Tag Archives: beautiful

Make Your Own Beautiful

IMAG0790I hope I’ve learned a thing or two from this season of my life.  I sure wouldn’t want to repeat it.

When things are dark and ugly sometimes we have to dig deep to find the good.  Sometimes we instantly see it but more often than not we must wait.

One of the most recent lessons is becoming so precious to me. I looked for blessings and kind of expect people to make an ugly time in my life more palatable and easier to swallow.  (Is that you I hear laughing?) I didn’t realize it at first but now I see that in addition to very tough circumstances, my disappointment worked extremely hard to make me discontented.  Then I got it.

Sometimes it’s got to be just you and God.  No one else.  No resources.  No explanations.  No Band-Aids.  Just you and Him.  I think He brought me to that place to allow me the choice to be content with Him and only Him. When everything and everyone I looked to, to make me feel more secure and content – job, home, stuff, car, people, etc,…vanished,  “Barbie, will I be enough?”  was the reverberating question on my heart.

When life gets ugly that’s where the rubber meets the road. We’re left with both decisions and changes to make.  When all you see is ugly, we can choose to make our own pretty.  Staying content in a troubling and discontented world is very hard work!  That’s when we learn to appreciate what we have and make the most of it.

I took some hand-me-down vases, some Salvation Army plates and paints I already had to make these.  I made my own beautiful.  So many stories and devotionals…so many personal lessons from God have come through the process of making them.

Trust God through the process.  That’s what I’m learning.  Trust He’s making something beautiful in you and most often when He’s through with that part, what you’ve been through will serve at least two purposes:  1) to teach you something and, 2) to bless someone else!  In the meantime, work with Him to create your own beautiful.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”   Ephesians 2:10

 

 

 

Advertisements

Not Good Enough

IMAG0767

Here is a picture of the designs I’ve made that are faulty in some way…at least to my eye.  I don’t feel they’re good enough to be put on something to go out to the public so instead of throwing them away I stuck them on my bedroom window.  Look how beautiful they are! I love it when light shines through that window and they pop.  Makes me smile every time!  Although I can look at each one of them and see my mistakes, they’re still beautiful.

Nobody is flawless.  Unfortunately, we make mistakes, we hurt those closest to us.  We have all kinds of scars and misconceptions about ourselves. If we let our imperfections take over; if we allow to believe the ugly things said about us (and those we say about ourselves) we can start to believe we’re of no good use, unlovable and unforgivable.

When I was little, I totally believed what I overheard some family members telling each other about me: “She’s not worth anything; she’ll never amount to anything” and for a long time I lived like I believed that, to the point of contemplating suicide.

At some point, we all – no matter what vile things we’ve done or how deeply we’ve been hurt – have to decide who we will believe and decide what kind of person we’ll be.  We all have a past; we all have regrets and wishes for better decisions and choices.  The good news is, all of it can be used for good. We ARE good enough – good enough for God to love, heal, cherish, and make us in to who He designed us to be in the first place.

Just like these “mess-ups” I put on the window, I could have thrown them away.  Instead I chose to repurpose them and look at the difference they make on an ordinary window!  The same is true for us.  You never know how God will use what we’ve been through, the pain we’ve suffered and the mistakes we’ve made unless we own up to them, ask forgiveness and choose to believe He can make us better than we were yesterday. With His touch, the possibilities are endless.

Not good enough?  Every time I feel that way, I’m going to look at this window.  Beautiful.  And very good!

“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”  Genesis 1:31a

Ultimate Makeover

IMAG0720A friend brought me a box full of vases his mother was going to throw away. Before the storm (as I like to call it), I loved to paint glassware and decided it was time to get back in to doing what I really enjoyed. From what they considered as trash – although not perfect – I created some things I think are quite beautiful. Of course, I’m the creator of these pieces and although I can look and see every single mess-up and flaw, every imperfection, I’m proud of my accomplishment.  I think they’re beautiful.

Wow.

If that isn’t a picture of God and what He does for us, I don’t know what is.  As I look at these vases, I’m reduced to tears.  Isn’t that what God has done for us?

He takes “vessels” – plain, ordinary, used up perhaps and considered of no use and not only rescues us from being completely trashed and shattered, He makes something brand new out of us.  If we allow Him to create in and through us, as He “paints” we become new; our hearts and minds are mended to the point that we sometimes don’t resemble at all what (and who) we started out to be!  What He creates, heals, restores and blesses, He cherishes and takes great pride in.  Why wouldn’t He?  As he intricately works at mixing, healing, restoring and creating us from the inside out, He begins to see who He created us to be:  His Son’s image.

He knows every imperfection yet He loves us.  He doesn’t discard us, just the opposite. He insists every bit of who we are what we’ve been through is working for both our good and His glory.  Only the Master Painter can do that.  Because of those truths if we choose to believe, we’ll give Him “creative freedom” and ask Him to touch everything of who we are.  Somehow what was so bland and broken becomes His masterpiece.

I painted those old vases because I imagined what they could look like. I wanted to make them into something beautiful that could be used to brighten and bless someone.  That’s what God wants to do with us.  Will we let Him?

“But now O LORD, You are our Father, we are the clay and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your Hand.”  Isaiah 64:8

What Faith Can Do.

I love to plant things especially from seed.  All those years working a garden with and for Dad brought me such pleasure.  It was so much fun working and preparing the ground then planting the seeds and going out every day to see if there is any evidence of anything coming up.

purple trumpetYears ago my aunt got me angel trumpet seeds that I never planted.  Actually forgot about them until I recently found them. I thought about throwing them away but I pulled several out and soaked them for a couple of days, prayed over them then stuck them in an old flower pot.  The picture you see is the result; I wish you could see it live.  It’s the most beautiful color – no one (including me) had ever seen a purple angel trumpet.

Think what I would have missed had I thrown the seeds away!  This is just one plant and one bloom – I have six plants growing from those old seeds and next year I won’t be able to stand the beauty!!

That’s what faith does, friends.  As old as the seeds were it really made no sense to plant them (I didn’t think) but I showed a little faith – a little what-do-i-have-to lose and look at the result.  Sometimes we just don’t have anything but faith to go on and just say, “why not, what do I have to lose” and stick those seeds in the ground. The result may just surprise you!

Have a little tiny seed of faith today.  When we do, God promises to bless the effort.  We may not see the results today but keep looking and anticipating that we will, and we will! We’ll be glad we did!

Whatchamacallit

Go look in the mirror – well, wait until after you read this.  😉 You are stunning.  So beautiful and strong.  Look at that smile.  Never mind the creases and wrinkles.  Actually, take them in as well. They’re signs of the things you’ve weathered.  Cancer.  Death of loved ones.  Loss of material things, jobs, raising kids.  Whatever.   Think about all you’ve been through; all God has brought you through.  You’re still on your feet.  You still have the ability and more importantly the want to, to smile.  You still are good and do good things.  You’re still capable of love and blessing other people.  You still dole out compassion generously. You still believe.  You obviously still have hope because you’re doing today what you did yesterday:  living!

Whatever you’ve been through – your whatchamacallit – hasn’t killed you.  Has it changed you?  Are you living or just existing?  Are you deeply wounded from it all?  If you are, now that you’ve survived it, God can heal you.  Are you bitter? He can heal you.  Are you physically and emotionally distorted?  He can heal you.

Sometimes we choose after something life-changing to not remember but I’d encourage you to take a brief look back.  Recall the things you were absolutely terrified and/or brokenhearted about; the things you couldn’t see any way out of and yet, here you are.  Amazing.

Don’t believe God is still in the miracle business?  Look in the mirror.  There it is, His greatest accomplishment. Physical proof He is still very much in the miracle business.  You can still smile, love and most important of all, believe.  If you can do nothing but cry, your tears are evidence that He’s working on you, creating His masterpiece miracle because, after all of it, you still feel.

Whatchamacallits will always be until we’re in heaven.  As long as you keep seeking Him, trusting Him that’s He’s with you through it all, no matter what, anything is possible.  Rock on mighty and beautiful warrior.  You got this, He’s got you and you’ve got Him.

Hebrews 11:1…GENESIS 50:20!!!!

The Other Side of Beautiful.

I live in a cabin that’s almost 240 years old. Oh if the walls could talk. Andrew Jackson has stood in my living room in front of this fireplace; it’s been said Daniel Boone walked across the front yard. There is all kinds of history on this property.

The cabin has (what I call) character and is a story within itself. Some look at it and see its faults and everything that needs to be fixed but I see the beautiful. It does need work and on the side where nobody can see the beginnings of renovation is taking place. From the visible side, it looks much better.

The side you can’t see shows what it’s been through. If you choose to see that side, you have to walk around to where you can. Nobody sees it unless they make the effort to see it.

We’re much like this historical cabin. We all have a side we don’t show (or try not to) to the world. We choose to let others see our beautiful, our socially acceptable, try-to-fit-in-and-be-good self; the everything-is-fine-and-I-love-life self. The majority only care about that side of us; few ever venture “around the house” to see the other less exposed side, the self we work so hard to hide.

If you’ve lived a few years, you’ve weathered some storms and if others look close enough, they can see it. You’ve been hurt, wounded, made some mistakes and have the scars and marks to prove it. Everyone has another side of beautiful. Everyone. Everyone has a side they don’t really want others to see. Some, though, can’t help but show it. They’re the ones we see on the streets with no place to call home, no resources and no people supporting them. We try not to look because we want to see beautiful; we want someone else to help them. Those closest to you – just like you – have a side that is less than beautiful. We all have a side we would just as soon not show.

Look at them the next time you can. LOOK at the people with you in the checkout line at the store. LOOK at them and pray for them. Ask God for opportunities to smile at them and look them in the eye and ways to help. They’re beautiful too! Others you’re exposed to have deep places and fears they don’t share with anyone. They may need a positive, encouraging word or smile to let them know they’re not alone and they are loved, ugly and all.

God loves us despite of and IN spite of our ugly. He KNOWS our other side of beautiful and has chosen to love us anyway! He wants to touch our ugly and heal us. He wants to do a major renovation in us and He will if we let him. He will even use our other side to encourage someone else if we’ll let Him.

The next time you’re seeing beautiful in others and places think about what you don’t see. Be thankful for the beautiful and pray God is allowed to touch the other side and make it beautiful too.