Today gloom and doom visited me. Distracted, I almost let them in my home. But, I remembered their pungent smell, their destructive presence, and their confused lifestyle. I remembered when they exited my body. I remembered how I told them not to return. So, it’s been a while old friends…I recognize your voices and continue to say no. One day you will show up and find nobody here that you know. #bebraver Say no to your enemy til you yourself get the picture. Love, d
I remember the smell of baby powder as I walked into the nursing home. It was an overwhelming scent. It was as if someone poured an entire container of it into a corner so that the odor of the powder would overcome the smell of sickness and urine. The cover up.
Have you ever walked down a hallway and looked into the eyes of those who simply stared back blankly as if you were a wall? You imagine waving your hand over their eyes just to see response. Are the lights on? Is anybody home? You have to choose not to be dissuaded by a blank gaze that is the cover up.
If you will make your visit with that one person not about you but about them then the task is not as difficult. Your ears won’t be shut by your own offense. You see, the truth is that those looks from the seemingly empty hearts are really an almost audible voice whispering loudly from the heart of God, “Will you take a moment to say hello to Me? Will you shake My hand and just pretend you respect Me? Will you simply stop long enough to look Me into the eye and demonstrate that I once had significance? These once giants wait feebly and intentionally at the thresholds of their rooms with zero interest on their face – yet it is a test for you and for me. What they really want is a smile or a kind hello. They want you to say their name with joy and recognition as if they are your closest friend though maybe you have never met them and maybe you won’t ever see them again. Most don’t give you the satisfaction of showing any facial change when you do stop because they don’t want pity – they want genuine interest. They want to know if you can see through the cover up.
We must decide to love no matter what the smell, the look, the response. It is not easy. But, it is God’s way. HE loved us even when we said no AND HE loves us now even when we say no OR act like we are saying no. Let’s LOVE and then maybe …through the impact of one smile at a time…one hand shake at a time…one eye contact at at time…one at a time will say yes to being loved by us.
Pray with me – God, help me to LOVE so that a world will know Your Love.
I’m FABULOUS now…but my ugly lasted way into my thirties. How about you? Did you know that ugly IS the new fabulous?
A true story
Let me tell you a story about early in my life. Our family was on vacation in Tennessee when I was around six or seven years old. Bored, I went riding on a bicycle in the neighborhood looking for something to do. I happened to come across a group of boys that were riding their bicycles down a street. Now, in this part of Tennessee, the roads were pretty hilly and this one had a steep dip and curve at the end of it but of course I did not know about it. The boys were bragging about how it was a really hard ride and how there was no way that a girl could ever do it. Since my pride never allowed me to back down from a challenge,I looked at those boys and looked down the hill (that I could not see the end of) and with confidence said, “No problem.” Frankly, I was scared to death but there was no way these “boys” were ever going to know it. Then, I took off ignored their little challenge and gone about my business. But I was young and good sense was not in my mind at that moment. Let me explain. As soon as I began to roll down the never ending hill, the bicycle picked up speed so fast that I had to lift up my feet to keep them from getting sliced from the pedals. You see, at that time, all bicycle had those little sharp pointed pedals. It was as if my life (all six or seven years of it) was passing before my eyes. I wondered quickly how I would ever stop the bike and before I knew it, I was reaching the end of the never ending deep rolling hill.
MY BODY SOARED!
ALL OF A SUDDEN, I saw it and I felt the front of the wheel of my bike lift up in the air and me with it. Then, I flew out of the bike. Later the neighbors watching told me that my body soared as tall as the nearest pine tree. They watched me fly and then saw me fall face forward into the gravel like substance that lay in the middle of the never ending road. Apparently, the bike had hit the gravel and caused it to flip and lose what little stability it might have had. In addition, later, doctors said I was fortunate I did not break every bone in my body because of the force of the fall. Some thirty-five years later, I still have the memory etched as scars where the gravel found my legs and arms. What resulted from this pride filled fall was two weeks of ice baths and broken front teeth that had to be capped with UGLY hideous silver and porcelain. I was then what myself and others considered a very ugly duckling. Sadly, I had to keep those ugly caps on my front three teeth until I was a freshman in high school. There was not a day that went by that someone did not make fun of me in some way regarding my looks. In other words, my school years were filled with mockery, sarcasm and I had the lowest self esteem imaginable. Needless to say I grew up feeling very inferior, very insecure, very unwanted, very unaccepted and most definitely very very UGLY! Little did I know that Ugly is the new fabulous.
Words to inspire you and encourage you in your journey – 1 John 4:7 – Psalm 143:8 – Romans 8:28 – Philippians 1:6 – Romans 8:38-39
I turned 52 this year and I gotta say I feel like the ugly duckling was beautiful throughout my entire journey……..I just did not know it. WOW! Could this be the secret of confidence and acceptance per chance? I’m convinced that knowing WHO you are determines HOW you see yourself. HOW you see yourself determines what others see too. It is like this – PEOPLE see us through THE POWER OF OUR OWN PERSPECTIVE.
Let me ask you a question.
IS your identity in your looks (or your lack of looks?)
DO YOURSELF a great favor! Go look yourself in the mirror and say with me, “UGLY is in the past! I AM FABULOUS!”
Say this several times. You need to say it so much that you begin to believe it. When you believe it then those around you will too. It is NEVER too late to see how fabulous GOD ALREADY MADE YOU! IT truly is all about perspective. Ugly IS the New Fabulous!
Pray with me:
Jesus, when I look in the mirror, I sometimes only see pain and heart break and ugly. No one around me really knows how miserable I am at times on the inside of me! Well, I want to experience and understand how You see me so that I can feel and think like the beautiful, hand chosen hand crafted person You love with a never-ending, ever-lasting love. I want to see me as You see me! I desire to look in the mirror and truly smile on the inside and not just on the outside. Help me God for I need to receive and comprehend this unconditional love You have for me. I give myself over to You and ask You to make Your love real. Free me from myself and bring me into Your great and perfect love. Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done as You have already determined in heaven. In Jesus name.
Jesus, I am willing to get to know You and I want You to get to know me. I’m afraid to have anyone really really know me deep within my heart. But, I recognize You are God and I cannot go on hiding from You. God, help me say goodbye to the ugly and hello to what and who I really am because ugly is the new fabulous.
She refuses to leave. She is clinging to me as if I have something to offer her. Does she not understand that I expect nothing good to come from my life? Does Ruth not see that Your hand is against me?
Yet, she begs. She pleads. She says where I go, she will go and where I live, she will live. She says my people will be her people and You will be her God. She says she will die where I die and that she will not leave my side. Ruth believes and has said over and over that I should hope again!
I do not understand why would she want to travel with me? Why doesn’t she return to her own family? I love her – I do – I just do not understand. Maybe it is because I’m so distraught. All God’s goodness has slipped through my fingers.
The truth is that I’m feeling so very old. To make matters worse, I feel so very alone even with Ruth. I admit my despair. I feel without hope. I have zero expectancy. I have zero confidence. It was so hard when You took Elemelech but did You also have to take my sons too? I’m the victim here!! You have rejected me! Have You truly forsaken me? I feel it is more than I can take. I have no hope of a future yet she clings to me as if everything will be all right. She has hope. She expects. She has a glint in her eyes I admire. I see her willingness to see beyond today. Forgive me. This darkness has taken my attention further from hope than I thought possible. How do I hope again? I realize You did not take my family – I just feel so without purpose now. Who will I care for now? Myself? Is that it? Have I anything to live for?? I’ve nobody to love. What can You do with me, an old widow?? When I left home, I left full of expectancy and confidence of a life to live. Now, here I am coming back empty – I never saw myself as a widow.
In the midst of my affliction, dare I hope again? Is it possible to expect good again? Am I brave enough to be confident again? I used to work and sell and trade and contribute. Show me…how do I live again? How to hope again?
After all, I am returning at the beginning of harvest….
Do you ever feel without hope? There is ONE Who will not condemn you for your honesty. #BEBRAVER Give it all to Him. Take your thoughts of rejection and pain to the One Who has a renewed purpose for you. Do not give in to the darkness that threatens. There IS a new day and HE DOES have something for you. Just wait and see. Hold on. Don’t turn back. Don’t give in. Don’t turn around and don’t look down. Instead, be watchful and see Him on the horizon. HE will show you how to hope again.
Jesus, I come and I declare I will hope again.
This article composes thoughts from a woman in the Bible (Naomi) regarding her life and her misery as a widow. It includes her unbelief regarding her daughter in law Ruth’s choice to come with her instead of returning home to her own people. I wondered, as I penned this snippet of what the thoughts in her head could have been – if – this is what happens to us as well. Sometimes, it just feels as if we truly have no hope. HOWEVER…….ENTER……JESUS…….LIVING HOPE…….WHO DOES SHOW US HOW TO LIVE AGAIN.
I lived more than half my life in fear of being rejected when I did not have to. Had I just known the Lord and known His love for me! If I had known His Truth and the power His Truth had to make me free, I would have chosen it. I would have chosen Him. Do you want to be like Him? If so, then you must know Truth. You must choose Him! How can you know Truth? You start by realizing that the only way to be like Him is to listen and be taught by Him. Do you want your life to be filled with blessings and not curses? Then, listen to Him and be taught of Him. Do you want your biological or spiritual children and your children’s children to live life abundantly? Then, give yourself completely to Him. Let his Truth completely take over you. Listen, no matter where you are and what you look like, no matter the condition of your heart, God takes us right where we are and says HE LOVES US! Remember what I said in an earlier post – His love for us is not dependent on our loving Him. However, if You refuse His love and His changing power, then you can expect your life to continue to look the same as it does now. Is that what you want? God is so in love with us, and He so desires that we come around to His way of doing things that He will provide opportunity after opportunity for us to know Him. What is so incredible about our God is that His love for us never diminishes. Even in our rejection of Him, He chooses to love us! Nevertheless, there are consequences when we refuse to give ourselves to Him. When we say no to God, we miss out on knowing Him and feeling His pleasure. We miss out on fulfilling His purposes for our lives, and therefore, we live a life that is never completely satisfying. Finally, when we refuse to surrender to Him and His ways, when we refuse to give ourselves to Him, we choose to live a life without Him. Forever. On this earth as well as eternally, when we move onward from this world into the next world….there is a perception and it will definitely then be our reality.
What kind of life do you live now? Do you live your life in consideration of God’s will and God’s purposes? How or how not? Has the enemy caused division between you and one of God’s friends? Get back to His perception and ditch your own preconceived notions regarding what happened. Let God be God and you – you be a friend with His perception of love, life, boldness, friendship, honor and grace.
Pray with me
God, I do desire to give myself over to You. I desire to trust You with my heart, soul and body. I give myself to You for such a time as this. I do not want to live without You! I want Your perception and not my own. I do not want a mixed version with my flesh and faulty discernment. I want clean pure perception. Come and invade my life! God, I give my thoughts over to You and ask for You to lead me. Convict me of my own wrong doing! Change me and cause me to know You more! Cause me to have a hunger for Your Word so that Your Truth will penetrate my mind and change my heart. I desire Your love and Your Truth to reign in me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Share with a friend who can learn or be encouraged about when perception is reality…