Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why You Are Beautiful


Did you know that you are beautiful?

Even if no one else can see it…
Even if you were always told that you’re ugly….
Even if today you forgot to put on your makeup…
Even if you’ve been up late crying your eyes out…
Even if you have scars and bruises….
Even if your husband/boyfriend left you for someone else…


How could I be beautiful you ask?

Because your beauty doesn’t depend on you…
Because what’s on the outside isn’t where your worth is found…
Because ugly words spoken over you don’t make you ugly…
Because real is always prettier than fake…
Because brokenness is beautiful…
Because being left never means you’re alone…


Here’s what God has to say about beauty:

You are indeed beautiful! ( Song of Songs 4:1)
You are wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:13-14)
Inward beauty is what God looks at! ( 1 Peter 3:3-4)
Outward beauty doesn’t last anyways! ( Proverbs 31:30)
You are more precious than jewels! ( Proverbs 3:15)
There is no flaw in you! ( Song of Songs 4:7)


You're beautiful. You are treasured. You are sacred. You are His.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Real Talk is Really Hard

The other day I was called upon to talk about myself in a public setting.
And I choked.
My hands got clammy.
My heart started racing.
My face beamed bright red.

I barely made it through my little 3 minute talk.
And because all eyes were on me...I stumbled through it fearfully.

Why is it we have a hard time telling our stories?
Our stories are proof of God's hand on our lives and when we retrace His fingerprints by telling them to someone else, we find a little bit more freedom.

But, if we are afraid to speak up....what then?

I want to tell my stories, believe me.
And I've prayed about it, time and time again.
But I still struggle with opening up.
With being....VULNERABLE.
Yep. I really don't like that word. :)

Some people say that I really need to grasp the concept of "mind over matter."
To think myself through it.
To ignore my feelings and just state the facts.
You're on a need to know basis anyways right?
I mean, do you really need to know?
Maybe, maybe not.

But after my recent embarrassing moment, it occurred to me that I might need to embrace a new concept.
Maybe I need to focus a little less on my logical and perfectly appealing mind and a little more on my emotional and insanely flawed heart.

Because I'm not smart enough to pull one over on me.
Some truths are just plain messy.
I can't change my stories.
They happened.
And there are things I'm just not proud of.

In order to fully walk in freedom I have to share my stories with others.
And the more I think about it, the less I want to do it.
But the more I let myself feel it, the less I want to keep it to myself.
Because it's not about me anyways.

I can overthink it to death and then tremble as I relay it to you through clenched teeth.
Or I can let my heart's desire to live a free life be my guide into vulnerability.
And boldly share my stories.
Flaws and all.
The ugly truth.
This closet perfectionist hates being noticeably imperfect by the way. :)

But let me be clear:  
I'm able to embrace my mess by the sheer grace of God.
Only then can I bring Him glory by telling my story.

So I'll take a crack at this heart-being-my-guide thing by saying this:

Amazing Grace,
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost.
But now I'm found.
Was blind, but now I see.

Mark 5:19(msg)-
"Jesus said, 'Go home to your own people.
Tell them your story—what the Master did, how He had mercy on you.' ”

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Say what?

The world we live in today is a dangerous place.
There's no way of getting around that fact.
It's scary out there.

And I'm not talking about violence, natural disasters, and viral epidemics (although there is that to consider).
I'm talking about those little issues that pop up in your week that make you go hmmm...?

You ask yourself, "Should I address this person or just assume the worst about her?"
Or, "I'm sure she knows that I made a mistake and didn't mean to say or do that."
Better yet (and I've done this), "I don't need to know the whole story because I've made up my mind about her already from the few details that I've been given."

Careless thinking + Reckless assuming = Dangerous behavior

We're all guilty of this behavior.
I've even noticed this in my daughter.
Honestly, I think it's a girl problem. :)
I don't see a lot of guys out there mulling over who may or may not like them based on what they think might or might not have been said to a friend of a friend. :)
Oh, we women can be cruel.

I was taught a phrase in college from an old boyfriend. Yep. And you can take this one to the bank.
It goes like this:
"Do you know what happens when you assume?
No, what?
You make an ass out of you and me." (Get it? Ass-U-Me.)

Yep, I said ass.
But, all cursing aside, isn't that silly phrase true?

When we don't confront people and ,therefore, make decisions based on our own assumptions, we are being just plain ridiculous.
We try to avoid "drama" by not addressing an issue, but all that does is cause us to have thoughts that ultimately lead to an opinion about someone that just may not be true.

It's really that simple.
It all boils down to this verse:

"What a man thinks in his heart, so is he." - Proverbs 23:7

What kind of thoughts do you entertain and where do they originate from?
The noisy next door neighbor, the one time bad experience with a co-worker, the church family that shunned you?
Is your perspective limited because you assume you know the people around you instead of taking the time to really get to know them?
Or even if you don't want to take the time to get to know them, do you choose to think the best of them until shown otherwise?

And how about our own issues?
When we let them rule our thoughts then we are even more prone to ignore instead of confront, to assume intead of ask, to keep quiet instead of speak up.
Our experiences can make us more vulnerable and open to others or they can keep us stuck and guarded.

I struggle with all of the above so don't think for one minute I'm holier than you.
I'm writing from experience here.
When we let our own pain and insecurities dictate our opinions of others then we live a limited life.
A life full of restrictions and iron fences blocking us in and keeping others out.
And who knows what might happen if we choose the hard conversation instead of judging the situation from the sidelines?
We just might make a friend....or we just might have an opportunity to minister God's love.

God wants us to live a boundless, limitless, free life!
And as scary as confrontation is...or just meeting people where they are instead of judging them at first scary as that is, a safe and boring life is a lot scarier!

Don't you agree? :)