Sunday, August 3, 2014

Our critics

You know, it's funny how often I think about my blog, but how little I write in it. An idea comes to me, and I want to write about it, but dismiss it as not "blog worthy".  We are our harshest critics, are we not? 

      Right now my daughter is learning this sad truth. When we see it in those we love, it looks so much more menacing. She is 12, her body is changing, her thoughts are evolving. And in a world prolifically portraying unrealistic expectations, it will lead to a skewed reality. Even as an adult, I have to constantly remind myself that images are altered and most of what we see simply isn't true. Sometimes, I wish we lived in a world with no mirrors. Girls spend precious time in front of them criticizing the beauty that God himself formed to be them. 

It's an epidemic. I even find myself caught up in the sad side of being critical of people! We are much too easily decieved, and ensnared. 

Sitting in the church foyer I hear women discussing their dissatisfaction with their bodies. We must stop. We have to set an example. We have to learn to love our bodies if we are to teach girls to love theirs. You know as well as I do that we can talk until we are blue in the face....but if we don't BELIEVE what we is all for not. 

I've actually started seeing a counselor for my body/food issues as well as past problems. I'm trying to seek help to get fixed. It's a big, scary step. But in my heart I know it will not only help myself, but my family as well. We try to fix everyone around us, but it's often too uncomfortable to work on our own issues. For the longest time, I felt it was selfish to work on my problems. What I've come to realize is it is actually the opposite. Working on my problems better equips me to handle other problems, and help others, in ways that weren't possible before. 

      My prayer for my daughter, and all girls, is that they may see themselves as God sees them. As something priceless, beautiful....loved. That is my prayer for all of us. 

      Once I went to a ladies retreat where the speaker talked about how much it bothered her when her "roots" showed and how she didn't want to even go to an even because of it. She did say she ended up going and felt silly for it. What have we become? 

      Ladies, let us shed this vanity. Let us wrap ourselves in the light of our Lord and let His true beauty be ours. 

       Now, don't go crazy on me, and tell me we are supposed to become Amish-like. In a way though, I think they have something right. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice. But it is a fine line we walk between wanting to look nice and making our bodies our god. Do we spend more time on our physical bodies, than on our soul? Let's step back and look around us. 

     If you are reading this, know that I am praying for you. It's a long fight, and we are all in it together. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Not the end.

       If there is one thing I don't like it is good-byes. Yet, who does? The ones you enjoy are called "good riddances" (is that even a word??). While I have had a few of those come knocking on my door, those aren't the ones I'm talking about. I am talking about good-byes, farewells, etc. Good bye is a part of life. It marks the end of something.  It comes in many forms and starts from childhood. We say goodbye to a special pet when it dies. It could be as innocent as losing our favorite blanket. That sense of loss comes many times in our lives and will come even more often as we grow older. The goodbyes become more difficult as they are often eternal as we grow. We grow and watch our friends pass on, family pass on, and people we looked up to pass on. Death is viewed as the final farewell. Yet, is it really?

              I was speaking with a friend a few nights ago, someone I admire and love, who is suffering many serious health issues. We reminisced about years gone by for a few hours. Recalling all the people that have passed through our lives, and where they are now. We also talked about how simple the love of Christ is but how horribly complex it is made in the hands of men. We laughed about old pranks and cried about old friends. God brings people together in Christ in an extraordinary way.

             There have been people at Bible camp, who I have worked along side with for a whole week. Eating together, sleeping in the same room, praying together, singing together, bonding in fellowship. The very next week they died in a tragic accident. I had no idea that when I said goodbye that Friday night at camp, it would be forever.

             After talking to my friend that night, I was home in the quiet, darkness, when I decided something. I'm done with good-byes. I even said it aloud, as if I was telling everyone.  I don't know if my friend will be on this Earth next year or not. When he does leave, I will not bid him farewell. I will whisper in my heart, "I will see you later."  Goodbyes mark the end of something, and he will be only touching the beginning.  He told me to read psalm 126, as it was close to his heart. I read it. I hope when you read it, and meditate on it, it will bring you peace.

           I have realized this; for my family in Christ there are no goodbyes. I will, however, see them later. When the clouds roll back and Christ calls us home, I'll see them. When will that be? Later. Could be 5 seconds, could be 5 centuries, but it will be later. In that moment all the petty things people argue about, and fret over, will be gone. Politics gone. Pride gone. Selfishness gone. Lies will be swept away and truth will be revealed. Our hearts will rejoice and it will be the best family reunion ever.

  Let us all decide to live our lives so that we don't ever have to say another good-bye.

I'll see you later,