That dress.

on January 4, 2012 in Nash-livin' with 32 comments by

If you have read my book, you know this already.

I used to hate me. 

As a teenager, I was my own worst enemy. The only thing that was worse than looking in the mirror was looking in the mirror while trying on new clothes. It was horrible. I spent many a high school shopping trips wiping away tears in a dressing room.

I didn’t buy nice clothes. It felt like a waste. I didn’t wear pretty things. What was the point?

My heart breaks for that Annie. She missed so many chances to be beautiful.

God has taken the last decade and a half and done a mighty work in my heart and mind. He has changed me from the inside out. Though I still have to fight the lies in my head, it is minimal compared to what used to rage between my ears.

Hence the reason I want to blog about the most beautiful dress I have ever bought. Because it is a redemptive thing, you see.

There was a fun New Year’s Eve party this weekend, swanky stuff, cocktail attire. My plan was to wear a new bridesmaid dress [that is also, luckily, gorgeous] but I decided to pop up to the mall just for fun. I had a little Christmas cash that I was willing to drop on a new dress.

I entered the department store and encountered a very kind lady. She asked my size, the occasion, and then her eyebrows raised. “How do you feel about sequins?”

See, here’s another thing. When God changed my heart and mind to be able to see myself more the way He sees me, a lot of things changed. I started to genuinely love some girly things that I didn’t before … namely, SPARKLE / GLITTER / SEQUINS.

So when she offered sequins, my eyes said it all. But I still answered, “yes and yes and yes please.”

She reached through a line of dresses hung on a rack to the very back. She said, “we only have one of these and it is in your size.” And then she pulled out a navy blue one shoulder number, covered from top to bottom with blue and black sequins.

I had a few other dresses in my hand, but it was useless. My heart beat always and only for that blue sequin piece of beauty.

I tried it on. I sent a picture from the dressing room to the fashion decision makers in my life. We all agreed.

It was beautiful.

I loved every minute that I got to wear it. And I’m going to wear it as often as possible in the future. To lunch? Maybe, if you ask nicely. To your birthday party? Or your wedding? Or to buy groceries? Probably. Because I love that dress.

(Me and Nichole and Lyndsay)

Why tell this story? It seems weird to spend a whole post talking about a dress.

I’m writing this in honor of that fifteen year old Annie, that girl who didn’t know she was pretty. I’m writing this because I would give anything to sit down with her. She needed to hear that when you look good, you feel good. That a beautiful dress can change the way you look AND feel. She needed to know that she was prettier than she heard in her head.

I didn’t know then. But I know now. And I am so glad to have seen, first hand, that God can take the lies away and replace them with truth.

And that He has made everything beautiful in its time.

[Will you share this story with a young woman in your life who needs to read it? Or a friend who needs to know that there is hope for her sad heart? Maybe she will listen better than I did. Maybe she will find a beautiful dress sooner than I did.]

Also. Just for kicks. I got my nails painted with tiny confetti sequined nail polish. Do you love or do you love? Try it sometime. You’ll be glad you did.

. . . . .

Do you have a piece of clothing that you LOVE? Tell me about it!


  1. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 5:33 AM  |  reply

    Oh, I LOVE this post 🙂

    I love your passion for that gorgeous dress.

    I had these red shoes once…. loved them, they made me feel sassy but alas (who says alas?!), they got stolen in the mail.

    Now I have a gorgeous red bag which also makes me feel sassy 🙂

  2. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 6:02 AM  |  reply

    Mine was my senior prom dress. I was so much like you, Annie. Tomboy, soccer-lovin’, body hatin’ kind of girl. But for my senior prom I wanted a fabulous floor length fancy dress.

    I found the perfect dress. It was so beautiful. But it was expensive. My precious mother didn’t even blink. She bought the dress for me! (She was probably overjoyed to finally see me in a dress!)

    It was fantastic. Everyone was shocked when they saw me. It was so fun to turn heads and feel good about myself!

  3. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 6:05 AM  |  reply

    It’s beautiful. You’re beautiful. I wish the younger Annie had been aware of that fact.

  4. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 8:25 AM  |  reply

    Annie! I just love this. Like you, I never called myself beautiful until maybe my 20s. And I still struggle a lot with it. With God’s grace, I’m learning.

    A few particularly beautiful items come to mind: my senior prom dress, a little black dress I love wearing these days, red flats and black high heels.

    I love that sequined dress — it’s gorgeous! — and the most beautiful thing about it is the girl in it. You look great!

  5. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 11:57 AM  |  reply

    Great post Beautiful One.

  6. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 12:13 PM  |  reply

    love love love

  7. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM  |  reply

    Love the dress and love the way you now esteem yourself, sequins and all.

  8. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 12:59 PM  |  reply

    I wore a sparkly multi-colored dress this year to an ugly christmas sweater christmas party. I usually am very compliant and supportive of themes but have lately decided that life is too short to dress ugly.

  9. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 1:20 PM  |  reply

    Annie – I love this post. I am so honored to call you a friend. And you look stunning in this dress — as always!


  10. Katy
    posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 1:51 PM  |  reply

    You looked so gorgeous in that dress!! I loved it!

  11. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 2:05 PM  |  reply

    You look SMASHING. Love that dress! Miss you!

  12. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 2:13 PM  |  reply

    That dress is fabulous and you look amazing in it! As always you inspire many, myself included!

    For me there is always this one outfit that I feel looks really good on me. It changes with the seasons of life, but no matter what, it’s always there.

  13. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 2:40 PM  |  reply

    Great dress. Greater gal. Miss seeing you!

  14. O Mom
    posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 3:08 PM  |  reply

    love the nails. and love this post. will share, k!

  15. posted on Jan 04, 2012 at 8:21 PM  |  reply

    I was quite happy to read a post about buying a beautiful dress, until I got to the end. I instantly felt connected to your writing because that could have been me. I used to be that girl who didn’t believe she was pretty. I would try to hide myself in oversize clothing. Years later, I have learned that I am a beautiful woman, created and loved dearly by God. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  16. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 2:12 AM  |  reply

    Oh girl, love this.

  17. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 8:13 AM  |  reply

    Shut up! That dress was made for you. Stunning.

  18. Anita Corsita
    posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 11:25 AM  |  reply

    Wow, Annie, I LOVE that dress. What an inspirational post for us all. Thank you for sharing your sweet heart. Miss you around these parts. Saw your sweet sister this summer. Take care of yourself!! (BTW I still have those pens and my daughter plays with them daily!!)

  19. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 11:29 AM  |  reply

    This is my heart.

    And I just love you so much.

    (Also, that freaking dress. I mean. COME ON. You are a siren.)

  20. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 11:40 AM  |  reply

    I’ve got to say, you look gorgeous. My girlfriends and I remind each other often that it’s OKAY to need to feel pretty. It’s OKAY to feel good when you feel pretty, because God wants us to feel good. I fall into what we call “bad mind,” where I feel selfish and shallow for wanting to look good. Thanks for reminding me that it’s okay to spend time on my appearance.

  21. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 11:44 AM  |  reply

    You look absolutely lovely!

    One of the best things about my 30s thus far has been being able to accept myself much more and to appreciate what I’m workin’ with. Of course I have days where I am hypercritical- I am a woman after all, but on the whole I love the freedom in being able to extend grace to yourself.

  22. amy
    posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 1:30 PM  |  reply

    annie–love this post. you have allowed your Father in heaven to romance you and pursue you and you are satisfied! hello, you are satisfied in Him and what He thinks of you! V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!!i love you and your heart and your vulnerability! and your long nails–quit biting them, huh? good for you! (i can’t stop!!!)

  23. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 1:46 PM  |  reply

    oh that dress is gorgeous, and so are you!! 🙂

  24. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 3:10 PM  |  reply

    Love this post. You are beautiful as is your writing.

  25. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 3:11 PM  |  reply

    And you could definitely rock that dress in the grocery store!

  26. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 4:00 PM  |  reply

    Girl, as beautiful as you are on the outside – and you ROCK that dress – you are even more beautiful on the inside. True beauty, that.

    And that nail polish? My heart skipped a beat. I don’t even paint my nails anymore; but that made me want to anyway. My 40th birthday is next week. I’m thinking some confetti nails are in order.

  27. Julie
    posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 4:22 PM  |  reply

    Love the dress, love the post. As usual, tears are in my eyes just reading it. You are such a gift. Looking forward to more posts in 2012.

  28. posted on Jan 05, 2012 at 4:59 PM  |  reply

    Love the post. I have always struggled with my weight and felt self-conscience about being the one with a nice smile in our family~ I grew up with a very strikingly beautiful sister. Anyway thank for reminding us to live in the moment…and keep our eyes focused on the One who knit us together in our mother’s wombs.

  29. Andrea
    posted on Jan 08, 2012 at 12:22 PM  |  reply

    I think we are almost exactly the same. Just in different states. No confidence in my younger days, gained a little more in my early 20’s and now I might have a little to much 😉 I was total tomboy in high school- played lots of sports, no make up and was ‘the girl next door’. Just went to my high school reunion in a purple dress and pink heels and people had no clue who I was. Kinda like that movie ‘she’s all that’ just over a 10 yr time span. I am like you- if it sparkles, its beautiful. I painted my headboard and sprayed it down with glitter, sprayed all my christmas ornaments with glitter and definely thought about spraying my dog once or twice. I am a PE teacher/soccer coach (which involves nothing but sweats, ponytails and running shoes) so if I dress up in heels or wear some make up, people react the way the characters in Cinderella did when they found out that was her shoe!!

  30. Btc/Fm
    posted on Jan 10, 2012 at 8:20 PM  |  reply

    Gorgeous dress. You are absolutely beautiful in it.I also remember how beautiful you were in your homecoming dress in high school. You were pretty then and you are pretty now. You go girl! Love, Dad

  31. zara
    posted on Jan 12, 2012 at 1:10 PM  |  reply

    I love my wedding dress its everything im not big sparkly like a princess and girly it makes me feel like a proper women nnot someone who had kids to yyoung and is pretending to be grown up cant wait to wear it a whole day 🙂

  32. posted on Jan 21, 2012 at 1:02 AM  |  reply

    I’m crying! You are beautiful, and so is your dress! You look lovely and happy!

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