You are not your choices.

I work with young children, ages 2-7, as a behavior and mental health therapist. I have one little client who was telling me about how bad of a kid he is. I was trying to explain to his little 3 year old mind that he is not a bad kid, but his choices were bad. His 3 year old brain didn’t comprehend.

And then today I realized, neither did mine, for myself. I have been upset lately about the consequences of my living a selfish life. These regrets about living for myself and ignoring God’s plan had gotten me down, had made me feel so unworthy of God’s continued pursuit of me. I mean, it is true – I am so unworthy. BUT! Just because I have made bad choices I am not bad. As a redeemed follower of Christ, I know that my decisions hold weight in my life but they do not define my life.

So it’s hard for a 3 year old to understand that he is not a bad kid because he makes bad choices – his heart is good and he is kind, but he messes up. And so do I, a 26 year old woman. But thankfully, I am also a follower of Christ which means my mistakes and choices post-salvation also don’t dictate where I’ll spend eternity.

Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice.

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Be Still, beautiful : the thing’s God is teaching me currently

You know how I know when God is trying to teach me something? When I hear the same thing over and over.

At the beginning of 2013 I was a very self-serving Christian. I consider myself strong in my faith, but that doesn’t make me perfect. On January 1, 2013 I decided to radically change my pursuit of God. Of course I’m still no where near where I want to be, but I am encouraged by God’s pursuit of me at the same time. Brothers and sisters, I am learning how deeply God is in love with us. 

I’ll admit I am a bit of a sucker for romantic love scenes, both in movies and real life. In November I went to the wedding of a dear friend who’s now-husband I met for the first time at the wedding. The groom performed a song he wrote for his bride during the ceremony which chronicled how he fell in love with her, from the first time he saw her. He was in awe of her from the day he first saw her. It was a beautiful picture, but then I think of God feeling the same about me… Only even more extreme!

“The King is enthralled with your beauty; honor Him for He is your Lord.”

Psalm 45:11

Did you catch that? He’s enthralled with you. So madly in love with you. More than we can imagine with our human minds. Read it again. Here’s the screensaver for my phone:

worthy

You can’t fathom it. You just can’t. He loves you and finds you worth more than you can even begin to understand and especially more than you can compare to some human love story.

So,that’s one of the things God has been teaching me, but there are numerous other verses that keep coming up in my daily life. To me, that means God wants me to know them, to take them to heart, and to obey them. They include:

“The Lord will Fight for you, you only need to be still.”

Exodus 14:14

“Be still and know that He is God.”

Psalm 46:10

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:17

And then last night at church, we discussed giving glory to God through our lives. I was reminded that if there is something I am wanting, I need to check my motives. Do I want to be married for myself or for the glory of God? Do I want to have a better paying job so I can buy more things, or do I want a better paying job to somehow give God glory through the extra income? Seriously, I am reminded to examine my motives. When I finally am able to pray for God’s will in those circumstances, then should I pray for them at all. Until then, I am praying God give me a heart to do His will.

But, two things have been made clear this past month:

1. I need to be still in the situations of my life – right now God has me where He is getting most glory. I believe that because despite my itch to move out of various circumstances He keeps telling me to be still. Stillness is not a strength of mine.

2. God thinks I’m dang beautiful.

What is God teaching you right now?

Friday Favorites: Body Image

I have never been one to totally love myself, despite how hard I work to stay fit or healthy. But, I am learning and admit to seeing tiny (tiny, tiny) progress in this area of my heart and life.

Small steps.

Fortunately, this week I happened to stumble upon a number of posts on various blogs about body image and self-esteem.

(source)

Read them and then write down 5 things you l o v e about yourself! It’s time to stop always critiquing ourselves (and others!) and start praising our fearfully and wonderfully made beautiful bodies, hearts and souls!

> Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, by Hana Hutchroft, posted on Darling Magazine

> Body Image + Beauty: When It Isn’t A Skinny Day, by Lauren Colle, posted on Good Women Project

> A Letter to My Younger Self on Valentine’s Day, by Stephanie from For Such a Time as This, posted on Good Women Project

> The Sweet Spot [what a girl needs to hear], by Emily from Impractical Beauty, posted on Sincerely Rachel Christine

> The Ugly Side of Beauty, by Debra K. Fileta from Debs Lessons Learned, written for Relevant Magazine

> Dashing Devotional: Overcoming Comparison, by Katie Farrell of Dashing Dish