Tag Archives: beauty

Dandelion Lives and Mashed Potatoes

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
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Like the seeds on a dandelion stem we are but skeleton remains of what we were before Jesus began to heal us.  We are but a ghost of the image of what once was our self.  As we begin to seek God for answers on how to be healed and become whole it’s like we just keep blowing on those seeds and soon they disappear into the wind until all that is left is a stem.  This is where the dying process should begin but we as self-help gurus, want to start right at the beginning and kill the life out of our weeds.  For you see a dandelion is a weed to a beautiful, well kept lawn and the first thing we do is get our the spray and begin to annihilate life before it can begin.  But to God there is beauty to be beheld in the dandelion.
We as humans do the same thing to ourselves sometimes when we come to know Jesus.  All of a sudden there is an awareness of the sins which have surrounded us.  We start a no smoking program.  We join the nearest AA to control our drinking issues.  We do our best to stop swearing.  We stop gossiping about others.  We try to be nice to all people.  We try to fix all the wrong relationships in our lives all at once.   We begin to forgive our mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, aunts, uncles, teachers and the multitude of people who have hurt us since birth.  What do we forget in this process?  Our very own selves.  We tend to misunderstand that all of the sin natures we have will begin to dissipate as we allow God to heal our wounded hearts.
We get so caught up in getting our lives in order and in line with God and trying to live right that we completely forget that we need to heal.  We need to forgive ourselves.  We need to right the relationship with ourselves.  Some of you are scratching your heads right now because this seems so backwards.  Some of you are saying that it could never happen because you have done so many wrong things.  Others of you are saying, what does loving myself got to do with anything?
Loving yourself is the center of who you are.  God created you to have an intimate relationship with and if you are not in tune with who you are because you don’t even want to approach you because of all the unlove, then how will you ever have a right relationship with God?  If we are always running away from our own issues, how are we ever going to be healed?  I think that we are so busy trying to figure out life that we forget it’s all up to God.  We were created by Love itself.
We need to come to this realization that God does all the healing and fixing of us.  We just need to surrender our will to His plan.  We need to be obedient to that still small voice.  We have to begin to believe all of the promises God has for us in the Bible.  We need to come to the full understanding that God loves us and will never leave our side.  Healing is a process.  Somethings can be healed instantly while other issues in our lives just take time.  We live in a society of instant mashed potatoes and I think we expect that if we just had water, butter and some heat to a heap of flakes our lives will be all back together in a matter of minutes.
Stop running.  Just stand still.  Rest.  Relax.  Hear God say. “I love you”  ” I miss you”  “Come spend some quiet time with me”  He is waiting for you to just give up.  To finally be able to say to Him, “Here I am Lord, fix me, I am broken and unable to put me back together.”
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Beauty is Everything

Psalm 103:3-5

He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
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Ahhhh…beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Surrender is the key to inner beauty.  Fake beauty fades quickly leaving one empty, but true beauty beautifies everything in its path.  When you are walking with God there are no empty promises.  When there are no empty promises then your inner being is taken care of.  You feel refreshed and with purpose every day.  When your inner being is healed and whole, you find yourself wanting to help others feel this way to.
Beauty is everything.  Why?  Because God is beauty.  He is marvelous light.  He is salvation.  He is The Healer.  He restores.  He provides.  He waits.  He leads.  He guides.  All of these things my friends are beautiful things.
God created us in His image, therefore we need to really accept that we are beautiful, no matter what the world’s standards are.  This is the fourth blog about beauty I have written this week and I now feel more beautiful than ever as God has revealed it’s meaning to me.  I now can accept that I am beautiful not because a magazine tells me so, but because I know God says so.
Accepting who we are in Christ can sometimes be a difficult thing.  We may have grown up in a family where we told that we were too fat or too skinny.  Maybe we were told that we would never be as pretty as the girls in the magazines.  It’s hard to accept our own unique beauty when those around us are telling us the exact opposite.
This is where a tight relationship with God is the key to our success stories.  When we become so involved with God and what He thinks of us, nothing else matters anymore.  We are not moved by the opinions of others or bound to our past by chains of put-downs.
Begin today to see yourself like God does.  Go ahead, stare deep into that mirror.  Keep looking until you see yourself for the beautiful person you were created to be.  Stop listening to the lies and believe that God says you are beautiful.

Beauty is God’s

1 Peter 3:3-6

         ] The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.

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How many times to we hear that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? How many more times do we feel like we have no beauty..inner or outer?  Society paints this picture of what beauty should be when in reality it never measures up for the ordinary people.  We should feel beauty everywhere we go when we are in Christ.  In some cases He has brought us through the worst of valleys into marvelous light but we for some reason can only see the darkness because of others reactions to our lives.

 

Love turns pain into beauty.  This I know for a fact.  How you ask?  I have a husband who with the love of God has brought me back to life.  Now I am not saying that my former husband did not love me or find me attractive, it just was hidden under years of turmoil.  As the drug addiction progressed, my former husband lost sight of what love really was and it became very warped for me.  I lost sense of who I really was and I felt everything but beauty inside or out.

 

When I say beauty is God’s I simply mean He created us in His likeness and He is beauty beyond any compare, therefore, if we are created in His image, we are beautiful.  Life can throw us some tough punches sometimes but God turns all those into beauty marks.  We are stronger after the pain and so long as we keep looking to God for the provision and answers, He will continue to grow us stronger and give us inner beauty.

Noticed Beauty

1 Peter 3:4
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Surrounded by death.  Fallen to the ground in silence.  Here lies a leaf still wearing the brilliant colors of its’ once vibrant existence.  It lies now lifeless on the floor of the forest.  Having lost its’ ability to shine, it lies dormant, losing its life.  No longer feeling worthy of being noticed. How does this make any sense?  Why would God create such a great beauty just to put it to death? Anyone see a pattern here?  God has a history of creating and then bringing death, however in the process all things are made new. Beauty rises from the ashes over and over again.

Where I was just a short time ago was like this lonely leaf.  I once was vibrant and filled with color, but as the seasons of my life took their toll, I faded.  I lost my focus on who I really was.  The beauty I had once known began to fade.  I decided it was no longer worth it to even try to look the part of who I was, what did it matter?  Who would even notice?  I was stuck in a relationship of insanity, no reason to change who I had become.  But God in His awesome grace, removed me from the dying tree and gently let me fall to the floor, allowing me to die.  Allowing me to rest.  Letting me go through a process of renewal.

As I laid dormant for a season, I was allowing God to remake me.  He was changing me from the inside out, creating in me a clean heart.  He wanted me to forget about being a leaf and to set my eyes on becoming a tree.  A tree which could provide shelter.  A tree which could produce fruit.  A tree that could bend with the storms of life and not break.  Though the process may have seemed painful to those around me, it was cleansing and brought me to a place of surrender like I had never felt before.  I now stand firm on solid ground knowing that I am beautiful.  I am filled with life.  I am happily bending in the wind.  I am finally where I need to be.

God noticed the beauty in me and He certainly sees it in you.  Are you willing to be plucked from the tree and let loose from your painful circumstances? Surrender it all.  Let God have His way in your seasons.  Allow Him to change you from beauty to beauty so that you  will become a tree planted firmly in the hands of God.  A sight to behold in every season.

Beauty is Already in the Ashes

Isaiah 61:3
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

What does grace look like?  Where is it found?  How do we apply it to our own identity?  Who defines who we really are? Society? Friends? Family? Significant others? Neighbors? Ourselves?  What about God?  Do we ever allow Him to define who we are?  Chances are the answer is no.  So often we seek approval from others around us whom we think we can trust.  We search out the answers to life by probing our closest friends who are connected to God when in all reality we should be talking straight to the One who is our Provider, our Healer and foremost our Creator.  Who should know us better than the one who created us out of love?

This world we live in is just filled with standards and not many of them even measure up to God.  We only can scratch the surface of the definition of beauty.  The dictionary defines beauty as:

the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

It says beauty brings intense pleasure to the mind.  Hmmmm, let’s explore this for a moment.  Who defines intense pleasure?  Who really sets the standards?  Here again we look to media and others for the answers when we really should be looking at the Bible and choosing to live by His standards.

1 Peter 3:3-4
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 

God loves us just as we are.  Not because of how we dress or the makeup we choose for the day.  He does not see the outward appearances we carry around even though that seems to be our focus on a daily basis.  We try so hard to please those around us that we lose out on what God has for us.  Often the focus goes too far and then we begin to compare ourselves with those around us who we think are better than we are.  We look to super models and actresses as if they define beauty for the whole world.  Why do we do this to ourselves?

God created beauty from ashes.  He called us to reside with Him and He knows we are beautiful.  He sees our hearts and that my friends is all that matters.  If you are reading this and tears are beginning to flow, it’s because the Father is asking you to see your beauty.  He is asking you to surrender all of your insecurities to Him right now and allow Him to show you the beauty that is already in the ashes.  He is asking you to see yourself through His eyes.  When He looks at you all He sees is beauty.  Stop destroying yourself by judging what you see in the mirror, I assure it is not what God sees.  The next time you stand at the mirror, ask to see Jesus in your eyes.

Dear friends, beauty is truly in the heart and nowhere else.  It’s not on the movie screen.  It is not on the cover of the latest magazine.  It is not what your friends define it to be.  It is not what your spouse even sees.  Beauty is more than skin deep, it’s heart deep.  It is the very core of who you are.  Are you ready to allow God to let you see yourself exactly how He does?  Then go now to the closest mirror and ask to see Jesus.  If you trust in Him, He will show you.

Basking in the Sun!

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.” 1 Chronicles 29:11 NLT

It certainly has been awhile since I but a blog upon this website!  I have been healing and preparing for my daughters’ graduation.  I have been trying to adjust to my new smile and the pain which came with it.  Now I am not 100% yet but feeling much better than even a week ago.  The picture I have for the heading was a ceramic piece my daughter created and from the moment I saw it I smile each time I see it.  It brought to mind how we sometimes just don’t appreciate the little things in life: basking in the sun, raindrops on the window sill, a butterfly and its’ fluttering and even a ripple on a crystal clear lake.

We as people in general, take so many things for granted that we fail to see the beauty in things anymore.  As our revival preacher, Steve Smith, says in great delight about Heaven, that when someone stops along the golden road even to marvel at a flower, all of heaven begins to rejoice and praise God.  Should we not be like this now if we are asking for God’s Kingdom to come upon earth?  Why do we not take time to appreciate the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea along with the array of color He has spread everywhere?  How did we get so lost in the world we have failed to see the world for it’s actual beauty?

Can you image what the Garden of Eden must have looked like?  I bet every time Adam or Eve saw something new they just marveled at it and praised God.  I would encourage all of us to appreciate the littler things in life.  Look for the hidden flower.  Search out the rare bird or the crazy insect.  Stop then and praise God for His creativity.  Stop and share it with someone else.  Take a picture and send it to a friend who needs to be reminded of God’s love.  Let’s begin to share in the beauty which we find and share Jesus along the way.

To tie in with the “turtle theme” for this blog I will tell you a story about Speedy.  This memorial day, as I was at work, a customer told us there was a snapping turtle on our front lawn.  Seeing we were not busy I went out to investigate, as I did not want him to wander into the busy traffic on the road.  As I approached him I found him basking in the sun just soaking up his surroundings.  I wondered how he may have gotten so lost since there was not real body of water near our restaurant.  As pondered this for a moment, trying to decide what I should do with him I heard this voice say, he is looking for a water source.

It made me stop an think about us as Christians, we too are looking for a water source and to me the only thing I could do was to point this turtle towards water just like we should be doing to fellow Christians and the unsaved.  There should be no hesitation, we should just know to point them toward the water source!  So I had the turtle released in the small drainage pipe behind our dumpsters where some pondish like water is in hopes he would find a better place to be than the road.  I wish there was more I could have done at that point but we got busy, which will bring me to the next blog, what we should do after leading someone to the water…..

life is ugly.

Psalm 96:6
Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

Jeremiah 12:10
“Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard, trampling down the vines and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness

1 Peter 3:4
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Today’s blog was inspired not by the sermon at church.  Not by a tugging on my heart to write about ugliness.  But instead it comes from reading a facebook posting from a teenager I have come to know and love.  It simple said:  life is ugly.  Boy there is so much truth spoken in those three simple words.  Life is not the most beautiful thing, unless you gaze upon it with with an accurate eye.  I even spoke to my daughter yesterday about how this winter has just been glorious to me. The beauty of the snow is just a wonder to me this year.  I have never just driven around to capture pictures, traipsing through almost knee high snow to grab just the right angle.  I did not want to miss anything.  I could see past the coldness and the torture on my body to the beauty which surrounded me.  I was actually in awe as I ended my photo journey at the shore of Lake Michigan.  My daughter said perhaps my joy of the snow this year is because it took so long to get here, hmmm, I think it goes deeper than that.

As I read that life is ugly, I remembered in my minds eye about how things begin to look in the fall.  The pretty leaves are gone.  The grass is no longer a vibrant green.  Even the rivers and lakes look gloomy.  Everything seems dormant and forgotten about, left to die.  Then comes the snow.  The white powder which covers everything in it’s path covering the ugly browns and dirt colors.  Then it lingers, as that which is under it becomes transformed.  Then spring arrives and the colors begin to pop out every where. The birds are singing.  The crickets are chirping.  Everything just comes to life again.  Joy as re-birthed itself in the earth.  Wow!  Can you just see how all of this points to God?

Before God has entered our hearts we see life as routine, bothersome, difficult and…..ugly.  We cannot see through the mud of our lives the beauty which surrounds us. We are stuck in the mentality that beauty does not exist, that perhaps it is just in the eye of the beholder.  Surely there is some truth in this for the eye of the beholder I speak of is God.  He is the creator of this earth and He only sees the beauty of His creation, however when we do not have God on the inside, then we cannot see what He sees.  As we draw closer to the point in our ugly lives to choosing God for it, we often find ourselves in a moment of gloom.  What we thought was life in us turns brown and then dies.  Then as we begin to shed our “leaves” and reveal our true selves to the Maker.  It is this broken moment when we turn to Him, ask for forgiveness from our sins and accept Him as our Lord and Savior that He covers us and as white as snow we become.

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

I think that’s what gets me about this winter snow!  He is renewing the earth under all of this snow, preparing the life which awaits underneath to spring back to life.  This is how it is when we repent and accept and are washed, we are covered in Him only to be revealed with new life and a zest for life like never before.  Experiencing this wonderful snow is like God just spent some one on one quality time with me and He is working to reveal a whole new me soon.  As I undergo major dental work, publish my book and seek a new home, God is working on the inside to correct my wrong thinking so that when I am revealed, I will be whole and see what He sees.  I long to be like Jesus and it’s a process, yet one of the first things is to see with His eyes.  To view the earth and all who dwell here like He would see it.  Being the Son of God He only sees beauty everywhere.  I want to be like that.

I want to see beauty in the summer, fall, winter and spring in people, no matter what stage people are in their lives, just like Jesus I want to meet them where they are.  This is not easy, however the more my eyes are focused on Jesus, the more I see like He does.  Just the other day I posted a post on facebook,  “As I walk out on the water with my eyes of Jesus there is nothing to fear.” and my comical son said I should probably give Jesus His eyes back.  Sure it sounded funny and it was a mistype but after further examination I thought to myself, what if we did have  Jesus’ eyes for just one day?  Would we see things more clearly?  Would we be moved to greater compassion?  Would we be broken at what we saw? Would we be able to see where grace should be given? Would we begin to understand where people came from?  Would we be able to heal the brokenness all around us just because we see the hurt?

God calls us to see the beauty in life.  Yes, life is hard.  Yes life is unfair at times.  But it is always filled with beauty if we use the right eyes to see it with.  If you are the beholder, see what God sees.  Look past the clothing.  Look past the radical hair.  Look past the tattoos.  Don’t even see the piercings and the language used.  Look at the heart.  Love with the Fathers love which is all accepting.  God loves you just as much as He loves me.  He loves the beggar as much as the drug dealer.  He cares for the window just as much as the drug abuser.  God does not see the bad, He only sees His destiny for you and will do whatever it takes to get you there.  Believe in Beauty!