Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Distorted self image

Does anyone besides me suffer from distorted feelings of self image from time to time?  Physically, that is.  I am not even close to being thin.  I am not beautiful by a long shot.  Most often in my case these feelings crop up when I think about my relationships with others.  Especially when I try to make excuses to myself of why I think people might or might not like me.  I struggle with these feelings, they are not new to me. 

Last night I started reading Stand-in Groom (Brides of Bonneterre, Book 1) by Kaye Dacus (Christian romance).  During the first few chapters the main character, a woman in her mid thirties, makes excuses to herself as to why she does not have a date.  She feels that men will not like her for who she is because her physical appearance is not good enough.  She perceives herself as too large and too tall, not the perfect size.  However, the "hero" of the story thinks she is beautiful!  Isn't it interesting that the way we see ourselves is so often not the way we are seen by others?

I am reminded of Samuel in the Bible who was told by God to anoint one of Jesse's sons as the new king of Israel.  Samuel wanted to anoint the firstborn son and when God said "no" he went down the line until there were no sons left -- but the youngest -- who was out herding sheep.  I Sam. 16:7 says "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for (the LORD seeth) not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 

I need to listen to what God told Samuel.  Just think.  Someone loved me enough just as I am, sin and all,that He died for me.  John 3:16!  Guess I should revise my view of my value, change my self image and look at myself (and others!) through His eyes and not mine.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What is your greatest treasure?

What is the greatest treasure that I have? Is it physical things like jewelry? I went through a phase of attending and hosting jewelry parties. Of course, if you go to one of these parties, you almost feel obligated to make a purchase for your friend, so she can earn prizes. And if you host one of these parties, more than likely you are going to make a purchase, plus hopefully win a lot of prizes! I ended up with a great deal of jewelry which I hardly wear anymore. So it might have been a treasure at one point, but not so much anymore.

What about my home? When I first moved in I was in awe. I finally had a home of my own. I really enjoyed having a house and taking care of it. I planted wonderful flower beds full of roses and perenials, with brick edged borders. There is even an arbor that holds a swing under one of the shade trees, with paving stones as the floor. I spread out family treasures such as the quilt made by my great grandmother. Now the newness has worn off, and even though I am still very grateful for where I live and for what I have, I don't think my home is my treasure anymore.

What about my relationships with friends and family? I was married for thirteen years. I had a son who died before we could take him home from the hospital. Even though I look at his photo and take out his baby blanket, the pain is nowhere near as bad as it was at the beginning. I prayed as Hannah did for Samuel, asking God to bless me with another son. God sent me two more sons, both of whom are now teenagers. One of those sons accepted Christ at vacation Bible school when he was four or five. The other did the same when he was about ten. Both of their salvations caused me great joy and relief! Are my sons my greatest treasure? Sometimes I wonder... What about my parents, my brothers and sister and their families, my grandparents (that's my graddad in the picture, witnessing to a homeless man at a mission)? Although I love to spend time with my family, I don't know if I would call them my greatest treasure, either.

How about my relationship with Christ? Is that it? It should be! The Bible says in Matthew 6:19-21 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

I have a long way to go, and it seems that my earthly treasures change from day to day. I know I need to do my best to let my greatest treasure be my relationship with Christ and what I do to serve Him.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Losing control, when I never really had it

About three weeks ago during my personal quiet time I was convicted to trust God. Sure, I trust God, but God was asking me to trust Him more. The song "I Surrender All" had been rolling around through my head -- oh, my...I decided to trust, not knowing what was going to be happening in the upcoming weeks.
As it turns out, the very next day I was required to trust. Of course it was in an area that I had been handling "by myself." I was upset and had to tell everyone about it, and I had to lament that I didn't know how "I" was going to handle the situation. By that evening, I realized that "I" was not required to handle the sitation at all, God wanted me to trust him. That realization sort of knocked me flat!
Over the next couple of days I received two blessings I know were directly related to my trust. This past week I received a third, HUGE! Even though I was trusting God previously in this particular area, when God took me out of the equation and I still chose to trust, I received not only physical blessings, but blessings of the spirit as well.
"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus..."