January 1, 2013

contentment & a beauty revolution

IMG_1581
happy 2013 friends! i pray the Lord gives you much grace for the days ahead. 
------------
today, as we start a new season, & many say "a fresh start", i wanted to write about something that has become a huge sin in my own heart & in many women around the world. with our current technology of iphones, blogs, twitter, facebook, instagram... the list goes on, it is SO easy to be discontent with what our Father has so graciously blessed us with & the seasons He has us in in life. as we scroll through our instagram feeds we see pictures of cute-dressed-kids, mommies that look all put together & homes that are decorated adorably. those things in themselves are not bad things, but how our hearts respond to them can be sinful. we start to envy every person we follow. we wish we could travel as much as they do. we want to have cute outfits, pictures on the walls, hipster messy hair. we want to blog like they do. we want to own the latest cameras & gadgets to help us "look" cool to the world. we envy. oh but we are sinful & yet we are children of God! He has given us much to rejoice in! may our hearts be content in Him alone. 

"my soul will be satisfied as with fat & rich food, 
& my mouth will praise you with joyful lips." psalm 63:5

it's too often that we get caught up in everyone else's lives rather than being present in our own. maybe because of hurt, sadness, loneliness, maybe we're not being satisfied in our Father & so we want to avoid the way our lives make us feel? maybe it's uncomfortable, so it's easier to sit in a room full of strangers/friends/family & scroll through pictures of faces & homes we don't even know, to read emails, to read a blog or catch up on facebook. we're missing moments. we're missing life by longing to live someone else's. we've been given much, let's live in the present moment with the ones we love & the ones we don't know yet. let's talk. let's put our phones down & look at them later. let's be honest. my sweet friend adrienne wrote a post about a beauty revolution for darling magazine encouraging women to be real, honest & vulnerable. stop hiding. (hence the above photo of myself without makeup.) our Father made us who we are, perfectly & beautifully & to say "but i'm not good enough" or "i'm not beautiful" is to say our God's work isn't good. oh, but His work is perfect. all glory to the Lord for His beauties made in His likeness to bring glory to His name.

don't hide from what's uncomfortable.
be honest.
you're beautiful & perfect.
people need to know you.
you need to be known.
fellowship is rich among friends.
honor Him in your imperfections & sins.
He is a wonderful Creator & Sustainer.

"see what kind of love the Father has given to us, 
that we should be called children of God; & so we are."
1 john 3:1
al

13 comments:

Becca Swan said...

Thank you for the truthful, encouraging, thought-provoking words, Al.
You are beautiful inside and out!
May God continue to bless your sweet family in this new year. :)

noelle said...

These are true, deep truths and I'm guilty of them, thank you for the reminder we all need! Cheers to a wonderful new year!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that post. It made me think about a lot of things. And Gods word made me feel beautiful. Thank you for the wonderful gift of your words. My prayer is that God will bless your family with love and friendship this year!
Alita

Bella said...

Hey! I have nominated you for The Liebster Award! To find out exactly what that is go here: http://iisabellaanne.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-liebster-award.html
I hope you'll join in the fun and fill it out!
God bless!
Bella

naninana noni said...

Oh wow. that`s it. Thank you for these words. These thoughts are moving in my mind quite a long time now and you just wrote them down:)!
This is real powerful.
If we are content with what we have, and discover all it`s blessings, the things written on blogs will be real and will set others free. There is much blessing inside each of us. Everybody has to give a whole lot, but we only will discover it, if we don``t spent time on envying, don`t put pressure on ourselves to live anybody else`s life, but enjoy just being us, maybe vulnarable but real. So thank you so much for these words.(sorry for my stummering English, I am German...) Be blessed!xxxnoni

Cait said...

Thank you so much for all of your posts, the thoughts you share and encouragement from scripture and experience. I've been reading for a few months and have been so thankful and built up each time even though I've never commented. Thank you for pointing a struggling young mother to Jesus and away from herself!

Wendy said...

This kept popping out on the newsfeed and am glad I read it. You make some very good points. I was also provoked to think about another side of this. Aside from the ones spending their time envying the lives of others are those that spend so much time focusing on the way their lives are presented electronically, that they are also neglecting to truly soak in some of life's greatest moments. I recall a time when my son was baptized and I wanted to capture the momment on camera for family and friends that could not be present. That in itself is not bad, but my overfocus on it left me heartbroken. I had some camera trouble and in those moments of fumbling trying to get the camera working properly, I missed the moment. Sometimes we want so badly to get that perfect photo for our friends, loved ones and even strangers, but in that effort, we miss the opportunity to be in a moment ouselves. In trying to create a moment for film, we may miss the moment for our own actual memories. As important as the baptism may have been for those I wished to share it with, it could not have matched my own excitement. As for social media, can we become guilty of trying to make our life and story appear more interesting quietly hoping for some of the admiration that can consume others? I also think of the young girls and women I see constantly posing for the camera. It is so sad to see how far some will go to get the attention of the onlooker. It breaks my heart and now that I have a daughter, I have tried to be more thoughful about this topic. This not onlt plagues young women, of course, but we know women grapple with, "How can I look more interesting?" or "Attractive?" etc. It is destructive. I really just wanted to add that while we can miss a moment in our own lives thumbing through the pages of another's life story, we can also miss moments trying to create or tell our own story perhaps quietly hoping for admiration over our lives that we should not desire. This problem can present itself on both sides of the camera. Good post.

Jacci in Ohio said...

Beautiful. You know... I have been wrestling within myself with this coming class. I am excited about it, but - honestly - a little confused by unexpected feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. And the class hasn't even started! I need the grace of God to just "be me" and all me in the face of gorgeous mamas, hip tattoos, and amazing photography skills. I don't want comparison to steal my joy, and I don't want to put up some front about who I really am.

Such a good post. A needed post. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Our Green Nest said...

This is so inspiring and thought-provoking. I find your blog to be such an honest look at your life, and I think it's quite beautiful.

I love - "honor Him in your imperfections & sins"...

Have a blessed start to your week!

Alely said...

that right there is "truth"! thanks for sharing your heart!

Becky [Apples of Gold] said...

This is SUCH a beautiful post FILLED to the brim with truth! I totally agree with everything you've said. And, unfortunately, I can relate with everything you've said.. it's so easy to get caught up in that envy cycle despite KNOWING without a shadow of a doubt that God has given me all I need, and I can find total contentment and satisfaction in Him. This is something I've been working on lately and this post was very encouraging. Thanks for sharing your heart! And by the way, you're gorgeous without makeup! (New follower via KateandKuby!)

allison barker said...

thank you beautiful ladies.
i appreciate your words a lot!!!
al

Kiki said...

I am seriously in love with all your posts, they're always so beautifully written! I really love your thoughts on beauty and remembering that we're God's creation and He created us for a purpose, too. That's something that's really been on my heart lately. Thank you for inspiring me to write boldly and fearfully! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...