Beauty – Trite & True

Beauty

[ byoo -tee ]
noun. plural: beau·ties.
the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

I’ve struggled with beauty my entire life. While I have always been able to find beauty in external sources (Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral, poinsettias in the winter, an elderly couple holding hands in the mall) I have never found it easy to find that beauty within myself. My previous post was on absolution primarily because I needed the reminder. When I have looked at myself, I saw my past, my wrongdoings, my shortcomings and failures. I used to grapple with insecurity that frequently came across as vanity.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

(Proverbs 31:30 NLT)

When I finally realized that the beauty I was so desperately searching for was just as fleeting as the moments when I truly felt it I was finally free to just be… me. Why pursue something so intangible and elusive that ultimately does not define you? While I do wear makeup and do my hair and nails (seriously, I’m still a girl ;)) I don’t look to external beauty for my confidence and opinion of myself any longer. I am developing my character, my integrity, my faith in God. These are the criteria I hope that my life will be measured by.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands.

(1 Peter 3:3-5 NLT)

 

Beauty, Black, Dark

A is for Absolution

Absolution

[ ab-s uh – loo -sh uh n ]
noun
act of absolving; a freeing from blame or guilt; release from consequences, obligations, or penalties.

While absolution is generally ascribed to the Catholic faith, it is a concept that can be applied well beyond. At one time or another we all need someone to forgive us, to extend mercy upon us or to just free us from a penalty of some kind. Absolution is necessary at many points in our lives. However, the most powerful form is when it is applied to yourself. Have you ever wronged someone and had them forgive you long before you actually got over it? Have you ever apologized and been forgiven just to keep dwelling on the harm you caused? We must learn the power in forgiveness. Guilt is an unnecessary burden, a weight shackled to you that does not create strength, but hinders your forward momentum. You must absolve yourself so you can truly experience freedom.

 

How does one accomplish absolution?

 

absolution

Ask for it: Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you (Psalms 25:18,21)

Give it:  If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)
Give it again: Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive. (Luke 17:4)

Remember when you received it: Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

 

 

Apr 1, 2013

Overcome The Mondays

Monday's

Today I most certainly woke up in an absolutely awful mood. I was instantly irritable and on the defensive. I did a quick mental checklist to try to identify the unruly culprit behind my terrible disposition. After a few minutes of prayer and introspection I discovered the root: ‘The Monday’s‘ had struck… hard. I normally suffer with a brief period of indescribable emotion Monday mornings that seem to completely envelop and overwhelm me. My husband has tried to help me understand that when I know a moment is fleeting, I possess the power to overcome that moment. The very fact that it is temporary is enough to squash any bad moment, mood, or mindset.
Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to Him for help, and saves him out of all his troubles. The Lord is close to those whose heart is breaking; He rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins. The good man does not escape all troubles – he has them, too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one. (Psalms 34:17-19)

Every day I must speak the word of God over my circumstances and watch them change. Troubles don’t last always. Don’t let a moment own you and don’t get stuck in negativity. I know it’s easy to wallow in self-pity and talk yourself even further into a funk, but you cannot let the enemy rob you of your joy. Regardless of your circumstance, you CAN overcome it. Jesus Christ came that you may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV). There is power in your thoughts. There is power in your words. Don’t steer into negativity. Rather you should flee from it. The next time you find yourself sulking just because it’s a Monday, remember this: It’s Monday, but it’s OK!

Monday

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