are designed to create beauty. So while it is important to understand that our outer beauty is not to be valued over the purity of our spirit and mind, we should also understand that God delights in our desire to be like Him and to create beauty! But, let’s look at both sides of the coin here. On one hand, God made us to want to create beautiful things and present ourselves with excellence. On the other hand, God has called us to be humble and focus on eternal inner beauty rather than the outward temporary. In fact, 1 Peter 3:3-4 states, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (NLT). At first glance, this scripture may seem to contradict the foundation we established. But we need to look further into the words. The keyword in this scripture is “concerned.” According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of “concerned” is “worried, troubled, anxious.” What do all these words have in common? Fear. 

You see, God does not bar us from putting on makeup, or wearing cute clothes; however, He does not want us to get to a place where we begin to fear because we do those things. For example, there is nothing wrong with taking care of your body (eating healthy, working out, etc.); in fact, God delights in that. However, it becomes a problem when your primary motivator for doing those things fear of death. In the same way, it is a problem when your primary motivator for wearing makeup or doing your hair is the fear of what others will think, or better yet, what YOU will think, without it. 

Interestingly enough, most women wear makeup for themselves rather than others. Only 17.5% of women wear it for attraction, 20% wear it for beauty enhancement, and 62.5% of women wear it for self-esteem. These statistics were first shocking to me as well because most of the time, everyone thinks that people that are obsessed with their appearance care too much about what others think about them. However, it’s quite the opposite—they care too much about what they think about themselves. By now, I am sure you are already self-examining yourself, your motives, and maybe a little surprised that I have read your mind. You are not alone—I experienced it too when I realized that I was a part of that 62.5%. The road to healing was much more difficult than it needed to be as I had no clue where to start, who to talk to, or how to make time for it. Once I finally found the transformational formula, God empowered me to share it with other women that struggle to find or create their beauty. It was then that God gave my sister Jackie and I the vision for this ministry—Beauty for Ashes, International. 

Our heart behind our ministry is to build up and empower women to understand their worth from the inside out by focusing on the whole person, spirit, soul, and body freshly and innovatively. Our purpose is to show you that we will no longer allow our self-worth to be washed away when our day is over but that our confidence would be our permanent state of being. This workbook is specifically designed to not only help beautify you from the inside, but also the outside. You will notice that we have separated this workbook into several chapters. Each chapter is a different step in the beautifying process, with the spiritual application always being first. When we put God first, He helps us find our true beauty which not only makes us more radiant, but also less self-obsessed. · When we focus on the inner man, our spirit, we learn how to beautify our souls with a beauty that never wears off, but that is eternal. No rain or storm could ever wash it away. As we allow our master artist (Holy Spirit) to prep and beautify every area of our soul and flesh, we begin to see the master create beauty for ashes. Are you ready to give God your ashes? Let's do it together!

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