Unspoken Beauty.

I’ve been wishing for the last several weeks for fall weather. It is my favorite season, and with our very hot summer I was just really ready for it to be here. So, with today being in the mid-seventies with a nice breeze, it didn’t take much to convince myself to go out for a short walk around my neighborhood.

So, I strapped on my tennis shoes, popped my headphones in, and I was off!

Once I got settled into a nice pace, I began to pray. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and I was letting the Lord know all about it. My worries, my struggles, my anxieties…all of it. After a couple of minutes of listing it all off, I stopped and said…

“Lord, speak to me.”

I continued walking and a few seconds later I heard my answer…

“Look around. I’m screaming at you.”

Talk about a slap to the face!

So many times do I get so overwhelmed by my problems that I miss everything around me. Everything that God is trying to show me.

So, I began to look around. There is so much unspoken beauty out there. God speaks to us in a way that doesn’t even need words. How amazing is that!

As silly as it sounds, all I have to do is look at a tree and instantly know just how much God loves me. Think about it. God created the tree. He knows everything about it. He knows how tall it is. He knows how many branches it has. He knows how many roots it has. He even knows how many intricate little leaves it contains. If he knows all that about a tree…how much more does He know about me?

Isn’t that just amazing?!

Life is hard. Trust me I know. But God knows all. He has went before us and He has claimed victory!

We may not get it right now. We may be wondering how much more pain must I go through? How much longer do I have to wait for what you have promised? Why is this certain thing happening? What did I do wrong?

These questions will drive you crazy. You will constantly be in worry and anxiety…and it’s not easy to get out of. BUT…if you take the time to stop, look around and acknowledge the unspoken beauty God has placed around you…you will be given a great peace. A remembrance that He knows all, and He sees all, and He hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t left you.

He’s there, silently screaming at you.

 

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. 

-Mathew 6:30-33

 

-Rachel

True Love.

Let’s take a moment and just think about the media that affects our opinions, our expectations, and ultimately our lives. In this society we have so much access to so many different types of media. Think about your favorite TV shows, movies, books. What do they have in common?

Speaking from a typical female perspective, I enjoy media that has a love story. I am a sucker for those romantic comedies, and I’ve read more Nicholas Sparks books than I care to admit. You may be thinking, okay, what’s your point? They are just movies and books, they aren’t real, how can they affect me?

Well, we may recognize that the stories aren’t real and the characters aren’t real, but we still let them affect us in a real way, sometimes without even thinking about it.

As we watch and read these stories we begin to place these expectations on our lives. We wonder when our (insert lead male character name here) is going to come and sweep us off our feet and take us to live happily ever after. We have these expectations, and then we are let down when they don’t happen. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to us.

But, here’s the truth.

We are waiting for our prince charming to come riding in on a valiant steed, when He already has. Jesus is our prince. He came and blew all of our expectations out of the water. He showed us what true love really is.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4: 8-10

Agape.

Agape love is the ultimate form of love. It is the love shown to us by God. It is an unconditional love. It is a love that looks past all of our sins, all of our mistakes, and all of the things we think make us unlovable. We are loved by this love. It is the true love that we so desperately search for on this earth. But we won’t find it in anyone else BUT GOD.

This love was shown by the truest form of sacrifice when Jesus was nailed to the cross for our sins. Even though we do so much to not deserve His love, He gives it to us anyway through grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion…I could go on and on.

We are so desperate to find that one person to love us for the rest of our life here on earth that we neglect to remember that we already have the One who will love us for the rest of ETERNITY.

I encourage you in this truth. The next time you wonder why you are single. The next time you question what is wrong with you. The next time the world around you pressures you about your singleness.

Remember, you are loved by the highest to the highest.

 

DSC_0157 (2)

-Rachel

Who’s In Control?

I’ve always been aware of my control problem. It’s something I struggle with everyday. I’m a planner…which isn’t always a bad thing…but in this case it is. I always want to know the plan. I don’t like unexpected curve balls thrown my way. I like to be prepared, and well that never really is the case.

God has the plan and I have to accept that. His timing is perfect, even though I’m always begging Him to just let me know what’s next. My biggest fear is the fear of the unknown. I don’t like not knowing what’s next in my life. Especially now, as I’m approaching graduation. But I know God has me. He provides.

Like I said, I know I have a control problem, but I didn’t realize to what extent until the other day when God revealed something to me. 

Do you ever have those moments when you feel like God slaps you in the face? Now, this is a good slap. It’s like wow how have I not realized this?

Well that’s what happened to me. While we are sharing struggles, let me confess another. I care too much about what people think of me. I rely on them too much, to the point that they let me down.

Side note: something I say a lot is…people will ALWAYS fail us. It’s not their fault. It’s the way we all are. But in those moments God is always there. He never fails us. Which shows just how much we need to rely on Him and not others.

So, a few weeks back I had a real bad week. People just kept failing me and I was really upset. I was sitting alone in my room and I began to pray. It was then that God revealed to me, just how bad my control problem was.

Not only was I taking the control away from God for myself, but I was giving it away to the people who fail me. I was giving them control over my feelings. I was letting the stupid things they said and did affect me in a way that seriously hurt me. 

But, that’s okay. You want to know why? I bet you already know. Yep, that’s right. God had a plan!

He takes our hurt. Our mistakes. Or temptations. Our trials. Even our sin…and He transforms them into something that brings Him glory. Even though I was hurt, I’m stronger now because of it. 

He always has a way. Even when it feels like there is no hope, no point, no return…He has a plan! 

And even when we think we have control, we don’t. He has us in the palm of His hand. 

“But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:10-11‬ 

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.”

John 10:27-29


Rachel 

Beautiful Becoming

Beauty.

As a woman this word means a lot. It is something we all strive to feel. We want that compliment. We want others to recognize the beauty we desperately try to achieve each day.

If you google the definition of beauty it will give you something along the lines of…a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. 

To me, that sounds like a lot of pressure to match up to. You have to be the right shape, the right color, and the right form to please those around you. And not just once, but always. Do you know how exhausting that would become? You would have to dedicate your life to exercise and counting calories. You would have to keep that perfect, golden tan year round. You would have to wake up to the same routine of stressing over your hair so that it lays perfectly around your face…which would be covered in an even foundation and glossed over with the right amount of eyeliner, and mascara. Everything perfectly in place. Nothing smudged or wrinkled. How utterly exhausting that sounds!

Also, how impossible! 

Beauty fades. Its the truth. Wrinkles come. Color fades. Shapes are deformed. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t be beautiful.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31: 30

To be beautiful is to be full of beauty. In order to be full of something, it has to happen on the inside. Think of a glass of water. In order for the glass to be full, the water must be inside of the glass.

Now, this beauty isn’t the googled version. I’m not saying your organs have to be a certain shape, color, and form. No, this beauty comes from your heart and spirit. And we get this definition from scripture.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4

This beauty comes from God. He has made you and is continuing to mold you into the person you are. Now, you may say. No way. God doesn’t think I am beautiful. I have done too much. You don’t know my life.

Oh, but I do. I may not personally know all of your struggles. But I know mine and I used to be in that position. Where I thought, nope, this was the last straw. He can’t possibly still love me. I’ve done too many ugly, awful things to ever be beautiful in His eyes.

Grace.

Such a gift He has given us. He sacrificed His only son, to come to this earth, to live as flesh, to die as flesh, but to rise again. Because Jesus came and died for our sins we are able to be BEAUTIFUL. Those ugly things that you think could never allow beauty to shine through you have been forgiven, because of Jesus.

But we must not waste this gift.

God has called us to be a beautiful becoming. 

Becoming is a process of coming to be something. To become is to grow to be. We must constantly be becoming to God. We must be growing and seeking God.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27

We have been made in the image of God. He has made us beautiful from the very beginning. I pray that you put that beauty to action. That you seek Him, digging into His Word. That you pray continuously to be in His ways and that His will be done in your life. That you carry His word to others and give them the hope that comes with His love.

Lastly, I pray that you see that you are a beautiful becoming.

 

-Rachel