Browsing Tag:

beauty

earth and heaven

Posted in inspiration

O Lord, I live here as a fish in a vessel of water,
only enough to keep me alive, but in heaven I shall swim in the ocean.

Here I have a little air in me to keep me breathing, but there I shall have sweet and fresh gales;
Here I have a beam of sun to lighten my darkness, a warm ray to keep me from freezing;
yonder shall I live in light and warmth forever,

My natural desires are corrupt and misguided, and it is Thy mercy to destroy them;
My spiritual longings are of Thy planting, and Thou will water and increase them;

Quicken my hunger and thirst after the Realm Above.

Here I can have the world, There I shall have Thee in Christ;

Here is a life of longing and prayer, There is assurance without suspicion, asking without refusal;

Here are gross comforts, more burden than benefit,
There is joy without sorrow, comfort without suffering, love with inconstancy, rest without weariness.

Give me to know that Heaven is all love, where the eye affects the heart,
and the continual viewing of Thy beauty keeps the soul in continual transports of delight.

Give me to know that Heaven is all peace, where error, pride, rebellion, passion raise no head.

Give me to know that Heaven is all joy, the end of believing, fasting, praying, mourning, humbling, watching, fearing, repining;
And lead me to it soon.

— Valley of Vision

 


 

Alexander S. Kunz

If You Don’t Want To Be Lovely….

Posted in inspiration
(This one is close to home, friends. This comes from a heart triumphant from weary years of fighting perfectionism and a distorted self-image. I want you to read this as though we were sitting across from each other in rocking chairs or comfy couch. I want you to hear this as if I was a good friend, with a bear hug and lots of love.)

Question your value constantly.

Insecurity is unattractive. And it doesn’t feel good. Fight against the self-hatred, the discouragement. Fight against grumbling over what you aren’t and pride about what you are. If you want to lack in real beauty, never stand in your true identity. You are valuable. In Jesus we are fully known and always loved, exposed yet never rejected. Jesus declares his affection for us when we are at our very worst as well as at our very best. Is God the most important person in your life? If He is, you are treasured always. He has made you His own. Because of Jesus, everything that is true about Him is true about you in God’s eyes. You are valuable in a way that cannot be changed because you are His. 

“Start being brave about everything. Drive out darkness and spread light. Don’t look at your weaknesses. Realize instead that in Christ crucified you can do everything.” St. Catherine of Siena

See strangers and even friends as competition.

You’ve heard the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, there’s no room for contentment. If there is no contentment, there’s hardly a chance for strong beauty. If you don’t want to be lovely, in appearance or attitude, see your peers as threats. Your beauty is not supposed to be the same as someone else’s.

God designed us for supporting and connecting and cheering, not competing. Please know that someone else’s success and beauty and growth doesn’t have the power to diminish your own.

“Our riches are the kind that free us from having to be affluent or thin, or intelligent or networked or famous or anything else that the world says we must be in order to matter. Our riches are the kind that assure and reassure us that we have nothing left to hide, nothing left to fear, and nothing left to prove. Because Jesus took on himself the full freight of our shame, we are no longer under pressure to exhaust ourselves with endless and futile efforts to make something of ourselves. We now have an inner resource that can liberate us from preoccupation with self. We now have an inner resource than frees us to treat all people as our equals. We now have an inner resource that endearingly and compellingly invites us to join God in his mission to love.” Scott Sauls

Build life around your external appearance.

You are not your physical features. Be a woman of substance — physical beauty is continually fading. Your physical features can do little to genuinely help someone or the world, but your heart, soul, and your mind? With the Spirit of God in you, you can do incredible things. Build your life around strengthening your inner person.

“When God and His glory are made our end, we shall find a silent likeness pass in upon us; the beauty of God will, by degrees, enter upon our soul.” Stephen Charnock

Put your worth into bubbles that burst.

A sure way to lose your true beauty is to build your life on shifting sand: talents, looks, accomplishments and possessions. These things are temporary, and can change at any moment. Real beauty transcends time. If you seek your worth in anything but God and His unchanging love and pursuit of you, you will be up and down constantly. If you anchor your worth to being well-read, handsome or pretty, wealthy, funny, smart, or even religious, instead of in the smile of God over you, those things will eventually destroy what’s truly good in your life. You’ll be unsteady, probably a little miserable, and easily discouraged. God created you for more.

“Get alone with God and preach His Word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.” John Piper

I needed a new reason to exercise…

Posted in faith, wellness

… so I asked God for help.

I’m trying to include Him in even my small decisions, instead of just running to Him when I faltering under the weight of something big. So I prayed, “God, please show me why I should exercise, give me a fresh perspective, renewed desire for something I know is beneficial to my well-being.”

If you know me at all, you know that I have been an athlete for many years. Starting in 6th grade, I played many sports, exercised for fun on the weekends, trained competitively in college, and simply like to be active. Getting up in the morning for a run or spin class or ab workout has never been a second thought. It was simply my default, it was what I did.

Until this season of life. I began a new job that I enjoy, gearing up for a busy Fall complete with more responsibilities and commitments — all good things. Also, for the first time in a long time, I am truly, entirely content in my body. I’m eating well and freely, I look in the mirror and feel good, if I’m being candid. A gift from God, especially considering my past battles with body image and perfection. Freedom, beauty, confidence – who I am in Christ.

Praise the Lord, right? Yes, yes, yes. Praise Him.

I then realized something interesting. Up went finding my true, lasting contentment and identity in Jesus, prioritizing Kingdom efforts over my vain work… down went my motivation to exercise.

What used to drive me — up at 6am for a long summertime run, getting home late from an after-work spin class — was my insatiable discontent with my body. I was in the mindset that intense, regular exercise was necessary for me to feel okay with myself, for me to eat certain foods, for me to meet the expectations of those around me. I was fearful of losing momentum, not being I was afraid I’d gain a pound of two, but because my mindset was that how I currently am is not good enough, I need to be different than what I am right now.

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