Why is Beauty so HARD?!?!?!?!?

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I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan where we currently are experiencing the snowiest November since sometime in the 1800’s.  The bonus to that is I teach Middle School by day, so that gave me two glorious days off of work for snow days!!  (THANK YOU JESUS!!!)

I tell you about the snow so you understand how THRILLED my heart is to be heading to Florida in less than a week from this post!!!  WOO HOO!!!!!!  AS I type this I see that tomorrow it’s going to be in the 80’s there!!!  Oh my Michigan friends . . . . please don’t hate me!!!  ;  )

The reason I tell you this is because I’m heading down to speak at a CHRISTmas women’s event at Real Life Church in Clermont, Fla.  I can’t wait to serve these women on Dec. 1!!!  But getting ready for this event has been more difficult than I anticipated!!  Trying to decide what to wear to a Women’s Christmas event on Dec. 1 in 80 degree weather is too much for this freezing Michigander to handle!!!!  I keep asking anyone that might be able to help me to know WHAT I SHOULD  WEAR?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I think I have that figured out . . . . . as least I sure hope I do!!!!

But in addition to that I have been using a dark brown and a navy blue eye shadow for years and it’s time to replace them.  I figured I would get the same colors and be done!!  After all . . . . . HOW HARD CAN THIS BE?!?!?!?!?!

I go walking into the mall, arm in arm with my man ~ (yes, I thought taking him along was a good idea, because how long could this really take?!?!?!)  I had a recommendation from someone about a certain eye shadow that she loves, so I went searching for it.  I started at Macy’s, nope.  The gal there sent me towards JC Penny’s, nope, not there either.  Leave Penny’s let’s try Bare Minerals.  The woman there didn’t want to HELP me . . . . she wanted to SELL me stuff!!  Back to Macy’s to see Rachel . . . . we are now friends!  Rachel says I have to go INTO JC Penny’s.  Off to Penny’s to try again.

If you are anything like me I hope you can sense the frustration and the impending MELTDOWN that is coming!!!!  This shouldn’t have been this hard!!  But I felt like I was trying to find a needle in a haystack!!  Evidently I was looking for a MIRACLE!!!!!

I have to be honest.  This hunt was not pretty!!!  I felt in over my head on a topic I felt totally intimidated by!!!!  With each stop at a makeup counter I felt like I had to re-explain what I was looking for, without sounding too pathetic!!!  I had NO IDEA what I was really looking for!!!  And since I didn’t know what I was really looking for I felt like no one could help me find it!!!!

Beauty . . . . . the quest for it can be so hard and complex!!!!  It can be so daunting as we try to find the perfect item that will make us look less like what we see in the mirror and more like the woman we are LONGING TO BE!!!!!!!!  The woman Jesus sees me to be.  So much of the struggle lies in the fact that I can’t see past my own faults, failures and foibles to see they beautiful and amazing woman that I truly am!!!!

We are told that we are made NEW in Christ!!!  The old has passed away and the new has come!!!  In Christ I am a NEW and BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING CREATION!!!!!!!

Someone needs to tell that woman in the mirror that she has been replaced by someone SO MUCH MORE AMAZING than who she believes herself to be!!!  She needs to realize that Jesus has come to RENEW HER . . . . REBUILD HER . . . . RESTORE HER . . . . . .REDEEM HER!!!!!!  Someone needs to tell this woman in the mirror how LOVED AND BEAUTIFUL SHE REALLY IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Earlier this week I sat next to a friend of mine that does not have long for this world.  Each day is an unexpected and precious gift to her family.  She is dying from cancer and is so very close to being swept up into the waiting arms of Jesus!!  When I sat next to her the first words out of my mouth were, “You look GREAT!!”  Looking back, who says that to a dying woman?  I know, it sounds crazy, but she really did look great!!!  But in reality she looked more than great . . . . she looked BEAUTIFUL and RADIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!  As I think back to that night I smile as I picture her with her bald head rapped in a scarf, eyebrows painted on, her smile sweet on her lips!!  I’m here to tell you that woman was BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!  Tears as I think of her pure beauty!!!!  From the inside out!!!!!!

Oh girls . . . . how do we define beauty?!?!?!?!  Pretty sure it’s not at the makeup counter at the mall!!!  Pretty sure it’s not trivial words spoken from men!!  Pretty sure it’s not found on the clothes rack!!!!!!  Pretty sure it’s not found in the next diet book!!!!

Beauty . . . . . .

Our beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as our hair, jewelry, clothes, but it should be an UNFADING BEAUTY from our inner self . . . . this is where our truest beauty should come from!!  (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Yet some of us feel as though our lives are way too messy for beauty!!!  But Jesus promises us that from the mess of our ashes our beauty will arise!!!  Our past does not need to define us, we don’t need to get stuck there, but from our past is what Jesus uses to draw us to Him and draw out our beauty from the depths of our hearts!!!

So what does beauty look like in us . . . . . it’s begins with our minds and what we think on . . . . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about these things.

Oh yes . . . . these are the things I want my mind, heart, and soul to dwell on!!  I want my beauty to come from the deepest part of my heart that is held tightly by Jesus!!!  Not a fleeting beauty . . . . . but a beauty that will LAST!!!!

So . . . . . . yes . . . . . I did find some new eye shadow.  But it doesn’t do anything to change the core of who I am or who I want to be.  But it did make me stop and think about my own beauty and listen to Jesus a bit more on this topic!

I hope you will take some time with Jesus today and ponder your own beauty.  Take some time to listen to what your sweet Jesus has to say to you about your own beauty, how He sees you and what He has to say to you!!  I’m thinking you might just hear Psalm 45:11 come from His heart to yours!!!

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What I’m Excited About Today

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The day after Thanksgiving my fabulous prayer warrior and husband are hopping on a plane and heading to Orlando Florida!!  WOOT WOOT!!!!!  I have been invited to speak at REAL Life Church in Clermont, Fla. on Dec. 1 at their Women’s Christmas Event:

Real Women’s Christmas Event

Dec 1 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Ladies! Mark your calendars for the annual Real Women’s Christmas event, The Gift, on Monday, December 1st, at 7:00pm in the Main Auditorium. This year, author Gail Ramesh will be joining us as our guest speaker. Contact Christina Tennyson at cmtennyson@getreallife.com for more information. Childcare will be provided.

So what does this mean for me?  I am spending my days firming up my talk and trying to figure out what to wear to an event on Dec. 1 in Florida!!  As I sit here at my favorite coffee shop the ground is covered with snow and more is coming down.  On Dec. 1 here in Michigan that means two words:  BUNDLE UP!!!!  But what does that mean for Florida?!?!  I can’t even begin to think about short sleeves in this weather!!!  This is my biggest dilemma about this trip!!  And of course if I wanted something new, I won’t be buying it here . . . . we only have wool sweaters and thick fleece-lined leggings!!

I LAUGH as I type this . . . . with all the TRUE TRAGEDIES in the world this is really NO BIG DEAL!!!!!!  I GET THAT!!!!  However, I still have to maneuver through these waters!!  A wool sweater just can’t go with me to Florida!!

And yet God draws my heart to what really matters . . . . . as Mandisa says, it’s not the gospel of Vogue that matters, but our truest beauty that comes from the INSIDE, where Jesus resides!!!

My heart runs back to Psalm 45:11  –  (my own paraphrase)  My King is ENTHRALLED with MY BEAUTY!!

I love that the Word doesn’t say He WILL BE enthralled with my beauty WHEN . . . . . I lose weight, get my hair done, buy new clothes, get a make-over, change my eating habits, etc.  It says that He is TODAY, RIGHT WHERE I AM, ENTHRALLED WITH THE BEAUTY I POSSESS TODAY!!!!!

Girls, we have got to stop thinking we are going to be beautiful tomorrow . . . . . our KING is totally HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH US AND OUR BEAUTY TODAY . . . . right where we are . . . . . just who we are today!!!!!  Enjoy His attention . . . enjoy His affections . . . . enjoy HIM as He enjoys YOU and YOUR BEAUTY!!!!!

So today I am going to spend some time with my favorite Book . . . God’s Word . . . and let that clothe my heart with the beauty of His Spoken Word!!!  I am going to let that be the lavish beauty upon my heart!!!  Later today I’ll have to poke through my closet and see what I can find that might work in 72 degrees and trust Jesus for the perfect outfit that will go with the TRUEST BEAUTY of my heart!!!!

If you are in Clermont on Dec. 1 I would LOVE for you to come and say hello – you can see what Jesus put together out of my closet and tell me if it works!! =  )