nothing makes a girl fall in love like rescue from being tied up on a set of train tracks

Thursday, February 26, 2015

how to make your daughter hate herself

motherhood is a beautiful blessing.

you can fill a childhood with memories, teach the sacred traditions you grew up with, and build new ones. you can create magical moments with surprise lunch dates at school and surprise movie nights with pallets in the family room.

you can create treasured bonding moments with her pulling up a chair so she can help you mix the special cake you are making and blowing a kiss on top of your secret chicken recipe.

you can raise a strong and loving girl, who becomes a strong and loving woman...or you can carry your baggage over to your daughter, and make her hate herself.

* when you are getting dressed in the morning and she's in the room with you, sigh in disgust, huff and say how you hate your hips--the same hips she will grow into one day. grab the softness that embraces them and become angry with yourself as you ask in short temper "why can't i get rid of this".  15 years later, she will see those same hips on her and go to your thoughts, and believe that her hips make her less desirable, less beautiful, less...

* as you apply your makeup in the morning with her perched on the counter beside you, shake your head and shame the expression and smile lines that have formed around your lips and eyes.  50 years later, as those precious lines find their way to her face, she'll remember youth is beauty and age is shame.

* whenever you make a small mistake, be sure to show your disappointment in yourself, and audibly say, "i wish i didn't do dumb things". as she grows and learns, she'll hold herself to an impossible standard, and belittle herself each time she made small mistakes too.

* when you're at the swimming pool or beach, hide under the umbrella in the largest cover up you can find, and when thinner and more fit women walk by, shake your head and speak of their beauty and proclaim how much you'd give to look like them. she'll learn from that moment to always compare herself to the women around her.

* when you burn your special chicken or your turkey dinner become dry, heavily drop the pan on the counter and compare yourself to your own mother, your husband's mother, your neighbor, and say defeated "i burned dinner, again." she'll learn to be on alert for someone to always compare herself to,  in regards to anything.

ladies, we have to stop.
we must love ourselves so our daughters can love themselves, and their daughters love themselves.

let us consider who we are: the hips we have, the precious wrinkles that embrace our face, and the "learning experience" dinners to be a part of our journey--signs that we have lived a life worthy of stories and memories, love and commitment.

instead of teaching our daughters to hate themselves because we have no grace for ourselves, let us teach our daughters they are perfect and beautiful and there is a life of incredible treasures that lies ahead of them instead of a life of gloom, disappoint, and impossible standards. let's plant seeds in their hearts that will grow into rose bushes and cypress trees, instead of thorns and briers, but first, we must dig up those seeds from our own hearts.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

no judgement july, and why the h*ll are we so polite to satan?!

i'm beginning an experiment today: "no judgement july".  i remember hearing this story of this woman who decided she was not going to look in a mirror for a whole year. she also got married during this year, and stuck to that, even for her wedding. the premise was how hung up we can become on our appearance and how it can fill our minds all day long, every day.

really though, when we look in the mirror, for the most part, our minds are not filled with self-praise and positive thoughts. it's more like "oh, look at those wrinkles. wow, i have a lot of grey showing. ugh, i wish i didn't have a double chin. i bet bangs would hide my five-head." and so on. what if we lived our lives as if none of those matter? proverbs 31 states: "charm is deceptive and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised". we as women constantly compare ourselves to photoshopped images, other women with completely different genetics than us, and hold ourselves to a standard set by an industry who tosses aside women past the age of 18 or early 20s. even the female models accepted to exemplify some fictional standard of beauty are photo-shopped by people's whose sole purpose is to eliminate any hint of a "flaw".  why are we comparing ourselves to essentially, non-existent women. or even women on the streets. if God wanted us to look like them, He would have created us to. for us to judge our appearance and wish to change it is to judge and question the craftsmanship and design set by the hands of God. i don't think that's something i want to do. we are His children. how would you feel if someone walked up to you and told you your child was ugly and you should make them lose weight, dress them in this style, get them a nose job, etc. i'd probably punch them in the face and say something really ugly back. i'd imagine God is pretty defensive over us to. He created us. He doesn't want us to question His hands or tell Him He could have done better.

which brings me to another point: why the h*ll are we so polite to satan. think of all the lies and ugliness he spills into our minds. if we were enjoying a piece of delicious dove dark chocolate and sea salt caramel when a stranger...or anyone, came up to us and told us we were too fat and we shouldn't be eating that, we'd probably go at least pg-13 on them. amiright? yet we allow the enemy to speak those heinous thoughts into our mind.

here's another scenario: what if we bought a cute new dress off zulily (my favorite!!!!) and were so excitedly and anxiously anticipating the arrival of it to wear on an upcoming special date night with our husband; and when the night finally came, we dressed in it, did our makeup--pressed powder an all (because, really, who has time for that on a daily basis!), and then went out to our favorite restaurant, feeling beautiful. but! some jerk sitting at a table as we walk by, yells out "mooooo!" or "shouldn't you have ordered a bigger size?", i'd imagine most of our husbands would soon have an assault charge filed against them, and a jerk would have a black eye...and busted nose...and lip. yet we allow satan to speak to us like this all the time! and we listen to him! we'd tell strangers to shut up, or use more harsh words, our husbands would probably knock them out, and we'd similarly defend our children, why are we so polite! we'd NEVER say to a stranger attacking our children "you're right" or our husbands to the moooo-ing jerk "i know, right man!", or to the person questioning our decision to eat dove dark chocolate with sea salt and caramel for lunch, "i know, i'm such a pig, right!". we're too polite to satan. i think it's time we tell him to shut the h*ll up.

mommas, we have the most beautiful role there is, and nothing can make us more beautiful than the act of loving our children (and husbands..sometimes i forget that part ;) ). nothing! no size, no toning or commitment to cross-fit, no small nose or perfectly soft hair. nothing except our love. stop being so polite to satan. and let's stop using mirrors to judge our beauty, and staring using our hearts to show our beauty which does not fade, and photoshopping cannot manipulate.

and, adoptive mommas, think of satan as the ultimate "troll", leaving anonymous comments: delete and move on. :)

to help myself move my focus from what the mirror tells me and to what the Word tells me, i'm avoiding mirrors like the plague for the month of july. no judgement july. and whenever a judgmental thought comes into my mind, "delete and move on"....after telling him to shut the h*ll up.

Friday, October 11, 2013

a new name

i recently finished reading two books: hinds feet on high places, and it's follow up: mountains of spices.  the books are about a girl, "much afraid" and her choice to follow the Good Shepard to the Mountian of  Love.  the journey is full of dangerous trails and cliffs, impossible climbs, and long stretches that seem to take her further from the mountain top. the Good Shepard ask her to trust Him and the path He chose for her to get there. Her original state is described as "crippled" (totally not p.c., but this book was written a "long" time ago) as she had a crooked mouth and "deformed feet".   after her journey in the first book, her name is changed to "Grace and Glory".  read the books, seriously.  Hinds Feet first. then Mountains of Spices which tells the story of her returning to her home, "the valley of humiliation" to bare witness to her abusive and lost family (with names like Craven Fear, Gloomy, Dismal Forebodings...).

i think about the new names we receive when our lives become no longer about ourselves, when we look upward and not inward, when we seek His will opposed to our wants.  we go from "offense to joy", "anger to love", "pride to humbleness", and so on.  i thought of this during a casual conversation i had today with a coworker.  we were chatting about something, and i ended up telling a story about this time my husband and i were getting ready to go out and i put on one of my favorite dresses and leggings.  when he saw me he laughed and asked if that was what i was wearing, and i affirmed this.  he told me he thought it was a little short, that it's great for around the house, as he likes it, but he didn't think he'd be comfortable with me wearing this out in public. it was mid-thigh, and i honestly did not see what the issue was.  we went back and forth for a bit, and i never did agree that it was "short", but i ended up changing anyway because it was important to him, and my opinion didn't give him more comfort with the length (lack of) my dress. after telling this story to my coworker, she laughed and said that if that was her, she would have changed into something even shorter. i explained that i wasn't offended, and in marriage, you honor each other, and your body is not just yours anymore, but your partner's.  she insisted that she thought it was absurd that a man or anyone should be able to tell her what to do/wear/say, etc. i told her that i knew that i didn't have it all together, that i desired to surround myself with those who inspire me to be a better person.  i loved to have those who i am inspired by surrounding me, giving me thoughts and insights, helping me in those areas i need to grow in, helping me to see what is most glorifying, ultimately, to God. i humbly stated that i knew i wasn't the best person and that i wanted people to help me become better, more honoring, more loving.

there is so much that pride kills.  it not only cuts down, but it prevents growth, it prevents love from becoming the most prevalent feature of our lives. it tells us: who are they to tell you what to do?!  who is He to make you all stuffy and boring, who are they to lovingly correct and admonish you?  you be your own person!  you do what you want!  don't let them change you!  i want to be changed though. i want to be changed daily.

Pride is not a name He gives.  i have no need to defend myself because i am still being transformed, i am still going from glory to glory (2 corinthians 3:18), but mostly, because He is my defense. it seems foolish to those who do not know, who are perishing, but to those who know, those who have new names, it is the power of God (1 corinthians 1:18).  and we must speak love when others claim our foolishness.  how can we know the joy of having a new name, and yet not was so desperately for others to receive theirs?!

when we respond, it must always be in love, a sweet love in response to a poking joke, a jesting quip, even outright judgement. in what ever critical situation, what ever rejection, what ever discomfort or attack, rather real or perceived, if our response is one of love, when all other human logic tells us to strike back, argue, or return judgement for judgement, that is the hope of Christ in us.  this is our new name, our new name we wear like a badge on our hearts.  allowing yourself to be open for jest, judgement, for others to think you are crazy, this is the freedom that allows other to see a transformed heart implanted by our Creator Himself, it allows others to see that a life lived where the main focus is the One who wrote our stories and designed the skies is possible, but not only possible, but freeing. He can breath life into dirt, and He can change hearts and give new names.

keep your pinky promise to be open and listen to differing thoughts and opinions. it's not personal, it's love.

always remember the fun times, the dreams, the hopes.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

the thief of joy

someone much wiser than me once said that comparison is the thief of joy.

i was quiet the miserable little girl.  while other girls had perfectly braided hair, mine was always frizzle-frazzle, other girls (in my perception) had perfectly straight teeth, and mine were gappy and crooked, and other little girls went home to their happy homes with a mom and dad, and i went home to an over-burdened single mother.

it's funny (in a sad way) how sad little girl issues can become insecure woman issues.  on june 28th, i had my first date with who would be "wonderful husband, he says he knew right away that he was going to marry me, i knew that he knew, and this brought me some sense of comfort, peace, confidence...i knew that this guy saw something in me that no guy before him had. i knew that this guy thought the qualities of my personality were those that he could merge his life with and grow with. he saw a beauty in me that he wanted to see every day for the rest of his life.  i can still question it, how and why, and i do, and i rob myself of joy.  i can say that there are other women who are easier to love than me, who don't fret like i do, whose hearts don't break as much as mine does...there's to much i can do, and that i do which steals the joy of our lives, my life.

i can look at other marriages, where they see each other for an hour in the morning, coffee in hands, together, and they spend hours in the evening together, over dinner, the pitter pat of little feet running through their home, or the laughter they share over the table together. the women walk upright with poise, they are light with concern, and void are the cry-lines from their forehead and eyes.  the husbands have light afternoons and walk into light homes with light air and freshness that can rejuvenate any spirit. or so i imagine.  i imagine this in contrast to my heavy heart that sometimes can only crumble into a heaping pile of concern for those i cannot reach and cannot help, i imagine this as i curl up in our bed, with tear-soaked eyes as the husband asks how he can help me, and i mutter out that he can't.

i imagine lots of scenarios for other couples, i imagine many non-existent marriages, and i create "spiritual barbie dolls" from those lovely ladies i see around me. i know it doesn't exist, and that in reality, there is some area, or many areas, in people's lives that are not how they imagined. we tell ourselves that everyone else is a better person, more gentle, wiser, spiritually stronger, and a better spouse.  i steal the joy and God's plan for my life by comparing it to others'.  we tell ourselves that everyone else is much more easily used by God, everyone else is much more easily loved by God.

we exist because God wanted to do something through us/with us that He didn't design and plan to do through someone else. when we/i compare ourselves to the make-believe lives of others, we incapacitate ourselves from being able joyfully walk in God's design for us. i know that God sees my end from beginning, that He sees His ultimate plan for me from where i am now.  my frets, tears, and heavy heart have not changed the husband's heart for me, just as my weakness and stumbles will not change God's heart for me. just like the husband knew from our first date i was the one he'd marry, God knew from my origin in the womb His plan for me.  as He does you, and the lady in front of us in the grocery store, and our co-worker, and so on.

i've found the best combatant for a heavy heart is to look around, there are others hurting all around us; to look around and serve, to focus on seeing others healed and made whole, in doing so, we redirect our eyes of ourself; we are our own biggest hindrance to His good works in our heart.

those around me and far away, those in need of service, or love, they can't wait for me to feel good about my self to reach out, they can't wait for me to feel like a barbie-christian to love them, to knock down walls for them.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

the litter box made me do it

i love my fat cat who thinks he's a dog. but he has the most vile litter box habits.  the husband and i have been awoken from a dead sleep before due to the acute, emerging repulsive smell coming from it. i hate changing his litter box.  it's disgusting, and well, yucky.  i don't deal well with yuck.  husband has trash duty (most the time, sometimes i take it out, because i don't want to continue to nag, and be "that wife"), and other yuck duties, i think litter box duty should fall into this category, but it doesn't, because the fat cat-dog is mine.  i haven't cleaned the litter box in about 3 days, neither have i cleaned the kitchen in the same amount of time. i feel like a failure. a disgusting, gross, yucky failure. and that's put me in a foul mood.

i really don't know how to break this mindset, that the cleanliness of our room, kitchen, fatso cat-dog's litter box is directly correlated to my lovely-wife status. stuck in traffic this morning, i was sulking. my mind was so focused on the uncleaned litter box, the full sink, the laundry pilling up-again, and in the midst of bumper to bumper traffic, i could see clearly the people in the cars next to me (mainly because we were moving only 5 mph), and they looked so pulled together, so proper, so clean.  images of me running around this morning like a chicken with it's head cut off filled my thoughts, and i created some june cleaver scene in my head that these other women had this morning.  i imagined their bedrooms being perfectly decorated in a shabby-chick setting, fresh potpourri filing the room with lovely scents, their kitchen, sparkling clean, smelling bleach and lemony fresh. i imagined their hearts bursting with love, overflowing to a gushy, uplifting, encouragement persona for all those around them; and then i compared myself.  the litter box on the forefront of my mind, the full sink, my haphazardly pieced together outfit this morning, the stressful day ahead, full of icee trucks and water play, that leaves me trying to change (2 times within an hour period) 12  three to four year olds. and then, he called. the husband who was scheduled to work today at 9, and had left the house about 15 minutes after me. he was so calm and jovial.  we was only half a mile behind me, and had just then encountered the same traffic line i had been in for 30 minutes.  he was behind it, so he hadn't been that affected by it.  and i was snippy.  he was so happy, and perky, and i wasn't, and i felt as if was a slap in the face (which it wasn't, at all!)...."oh, no traffic for me, guess you just left at the wrong time", and the litter box made me do it, the kitchen sink made me do it, and i became frustrated, irritable, and unpleasant. not only was i a poor housekeeper, i was also a snippy traffic driver.  all these things together, and my femininity came into question, proverbs 31 seemed like a taunt, 1 peter 3:3-4 seemed like they were patronizing me, because i was so far from quiet and gentle. i later texted the husband and apologized for being ugly on the phone.  i'm working on this quality of focusing on others, and not myself so much.  i believe that if i focus on relationships with others, instead of my own faults and short-comings, that God can then change my heart.  i can't change my heart, only God can do that.  by focusing so much on myself, criticizing myself, comparing myself to make-believe people and those fictional perfect wives, i leave no room for God to do what He needs in my heart, in me.

i thank God for a kitchen that has a stove, a sink, a dishwasher, and a refrigerator full of food.  i thank God for a closet full of clothes that i can't choose an outfit from.  i thank God for silly luxuries like a fat cat that thinks he's a dog, when there are women all over the world that cannot afford to feed their children.

 his litter box ruins my life, but he's worth it.
a perfect representation of how i see me....
how the camera sees me.

i mainly write so that others will know: we all struggle.  not many people feel like they have everything together.  if me being completely open about my housekeeping ineptness and spasticness lets another fretting wife know she's not alone, my joy is in that.  :) 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

the spirit of adoption and why we'd totally fill up Jesus' instagram feed.

i've never felt all that brag-worthy. i lead a pretty unremarkable life. i'm not especially gifted at any skill or have any remarkable talent, and i'd never stand out in a crowd for my beauty....but after watching some precious friends of mine go through the journey of adoption and bring their beautiful baby girl home, i'm convinced i'd be filling Jesus's instagram feed.

see, babies aren't all that talented either, like me, they aren't that handy in the kitchen, and they really don't contribute to keeping a spotlessly tidy house. they're cute, adorable, squishy, lovable, and even the most dull person in the world can make them laugh uncontrollably by making a silly face, so they make you feel good about your cheer-up ability too.

yet, my sweet friend who happens to be an awesome new mommy has already filled up her phone's memory with pictures (within 2 weeks, no joking). she also updates her social media site with some of these pictures captioned "look how sweet she is when she smiles while she sleeps" and "good morning!" and "good hair day" (because the swirl of hair on her head was just preciously perfect).  i love this. i love the joy she has. her daughter is home! her daughter has come home! and everything about her is just perfect and brag-worthy. seemingly ordinary events, looks, times of day, and expressions are picture and brag worthy because this is the child she has prayed for. the child she has believed for. the child she has trusted the Lord for. this beautiful child is representative of God's love for us, His goodness, His perfect timing, and the joy experienced when we trust in him when all else seems to tell us not too. another part of this story, there was a previous adoption in the works. another child(ren) my friends had taken as their own in their hearts before they were born. they prayed for, believed for, did everything they were supposed to in order to bring home. then something happened, and my friends were not able to bring this child(ren) home. they were devastated. in their hearts, their home was going to be filled with the pitter pat of little feet, they were going to be parents. they were going to respond to cries in the middle of the night with cuddles, comfort, and a bottle (or diaper change....). they were not angry with God. they took a time of silence, shared what they needed to, kept private what they needed too, and seemed to respond to every thought with "if it is His will". then, months later, something incredible happened, a woman sought them out to adopt the child she was carrying.  they could have said, "no, we've been hurt before, our hearts are closed", but instead, they responded with a "yes!" it wasn't an easy journey, it wasn't all perfect and without moments of "God, we trust Your will", but it was a faithful journey. and now my facebook feed is filled with baby pictures of a beautiful baby smiling, cooing, the top of her head, the bottom of her feet, her profile snuggled next to her lovely mommy...i'm pretty sure there was a post about a diaper change too.

see, this is the child they believed for, the child they prayed for, and she's here now. she's perfect. every moment is incredible to them. moments we may miss or not notice, they capture with a picture and share. that's how i see God over us.  He's had many, many, many heartbreaks. He's had many say, "i do not want you as my Father" He's had many walk away from Him, and His heart breaks with every instance of such. but, His heart also rejoices when we come home. He didn't close off His heart to us because some other hearts did not respond, or walked away. when we come home to Him, every moment is wonderful to Him. if He had a camera, He'd take a picture and caption it, "look at my child! they bought a contributor paper from my soon-to-be-son!" "look at my child graciously let that speeding hooligan in front of them in rush-hour traffic after he waited to the last minute to try to get over...(wait, that's my issue...)" and "look at my child! look at her tears as she sings to Me!" and even, "look at my child! love oozes out of him even when he's sad and doesn't realize he's exuding My Life to those around him!"  all of our moments, He adores. all of them. when we pout and have lapses in judgement, and then respond to the conviction and turn our gaze to Him, He captures that. He delights in that. He shouts to His angels, "look! look! my child! my child! they're not angry with me any longer! their faith is being restored! it's being restored!!!"  i'd imagine He's definitely that parent that fills their social media page/feed with pictures and stories of potty and bath time, only He shares His joy over these events with angels...and it's probably not about our potty or bath time (but you never know, His thoughts and ways are higher than our own ;) ).  exhort yourself, when you don't feel brag worthy, or remarkable, when you feel less than remarkable, know that your seemingly mundane task, daily motions of smiling at your barista, buying a $1 contributor paper,  letting scalawags and rascals in front of you in rush hour, and even greeting your spouse with a smile at the end of the day, those are the moments He captures, those are the moments that bring Him major bragging joy. if we can delight in a precious smile on a baby's face as they sleep, if we can delight in the site of baby feet, and love the smell of freshly washed baby hair, then He can delight in our smile to a public service worker and He can delight in our hands as we lift them to Him in praise as we sing.

let us receive that!  let us know that He delights in us, because we have come home, and he has fought tooth and nail for us, He has battled for us, He did not give up.  He said we were His, and we became, and He wants to relish and delight in every moment of ours, just because He loves us, like a new parent, like an adoptive parent who believed and waited, and waited and believed. He waited for us, and now He wants to cherish every moment of ours, because those moments are His. 

Friday, May 31, 2013


i use to dream of being a martyr.  seriously.
i dreamt of desiring nothing more than giving everything because of my love for Christ.
i dreamt of laying all my wants, needs, desires, and comforts aside and charging full steam ahead for His Kingdom.

now i dream of shaking off these chains that bind me.
chains of desires to look a certain way. chains of desires to accomplish xyz...
chains to be accepted in this world....this world that rejected, and still rejects Christ

facebook, pinterest, all this social media is ruining us. being single minded toward heaven is difficult enough with the spiritual warfare fought in mind and heart's battlefield, but now, on a daily basis, we are bombarded with images and declarations of: look how "beautiful" i am, look how rich i am, look how much stuff i have, look how awesome of a housewife i am, etc...and those of us that are not, as much as we don't want to, we slip into comparison mode. if we don't slip into comparison mode, we slip into righteous indignation mode: "don't you know that for what you spent on that, you could pay for an impoverished child in uganda's (rwanda, ethiopia, etc.) school, food, and medical for a year!" or "don't you know there are much bigger issues plaguing our world right now--human trafficking, hunger, disease, genocide!" and then we become so welled up with anger--indignation, that we want to alienate ourselves from those people....maybe that's just me?

"you adulterous people! do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity against God? therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy with God" --james 4:4

as i laid in bed tonight, next to the husband, my mind was turning so greatly, the violent swirls of thoughts, ponderings, and worries began to physically affect my heart, my body. i felt my heart race, and i felt discomfort rise.  "honey" i asked, "do you ever think about how we are going to serve His Kingdom greater together than we could apart? how do you think that looks" i bring these broken fragments of my heart in forms of concerns to him almost daily, so he wasn't completely caught off guard by this question. he responded that as we grow together, grow older together, grow in our place in life, this is going to change, that we're just now beginning our life together (we were married only 4 months ago), and we need to strengthen ourselves in that before we can really focus entirely on serving others.  he has a point.  my heart is so fragile right now, it must be strengthened before it pours back out. ---fragile in a good way. i am so desperate for Jesus, Jesus alone, that i dream again of martyrdom (recognizing that my life is but an offering for Him). i dream of grasping that appearances, weight, etc. don't define me. i dream of others realizing stuff, status, etc doesn't define them either. i dream that we would all realize "whatever you did for the least of these, you did unto Me" --matthew 25:40.  i dream of all of us valuing others (near and very far) above ourselves.

i desire to not care. i desire for Him to be my single focus. my utmost joy.
the joy that shone through stephen's face as he was stoned, how Jesus STOOD at the right hand of God as the beloved stephen was being stoned (seriously! the only place in the bible where Jesus is stated to be standing at the right hand of God, as opposed to seated). i want that joy. in the midst of screams, threats, taunts...i want that joy, that gazes upward, that allows my face to shine like the sun. in the midst of living in one of the most materialistic societies, to gaze upward.

when i was in burma with a mission group, one of the secret locations we visited had a secret "vestibule of water" behind it. people in this restricted land are so desperate for Jesus, to receive Him, to experience freedom in their hearts that they joyfully are baptized in this:

one of the doctors we were with jokingly pleaded with us to not request to be baptized in this. i wanted to. i wanted to feel that solidarity in desperate joy with these people. (i was overruled and not allowed...a liability issue, even the host "pastor" wouldn't allow it).

what a beautiful thing. to look upon such a dirty, grimy, "scary" vestibule of water, and know that here, joy and new life was shown in symbolic form. i picture the faces of men and women as they are pushed underwater here, and then the shinning joy that radiates as they are brought back up. 

here's my plea: that you would know the joy in abandoning everything, not just material possessions (that's easy for some, including me), but abandon the desire to define yourself in anyway other than a child of God, abandon the desire to criticize the reflection in the mirror, drop your head in shame at the size of your clothing. He says: "you are all together beautiful my darling, there is no blemish in you" --song of solomon 4:7

there are much bigger issues to fight for in His Kingdom. there is far too much praying to be done, far too much fighting for the defenseless to be done. too many people who need to feel loved. too many people to search for and hear they matter. 

to make it more accountable, i'm stepping back from that. i'm stepping back from criticizing myself. for each insecurity, criticism of self i have, i am going to turn it into a prayer for someone else. insecure of my weight? i will pray for the hungry bellies of the millions of children worldwide to be fed. insecure of my appearance, i will pray for security of women of the muslim faith who must cover their faces....and so on. 

"you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what i now being done, the saving of many lives" --genesis 50:20