Motherhood, Perspective

Is He Ruggedly Handsome?

Are you familiar with Game of Thrones? or GOT as us nerds call it? Well, just in case you aren’t, let me give you a very brief synopsis relative to what I want to share today.

Daenerys Targaryen, the rightful queen of the Seven Kingdoms has been in exile in Westeros her entire life. Her brother sells her to the king of the Horse Tribe and when he dies she decides that she is done being a pawn and becomes a queen on her own. Also, she is given 3 ancient eggs as a wedding gift that hatch into dragons making her the mother of dragons. (Stay with me here.) She’s a badass who raises babies that breathe fire and oh yeah, she can walk through fire and not get burned. She also uses her power to do the right thing like freeing slaves, punishing those who are greedy and hurt others, that sort of thing. She gains some very loyal followers on her journey. Jorah Mormont becomes one of these followers. He originally comes to her as a traitor, to sell her location to those in the Seven Kingdoms whose reign she threatens. He is an outcast trying to earn his way back home. But he falls in love. He sees that she is good and tender and strong and fierce. He becomes her most loyal protector. He chooses her over his home. And for the record, he is also really good with a sword.

The other night Luke and I were looking for a new Netflix show to watch. As we were flipping through we see, Jorah Mormont (not his real name, but this is who he will always be to me), staring in his own series about an ex-cop turned private eye. We start watching. About 20 minutes in, Luke asks me if Mr. Mormont is as ruggedly handsome as it seems like he is. Hmmm . . .

It took me a few minutes to answer this question. He is not handsome in the traditional ways. In fact, I feel like I am seeing him for the first time. I never noticed that rather significant bald spot on the back of his head. And his face that looks rugged and weathered in a manly sort of way in GOT, just looks old in this new show. (I don’t mean to pick on this actor, I’m just trying to make a point, I swear, it’s coming.)

I said, “You know, he is handsome in GOT because he’s fiercely loyal and a little bit desperate with the added bonus that he’s an awesome fighter who kills all the bad guys but I’m not sure if he’s handsome in this show because I don’t know his character yet.”

Handsome has very little to do with physical appearance and everything to do with character.

I know, I’m not making big breakthroughs here. Any of us who have ever loved another person (and I hope with all my being that that is EVERY SINGLE PERSON on the planet) know that it’s all about the heart.

Ya’ll should see the way Luke and I looked when we first started dating at 15 years old (over 20 years ago, by the way, how did that happen?!). We were all small and awkward and pimply faced. Luke showed up to our first date wearing HUGE jean shorts and I had just gotten my braces off and the orthodontist installed spikes (yes, you read that right, spikes) behind my lower teeth to help correct my bite. There was no question about whether he was going to be receiving a good night kiss. Yikes. We were a physical mess. (I wanted to post a picture here but Luke shot down every one that I suggested . . . they are that bad.)

But he showed me his heart from the beginning. On our first date, we piled into his super old Toyota Corolla. When we hit our first speed bump, all the lights went out in the car. As a teenager, this should have been mortifying. He pulled to the side of the road and rummaged around until he found a box of replacement fuses in the glove compartment. Then he pulled the fuse box out, replaced the fuse and got back on the road. He was not meeting any  normal high school standards of cool. But he was so vulnerable and painfully real that I know I started falling for him not despite this moment but because of it. He seemed resourceful and confident and he knew how to fix something. I can’t separate what I know about his heart from his physical appearance. His heart is a GORGEOUS, shining star that lights up my world. That’s what I see when I look at him. Those deep green eyes and curls and all the muscles are just bonuses:)

Side note: He’s also insanely human and therefore flawed and ugly at times but so am I. So I choose love and pray everyday that he does too.

Two years after we started dating and we were a little less awkward. This picture was taken the summer before we started college.
Treat your insides better than your outsides and do the same to others. This is where love grows. This is where ruggedly handsome and beautiful and sexy begin. How we treat ourselves and each other is how our kids will treat themselves. There aren’t many certainties in this parenting gig but I know that if my kids love themselves and can practice forgiveness and gratitude, they will be better equipped to handle the curve balls that life is sure to throw them. Show yourself and your littles plenty of grace.

One day, they just might recognize a ruggedly handsome heart when one comes their way.

I’m working on a post about some real ways to work on your “insides” and to help your kids do the same. I know that this is a big topic. I’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Email me at

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