Not Unredeemed

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


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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 http://ctt.ec/Wte0Z+ @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?

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Into Me You See {Intimacy}

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. A.W. Tozer – Knowledge of the Holy

Who God is to us is one of the most important things about us, because it reveals the transformation that the Lord has done in our lives and our understanding of who He is. There is one major important step however that needs to come before we can clearly see who God is and subsequently what we think of Him.

 I read in a periodical the other day that the most fundamental thing is how we think of God. By God Himself, it is not!  How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it relates to how He thinks of us. C.S. Lewis – Weight of Glory

While Tozer is right and I still agree with him, Lewis presents another very important side. We must first see ourselves as God sees us, before we can truly see God.  Continue reading


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Christmas Magic?

I wanted a big miracle at Christmas, you know like the ones in movies. The magical, nostalgic all your dreams come true moments. It’s Christmas Eve and my dreams seem to be running away from me rather then coming closer to fruition. Were the magical moments of childhood just that – a child’s perspective? The older I get the harsher the realities of life and dreams seem.

No, I will not be depressed – it IS Christmas!

In two hours I would home and the last thing I wanted to do was paste on a fake smile for the kids. They still believed in the magic, and I didn’t want to spoil it for them. They will grow up all to soon. Desperate to not fall into the “black hole” I fiddled with my iPod trying to get some worship music playing. I need a different focus. Desperately.

As the miles rolled by I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the snow looked covering the dead brownness of the countryside.  It was beautiful. I couldn’t deny that, no matter how surly my mood.

Maybe there is still a little magic left?

Trees bowed low under ice and snow crystals that shown even brighter because of the grey sky. Dead and broken weeds and branches now created enticing tunnels into the unknown.

Even the Darkness Continue reading


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Even This – Again

How many times will I stare at these white walls and fight back the tears, trying to pull myself back together before the Dr comes in? I already know what they are going to tell me. MRSA. Again. I’m loosing track of how many times I’ve sat here. I guess if I wanted a count the medical bills stacking up could tell me. Or maybe the purple scars covering my legs.

Natural doctors, medical doctors, they are all at their wits end trying to help me. No one knows why I keep getting sick. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. Diets, essential oils, Antibiotics, the list goes on.

I want to give up, but I can’t. I guess I’m learning why the Lord made me so stubborn. I don’t question His goodness, but my heart questions His plan as my mind whispers “why?”. I know He can heal me. I’m more sure of that then I am of my own name. So why doesn’t He? It’s in anguish I ask, wanting to understand, not anger. He is to faithful to me to be angry with Him. His grace abounds even in this. Even here. Again.  Continue reading


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Lies All Lies !

My fingers froze over the keys as I stared at the screen. I’d just caught myself in a bold face lie.

 I don’t feel strong enough to go through this again Lord. At all. I can see Oh so clearly how you were preparing me for this and that is where the thankfulness comes in. But I don’t feel ready or prepared. I feel tired… my heart is weary.

I wanted to journal and say that I couldn’t walk this out; I was tired and not strong enough. Lie. It’s so much harder to believe a lie when you are journaling it.

 I know I should not say or think that I am not ready, that is a lie. You are all I need. With you I am as ready as I need to be.

When we say that we can’t do something we are saying that God is not enough – that His grace and strength are not
sufficient. Since when did feelings dictate what was true or not?

Continue reading


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Dear Me – A Letter to My Seventeen Year Old Self.

Dear Me,

The pain that is cloaking your world right now will be redeemed. I promise. It won’t always be like this. Press on! You will be so thankful for the foundation the Lord is laying and refining in you right now. The pain will make you, not break you. The circumstances that are squeezing the life out of you are not going to go away over night, in some areas it will take years, but He is faithful. The scars will remain but they will become a testimony, not something to hide. So keep on self! Don’t give up, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

And stop worrying! You graduate this year and you do not need to have life figure out yet. Relax. Learn to rest now, and the beauty in the stillness because these are the habit forming years and it becomes much, much harder to let go! And control? It’s only an illusion. If there were one thing I could ask you to do differently, it would be to stop striving to be in control of every area of your life. There is this beautiful thing called grace. It’s not a lazy person’s way out – it’s freedom!  It’s the greased lube that allows the tools in your life to work smoothly. You don’t need to grind them into performing by sheer will power.

You don’t actually want to know what is coming in the next few years because you aren’t ready for that yet. There will be deserts, but also streams, mountain tops and valleys.You won’t be able to save the world, but you will come to know the Savior of the world for yourself and more goodness than you can imagine. Your friends will come and go, but invest in them anyway! Friends are there for reasons, seasons and life times. And only time tells that. Pain is a part of life. Open yourself up because until you know pain, you don’t fully know joy. <— Tweet this.

God took your payer to “not be normal” way more seriously than you probably wanted Him too, but then again “normal” is only a setting on the drier. You will never be the life of the party and that’s ok. You weren’t meant to be. Embrace your love of learning, don’t be ashamed of it, it won’t be something you can get away from.

You are also not invincible. Sorry to break that to you. When people advise you to slow down please listen! Yes the Lord will give you strength, but you will reap the physical consequences of drained adrenals in a few years. Listen when the Lord whispers, or He will use much louder, harder, ways to get your attention.

On a good note? You will out grow this awkward stage! Not only will you learn to dress well, but you will also be paid to dress and costume people! The years of being the awkward thumb in a denim jumper hiding in the corner are not wasted! You learned the value of seeing the heart of a person, not the outside. God will use that to allow you to communicate with, minister too and comfortably run in any social circle or setting.  You will however always be in the middle between people and groups. It’s ok, it’s not the middle, it’s really a bridge.

Guys. Haha! You have so much to learn. Stop worrying about dating or being in a relationship. You won’t be in one for another five years. See these guys as friends to learn and laugh with not “potentials”.

Those older single girls you look at in church and pray to God you will never be one? Well you will be, and it’s not at all what you think! So smile and stop worrying, God is a God of romance, but He is also a God of love, and He is after your heart and His glory.  And there is a greater joy and happiness in that than anything you can imagine!  Your single years will be fun! You will travel all of the United States and make more friends than you deserve. Adventures will be had everywhere! You actually won’t even want to trade in your single years. Not that they weren’t without heartache and struggles. but they will be good.

God will grant your dream of being in fulltime ministry, but not until you learn “full time ministry” is actually being faithful scrubbing toilets to His glory and working retail. Everything in your life now is a building block for the future. You will be 24 before you find out what you were created to do, but not one minute in the following 7 years of training will be wasted. It’s not about the goal but about the journey.

17 year old me, if there is one thing I can leave you with it’s this:

You who are young, be happy while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you into judgment.
 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.

(Ecc 11:9-10)

Enjoy your youth! Don’t try to grow up to fast, but also know that you will accountable for how you spend these years. So use them well, be intention, but also enjoy the ride!

Thanks to “Chatting at the Sky” for the idea to write these posts!