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How to Be Beautiful Via Meditation

17 Apr
Mirror

Mirror (Photo credit: Chapendra)

I follow a beauty regimen which involves moisturizer, eye cream, and now a primer to put under my foundation (something I couldn’t recommend highly enough), and more.  Day after day, I don’t miss the routine which keeps me looking young for my age.  But there are other mirrors I need to be looking in besides my makeup mirror:  a full-length mirror to remind me that I’m overweight and, chiefly, scriptures about how to be more like Jesus.  Specifically, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.

No matter how unwrinkled my skin is, what good is it if I’m impatient with grocery store checkers?  How lovely is it when I speak harshly to Logan, even if he has been a holy terror?  My hormone pills don’t control my irritability when life gets especially stressful, and you know that when momma’s not happy ain’t nobody happy.

In short, I’ve been an ugly lady for a while.  Yes, I’ve been in a bit of a pressure-cooker situation; but that’s no excuse.  All this time I could have gone through the exact same things with love and grace.  What’s been missing?  I haven’t been meditating on God’s Truth in an effective way.  I also haven’t been praying enough.

So yesterday I started out meditating on the love scriptures.  I want to tell you, it was like taking a powerful vitamin supplement!  I felt like a different person as my mind was not on myself all day.  My thoughts were on others, and love leaked out of me instead of tetchiness.

I think I’ll add something new to my makeup bag.  I’ll put these powerful scriptures in a frame or something and put them in front of me.  This way, I’ll erase my self-centeredness while I’m erasing signs of age.

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Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

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Saturday Night Romance With a Nun-Like Twist

1 Apr

Have you ever had a true love?  I think one of the best definitions of love is that when you’re with that person, you feel whole; and your insides are comfortable, like when you wear the clothes that both fit and flatter you. Being with the love of your life is unlike anything else, and it’s just the best.  Do you agree?

Well, I’ve just been spending a lovely Saturday night with the One who holds my heart in His hands.  God is a very real presence in the life of a person who seeks Him with their whole heart.  My day which started with a desperate prayer for guidance and motivation has been a joy because God gave me the grace to do what I lacked the energy or vision to do without Him.

As the day turned to night, I read some devotionals and drew even nearer to the Lord.  Meditating on the wonders of His creation always brings Him extra close.  In Streams in the Desert Book 2’s March 31 entry, Amy Carmichael’s story about a sun bird in a delicate nest surviving a monsoon fills me with awe.  This tender care with which God watches over all creatures is also extended to me and all who put their hope in Him.

Life on earth is sometimes like being in a series of treacherous storms.  And placing faith in things other than God leads only to heartache and disappointment.  But my eyes are on the Lord, and I know that no matter what storm may come, God is with me.  And simply being in His presence is just the best.

Song of Solomon 2:4-5

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem

He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with cakes of raisins,
Refresh me with apples,
For I am lovesick.

The True Test of Friendship: Help With Moving

23 Mar

My move is practically upon me, and all of the extra help fell through.  I’m a tad discouraged by this fact because of this new problem with my health, in that my hands in addition to my elbows hurt constantly.  I’m not just being whiny.  Tendonitis and debilitating arthritis combined would be a pain challenge for anyone.  But, anyway, I’ve lived long enough to know that anyone who makes the necessary sacrifice to help you move is usually a rare and fiercely loyal friend.  Now, help could still be forthcoming; the move hasn’t happened yet.

When the movers come, I’ve already decided that I’m going to allow the nature of Jesus Christ to shine through instead of my usual nervousness caused by some horrible moving experiences.  God is the one who provides for me, and my being upset and edgy about spending extra money on a move doesn’t help anything.  When I accomplish this goal, I will give all the glory to God because I think it’s impossible for me to do it myself.

Calm washes over me when I think about the fact that no matter what else happens with this move or in life, God is the most faithful friend.  He has never let me down, and I know that He never will.  He is Love; and I can trust that if anything bad has touched my life, He allowed it for a good purpose.  With God on my side, I’m never alone or without help.

Psalm 46:1

New King James Version (NKJV)

46 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

 

The Fog Lifted, and I’d Forgotten What Was There

14 Mar

Life has been clouded a bit by the pressure of challenging circumstances, which I know is typical of the human experience.  Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to just keep up with the day-to-day grind, I miss out on the good stuff.

Then suddenly God blesses me with a moment of grace, and I remember to just take a breath.  When I exhale, the fog is pushed away, and I see that God has given me opportunities to love. Being an expression of God’s love is more important than anything else I keep myself busy doing.

It’s past time for me to pray more.  A few years ago, I didn’t have the same level of responsibility; and I had the joy of reading spiritual volumes and the Bible and of worshipping to my heart’s content.  Now I have little people counting on me and Jesus as my only partner.  But I’ve been forgetting to communicate with the One who says He’ll be my husband and father and mother when I have none.

Frankly, it’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve been living in a fog and carrying around wrong attitudes that lead to impatience with others.  But I know I’m not the only person with these struggles.  I believe the blessing of this hole I’ve dug for myself is that I can share the victory God gives to me as I climb to high ground.

These are the faces of the little ones God is giving me the clear blessing of helping to raise.  They are what I see when the haze clears.  I pray that the fog will be a lot more intermittent than it has been of late.