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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Treading Water…

tread

Do you ever feel like you’re treading water spiritually?

Our Rescuer picks us up out of the depths, we gasp, take a big deep breath of fresh air, and start to breathe. It’s a beautiful and life changing thing…

We PRAISE Him for the rescue. We devote ourselves all over again. We pray more consistently than before. We cherish His presence in our lives. Now, we can actually feel ourselves start to sink if our prayer time fades. Prayer has become our lifeline.

So we are praying consistently, going to church, seeking Him and His will for our lives, loving others, learning to love ourselves as He does, and summoning His strength to share. Treading. Our arms and legs start to tire. We start looking around for somewhere to rest. Our ship to come in. And, we may start to wonder…..what next? What now? I have. I think it’s part of our journey.

When a week goes by and I feel like I’m treading water, I make a conscious effort to remind myself that at least I’m not drowning anymore! I can breathe and my eyes have been opened, Praise God! My weaknesses have been revealed and my mind renewed. I know where to go for true strength. I know where to turn for truth. I don’t fear truth, I cherish it. I’d so much rather receive truth than be deceived one more day.

Then, out of the blue, a raft appears. Jesus says, “not only did I rescue you, I gave you a raft. You don’t have to tread. Rest.” Oh, thank goodness, I need it! And I lie on my raft and I rest. He doesn’t just rescue us from the depths of despair, pain, and deception. He offers a true rest in Him.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Sometimes the routine of our lives and the constant waiting for the next big thing feels like treading water. Still, I’d rather tread than drown. I’d rather rest than tread. I’d rather breathe easily than gasp.

It’s a life long journey and each one of us are on our own. Not alone, but on our own personal journeys between our personal rescuer and ourselves.

Today, enjoy your raft and take a rest with Jesus.