4. Snapshots | 31 Days

This is post 4/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Last year and the year before, I had no time to really enjoy the seasons. It was the worst during the holidays. I’d bring homework to family parties and was always thinking about my next deadline. I was constantly running at breakneck speed in order to get everything done and done well.

I understand that there are times for that. When you just have to get it done.

But I hate it. I hate missing out on the present in pursuit of a future outcome. While I think that God expects us to do good, hard work, I believe He also expects us to enjoy the beauty around us.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Psalm 34:8

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

Yesterday, we took communion in church and at that end of the service, we sang Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. That’s the whole point of communion–remembering the sacrifice, the great and terrible sacrifice He made for us. That’s the point of church–to recognize Him as the Creator and Ruler of all. The whole point of our existence is bring glory, honor, and praise to our Heavenly Father and we can only do so when we break from the rat race and fix our eyes on Him.

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Did my God create a beautiful world or what?

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The birds are calling out to one another overhead, the sun is shining on my back, the wind in is rustling through the trees. Food cooks on a smokey morning fire and I stopped caring what my hair looks like. No one care what your hair looks like when you’re camping.

God’s in His heaven. He’s working wonders in my life. I’m in a slower season now but whenever it does pick up again, as I’m sure it will, I want to still take time to take snapshots of the present. To be still. To know that God has and always will be in control. To remember that His mercy never fails and His love is big enough to cast out all my fears. To listen to my family and friends. To care about the happenings around me.

To put my life in perspective.

Our work is important. But the everyday moments deserve our notice. They’re wonderful in their simplicity. God gives them to us as a gift. Don’t miss out on the beautiful present in pursuit of a future, as good as it may be. Life is too short, too precious, to ignore the life we live now.

#write31days

3 Things God Absolutely Loves About You

You know the opening line in the beloved song, Jesus Loves Me:

Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.

If you’ve had any church upbringing, you’re familiar with the truth of God’s love for His children.  But have you ever thought about what exactly about you God loves?  The fact that we are created in His image (Genesis 1:27) and knew each of us before we were born (Psalm 139:13-16) says plenty about His love for us. And the fact that He sent His only Son to pay the sacrificefor our sins tells us that we mean a great deal to Him (John 3:16). But have you ever thought what about you God loves?  We’re each different and God knows us on levels I can’t even fathom but I can guarantee you I know 3 things that God absolutely loves adores you!3 Things God Loves About You

1. Your personality

The way you can brighten a conversation with your sense of humor.  Or the way you can ease a tense situation with your calm, matter-of-fact nature.  You’re great at talking to kids.  Or you’re great at negotiating in meetings.  You have a knack for encouraging people when they’re down.  You know just what to do in an emergency situation.  You’re unselfish.  You know when to take charge. You follow directions well.  You’re dependable.  You’re fun to be around.  Whether you’re adventurous, creative, quiet, thoughtful, studious, imaginative, practical, stoic, free-spirited or a combination of all of the above, no matter your personality profile,  God loves those things about you that make you YOU.  He created you to be the only version, the only collection of your unique personality traits around.

(Note: Personality and character are two different things.  You may have a great, sociable personality but have a bad attitude, or a quick temper.  Or maybe you have a great sense of humor but only tell crude jokes.  Or maybe you have a way with words but you use them to cut people down rather than build them up.  All that not-great-stuff about yourself has to do with character, not personality.  When you bring those character flaws before the Lord and ask Him to help you work on those weaknesses, He will and the beauty of the unique personality He created you with will shine through in its best form and you’ll be a fabulous witness for Him!)

2. Your beauty

Hey, I don’t care what you may have heard in your past or what you may be hearing now.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Period.  Why? Cause God created you and God doesn’t make junk.  The world has a cast system of beauty and we think that if we don’t look like the photoshoped-beyond-reality models on magazines, the stars in movies, or even that person in the checkout line at the grocery store, we haven’t achieved a desirable level of good-looks.  Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are a beautiful, made-in-the-image-of-God person and He loves that about you.

-Stop comparing yourself to other people

Are there parts of you that you need to work on with some good ol’ fashioned exercise and healthy eating?  Go for it! Are there colors that work best with your skin tones and clothing styles that look fantabulous on your body type?  Check them out.  Are there haircuts that look great with your face shape and hair type?  Look into it.  Focus on what works best for you.  Make the best version of you, not a second-rate version of someone else.  You have something fabulous to show the world because God created you to be beautifully, uniquely YOU.  Don’t trash your brand of beauty to chase some cooked up version the world keeps shoving in your face.  God loves your beauty – embrace it!

3. Your talents

You are really good with a paintbrush and colors.  You’re fantastic with numbers and problem-solving.  You play a mean bass guitar.  You’re a great speaker.  God loves that about you!  You’ve got a green thumb.  You’re a master in the kitchen.  You’re really good with kids.  You can sew or knit, or build stuff.  You can diagnose a patient, talk someone through a crisis, or manage a highly intense situation.  God loves that about you!  Just like personality, God gave us talents to be explored, cultivated and used for His glory and the good of others.  Even if you have talents that you think nobody else notices, they’re important.  Maybe your talents are mainly behind the scenes rather than front and center stage.  God sees them and He has entrusted those very important talents to you for a reason.  No matter where you’re gifted, develop those things and use them so you don’t lose them!  God loves these things about you and He gets a kick out of you doing those awesome things He created you to do!

There you go!  Three things about you that God absolutely loves.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God on purpose and He loves you with an everlasting love that will never fail you.  I don’t know what you’re facing this Monday morning but whatever it is, know that you can stand firm on the truth that God loves you and you never have to face life alone!

Have a fantastic week!

#goodmorningmonday small