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Tag Archives: beauty

Covering Grace

I stepped outside and took in the beauty of the many trees in our backyard covered in ice.

You could feel it really, God’s grace covering everything.

Icicles hanging from outstretched limbs, each seemed to testify of a grace that covers every cold and dead place, even those places in our heart.

Those outstretched limbs, with raindrops frozen in time,

When you looked at them you could feel it- the wonder of the outstretched arms of Jesus.

He hung on a tree.

His love poured out to cover me, to cover us.

What kind of love our God is?

He whispers in the cold through frozen raindrop,

“I see every tear.

Every one.

I cover you in those cold seasons.”

And I’ll just say it flat out- sometimes life is so cold and so hard you just want to be numb,

But looking up at the beauty in those trees,

You could just feel it- this isn’t about becoming numb.

It is about becoming beautifully still in the cold, awaiting new life.

His words, “My grace is sufficient,”

They are felt in the still, cold air.

You could absolutely feel it.

His covering grace.

Icicles hanging from outstretched limbs…

Testifying today that covering grace always comes back to a tree.

May you feel his grace covering you today.

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You are Beautiful

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So there is a new post trend starting that I wanted to reflect on a little bit. The trend? “Post 5 pictures that make you feel beautiful.” You post, you tag 5 people and they need to do the same.

And so my news feed is slowly filling up with “beautiful” pictures of my friends and family. And I don’t say that sarcastically. Truly, each and every one is beautiful… But here is the thing… I look at all those pictures and immediately some other pictures come to mind:

Pictures of Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son so that whosoever believed in him shall not perish but have everlasting life…
– John 3:16

So loved…

So treasured…

So considered each and every person worthy and truly marvelous.

Oh, that we would truly believe:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
– Psalm 139:13-14

And I wonder as I scroll through my news feed, seeing selfie after selfie…

Do we really know it?

Do we really know we are beautiful?

Or are we sitting and wait for comments? For validation? For someone to say, “Yes, you are beautiful!”

If you are…

Can I tell you something?

Somebody already said that.

We don’t need to hang our beauty on the words or lack of words in the comments of our “selfies.” We can hang our beauty on the One True Word.

May we remember that the fullness of our beauty isn’t found in our face, but in His.

And when we get tempted to base our beauty by our positions and our accomplishments,

We may remember:

We greatly underestimate our beauty if we base our beauty on our position and accomplishments.

For the fullness of our beauty isn’t found in our position here, but the fact that the Word of God tells us that through Christ we are seated there, in heavenly places with the very maker of the heavens.

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
– Ephesians 2:4-7

We can know we are beautiful, so SO beautiful, not because of what we do or have done, but because of what HE did.

And here is thing about knowing how precious and beautiful you are to God.

When you know, truly know, just how beautiful you are to God, it opens your eyes to the outrageous and overwhelming truth that every single person you see is beautiful to God.

Every single person was and is worth reaching out for, drawing a line in the sand for…

Worth sitting with and laughing with, listening to and talking with…

Living for, dying for…

They were are all worth it.

And I pray you know that reader and friend.

I pray you know that YOU were worth it.

YOU ARE beautiful.

Not just five times over, but infinitely over.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL in the eyes of our most beautiful God.

Your beauty is found in HIS beauty and your worth is found in HIS.

Colossians 3:2-4
New Living Translation (NLT)

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

 

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Sorting Out My Closets, Sorting Out My Heart

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It’s that time again, time to change out our family’s summer and fall wardrobes. With five children, the process requires quite a bit of work. I dread it honestly, but at the same time, every time I change out wardrobes I learn so much. It takes hours of sorting through clothing, carefully inspecting each garment to determine if it should stay or if it should go. “Is it worth holding on to? Is it outgrown? Will it fit soon, but not quite yet?” And as I consider all these things I consider my heart.

In my last post What to Wear I wrote about what the Bible clearly describes what we should be “clothed” in. It is not stylish clothing, cute shoes, matching accessories, or trendy jewelry. It is true adornments of:

Salvation (Isa 61:10)
Righteousness (Isa 61:10, Job 29:14)
Justice (Job 29:14)
Gladness (Psalm 30:11)
Power (Luke 24:49)
Humility (1 Peter 5:5)
Strength, Dignity, Confidence (Proverbs 31:25)
Gentleness (1 Peter 3:4)
Humbleness (Phil 2: 3-11)
Helpfulness (Heb. 13:16)
Kindness (Eph. 4:32)
Faithfulness 12:24)
Love (1 John 4:7-8)
Wisdom (Eph. 5:15-17
Patience (Rom. 8:25)
Forgiveness (Mark 11:25)

As I read this lists over again, I could not help but question, “Am I?  What am I really wearing? What is really in the closet of my heart? Is it time to change out my wardrobe?”

What about you? What are you wearing? Are you wearing bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, malice, slander, selfishness, lewdness, fear, guilt, pride or obscene talk? Or are you wearing justice, gladness, power, humility, strength, dignity, confidence, gentleness, helpfulness, faithfulness, wisdom, patience, forgiveness and love? Perhaps you are wearing a combination of them all.

If you feel like it is time for a new season in your faith, than perhaps it is also time for a “fashion makeover.” A change in seasons always calls for a change in fashion. Are you ready for a new season? I know I am.

Let’s ask Jesus to help us clean out our old wardrobes and bring in the new. Let’s ask Him to clothe us with His righteousness and dress us in His salvation. Let’s ask Him to take us “shopping” in His Word for even more glorious adornments. Let’s ask for his help in inspecting our heart, correctly labeling just what we are really wearing. Let’s throw out that old, unattractive clothing that we have kept for years. Let’s have hope knowing that He has beautiful garments for us hidden away, that one day we will fit, if not today. Let’s pray together, “Lord Jesus, help me to sort out my heart.” He will lead us in the sorting that matters most.

 

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