Celebrate the Beauty You ARE!

Wow, if this isn’t full circle. God has loved me back to life. I was beautiful at twenty (and didn’t know it), but feel even more so turning fourty. Why? Because of what I’ve been through. Who I’ve clung to. And, Who has never let go of me!

I started this blog off admitting and dealing with imperfection. I realize now that it’s in spite of our imperfections that our friends and family love us (or should), and it’s because of our imperfections that Jesus died for us. We can and should work on improvement, but perfection cannot be the goal. We’ll never make it.

It’s hard for me to take selfies. I do it, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t obsess over them or use a bunch of filters, I just struggle with flaunting external beauty. Maybe because of what I think of others who do or maybe just maybe because I want others to know there’s more to me. Ultimately, I need to know that myself. We all do.

I have no problem taking pictures of my daughters’ physical beauty because I already know there’s so much more…. I WANT to take my girlfriends pictures because I think they are absolutely stunning and I love them/you and I know there’s more. Maybe someone struggles like me and I’m here to help you! You are more. Your beauty is not just in how you look, but you needn’t shy away from your outer beauty either.

You are beautiful. How do I know? Because, God made you in His image. Your scars, your hurts, your fears, your insecurities, your story has made you even more so.

I love diversity. You are beautiful. The color of your skin, the size of your nose, the shape of your chin, the curves of your body. Made up or no makeup at all. The kids you’ve had, the surgeries you’ve been through. Beautiful.

How do I know?? I know because I know Your Creator. Not because your husband told you today, not because you got flowers last week, not because you have 3000 friends on Facebook. Because, Jesus Christ died for you.

We were His last physical creation. After God created woman, He took a rest. I imagine a cowboy throwing up his hands after roping a calf. Done! This is my most beautiful! Phew!

So, celebrate your beauty. Know that you ARE beauty, you don’t just have beauty. Smile, and know that He is with you. That He loves you. That He made you. So how could you not be? So smile and say Jesus loves meeee! <click>

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Beauty in the Struggle…

struggle

Have you struggled?  Have you wondered if a lack of peace means you’re headed in the wrong direction? Have you wondered if the struggle is because of disobedience or God prompting you to change directions? Does the confusion get the best of you? It has for me. Why is it that when we pray a mighty prayer, make our requests so big that only God could deliver them, wait, wonder if it’s even possible, then actually receive it, that we still struggle? Why is that? Because we are human beings with mere human hearts and minds that have a hard time comprehending what is meant for us, what is best for us.

Have you ever heard, “Be careful what you pray for, you just might get it!” As soon as it arrives, our hearts are frightened and we feel like we’re not ready. If we weren’t ready, why would God drop this in our lap? Something only He could know we wanted. Something straight out of the deepest desires of our heart. Yet, we don’t feel ready. We don’t jump in with joy and excitement and praise His name, like a child would. Nope, we worry. We wonder if it’s right. We wonder if it’s real. We wonder if it’s finally here. And we wonder what to do with it. We pray for discernment, for peace, for direction…for truth.

Have you considered that the struggle may be because you ARE heading in the right direction? We tend to think that once our miracle arrives, it will be smooth sailing, but God has another thing in mind. How else would He keep us dependent?  How else would He keep us humble? By reminding us we can’t do it alone. By reminding us that getting our prayers answered doesn’t mean everything will be easy, but it will be different. With new territory, there will be new issues to deal with and problems to face. This allows us to praise Him while remaining completely dependent. When we feel incompetent to handle our blessing, He is STILL ever present.

Whether it’s a new relationship or an ended one, an unexpected baby or a long-awaited one. Whether it’s your dream job or an opportunity that you’ve waited and prayed so long for, there will be issues. New ones. I’m so thankful that God loves me enough to struggle with me. When my soul desire is to do His will, it means I love Him enough to struggle too. I’d rather struggle with God than silence or deny Him in my heart.

One thing’s for sure, just like Jacob struggled with God, we won’t come out the same. We’ll come out closer, changed, and with a limp that keeps us dependent and reminded of God’s sovereignty in our lives . The people who have stayed by our sides in our struggles will always hold a close place in our hearts. Likewise, when we struggle with God, we come out closer and ever more certain of His love for us. There is beauty in the struggle.

 

A Fresh Start!

spring

Spring has arrived along with a sense of newness.

We love new things. New clothes, new cars, new jobs, new relationships, new babies, new ideas. There’s just something about newness that gives us that fresh start feeling. Inevitably, the newness does wear off and we are left with the desire for something else that is new. I know I crave a fresh start everyday. A “do over” of sorts, especially when I lose my patience in mommy world or get anxious about the future.

The steadfast love of The Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are NEW every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

God’s mercies are new every single morning. That’s a fresh start we can count on. The newness that returns day after day. We may take it for granted, but it’s a shame if we do because it’s a fresh start….everyday. Something to look forward to. Something to bring joy, relief, and peace. It’s the ultimate “do over”.

Let’s focus on blessings today. Blessings like a brand new healthy baby, a new friend, answered prayers, the love of family, and the encouragement from friends. Everything from quiet time with a hot cup of coffee in the morning to Abby’s smile and hearing Elle say “thank you mama” and “kisses” before bed are all such precious and personal blessings to me!  We each have our very own.

I am guilty of paying more attention to what I lack than what I have. I want a fresh start and forgiveness from that. I want to focus on what God graciously GIVES because He does and He LOVES to do so. Let’s all take the time to count our blessings and recognize His gifts.

Spring has definitely sprung in Texas so let’s all thank God for fresh flowers, fresh rain, fresh air, and fresh starts!