Sunday, March 25, 2012

True Beauty...

We recently joined a Life Group with our church and have started a study called Living Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  This weeks lesson is called "Profile of the Lukewarm" and it asked us to look up several verses and make notes of our thoughts, challenges, etc. that come to mind when reading these scriptures.  About 10 scriptures in I read this:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.  Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."  (Matt. 23:25-28)

I realize God speaks to all of us differently and we each take different thoughts away from scripture.  I know this scripture is talking about hypocrites and professing to be a Christian yet living another way.... me though, it said so much more.  I have struggled with an on again off again negative body image for at least the last 18 years.  I've gone through phases of addictions to exercise and can easily obsess and have anxiety about food.  As I read this scripture I was drawn to the part of the cup and dish being clean on the outside, yet the inside is full of these undesirable things.  I began to analyze myself.  Realistically I've spent years of my life trying to gain this positive body image that I thought would come from a certain look, a certain weight, etc.  I was absolutely overcome by how much time, energy and thought have I spent on trying to attain this image and still come up unsuccessful.  I was completely broken by the thought of..... what if I had spent that same time, energy and thought on cleaning my inside to look more like Jesus.  God breaking us right where we are can be painful yet bring a sense of freedom.  This morning at church our preacher said..."An unexamined life is an ineffective life."  It takes digging in and really looking at ourselves to bring out the person God truly created us to be....a TRUE beauty!

~~I don't think this waiting period of adoption is a waste.  I think God is molding Jason and I into the parents He wants us to be for this particular child.~~

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Excuses, excuses....

So, a month has come and gone and I haven't written once. WHY you might ask????? Well, my first excuse is there is no adoption update.  I like the people that ask me every other day what's new with the adoption.  I always feel like I'm letting them down when I nothing still waiting.  :) The truth is adoption is a LONG process and we have no way of hurrying things along.  We emailed our adoption coordinator last week and she still has not heard when the next "matching meeting" is.  So.....we wait some more.

Hmmm...well I guess that's my first and only excuse.  We have just been living and learning the last month.  God never quits challenging, never quits moving and never quits loving.  Our preacher, JD, at church has been doing a series on spiritual warfare.  It's been such a blessing to soak up what God has been saying through him about battling Satan.  This war with Satan is some SERIOUS hard work and it's never ending.  This last week our preacher referenced the armor of God.  He spoke about the Breastplate of Righteousness and about right-living.  I had an eye opening experience when I realized what God was trying to tell me in this area.  The breast plate covers 2 things...our heart and our gut.  JD explained that our heart represents our mind and our gut area represents our emotions.  These two things...mind and emotions...dictate our affections. I have a tendency to not guard these areas like I should.  I have a big heart for people and want to leave a positive image on peoples lives.  This starts out well and good until before I know it I realize my mind, my emotions....MY affections are places they shouldn't be and aren't protected.  Leaving them unprotected allows Satan to sneak in and do damage.  JD said people always ask him..."how are you supposed to guard your heart?"....his answer...Put a fence around your affections.  Now that statement is for someone ready to go to war with Satan.  Someone ready to stand their ground because they realize the battle belongs to the LORD.  I love it.  Thank you Lord for the ways You speak to us.

I always want to do better with this blog but if there isn't an adoption update I tend to struggle with what to write about.  But...I was moved this week and maybe someone else out there needs to hear a watered down type version of what I got this week :)