True Girl Podcast

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The Source of True Beauty

Claire Black: This is True Girl, a podcast for girls and their moms. Together, we’ll explore God’s truth for us, one drive at a time. True Girl is designed for moms and daughters to listen to together. It’s a perfect length for a car ride. 

Today our destination is not the grocery store or the ballet studio or school. We’re heading to the source of true beauty. Where does true beauty come from? We’ll have to drive much farther than the local mall, and don’t be disappointed, but we won’t be stopping at Claire’s. You can’t even find true beauty on your favorite online shopping site. But by the end of this episode, you can understand that you’re a masterpiece created by God. 

True Girl is hosted by Dannah Gresh, author of 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters. Let’s get moving for season 1, episode 3, titled, “The Source of True Beauty.” Here’s Dannah.

Dannah Gresh: Hey girls! Today we want to talk about where our sense of true beauty comes from. I’m joined by lead teacher Staci Rudolph. Hey Staci.

Staci Rudolph: Hey!

Dannah: Staci, tell me that there have been times in your life that you spent just a little too much time shopping online or obsessing about something you needed to wear so that you could feel, I don’t know, beautiful? confident? cool? Call it whatever you will.

Staci: No, you are not the only one. I mean, you would have thought I had an obsession with Converse. I felt like I was not cool in school if I didn’t have the next pair of Chucks. I don’t what it was, but I loved them.

Dannah: Converse!?

Staci: Yeah, that’s my thing.

Dannah: That was the thing. 

Staci: I’m a sneakerhead. 

Dannah: Okay, when I was in sixth grade, you know what I needed?

Staci: What?

Dannah: Clogs. 

Staci: Ha, ha, ha.

Dannah: I know. They’re totally not in style anymore. But I saved and I saved and I saved, because I knew if I had this pair of clogs, that I would be the coolest girl in school. Ugh, if I could have that money back. 

Staci: Boy, have times changed! 

Dannah: They have . . . and those clogs were painful. 

Staci: Well, get ready true girl, because we’re going to learn about the source of true beauty. And to get there, we’ll be traveling much farther than I hope you're driving today. Our destination . . . Narnia.

Dannah: Yeah. You may have been there before if you’ve read C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. I love this series. 

Staci: Today, we’ll start with a pit stop right in the middle of one of those books, The Silver Chair. We join the great lion, Aslan. He’s sitting calmly by a cool, refreshing, rippling stream, when suddenly a little girl named Jill approaches but hesitates when she sees the massive lion. 

Aslan: If you’re thirsty, come and drink.

Jill: Uhh . . .

Aslan: Are you not thirsty?

Jill: I’m dying of thirst.

Aslan: Then drink.

Jill: May I? Could I? Would you mind going away while I do?

Aslan: growls

Jill: Alright. Do you promise not to do anything to me if I come?

Aslan: I make no promise.

Jill: Then, oh dear, I mean, I’m so thirsty, you see. Do you eat girls?

Aslan: Oh, I’ve swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms. 

Jill: I don’t think I’ll come and drink.

Aslan: Then you will die of thirst. 

Jill: Oh dear. I suppose I must go and look for another stream then. 

Aslan: There is no other stream. 

Staci: Now, Dannah, why did you pick that clip for us to hear today?

Dannah: Because, we try so hard to get our sense of value, our worth, our beauty, joy, you name it, from so many places. But the truth is there is only one stream to drink from for true beauty and a true girl drinks from it. And that stream is the presence of God in our lives. 

Staci: That is so true. Now, you probably notice by now on each True Girl podcast episode, we’re giving you guys a power verse. Today’s power verse is 1 Peter 3:3–4. It reads, 

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.

Dannah: Now, are these verses saying that we can never wear braided hair, that we can’t get gold jewelry from our favorite store, or that it’s not okay to wear fashionable clothes? No, it’s simply saying that’s not where beauty comes from. Those things aren’t going to make us feel beautiful. What is the source of true beauty? The answer is a heart that is quiet before God.

Staci: What these verses are really asking is: 

  • Did you spend more time in front of a mirror today making yourself externally beautiful? 
  • Or did you spend more time in the quiet presence of God making yourself internally beautiful?

Dannah: Exactly. The presence of God is the only stream that will make us feel beautiful. It’s the only source of true beauty. But here’s the thing, Staci, it’s not an easy stream to drink from. You know in that story Jill felt afraid when she walked into the presence of Aslan. And I think sometimes we have excuses for getting into the quiet presence of God. 

It’s sometimes difficult for us because we’re busy. Sometimes we’re just too tired, or maybe we just don’t feel like we have the right tools to get into God’s presence. I’ve got to confess to you, there are times when I just plain forget to slow down and do it. 

Staci: I feel that. 

Dannah: You know that clip from the Chronicles of Narnia, it reminds me of a story in my own life, my desire to be beautiful was just like that thirst that Jill felt. 

Staci: Tell us about that. 

Dannah: Okay, here it goes. Oh no, no, no, that’s not the right sound for this story. My beauty story is no fairy tale. In fact, it’s not even one I like to tell. This is my ugly story about beauty. 

Yeah, that’s about right. It all started in middle school. Now, here’s my secret . . . I had terrible skin. On a scale of 1–10, I think my skin was about a 3—and that was on a very, very good unbelievably wonderful day. And it made me feel terrible. In fact, I remember trying so many things to feel more beautiful. I tried cleansers and lotions and creams. I tried laying in the sun to get a tan. For my family, I was still too young to wear make-up, but my mom actually let me use make-up to cover up the imperfections in my skin. But nothing, nothing made me feel better.

Eventually, I became so discouraged with the way I looked that I actually stopped looking in the mirror. It just made me feel so sad. 

Staci: Girl, you are telling every girl’s ugly beauty story right now. How did it end? What happened?

Dannah: Well, when I was a little older, I know this isn’t going to sound related, Staci, but it is. I just decided to read my Bible every day. I began reading about Jesus. He had perfect inward beauty. He never did anything wrong. When we come faith in Him, when we believe in Jesus, He gives us His perfect beauty. That means that when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. He sees perfection, Staci, and I had forgotten that. 

My heart had forgotten that, and getting into my Bible reminded me. You know what happened as I filled my mind with that truth, I realized something, I was looking in the mirror again. I was looking in the mirror. And soon, I realized that I was actually liking what I saw in the mirror.

I mean Staci, I wasn’t like, “Oh girl, you are fine.” It wasn’t that, but it wasn’t that dislike, that hatred, that I felt before. I felt comfortable with what I saw when I looked in the mirror. And Staci, here’s the thing, my skin hadn’t changed at all. 

Staci: Your heart changed. 

Dannah: Yeah, in those few short months, nothing changed about how I looked, the difference was on the inside. I was changing dramatically because I was drinking from the right stream, the presence of God. 

Staci: And true girl, you don’t have to be in middle school or high school or college to drink from that stream, and it won’t just make you feel more content with your body and beauty. It’s going to impact all sorts of other emotions in your life. Just open your Bible and start reading. Maybe start with today’s True Girl power verse 1 Peter 3:3–4. Before you know it, you’ll be drinking from the source of true beauty. 

Dannah: Well, I bet you can tell what our True Girl challenge for you is today. We want you to start spending time in God’s Word, every day. Maybe tonight, you’ll just open your Bible and read it for a few minutes, just a few verses. Maybe tomorrow it will be the first thing that you do, but we want you to drink from the source of true beauty. 

Claire: Woo, well I’m sure thirsty to open up my Bible and read truth. Hope you are too, true girl.

You can keep exploring the source of true beauty along with your mom by getting a copy of the book 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters by Dannah Gresh. You can learn more about it and other resources to bring moms and daughters closer to each other and closer to Jesus at

True Girl is a production of Revive Our Hearts, calling women of all ages to the true source of beauty, God’s Word. 

This episode featured a clip from the audiobook, The Silver Chair used by permission from Focus on the Family Radio Theater. 

All Scripture is taken from the NLT.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

About the Teacher

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

About the Host

Staci Rudolph

Staci Rudolph

Staci Rudolph is a lead teacher for True Girl. From co-hosting online Bible studies like "Habakkuk: Walking By Faith Through Difficult Days" to facilitating biblical discussion of teen topics on the True You videocast, Staci is passionate about encouraging tweens, teens, and women of all ages to walk in God’s Truth.