Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hoping to Gain by Defining Beauty



I began a new bible study this week; and in an effort to help me process what I read, I want to write down my thoughts after each chapter. If you're interested in learning more about the study, click this link
or watch some videos at this link.




I was excited to start this study, hoping to gain some biblical insight and understand what His Word says about the body...then I read the first chapter's discussion questions. My mind swirled and my heart sank. I was going to have to dig deep, truly soul search, if I wanted to gain and glean. The hardest part of growing is the pruning; the clipping back of our beliefs & experiences, so we flourish in Truth and into the beautiful creation He intended.

The most difficult questions for me are the last two of chapter one:

How would you define beauty?
What do you hope to gain through this study?

Define Beauty 
Hmm...do I give the Christianese answer, or the world's viewpoint answer? I turned to my daughter and her friend, and asked them. They are fourteen, and regularly inundated with the obsession of chasing beauty. Their responses were a little surprising, and encouraging:  

Confident
Truthful
Helpful

I have so much to learn! They are looking beyond the surface, and deep into the hearts of the people they admire. 

Hoping to Gain
Not until I prayed about this question, did I realize I still had body image issues. I honestly thought for the most part I had dealt with the history of living life in this flesh He fashioned specifically for me. As I shared with my group what I hoped to gain from this study, tears from deep down bubbled up to the surface...and I'm not a crier by nature. 

My hope is to once-and-for-all truly believe in the depths of my soul that I am who the I AM says I am. I want to KNOW - without any doubt - that all those verses I quote to my children and sisters and friends are intended for me, too. 

Psalm 139:14
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Job 10:10-12
You guided my conception
    and formed me in the womb.
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and you knit my bones and sinews together.
12 You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.
    My life was preserved by your care.

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 
So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

So today, I begin earnest prayer. As I seek the Truth of beauty, I seek His transformation of my perceptions on this subject and a willing heart prepared to accept what He shows me in this journey. May my desires for the perfect body, instead match His desires for me to glorify Him with the body I've been given. It's time to move and grow. 

How do you define beauty?

Does the way you view your body
inhibit your walk with God?

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Journey to Steady

Click image to link up to FMF "Steady"







To participate in Five Minute Friday,
 all you have to do is write for five minutes on the word of the week, post your words on your own blog, and link up the post here.  
This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

Today's prompt:  STEADY

People often ask me how I manage the life I've been given. There is so much I don't share on this blog. You, reader, only get to see the glimmer I allow you to view. Today, I'll share just a little bit more personal than I usually do. I know I won't be able to go in depth because of time allowances, but here is a glimpse...

BEGIN...

Almost a decade ago, my dearest declined in health which forced a retirement from his career twenty-five years before he planned. It shifted the axis of our world, throwing our entire family off-kilter while we figured out our new life. 

We were a self-reliant couple. One of the qualities that first drew me to him was his quiet, inner strength. He worked hard, played hard, and I just knew he was the one God intended for me to spend with my days on this earth. 

I'm just as independent as my best friend, my love, my husband. We typically didn't turn to others when something went awry. We figured it out and went about fixing or doing what needed done. 

When life as we knew it came to a halt, we were thrown into a stunning new scenario. Life's dreams were ceased. Career pursuits halted, and honestly, we had no idea where we were going or what we were to be doing. 

And that has become the biggest blessing in our lives. 

Because these self-reliant, independent creatures we were suddenly had nowhere to turn ...except to our God. We learned to truly rely on Him. He is where we could draw strength. He is our might. He is the Source.

When the storms of life toss us, instead of flailing our arms helplessly about, we choose to lift them up, knowing He will be there to grab hold. He is our STEADY.

...STOP

We are forever grateful for the journey He's given us. 
We praise Him for showing us how to rely on Him.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cheese and Crackers



I'm a visual person. It's one of the reasons I create WordArt from Biblegateway's Verse of the Day. I study the verse a bit, usually with a few different translations; and an image will come to mind. "Seeing" the verse, helps my heart to remember it. Today's verse is an ode to one of my favorite and often used phrases. 

You see, I have a terrible vice...I sometimes swear...like a sailor.

It's an awful habit brought on from years of practice, dating back to my tween years when I first learned to verbalize 4-letter words with my classmates at recess. It felt kinda naughty, but exhilarating all at the same time. Ah, the Enemy knew just where to grasp hold of me!

I'm working on my mouth, and living in the South has helped. 

You can turn simple, everyday words into a pointed phrase everyone will immediately understand; plus, the funny use of simple words diffuses the moment into something a bit lighthearted. 

I've developed a few to use instead of the obscene language of my youth. 

With that in mind, when Colossians 3:13 popped up on my screen from Biblegateway's front page this morning, I knew exactly the image to use. Forgiveness doesn't always seem the easy path. No matter the intention, it seems someone will find a reason to be offended. 

Does it make sense to you? Do you know the phrase that came to my mind?

NLT via Biblegateway.com

When I'm exasperated by a person or situation, instead of swearing, I now say:

"That really cheeses my crackers!"



Today, when someone cheese your crackers, frosts your cookies, or knocks you over with a feather, take a breath and give them a pass. Think of the wise words and simple truth stated in Colossians 3:13.

Free your heart from the angst of being offended. 

Show them kindness and love.

By doing so...you will show the world your Jesus. 



What is your favorite phrase?