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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When I Feel Ugly...

I love the days when my hair is perfect (well almost perfect), my double chin is hiding and my crow's feet (laugh lines when I feel pretty) aren't so prominent. This isn't one of those days. Choosing my outfit today was like an episode of "What Not To Wear". The glaring difference was my scowling face as I put on each piece. At first glance, my closet looks as if it took a deep breath, exhaled, and the clothes burst forth like I feel my muffin top did over my pants.

Proverbs 31:30 says "beauty is fleeting..." I'm not quite sure that's my verse for today. Yet, verse after verse, the Bible assures me true beauty has nothing to do with outward appearance. My head understands this but my heart is a slow learner.

Lisa Bevere is quoted as saying, "I never thought I was a bully...until I listened to how I speak to myself. I think I owe myself an apology." Guilty! I often deflect a compliment quickly, convincing my admirer I am unworthy of her kind words. Instead of saying thank you, I immediately point out the flaws. Many of the women I love and think are fabulous struggle with this issue.  Do we think this is humility? Are we concerned we will be considered vain? God is never impressed with humility that undervalues His creation.

You are valuable.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Take every thought captive. Often when I try to take my thoughts captive, they wrestle like a WWE wrestler. Just when I think they are down, they slam me to the mat.

I am learning to look for the truth in a situation and question my thoughts. Not what I feel, but what I know. The Bible tells me my heart can be deceitful, therefore the truth may not be clearly obvious.

I ask:

1) What does the Bible say about me?

2) What do those whom I trust say about me?

3) If I were speaking to another woman, what advice would I give her?

Outward beauty can be fleeting. It will fade. Solomon gives great wardrobe advice in verse twenty-five, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future." Strength and dignity, an ensemble I want others to see when I come near.

Until we visit again,
Carmen







Monday, May 19, 2014

God's Treasure Pouch...

What would make you feel treasured? My husband and I recently made a list of 20 things that each of us could do for the other that would make us feel loved and secure. If the thought of that makes you long for such a list, let me assure you that compiling the list was not as easy as it appears. Not easy, but well worth the effort. I think the need to feel loved and treasured is universal.

In 1 Samuel 25 we are introduced to a woman named Abigail. She is the wife of an enemy of David and through her intercession the men in her family were saved. She is such an interesting character. In verse twenty nine she is speaking to David and reminds him he is "safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in His treasure pouch." Only a woman could describe this place of safety with such beautiful imagery. Each of us has a "treasure pouch". A special place where we store trinkets, pictures, notes, cards and a host of other things that we hold dear. They must be kept safe. They are treasures that are irreplaceable.

As women, most of us struggle to understand God's love. We find it hard to believe that we are the "apple of God's eye" and "God's masterpiece." I know I do. Sometimes I feel as if I belong in the junk drawer not a treasure pouch. Oh that we could comprehend our worth to God. We are the jewels in God's treasure pouch. The cost of the jewels in His pouch was the very life of His beloved Son.

God's Treasure Pouch
Paul said it so well in the book of Ephesians chapter three. "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God." Snuggle in girls. We are loved, treasured and safe in that wonderful pouch.

Until we visit again,
Carmen












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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Process...

We have all had a dream shattered.  If we are blessed to grow old, we will experience many broken hearts.  Some of them will be a mere fracture.  Others will be a clean break and then some of them will be shattered.  When I think of my brokenness,  some days it feels as if my heart has been mended with white craft glue and the bond is a little shaky.  Some days the repairs seems firm and the glue appears clear as if it has dried completely.  Not today.

God's word tells me He is close to the brokenhearted and assures me Jesus came to heal our broken hearts.  I am discovering my healing comes bit by bit in a process that often moves slower than I want.  Beth Moore, author and Bible teacher has said that "God is never late but He sure misses many opportunities to be early."  Amen Beth.  Some days I feel He is not the early bird.  I question the process. 


Psalm 56:8

Last night as sleep eluded me I was reminded beautifully in song that I belong to God and He belongs to me.  As tears streamed down my cheeks I felt God's presence.  Why are tears so healing?  Psalm 56:8 may contain my answer.  "You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.  You have recorded each one in Your book."  Every tear I cry moves God into action. 


I yearn to discover a formula for quick healing.  It would be neat and tidy to list a four step process on moving forward from hurt.  I would list them for you in a post and all of us would be ever so happy and probably shallow.  Growth does seem to come in the valley doesn't it?  I must never forget how far I have come.  At one time the pieces were strewn haphazardly across my life.  Not today

Until we visit again,
Live blessed
Carmen