Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"I Am Beautiful"

[When] a certain man crippled from his birth was being carried along, who was laid each day at that gate of the temple [which is] called Beautiful, so that he might beg for charitable gifts from those who entered the temple." Acts 3:2 (amplified)

"I am beautiful!" " I am beautiful!" I am beautiful!" This was my makeover challenge meditation this past week.  How simple those three words are. I. Am. Beautiful. Yet as I was saying it to myself over and over again I struggled to believe that I am beautiful.  I thank God for the opportunity to meditate on this word "beautiful" because it allowed me to see what was standing in the way of me fully accepting the beauty he has given me. 

This meditation started on Sunday, when in prayer the Holy Spirit directed me to look up the word beautiful in my concordance and make a study topic of it. 

I learned that God doesn't see beauty the same way we do. Take the story of Jacob when he marries Leah and her younger sister Rachel. Leah wasn't the chosen wife of Jacob he wanted Rachel, but Jacobs soon to be father in law gave him Leah instead because she was the oldest and then gave him Rachel after Jacob had insisted that he still wanted to marry Rachel. (see Genesis 15-30)

Genesis 29:16 says that " Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful". I don't know if that means that Leah had a lazy eye, or that she needed glasses, but it was important enough for the author of this book to call attention to the fact that Leah had an eye condition versus her sister who was pretty and had a bangin' body (sound familiar).

Regardless of the reason that Leah was not favored by Jacob she was favored by God because she had a purpose to fulfill. It was through their son Judah that the bloodline that eventually led to the birth of Jesus was continued.

Sometimes the world we live in hyper focuses on the what we look like more than the who we are which often opens the door to whether we are accepted or rejected in certain social circles.  

I believe this causes many women including myself to see ourselves through the perspective of how people treat us; turning us into human receptacles for people's perceptions of who we are versus focusing on and projecting the truth of who God has purposed us to be. For many years this created a very confusing and crippling affect on my self esteem. I was always looking and craving human attention and affirmation especially from men (Leah had this problem too,see Genesis 29:31-35). This created in me a beggar mentality taking whatever was given to me instead of setting a standard for how I should and deserved to be treated.  

 This opened the door to a lot of hurt and emotional abuse over the years, but I am thankful that God saw me through the eyes of purpose. That the truth of who I am was born and the limitations and burden of superficial beauty was lifted from me.  I am no longer beautiful for what I look like but for who I am. 

This weeks makeover wardrobe challenge is an example of looking through the eyes of purpose.  The fabric I used to make my bloused was from re-purposed lace curtains and satin pajama pants.  Be blessed!

Monday, September 3, 2012

" A New Creation"

"Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!" 
2 Corinthians 5:17 (amplified)

This last week was a series of "I made it". I made it to church for Sunday school and didn't fall asleep during worship service, I made my first garment for the fall wardrobe challenge (hooray!), I made it to drop off and pick up Asabea from school by the hair of my chinny chin chin NOT late, I made sure my family had dinner and breakfast, I made time to clean the house, I finally made it back to my morning jogging schedule, I made it to Wednesday evening bible study, I made it to make sure I spent quality time with my kids each day this week, I made it without frivolous spending (this is incredibly amazing!) and most importantly_ all of the above I made it moments could not have happened had I not made it a priority to honor God in all that I do and set time aside each day to seek his face in prayer. 

It feels good to know that I made it! because there were many times in my life before I walked with God when I didn't know if I was going to make it.  When depression crippled me and hindered me from being everything that God created me and predestined me to be. When I couldn't get out of bed and see that there was hope for a better day.  When I would cry out to God and ask him when things were going to get better. I know that I am not alone.  That there are many people who suffer from depression.  You just have to look at the many prescription medications on the market for depression to see that we are a country filled with people struggling to see light in the darkness.  John 10:10 says:

"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)". (amplified)

My life with Jesus has rendered me a new creation in Christ providing me an opportunity for full spiritual, emotional and physical healing.  I no longer walk with depression because I chose to give it to God.  There are moments where darkness wants to come pulling at the doors of my soul, but I have made a conscious decision that nothing is going to stop me from living my filled with "... the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes]  which is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge](Galatians 5:22-23 amplified).I am not saying that each day is perfect but I am saying that its a lot easier knowing that I am not alone and that I have help from a higher power.

Its because of His spirit that lives within me that I am able to do all things through Him who gives me strength.  It is also the reason that I am able to present to you my first piece for the fall wardrobe makeover challenge.  Tadaaaaa!

I hope your inspired to be a new creation today. Be Blessed!