Archive for September, 2011

Vanity, Vanity

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Soap Box Moment

Sunday I went to the grocery store and as I stood in line at the check out, a particular magazine cover caught my eye… The headline read something like “Growing up too Fast?” and it was about little girls who are in beauty pagents from the time they are babies and everything that they go through to be “beautiful”. It showed pictures of these little 3, 4 and 5 year olds dressed up like a JLo music video, wearling high heals, fake teeth, fake eyelishes, skimpy outfits and more make up than a grown woman should ever wear. My heart was so heavy I almost started crying right there in Wal-Mart and it made me think deeply about my responsibility as a mother of two baby girls in a society that seems to only value a beauty that is skin deep.  I thought about the parents who actually put their little girls in this obscene environment that does nothing for them but tell them that they are not enough just the way God made them.  Then I began to think about myself and how much I obsess over what I should eat and how much I weigh and how people see me and then this horrible realization came over me… what if those parents are just like me, only they have gone just one step farther and put their own insecurities on their daughters? Am I just a hypocrite hiding behind ideals?

Needless to say this started me doing some soul searching… Now, I am not one that is opposed to taking care of yourself, wearing make up or jewelry or even fun clothes but the issue is once again one of the heart.  Is the focus of my efforts to obtain some sort of affirmation from other people? Or re-phrased, is the focus of my efforts so that people will look at ME and think I am awesome or super hot or whatever? Or is my heart in a place where it understands that I am NOT awesome but God IS awesome and HE made me and HE saved me and HE thinks I am a treasure worth the life of His own son and if I am such a treasure then I should take care of myself as such. When this truth really takes hold of the soul, the pressure of trying to achieve the ever-changing standard of what everyone thinks is beautiful melts away and suddenly there is a joy in who and what you are and taking care of yourself is just a natural thing to do when you realize how priceless you are. This is what I want to pass on to my girls… that they are His and they are gorgeous.

So you may be asking yourself, what is the junk for the week? My junk is that unfortunately, it is a rare thing for me to actually walk in this truth… My “fat days” are about 6 out of 7 a week and I am sad to say that I am not very good at grasping the right perspective. However, I have three things to help me out… (1) The grace of God that keeps reminding me of the truth so that one day I might walk in it consistently (2) Two girls to remind me to keep chasing the truth and (3) A husband who is really good at making me feel beautiful and cherished 🙂 so as always God is merciful. And the conclusion of the matter is that  you are God’s beautiful treasure and my prayer for you is that the vanity of this generation does not rob you of that joy.

Proverbs 31:30-31
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who [s]fears the LORD, she shall be praised.  31 Give her the [t]product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

Who Prays?

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Personal Moment, Teachable Moment

So this week has been about turning my anxieties into prayers.  In case you didn’t know, I am by nature a very anxious person and there is no problem, imaginary or real, that I do not try to solve in my mind, for me or for anyone else in the world.  However, in reality this is an exhausting way to live and it is not what God intended at all… He designed us to depend on Him not on our own strength to survive. So what does that mean in real life, not just the Christianese universe? How do I actively depend on God so that my anxious heart becomes a peaceful heart? I heard a sermon yesterday by Ben Stuart and one of the things he said really landed on this issue… He said “Who Prays? People who pray are the people who realize God’s presence and their own dependence.” Prayer is our way to actively depend on God and I don’t know about anyone else out there but I know that my prayer life is more like a geyser that has a sudden burst and then dies down for a while rather than the steady stream that it really should be.

So that begs the question… Do I not realize my own dependence? Or do I not really believe in the reality of God’s presence in my life? For me, I am inclined to believe that it is the later… I don’t think I really believe that He is here and He is interested.  Or if I do believe it in my head, I am not acting on that beliefe because if I was then I would talk to Him, which is what prayer is.  So the way this all plays out is this… my anxiety is a direct result of setting myself up as my own savior instead of acting on the reality that Christ is my savior and He is not only here for real but He has a plan for getting me through this crazy life and He wants me to lay all my concerns at His feet in an act of total dependence on Him. And by talking to Him about everything that crosses my mind through out the day, we walk a little closer and maybe by walking closer, I will look a little more like who He designed me to be instead of this crazy anxious person. So that is the junk and the perspective kind of put together and I hope that made some sense… The funny thing about walking is you tend to get tripped up all the time or tired or lazy and so things like praying withough ceasing become a constant battle… but at least we’re walking and that’s the great thing because it means God is finished with us yet 🙂

Letting Go

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Mommy Moment

Have you ever looked around and suddenly realized that you are not the normal well adjusted person that you thought you were? Today was my oldest daughter’s first day at Mother’s Day Out and after dropping her off, a wave of paranoia, anxiety and sadness crashed over my soul bringing me to tears like some sort of emotional cripple. What if she gets lost? What if they don’t know what to do when she gets upset? What if she won’t eat her lunch or take a nap because she is not in her normal environment? What if she thinks I have abandoned her? All these things battered my mind like like a relentless rain storm battering an already tattered roof top… The urge to jump in the car and go back and get her was nearly overwhelming.

So as I sit here, praying to the Lord to calm my storm ravaged mind and soul, I realize that my desire to go and get her and know that she is safe is not about her being safe but about me feeling like I have control over the circumstances so that I can feel ok.  Its funny how the longer I walk through life with the Lord the more He begins to give me these glaring opportunities to see that I control ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  The possibilities of things that could go so terribly, terribly wrong for me or any of the people I love so dearly are endless and there is genuinely no way I could ever control enough circumstances to make me feel ok enough to not be anxious about everything…

So that is my junk for the week… I am a paranoid control freak and not nearly as normal and well adjusted as I would like to be but here is the perspective: God is the essence of everything that is good. He is genuinely good and everything He does or allows is good no matter what it is. He is absolutely sovereign, there is not a circumstance that He does not control. He is passionately loving towards me and since He is good, sovereign and loving my soul can weather the storm of my emotions resting in who HE IS not in what I do so I can let go and enjoy what God has given me instead of trying to anxiously hold on to something that is not mine in the first place.

Philippians 4:5-7

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is [a]near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [b]comprehension, willguard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.