Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …

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Dim Reflections

Have you ever seen a view that took your breath away? One where the vibrancy, clarity and beauty could not be accurately captured on your camera? I have a love/frustration relationship with those views. They frustrate me because I want to capture the scenery to preserve it, and I can’t. Yet there is something wildly appealing about the fact that they are too beautiful to be captured.

On the other hand, as much as I love raw vibrancy, I’m also a fan of different artistic filters on photos. Think Instagram. Therethankful is a unique beauty in the simplicity of dim filters creating an artistic look. While I love these filters in photos, when I read about looking at dim reflections in Scripture (1 Cor. 13), I think of it as a bad thing and a frustration. But is it always?

Tonight I had a long, much needed chat with one of my besties. Right now it seems that in parts of our lives that we can’t make out the view. Everything is dim and frustrating. I want the Lord to turn on the floodlights and instead He leads me to the dark window where the view is only lit by the dim moonlight shadowed even more by the obstruction of the glass.

I want to see Him clearly, and hear Him loudly. But in this desire do I miss Him in the beautiful dusk?

 There are those who claim that it is impossible to know what we are supposed to do, or who we are supposed to be. But the folks who say that tend to be living for a God who shouts, and completely miss the One who whispers.

But I side with Paul who wrote, “we see only a dim reflection, as through a glass, darkly. But one day we shall see face-to-face. And what we now know in part one day we shall know fully. But in the meantime, these three things Remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. And the greatest of these is Love.” -ending scene from the movie “Finding Normal”

The Father shouts in the vibrancy we cannot capture, and whispers in the dim reflections we can see. The greatest of all things is love, and do you know where it remains? In the dim reflections.

The point He has not left us in the dark. Love remains. And sometimes it’s the dim filters that create the most artistic beauty. For that I’m thankful.

31 DAYS OF (13)Living Fully Alive Today meant staying up late to talk to a dear friend and in doing so, my soul was refreshed. I may not know anymore about the parts of my life that do not make sense right now. I don’t have any more clarity of vision than I did before I talked with my friend. But as we discussed the quote above, the Lord reminded me of how His love remains in the dimness of my sight. His love is artistic, vibrant and beautiful, and it’s the dim reflection that creates the backdrop for His whispers.

“Dim Reflections” are apart of Today’s the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive, a 31 Days series. For more posts in this series please click here

P.S. –  Pomegrant Rasberry Tea was the flavor of this blog post, brought to you by my favorite mug.

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Beauty Is

“I challenge you to post five pictures of yourself that you feel beautiful in and then nominate friends to do the same”. As my facebook news feed fills with women posting their pictures and asking their friends to do the same – I want to ask each women the same question: Why?

“Why do you feel beautiful in the photos you chose?”

Beauty in the outward form is something that shifts and changes for each person based on individual taste and creative expression, yet it is something we all feel. More than an individual view of perfection or a circumstance, beauty is a state of being and a feeling.

Beauty is realizing what “is”. What we really have in that moment. Beauty is the recognition of reality (what is) and embracing that – whatever it looks like. Beauty is hair that is finally cooperating, or it is wind blown madness – each moment beauty is found by embracing the experience of what we hold in our hands. They only time we can experience or feel beauty is in the present moment. We can remember how beautiful we’ve felt in past moments, and we can hope for beauty in the future, but the only time we can experience the freedom of beauty and feeling ‘enough’ is in the present moment we are in.

Tweet: Beauty is the recognition of reality (what is) and embracing that @notunredeemed

Beauty is the recognition of reality (what is) and embracing that

I’ve dressed to the nines before and still wished for more and did not feel beautiful. I’ve also been 25 pounds heavier and walked with confidence and felt on top of the world. I love being and feeling beautiful because for me, beauty is a celebration of what the Lord has given me. It’s realizing what I have and being thankful for that – friends, family, time on the lake, messy hair, mud, good make up, a great dress or a dang good pair of heels.

Beauty has also meant a pile of snotty tissues for me in ugly moments of brokenness and surrender before the Lord. Beauty is realizing what is, and with that comes a rawness that spans intense joy and pain. Raw pain can be beautiful because it’s in those moments that we truly come to grips with our humanness and His magnificent grace. Jesus is “Immanuel, God with us” and “I AM, the present God”, its feeling His presence that makes pain beautiful. Sometimes beauty looks like tear streaks just as much as it does perfect mascara.

To be honest, when I was nominated to do the beauty challenge I didn’t want to. Most of the moments where I have felt truly beautiful, where not ones captured on film because I was experiencing them. I also didn’t want to dig though other pictures and remember the times when I’ve wished I could have been more ________ (fill in the blank). How sad is that? But it’s honest and raw – so in a way – beautiful. Because in the recognition of the lies I’ve believed about beauty (and myself), comes the freedom that truth brings when it confronts those lies.

The more I learn what beauty is and how to walk in it, the more thankful I become for truth. Part of recognizing beauty right now is going back and looking at the pictures I don’t like and thanking God that I was enough in all of them because He was enough. That’s the beautiful truth my friends.

I’ll post to the beauty challenge on Facebook not because it’s about me, but because it’s about realizing that Beauty is. Let’s celebrate what the Father has given us.

Beauty Is

Did you* join the beauty challenge? Why or why not?

~ Disclaimer, I have six photo’s in this collage and not five and I wanted to have  about 10 more pictures in here. After writing this blog I went through my photos to find pictures to post and found way more pictures that I felt beautiful in than I expected, after redefining what beauty was to me. Redefining Beauty is a process of recognizing the truth and I am overwhelmingly grateful for the beauty in my life that has been felt in moments of living in His presence and finding that there I am enough. ~

*Gentleman readers, while the challenge on facebook was directed towards the ladies, you posses not only an incredible eye for beauty, but a heart that is full of it as well. If you want to think about it (or comment on it) – What do you find beautiful, and why is it beautiful to you?