Thursday, March 15, 2012

True Beauty

From the heart of Abigail Joy ...
This morning I was standing in front of my closet. An explosion happened in my room…it came out of nowhere…I no longer knew if I had a floor. I had nothing to wear…nothing was good enough. Frustrated I surrendered to sweat pants and an old hand-me-down sweatshirt. Why do we allow clothes to dictate our lives? Like so many other things—clothes are a result of the fall yet we whine and complain. Why do we obsess over the little things…Then in my heart, as I lay defeated in a pile of rumpled cotton and fabric…I remembered a passage in Matthew! Read it for yourself…


25-26"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.


27-29"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.


30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.


34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.


This is from The Message, Matthew 6.


I read this and wanted to just cry. I'm a visual learner. Like I’ve mentioned before—I have a huge imagination. Try and follow my daydream here. Take time to imagine…


A warm spring day with a light ocean breeze. The air swirling past you is filled with promise of more warm weather to come. You can smell the moistened ground from the Spring rain that came the day before. Walking barefoot through fresh green grass that tickles your toes. You stroll up a hill. Quiet & still—just enjoying singing birds soaring nearby. The sky is teaching a math lesson today—full of different shapes—puffy cotton ball clouds positioned against the purest of blue skies. You stop a moment just to feel the rays of the sun warm your face.


To your right over the hill you look to see the crashing of the roaring waves. The shore invites the waves in and the sea calls the water back out…they continue to play this game day in and day out—never growing tired. The water  glitters from the drops of sunshine.


You’re almost to the top of the hill now—but you aren't in any rush—you are living—living each second. The sound of the wind, the creatures of the earth, the thunderous crash of the waves—you join the chorus and begin humming any and every tune you can think of. Before you know it—you are stumbling upon the top of the hill. As you take your last step—you are overwhelmed to discover a burst of color. Flowers everywhere…A field of wildflowers—the grandest you have ever seen. Wildflowers—all shapes, colors, and sizes. The wind running through them—around and around—they are dancing. You long to join them and you do. How can you put into words what you are experiencing? Every one of your 5 senses bursting? Beauty. Life. Peace comes over and soaks into every fiber of your being…everything around is just…Breathtaking, captivating, magnificent. Glorious.


Reread  Matthew again..this is the image that kept running through my head. The amazing part?  Guess what?? Even the most beautiful scenery our imagination can whip up—or the most breathtaking views—they don't even compare to the DETAIL and BEAUTY God has put inside each and every one of His children—“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?”


You my friends may not be the skinniest, but who says that a size 0 is beautiful? The media hits us from every angle telling us what they see as “beautiful”. They tell us that we should go to every extreme from not eating, to gagging ourselves to make us fit this insane image that the world sees. But God says not to worry!!! Don’t let these thoughts that can easily become obsessive fill your mind or habits.


 He made us all unique—shame on us for trying to damage or alter the creativity He has gifted each of us with. We should take care of the body God has given us and let Him shine in and out of who you are.


Every girl no matter the age has struggled or is struggling with image. I was just struggling this morning…Me telling you over and over how valuable you are won't make any difference...but listen to the one who is holding your hand. Listen to our Saver, our Master, our Lover, and CREATOR--whispering to you...that you my dear are simply breathtaking and no one or no thing will ever make HIM love you any less!!


The love and creativity of our Savior never ceases to blow me away. The fact that He put so much time into each of us. So don’t stand in front of the closest today obsessing over what to wear—wear that nice outfit that brings out your confidence. Do not starve yourself or emotionally eat that gallon of chocolate ice cream in the freezer. Practice keeping God at the center of every aspect of your life—“ living a life of God-worship”.


Hope this made even a little impact on your hearts today.

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