Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thankfulness Thursday

I don't know if it's the weather or because I'm tired, but I am in a grumbly mood today! I literally asked God today why he had to curse me with chronic acne and constipation as well as bad hair. Now I know God didn't curse me with those things. They are a product of the fall and his tools for keeping me humble and depending on him. But I felt the need to gripe to him about it anyways.

So needless to say, I thought I should spend a little time giving thanks. I also thought maybe I should post my thanksgivings on a regular basis here to keep me accountable and to remind me of all the good things God has given and done for me. So here goes.

Today I am thankful that my husband prefers to see me in a ponytail or bun rather than with my hair down. Which begs the question, why do I spend so much time trying to style my hair the way I see it done on Youtube if my husband prefers the simple anyways? Glutton for punishment I guess. Anyways, I'm thankful that if I gave up on all that hassle with my hair, my husband would be perfectly happy.

I am also thankful that my acne is not the large cyst like pimples that I used to get but rather little bumps that most people don't even notice. I'm thankful for makeup that covers up said bumps. I'm thankful God loves me and his power is at work within me no matter what my skin (and hair) look like.

Lastly I am grateful for medicines and dietary changes that can help relieve constipation. I'm grateful I don't have to be bent over in misery every day as I deal with my digestive issues. I'm grateful for doctors who can help us when we are having health issues.

Now it's your turn. What have you found yourself complaining about today? What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

True Beauty

Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised."

On a daily basis, we are constantly being bombarded with the world's view of beauty. Skinny, tanned, toned, big boobed ladies wearing next to nothing are paraded in front of us on tv, in advertisements, and magazines. It's hard not to see these images and come away feeling good about yourself.
I personally struggle a lot with feeling like I'm not good enough because I don't look like these models. My boobs are small. My stomach isn't flat. My hair isn't thick and perfectly sculpted. I tend to spend a lot more time than I should worrying about my exercise routine, what I eat, what I wear, and how my hair looks. Sometimes I'm downright obsessed with it.
The other day I was wrestling with these issues, feeling convicted for spending so much time dwelling on myself and my outer beauty, and then God brought the above verse to my mind. God, my creator, isn't concerned with how my hair looks or how flat my stomach is. He's concerned with my soul. Beauty in his eyes is a broken and contrite spirit that depends on him (Psalm 51:17). We look at the outward appearance of others, but God looks at the heart. (1Samuel 16:7)
As Proverbs 31:30 states, outward beauty is fading. It can be taken away at any moment. One of the ladies I admire most is Joni Eareckson Tada. She was injured in a diving accident as a teenager and became paralyzed from the neck down. She has been a paraplegic for 40 some years, yet despite her broken body, she is one of the most beautiful women I know. Her love for the Lord spills out into the lives of others as she has devoted her life to encouraging others and helping out paraplegics all over the world.
True beauty is giving our messy lives and imperfect bodies to God to be used for His glory. As believers in Christ, we are set free from a life devoted to making much of ourselves. We are free from seeking the applause and attention of the world. Let me repeat that: if you are a believer in Christ, you are free from seeking the applause and attention of the world. You are free from striving to make yourself beautiful and acceptable according to the world's standards and are now free and empowered to bring glory and honor to God.
Precious lady, I encourage you to stop striving to adorn your outer self and cultivate a walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:3-4) You are precious in his sight; frizzy hair, flabby stomach, acne and all. You can stop striving to be perfect and rest in his glorious grace. (Ephesians 2:5-10)

Discussion time. How about you? Do you struggle with how you look? What things have you done to try to achieve the world's standard of beauty?