I am BLESSED and encouraged to share this beautiful word from my good friend Sarah Shaffer! She is an amazing woman whom I met through health coaching, and God is now using her to help other women find freedom! She is a mom of two, and here she shares some practical and real-life tips on balancing it all, and staying mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy as a stay at home mom! (Even if you aren’t a mom, there is such rich wisdom on overcoming food related temptations!) I hope it blesses you guys as much as it did me!
It’s Hard to be at Home
By: Sarah Shaffer
When my daughter was born four years ago, my husband and I took a huge leap of faith, one of the biggest in our life together. We prayerfully decided that it was time for me to leave a successful career in public relations and marketing to stay at home full-time with our kids. When I left my career, there were things I expected. I expected to buy more yoga pants, and fewer heels. I expected to have more playdates and fewer lunch meetings. I expected children songs to become embedded in my mind, and to embrace the routine of picking up toys over and over again. However, one thing that I did not expect, or adequately prepare for was the isolation that can come from being at home. While I considered (and still do) the ability to stay at home a huge blessing, the fact is, that it can be very lonely. Though I had battled eating disorders for most of my adult life (specifically binge eating), I was not prepared for how much more severe it would become for me as a stay-at-home mom. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that my binge eating was getting out of control and that the Enemy was getting a tighter grip on me in that area. I remember desperately crying out to the Lord asking Him to reveal ways for me to avoid eating inappropriately, out of isolation and loneliness. He is always faithful! Almost instantly I felt hope as He inspired thoughts that would help set and keep me free.
My prayer is that the Lord would use my struggle to help set other women free. I pray that what the Lord has graciously revealed to me over the past four years will bless you. If you are struggling today, you are not alone and the Lord who sees knows your pain. He will free and restore you, it’s His promise!
These are just some of the ways the Lord has shown me how to live in freedom:
• Pray! Something I asked of the Lord when I cried out to Him was that He give me a quick, easy, instant replacement for thoughts of food and eating. I knew that in the chaos of my day, it had to be simple or it wouldn’t be done. His response was, “pray for someone else”. The most powerful way that the lord helped me overcome eating out of loneliness or isolation, was to immediately shift my focus to praying for someone else. How powerful! Not only was the Lord keeping me from my own sin, but calling me to be more effective for the Kingdom! “Is anyone among you is suffering? Let him pray!” James 5:13
• Rest! I am a doer, I feel more fulfilled when I’m accomplishing something. This was something I had to work through (and do daily) with the Lord. I would run myself ragged trying to accomplish tasks around the house. After leaving my career, I no longer had a boss to report to, I wasn’t getting performance reviews, and I wasn’t getting promotions or accolades. As a result, I felt that my value could only be measured by what I had done. In my mind, if the house was clean, meals were prepared, and everything and everyone smelled, and looked, and acted nice I was successful. I was also exhausted. Rest was a rare indulgence. As I worked myself into a weary state, I would become weak and more vulnerable to attack. The Lord revealed to me that it’s not only okay to rest, but it’s critical to keeping me strong against attack from the Enemy.
• Enjoy a healthy indulgence! Flipping through a magazine is one of my favorite things to do. For me, reading a magazine is a luxury. So, when I’m tempted to fill myself in inappropriate ways, I’ve learned that it’s okay to luxuriate like that. I’ve also learned that enjoying a “treat” that won’t cause me to stumble can help me avoid eating when I’m not hungry. I love a club soda was fresh lime; it makes me feel like I’m on vacation. Or, an iced coffee in the afternoon. Enjoy it and offer praise for that time to “fill your tank”!
• Run away!!! One of the most powerful tools I’ve learned to use are my feet! When the attack is fierce, my defense needs to be stronger as well. Sometimes I just need to literally turn off the lights in the kitchen, and run from the temptation! There have been times that the pull has been so strong I’ve even had to walk out of the house! “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Cor 10:13
• Find your people! On the days when I feel the temptation to binge coming on, I need to be purposeful to be outside of my house. It’s those days that I schedule a play date with friends, or spend the morning at the park surrounded by the sights and sounds of other people, or even just spend the morning walking around the mall. Being intentional about staying out of the house and surrounding myself with others really helps mitigate the battle.
• Sing! It’s hard for a mouth filled with praise and worship to be sinning. When I feel tempted to fill my mouth with food inappropriately, I purposefully start praising (and praying). Almost immediately I feel my soul fill and the presence of the Lord fill the lonely spaces. “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!” Psalm 104;33
• Get support! The Bible tells us that iron sharpens iron!! Friends, I cannot emphasis enough how critical this point is. CRITICAL! Please, if you haven’t before, ask God to give you someone, just one person that you can depend on and be accountable to. Second only to prayer and worship, this has been the most vital to my success! On the days, and in the moments when you feel alone and tempted to fill that void with food, you’ll have someone to pray for you. I have been blessed beyond measure to have had an accountability partner for the past four years! Almost daily we touch base to make sure that we are filling our souls with the Word of God, disciplining our bodies with both proper eating and exercise, and asking for specific prayer needs. Katie’s health coaching is an incredible resource to help fill this need! I absolutely would not be where I am today without it! “But instead warn admonish, urge, and encourage one another every day, as long as it is called today, that none of you may be hardened into settled rebellion by the deceitfulness of sin by the fraudulence, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him.” Hebrews 3:13
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
As the winter turns to spring around us, I am reminded in such a powerful way of how the Lord takes what was once dead and breaths His life into it, making it new.
Good Friday & Easter are special reminders of God’s amazing ability to take what was once dead and bring it back to life. As we reflect on the true meaning of these days, we remember how He took Jesus, who was dead for three days, and brought Him back to life, so that we could have abundant life and eternal salvation! What a beautiful picture of how He truly does renew and restore!
I am personally so grateful to Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins, but the amazing thing is…He did it for you too! And what’s even more amazing is that He did so much more than wash away our sins when He went to the cross.
The bible explains what exactly Jesus did when He he was crucified, and it just takes my breath away! He not only bore our sins, but the bible says that when He went to the cross He carried our weakness, and was weighed down with our sorrows. He was beaten so we could be made whole…and whipped so we could be healed! In fact, Isaiah 53 paints a portrait of what Jesus bore when He went to the cross for you and I:
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins. But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. (Isaiah 53)
We all have areas weaknesses, and we have all been through things that have caused us sorrow and pain… But we can see in this passage of scripture that Jesus bore it all for you and me to have complete freedom and restoration from anything and everything life brings our way.
Jesus did not promise a life free from pain, in fact He told us in his word that, “In this world you will have trouble…” But He followed this statement with, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Which means that no matter what we go through in this life, we can overcome it with Jesus!
I’m living proof that there is nothing too big or small that you can’t overcome with Jesus by your side! If you don’t know Him personally, just ask Him to reveal himself to you, and I can promise He will! After all, He didn’t die for you and I only to keep Himself a secret! He loves you so much and wants to reveal Himself to you more than you even want to know Him!
It doesn’t matter how hopeless your situation may look, or how dead something might seem. If you bring it to the God who brings life to the dead, you can surely rest in the fact that He will bring hope, restoration, and renewal to ever area of your life as well!
I pray that you come to know God’s great love for you in a deeper way this spring season. xo Katie
By Sarah Shaffer
What do you think of when you think of beauty? I think of fall scented days when the sun shines on radiantly colored leaves, a newborn baby’s perfect toes and pink lips, a breathtaking sunset over the Rocky Mountains. However, my mind also conjures up images of thin women with gorgeous, cellulite free legs, long flowing hair, and flawless skin.
Is that the Lord’s view of beauty? Beauty was, after all, the Lord’s idea; the Bible tells us that He is the perfection of beauty itself! Beauty is a gift from the Lord. Look around you – notice the infinite examples of beauty the Lord chose to bless us with each and every day. The Lord could have opted to transform summer’s leaf covered trees into instant nakedness in the fall. Instead, for OUR pleasure, He chose a slow and glorious process of change that includes radiant reds, oranges, and yellows. Fall is such a visual reminder of God’s love for us in the form of beauty isn’t it?
The truth is though, that we are drawn to physical beauty. At some point we’ve all probably favored someone because they were physically attractive. Statistics show that people who are perceived as physically beautiful will earn an average of $230,000 dollars more in lifetime earnings, are significantly more likely to be hired for jobs, and are more often described as “likeable” in pictures when compared to a less physically attractive person. Was that the Lord’s plan for beauty? I don’t think so.
I believe the world’s distorted view of beauty is much like the apple in the garden. It was inherently beautiful, alluring, and delightful to look at, all in God’s perfect design. It was the Enemy who took those characteristics and twisted them – made them dangerous – and in do so, distorted God’s plan for beauty. The value of physical beauty has become something it was never meant to be. Don’t you think that if being esteemed based on physical beauty were God’s plan that he would have made Jesus remarkably, amazingly, drop-dead gorgeous? Instead, the Bible tells us that Jesus had no beauty – that passage is translated into “fine-looking”. Jesus, the Son of God, the Christ, the beginning and the end, was fine looking! That means something to me!
It tells me that beauty our Lord values is not found in the adornments of hair, flawless skin, or a certain size. His plan for beauty is that we reflect Christ. The Bible says that “all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” The Lord’s plan for us is to measure our beauty in light of Christ’s. We are to use Him as our mirror.
Honestly, for as long as I can recall, I have struggled with what I see in the mirror. What I see is a pudgy nose, less than perfect skin, increasingly deepening creases, hair that takes a lot of heat and product to force into smooth submission, and a number of other self-labeled “flaws”. Most of my life people have said that I was pretty, but I’ve never believed it, I’ve never been able to see it for myself. This struggle is something that I’ve really had to work on. Just as I struggled for years with scale addiction, I also later realized that I had full-blown reflection addiction as well. I would search for my reflection in windows as I walked past stores and up to restaurants. I would intentionally migrate toward mirrors in my house, or at the mall. Anything that would reflect my image would suffice. And, the question would always linger, which is the most accurate reflection of what I really look like?
Thankfully, by the grace of God, I’m learning to realize is that none of them are accurate. They are all a false reflection of who I am. They literally provide a distorted view. They do not reflect my profound brokenness over the sin in the world. They do not reflect my deep commitment to prayer. They do not reflect the unimaginable depth of love and sacrifice I feel as a mom. Just as the scale delivers a false value of our worth, the mirror bares a false reflection of who we are.
When I began seeking God as my mirror, I started to see what He sees in me! In my journey toward both a healthy mind and body, I have made a conscience choice to esteem what God says about me in His Word (after all, the Bible is referred to as a mirror), more than what I see in the mirror. It’s not easy! But, as with all things, our choices either lead us closer to the Lord, or closer to the world. I’m choosing to keep my eyes and my mind on my reflection in Christ.
Today, my prayer us, is that we will seek to find our true, accurate reflection through the eyes of the Lord and there alone, the perfection of our beauty shines forth!
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “If I could just lose those last 10 pounds…”, “If I could only get that promotion…”, ” If I could only have nicer things…”(and the list goes on). If you are living and breathing on this earth, then there’s a strong possibility that you’ve found yourself thinking these types of thoughts whether you realize it or not.
As women, much of where we feel our ‘imperfections’ lie are discovered only after we measure ourselves against others. Often times, we may even feel like we ‘look pretty good’, or that ‘we’ve got great things going for us’ only to go outside of our homes and see someone who has something that we don’t. Suddenly, we find ourselves feeling dissatisfied, wishing that we could change or improve something about our lives.
I’ve definitely been a victim to this way of thinking, and I’ve observed it in people all around me. The problem with this mentality is that it leads us to a place where we never feel ‘good enough’ no matter how we change, what we own, or what we weigh. Often times, even if we do finally reach ‘that goal’ that we’ve set out to reach, we may feel content for a short time, but often times, these feelings of inadequacy almost always find a way to creep back into our thinking. This is sure to rob us of the joy of our present circumstances and the good things that are in our lives.
This cycle of comparing and competing that so many of us get trapped in ultimately means we will always be able to find someone or something ‘better’ than what we currently have, which leads us to constant feelings of discontentment. While doing this, we waste valuable time that we could be enjoying the progress that we have made, and realizing that we have come a long way from where we used to be!
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with wanting to improve areas of our lives and setting goals… But I’ve noticed that our society has a way of pushing beyond self-improvement to a place of striving, which ultimately stems from competing and comparing ourselves to others.
I can testify that I have done this many times in my own life. After reaching many different goals that I’ve set out to fulfill, I have found that it didn’t take long before I would end up focusing on something or someone else that was just a few steps ahead of me. This would ultimately leave me feeling like I haven’t reached where I wanted to be just yet. Instead of taking the time to enjoy the progress that I had made, or just to be content with all the good things around me, I would allow these feelings of insufficiency to continue to drive me.
It wasn’t long before the Lord began to deal with this mentality in me. He started by leading me to Galatians 6:4 in His word. This verse says, “Make a careful exploration of who you are, and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t compare yourself to others.” Now, I know what your thinking… “Wow, this verse instructs that you need to stop comparing yourself to others!” However, I didn’t quite grasp this truth right away… It really took a good period of time of renewing my mind with the truth before I truly began to recognize that my feelings of jealousy and insecurity were doing nothing more than leaving me to suffer needlessly.
Once I began to ask God to help me in this area, He began to show me that He made me perfectly and wonderfully complex! He brought me to verses that said, “He saw me before I was born and everyday of my life was recorded in His book, “ and that “Every moment of my life was laid out before a single day had passed!” (Psalm 139:16). Therefore, I realized that there was no need for me to anxiously strive, compare, or compete anymore, because the Lord has already planned out every day of my life for me. He designed me with a specific purpose that only I could fulfill!
I had a revelation that all we really have to do is come to God every morning and ask, “Lord what would you have me do with this day of life that you have given me?” And from there, all we need to do is sink ourselves into that, setting our daily goals based on what the Lord has instructed us to do! And then we REST knowing he will instruct us and show us the next step to take.
Another neat thing about changing this way of thinking is that it frees up our time and our mind from thinking about ourselves and what ‘we don’t have’ to focusing on others and ways that we can bless them (which is what life is all about after all!).
If you’ve ever found yourself in a place where you feel like you just aren’t measuring up, here is a prayer that I wrote in down in my journal that has really helped me when I find myself struggling with feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, or dissatisfaction, (which is ultimately designed to keep us from enjoying the life that God has planned for us!)
“Holy Spirit, I pray that you would show me when I’m comparing myself to others, and to bring back these truths back to my remembrance when I’m tempted to compare myself with others, and feel like I’m not quite ‘good enough’ yet. I ask you Lord to please show me the work that you have for me, and I pray that you would help me to sink myself wholeheartedly into that and to be content while following your plan for me! I thank you Lord for making me so wonderfully complex and for laying out every single day of my life before I was born. I thank you that I am precious to you, and that you love me just as I am right now. Please help me to see myself as you see me, In Jesus Name, Amen!”
The Word of God is alive, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword! When we pray according to promises in the Word of God, we are praying in agreement with what God says about us! Nothing has impacted or changed my life more than when I found promises in the Word of God, wrote them down on notecards, and put them around my house, car, or wherever I could see them throughout the day! I started doing this years ago, and it was so life-changing, that I have continued to do it ever since! Whatever season we may be in, or whatever difficulties we may be facing, God’s Word has an answer, a promise, and and way out! When we agree and focus our attention on these promises, we can and will overcome anything that comes our way!
These are some scriptures that I have found over the years relating to taking care of my health and body, and keeping it well balanced. I have turned them into prayers that I can pray over my day in regards to this topic! You can do this with any area of your life, and I encourage you to ask the Lord to show you scriptures that He has specifically for you…But I hope this helps get you started! I pray you are encouraged today by these prayers, and that the awesome Word of God reminds you who are in Christ, and the overcoming victory that you can have in Him!
Feel free to print these scripture-based prayers out for yourself! You could also write them down on notecards, in a journal, or share them with friends/family! To print out a PDF version click here!
God, I thank you that you are for me today. I thank you that you are strengthening me, helping me, and upholding me with your righteous right hand. ~(Romans 8:31, Isaiah 41:10)
Today I make the choice to lay aside every weight, and the sin that I used to be entangled in, and I run with patience the race that is set before me, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. ~(Hebrews 12:1-2)
Today I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I thank you that through you I am victorious in everything that I do! ~ (Philippians 4:14, 1 Corinthians 15:57)
Thank you Father that you have good plans for me in regards to my health and helping me reach and maintain a healthy weight. You have a great future for me, and you have filled me with hope! ~ (Jeremiah 29:11)
I thank you Lord that as I submit myself to you today, and resist the enemy and his lies, the devil has to flee from me in Jesus Name! ~ (James 4:7)
Today I will take care of my body, for I am God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He has prepared in advance for me to do. ~ (Ephesians 2:10)
Today I make the choice to be self-controlled and alert. I will stay on guard by keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus and staying constant in prayer, so I will not fall into temptation. ~(1 Peter 5:8, Matthew 26:41)
Thank you Lord, that you will guide me continually today, giving me water when I feel dry and restoring my strength when I feel weak. ~(Isaiah 58:11)
Today I make the choice to treat my body as a gift. It was bought with a price, and I will glorify God in the choices and actions I make when it comes to my body.~ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Today, instead of indulging my flesh with physical cravings, I will work up an appetite for God’s Word! When I make make the choice to fill up on His Word, He will satisfy me better than anything on this earth ever could! ~ (Matthew 5:6)
Today I will mediate on who God says I am. I will not be conformed to this world, but rather I will choose to renew my mind with the Word of God, and be transformed! When I do this I will be able to discern God’s perfect will for my life, my health, and my body. ~ (Romans 12:2)
Lord, today I will trust in you with all of my heart, and I will not lean any longer on my own understanding; I will submit ALL of my ways to you today, and as I do, I thank you that you will make your paths straight.~ (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I praise you Lord, for you are the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. You comfort me in all of my troubles, so that I can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that I myself have received from you! ~ (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4)
Lord, I thank you that my old sinful self was crucified with Christ. I am no longer a slave to any sin, and I am free from it’s power! Therefore, I will not let sin control the way I live. I do not give into sinful desires, but I give myself completely to God. ~(Romans 6:6-12)
Today I choose to think on those things that please the Spirit of God. As live by the Spirit, it leads to life and peace in every area of my life!~ (Romans 8:5)
Recently God has been calling me to a deeper walk of love. Not only in the area of loving others…but understanding first and foremost how greatly He truly loves each one of us, and me personally. I feel that most of my life I have tried to put the cart before the horse in many ways in this area, in that I have tried to love others, even asking the Lord to help me love the ‘tough ones’…But doing so without really searching out how He first loved me. We all know the saying, ‘you can’t love someone unless you first know what love is’…but how can we truly know love until we know the Fathers love for you and I!?!
As I embark on this journey of love, I am realizing more each day why it was Jesus’ number one commandment. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34). I believe that if we genuinely learned how the Lord loved us, then we would be able to walk in that love and give it away…and the rest would follow! I just love how profound, yet simple Jesus made it!
Now you may be thinking, I already “know” that God loves me! Well…thats where I was up until a few weeks ago as well! I grew up in church, singing songs about ‘Jesus’s love for all the little children of the world’. I feel as if I ‘know’ deep in my heart that God is my Father, and that He loves me deeply, and I have even felt that love tangibly many times so far in my 28 years of life. However…I truly believe that learning about His love is a lifetime journey, but I know that I am being called to really pursue this area of my walk with Him like never before!
One area that speaks volumes to me when it comes to knowing His love is how we pour out His love for others. The Word tells us that Jesus demonstrated His love for us in this: that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). What an amazing truth this is!
So often it is easy for us to love those who love us back, but are we able to extend love and mercy to those who are not loving to us!?! And what about walking in love when someone you do love says something hurtful, or you find yourself gossiping, complaining or grumbling about someone who disappointed or offended you? Again, I am convinced that this kind of love can truly only be done when we first have a revelation and receive the undeserved abounding love that God has for us!
Of course this goes without saying that if you have never yet come to know Jesus personally, then it would be hard to fully understand His great love for you! But, as I shared earlier in Romans 5:8, Jesus made a way for us to know Him personally, and receive His love through a personal relationship with Him! Please click here if you would like to read more about having a relationship with Jesus!
As He takes me by the hand, and I seek Him in this area, I KNOW that I will surely find, for He promises that when we search, we will find. I know that He will be thrilled and delighted to show me His love, for it is WHO He is. Love.
So, the search for a deeper revelation and understanding of God’s great love for me has begun..I’m still FAR from mastering this… but I hope you will join me on this awesome quest of LOVE!
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” –Romans 10:9
God designed each one of us with before the earth was created. He created man to commune with him and have a relationship with him. The problem was created at the fall of man when Adam and Eve sinned against God. Man’s perfect nature was now imperfect and they were separated from God. In the Old Testament, we see how the people of that time had to offer sacrifices for their sins in order to protect themselves from God’s wrath. But, here’s the good news! God sent His Son, Jesus so that we could all be saved. We see in the New Testament our new covenant, which is a promise based on what Jesus came to do for us. Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
Instead of animal blood being shed to cover over sins, Jesus shed His blood for our past, present, and future sins. Even though Jesus came to save us all, it is up to us to accept the gift that He gave us. What still separates us from God is not the act of sin, but our sin nature. Romans 10:9 says that when you confess Jesus as Lord AND believe in your heart, you are saved.
When you accept what Jesus has done for you and accept Him to be the Lord of your life, you are no longer separated from Him and now you have a new nature. You are born again! That means that you will spend eternity (life after death) in Heaven with The Lord. The good news is that the benefits of walking with the Lord are not just for eternity; it is also for life here on earth. Jesus didn’t just provide salvation or forgiveness of sins, but He also came to have a relationship with you! He has a plan for your life, and He created you for a unique purpose, but that can only be found when you give your life to Him, and follow His leading!
The good news is, He has made it so simple, and it all starts with a prayer! When you pray this prayer (it doesn’t have to be these exact words, but any words from your heart, inviting Jesus in to be your savior) and believe it in your heart, you are born again. The Bible says when one person comes into a relationship with Jesus, ALL of Heaven rejoices!
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to die for my sins and to provide me the opportunity to come into a relationship with the one who created me. By faith, I accept what Jesus did on the cross for me. Jesus, I thank you that you no longer remember my sins. I believe that everything I was is now crucified on the cross with you and I now have a new nature in Christ. Lord, give me strength to follow the path that you designed for me. I believe that as I walk with you that you will guide me and change me from the inside out. Today is the first day of the rest of my life! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” - 1 Peter 3:4
We are so used to seeing ourselves in a mirror. By looking in a mirror we can see if our hair looks messy or if our make up looks just right. We have learned to trust what the mirror tells us. We are so used to trusting it that often we find ourselves giving it the right to tell us if we are beautiful. However, when it comes to true beauty, the mirror (or a picture or the scale for that matter), is not a reliable source.
So, if we can’t use a mirror to see our true beauty, how can we?!?
The bible says in James 1:23 that the Word of God is like a mirror. When we look into the Word of God and see what God has to say, and how beautifully unique He created each one of us, it is then that we can begin to see our true identity. The Word of God has so many awesome things to say about who we are as children of God! When we receive them by faith and act on them, they truly will begin to renew the image we have of ourselves on the inside, and begin to shine on the outside as well!
Yes, we certainly should take care of our bodies through balanced healthy eating and exercise! These things were given to us by God for our good, and to help our bodies function properly! And yes, we can often feel better about ourselves by getting dressed and fixing our hair, ect., but that is not what defines our worth and beauty.
When we look in the mirror and find flaws, God reminds us in the ‘true mirror’ that “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” (Songs of Solomon 4:7).
His Word also says that He “formed my inward parts; He covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:12-14)
When we look to the mirror to define our beauty, there will always be a chance to find a flaw or short coming. Instead, let’s make the choice to go to God’s Word to find our value and worth. After all, this is the mirror that is true, because it was written by God, and He calls us beautiful.
Prayer: “Lord, help me to remember that what the mirror shows is not what you find beautiful. You look at my inward parts and find true beauty. You formed me before I was even born, and you find no spot, flaw, or blemish in me. Help me to see myself the way you see me. Help me not to judge myself according to the standards of this world, but show me in my identity and worth in you. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Scripture: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8
Reflection: When Jesus gave His life for us, He demonstrated the greatest act of love this world has ever known. If we are truly going to be followers of Him, He only asks one thing of us…And that is to love. Why would love be so important that it is the greatest and one new commandment that He gave us to live by? Because our love for each other is a testimony of Him, for God is love.
When we walk in love towards one another, it is then that our lives demonstrate that His life changing power is real. This is easy to do when we are walking in love towards those that are lovely, but how do we love the unlovable? It starts with the understanding that love is a verb. It is not a feeling or emotion, but rather, it is an action. We can begin to walk in love today by asking God to help us see others through His eyes.
When we are having a hard time loving someone, we can ask God to work in our mind and heart and cause His love to flow through us towards the other person. When we are truly loving others, it is then that we are called a disciple, or follower of Christ (John 13:35). If you know Christ as your personal Savior today, and He the Lord of your life, the greatest way you can demonstrate that to the world is by loving people around you with the Love of God.
Prayer: “Lord, I thank You that you demonstrated your great love for me by sending your only Son so that I could have relationship with you. Thank you for pouring out your love in my heart towards others. Help me love every person with your kind of love, and to see them through your eyes. Help my sincere love for others permeate my life so greatly that others might recognize and see you in me! In Jesus Name, Amen!”
It’s almost Christmas time, which can be a time of great joy for many, but also a time of stress, sadness, and loneliness for others. There are so many things that can steal our peace and joy this time of year, or any time of year if we let it. But this season can be particularly challenging for some.
Despite all circumstances however…Yes, ALL circumstances, do you know that you can have true peace and joy?
No, I’m not talking about a temporary happy feeling that comes and goes as circumstances change. In fact, I am not even talking about an emotional state of being. I am talking about a deep rooted, stable, never changing peace. A peace that causes you to sing with joy from the very core of your being, even when the world looks like it is crashing down all around you.
Now, let me stop there and share that I, just like everyone else have been through some really tough times in my life. Things that could and should of crushed me…and If you are living on this earth, I can guarantee you have (or will) go through some hard times as well. But, let me tell you something. I can honestly say that through it all, I have found a peace that has carried me through each and every storm.
Sure, I have shed many tears along the way, and had any ‘normal’ emotion that anyone would feel, but through it all, I have found the one thing that is deeper than any emotion or circumstance. His name is Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
I will never forget the night that I discovered this peace for myself. I had been saved for many years, but still found myself going through emotional highs and lows, especially during the hard times. Until one night- I had a revelation that impacted my life in a deep way.
I remember it like it was yesterday- I was going through a particularly hard season in my life. I was laying in bed with tears streaming down my face. As I wept, I leaned over to reach for my bible, seeking out a comforting word from the Lord. I will never forget the words that I read that night, and how it changed my life from that moment on. My eyes landed on Isaiah 9:6, which says, For unto us a Child is born,unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I am sure that I had read that passage of scripture hundreds of times before, but that particular night, the Lord spoke that verse to my heart in a very real way. I wiped the tears from my eyes, and found myself with an overwhelming sense of peace and joy in my heart. I found myself singing praises throughout the day for weeks to come. (Now, it’s important to add that my circumstances did not yet change during this time, although they eventually did thanks to God’s Faithfulness.) But, even in the midst of this storm, I had found a deep peace that carried me through.
I love this verse in Isaiah, because it foretells the Savior of the world, Jesus, coming to earth, and what He would come to bring to the world. It describes the meaning of His name in detail, from Wonderful Counselor, meaning we can go to Him with any problem we face, any time…and He cares! Not only does He care, but He wants to counsel us and gently guiding us through each situation as we turn to Him. To Mighty God and Everlasting Father, which says to me that He is both strong and mighty to deliver and save, but also a provider, protector, and deeply in love with each one of us- His children. And last but not least, one of the greatest names of all- Prince of Peace.
That was one of the most powerful lessons the Lord has taught me so far in my walk with Him. I truly can say now that I understand what it means when the bible says that He can give us a “Peace that Passes ALL Understanding” (Philippians 4:7). This verse basically means that no matter what we are going through we can have peace, even when it doesn’t make sense.
Now, the reason I share all of this, is I have great news, this same peace is available to YOU! In fact, the Lord wants to give you His peace! Despite all circumstances, emotions, and even storms of life you may be facing, there is a peace that can carry you through. A peace so deep that it puts a song in your heart.
So, how do you get this peace you may ask? It’s simple! This deep sense of peace and joy comes as you draw near to the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus.
If you are lacking peace, TRUE peace today, I challenge you to come to Jesus, the prince of peace. He is always there, waiting with open arms to comfort you, counsel you, and give you a deep and fulfilling peace that stays constant through all of life’s ups and downs. All you have to do is spend time with Him, (this can be done by reading the bible, praying, or worshipping), and as you do, everything that He is begins to rub off on you! It is kind of like spending time with a friend, whom you begin to become like over time… Everything He is and has He wants to pour into you!
This Christmas season, it is my greatest hearts desire and prayer that you come to know this peace that can only be found in the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus!
Merry Christmas Friends! xo Katie