"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . ." Wm Shakespeare

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How Poorly We Love

In the book 66 Love Letters, Isaiah, we read """ No matter what is happening to you, your worst problem is in you. And that problem is not how badly you feel, it is how poorly you love".

It just never made sense to me until about an hour ago.

A situation happened in my life that made me angry, so angry you may not have recognized me if you saw me. Certainly my daughter heard about it all as I vented my anger to her. When I hung up the phone, well, even before I hung up the phone I knew I needed to forgive the person who angered me so much. That is when God showed me I had to 'choose' to love and that choosing required an action because we know love is a verb, an action verb.

Here is what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love. I know you know what it says, but read it and think about the action which is involved in each of these instances.

1 Cor. 13:4: Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant
5: love does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek its own (not selfish (me)), is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6: love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.
7: love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8: love never fails
Proverbs 10:12: Love covers all transgressions.
1 Peter 4:8: Love covers a multitude of sins.

So here I sit, realizing in this situation my biggest problem is how poorly I am loving. Now I have a choice to make. I have to take action. Will I wallow in my anger and steam and vent about it or repent of the anger, forgive the one who caused it and choose to love in spite of what happened. Help me Jesus!!

I think as well as having this posted on my desk at work, I need to print it off and post it in my room . . . . . . . .

Blessings to each of you as you try to love others as is pleasing to God.
Girl on a Journey

Friday, February 25, 2011

What Makes Me Feel Good About Me?

I was trimming my fingernails this evening and thought 'O how I would love a manicure'.
You know the feeling, the thoughts that go with doing those things we consider as pampering ourselves, right? Tonight I thought of a manicure because I'm tired and didn't want to be bothered! How's that for honesty??

But really, are these things the measure of what makes me feel feminine, what makes me feel special and loved? Is this, even in some small way, how I determine my worth as a female?

I've colored my hair because my natural color feels a bit like February on a cloudy day!! Besides which, grey hair can make some people look old(er).


I used to wear my hair long. Truth be told I've worn it long, short, medium, straight and curly. Just about every hair style going (not a mullet nor spiked) and no matter which style it is, someone loves it, someone doesn't, some think it makes me look classy while others think it makes me look old.

This all reminds me of that old saying, 'You can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time'. Well who said what I look like has to please anyone but God and me?

I don't wear makeup anymore but I used to. I was told by many I looked younger and prettier with a little makeup. I really cannot be bothered any more.

Whether my hair is grey, long, short, curly or straight. Whether my finger and/or toenails are done here at home or done up by a professional. Whether I wear makeup or leave my face as it was created, it really has no bearing on how I feel about myself, or it shouldn't anyway.

How I look to others doesn't matter so much anymore. I really don't care. I need to feel good about myself on my terms / God's terms. And the older I get, the simpler I want my life to be. I don't want to base my opinion of how I feel about my femininity based upon such superficial things as makeup, hair color and such things.

Romans 12:2: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . . "

The Greek meaning of the word conform: to conform one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to anothers pattern, (fashion one's self according to)

So, as I see it, decorating myself to feel feminine and good about me, is conforming and is the wrong way to go about feeling good about me. Where did I get the idea from anyway? I don't think from God's word, I think from living in the world, I think the world has influenced me rather than the other way around. And, up till now I had no idea just how entrenched the worlds standards for beauty has influenced me. Kinda makes me sad. In 1 Cor. 10:5 we are told to "take every thought captive", stack up what we hear in this world against the truth of God's word. This applies to everything we hear, but also for the world view of what feminine beauty is and what it looks like.

1 Cor. 6:12 says: All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

This tells me these things are not evil in and of themselves, it's ok to have a manicure etc., but does it profit my soul, does it profit the parts of me that will spend eternity with God? What profit will come from decorating a body that will spend time in the ground, then be changed? Maybe I would have more 'profits' if I didn't spend what little cash I have on those things . . . . just sayin :)

I could go on, but you get it I'm sure. I need you to know I don't write this as a judgment or criticism on anyone who does any of the above. This is my personal journey which I'm sharing with you, this is what God is saying to me.

Rom 14:22 says: The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

I want to feel good about me in the way God knows is profitable to me, on the inside, knowing I live a life that is pleasing to Him.
From what I understand, it's all about balance in our beliefs about such things, not rigid legalism but coming out of our very personal relationship with God.

Bottom line is this: My outer looks change all the time. I want to be beautiful in character, that part of me that counts. The rest is going 6 feet under!!

Blessings, be at peace with your own conviction before God. I am becoming more so every day.

Journey Girl

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What makes me feel good about Me?

I was trimming my fingernails this evening and thought 'O how I would love a manicure'.
You know the feeling, the thoughts that go with doing those things we consider as pampering ourselves, right? Tonight I thought of a manicure because I'm tired and didn't want to be bothered! How's that for honesty??

But really, are these things the measure of what makes me feel feminine, what makes me feel special and loved? Is this, even in some small way, how I determine my worth as a female?

I've colored my hair because my natural color feels a bit like February on a cloudy day!! Besides which, grey hair can make some people look old (er).

I used to wear my hair long. Truth be told I've worn it long, short, medium, straight and curly. Just about every hair style going (though not a mullet nor spiked) and no matter which style it is, someone loves it, someone doesn't, some think it makes me look classy while others think it makes me look old.

This all reminds me of that old saying, 'You can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time'. Well who said what I look like has to please anyone but God and me?

I don't wear makeup anymore, but I used to. I was told by many I looked younger and prettier with a little makeup. I really just cannot be bothered any more.

Whether my hair is grey, long, short, curly or straight. Whether my finger and/or toenails are done here at home or done up by a professional. Whether I wear makeup or leave my face as it was created, it really has no bearing on how I feel about myself, or it shouldn't anyway.

How I look to others doesn't matter so much anymore. I really don't care. I need to feel good about myself on my terms / God's terms. And the older I get, the simpler I want my life to be. I don't want to base my opinion of myself based upon such superficial things as makeup, hair color and such things.

I am told in the Bible to live in the world but not conform to it and as I see it, decorating myself in order to feel feminine and good about me, is conforming and is the wrong way to go about feeling good about me. Where did I get the idea from anyway? I don't think from God's word, I think from living in the world, I think the world has influenced me rather than the other way around.

1 Cor. 6:12: All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

This tells me I can do these things, it's ok, but does it profit my soul, does it profit the parts of me that will spend eternity with God. What profit will come from decorating a body that will spend time in the ground, then be changed? Maybe I would have more 'profits' if I didn't spend what little cash I have on those things :)


I could go on, but you get it I'm sure. I need you to know I don't write this as a judgment or criticism on anyone who does any of the above. This is my personal journey which I'm sharing with you, this is what God is saying to me.

Rom 14:22 says: The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

I want to feel good about me in the way God knows is profitable to me, on the inside, knowing I live a life that is pleasing to Him.

Bottom line is this: My outer looks change all the time. I want to be beautiful in character, that part of me that counts. The rest is going 6 feet under.

Blessings, be at peace with your own conviction before God. I am becoming more so every day.

Journey Girl













Thursday, February 17, 2011

That LOVE thing again

As the message of loving others in whatever state they are in goes deeper I realize more and more just how much I do not love, or how poorly I do love. Add to the affectionate, yet despicable term 'Scum' which I refer to myself at times the word Selfish and you may just begin to touch the surface.

You see, there is a person in my life that I utterly despise, (how's that for honesty??) But somehow, and I am clueless at this point to know how, God loves this person, same as He loves me . . . . willing to die on the Cross for this person, same as He did for me.

God/Jesus loves this person, God wants me to grow up and be like Jesus which means I am to love others as He loves. Busted!!! Because I don't.

Luke 6:32 says: "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them"

I am discovering the truth of this for my own life. It's easy to love those people who are kind, generous & giving, easy-going and who love me and treat me well. It's not easy to love those people whose behavior is so despicable and I just want to walk out of their lives and never see them again. But . . . .

What if God puts them in my life on purpose? I want to ask, "Seriously??? Are you kidding?" Is He mean, sadistic or playing with my life? Or . . . . could it be I will never learn to love unless He can show me how in the midst of such a trial? He created me so perhaps He can see the potential that's in me, add to that the Spirit of Grace (grace = the power of Christ to do God's will) and if I will stick with Him, stick out the situation I just may figure out how to love those who are not lovable, well from the world's perspective anyway.

And that's another thing . . . . I am not to conform to the world I live in but live life God's way. So the world would walk away from such people, they do all the time; bums on the street, bosses who don't deserve good employees, family who dis us, use us and walk away, friends and lovers who don't live as we expect or want them to . . . . we divorce, we cut and run or we give back the same as they have given to us.

Anyway, here I am in a position to learn how to love God's way. It's depressing, I cry and have in days past begged God to release me from this situation but not anymore. Now I beg God 'don't let me out of this until I learn to love the unlovely', otherwise I'm taking up air space!

So once again, here I am, hopefully learning more and more about loving God's way. I'm not sure where on the chart I am now. I'd love to know I'm a bit further along the road than the last blog on this subject I posted, but it sure doesn't feel like that at all!

I pray your journey is profitable to your character and you are somewhat comforted to know this Girl on a Journey shares the pain :)

Blessings


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I've tried, I really have . . . .

For the past few days I've tried writing what God is doing in my life via THE book, 66 Love Letters by Larry Crabb, but I'm getting caught at trying to write of something so big, so life-changing that I'm barely catching a glimpse of it myself. So, since writing about it is proving illusive, I will keep writing about it in my journal for now and wait for a better time.

This book has, as said before, turned my whole spiritual world upside down, but I've found a certain peace in this process. At the beginning it made me angry, it confused me and I wanted to quit the whole thing, in a word Christianity sucks big time. Nothing I see today is in the Bible, I'm not living the "abundant life" and I don't see too many of my fellow Christians living an abundant life either. Rather I see many living lives of self-protection, self-fulfillment, or self-satisfying. I see so many living with this fear or that fear and no one is really very happy or filled with that joy we should have.

But, there was this growing sense of hope deep inside which kept me going in the book. Regardless of how I felt at the end of each chapter, I felt compelled to read the next, then the next and so on, till here I am now, reading in the new testament and oh, what I've learned! I get it now why we're not living that abundant life, we're doing it or living it on our terms, or living as the 'world' lives life. We are not living God's way at all, no wonder it doesn't satisfy!


Now being a Christ follower is an amazing adventure. I probably don't need to find those oh so important adventures for my life as in past days, living right here, going to work every day, doing the hum/drum of everyday life has become an adventure because I see things more God's way than my own way, and that of the world in general.

The changes of the past few months are amazing and I can finally see my purpose here on earth and THAT is worth the struggle I've gone through.

I understand a lot more of what Jesus meant with His parables. I understand what the apostle Paul was talking about . . . . simply put ~ I GET IT.

If God were not the kindest Person I ever knew, I would imagine Him saying, "Finally!!!" But that's not His way. What He is most likely saying is, "That's My Girl, you didn't quit, you persevered till you got it. I'm so proud of you". Well, that's my interpretation of, "well done My good and faithful Son".


Anyway, when I can write with more clarity than present thoughts permit, I will write of what is happening right now. Suffice it to say it's amazing, I'm amazed. I'm also scared and excited all at the same time, but it's good!

I hope you pursue God with all you have. Like I said, it's not easy but it's worth the struggle.

Blessings to each of you on your own Journey with God.
Girl on a Journey