another post about body image

Insecurities and struggles with appearances don’t go away straight away… I’ve written two other blog posts on this topic already, and I still haven’t cracked the code of being fully confident in myself yet. So, I thought I’d share another little thought/nugget that has helped ease my insecurities about myself and has given me new perspective on what’s important.

In the February holidays, I had been particularly struggling with being unhappy with how I looked. One day, I was crying out to God in prayer about this, saying how discontented I was with myself, and how I couldn’t stop feeling this way; how it was taking over all of my thoughts and robbing me of the fun I should’ve been having on holiday. Then God gave me this revelation:

There is more for me;

I am worth more;

I am more beautiful;

than these temporary things and this temporary body.

I am not defined or measured by how I look — I am worth the blood of Jesus! Which is priceless! (1 Peter 1:18-19) My beauty doesn’t come from outward appearance, it should come from within. I shouldn’t strive so much to make my outward self look better, that isn’t what makes me truly beautiful – it is my heart that makes me beautiful! (1 Peter 3:3-4) And!!! God has blessings for me and promises for me that will not tarnish — blessings that are beyond my ‘fitness goals,’ that are more fulfilling and joy-giving blessings! (1 Peter 1:3-4)

Looks are temporary, and they’re only a fraction of our true beauty (we are made up of body, soul and spirit — our body is only a third of what makes us who we actually are! And it’s the least important one: our spirit and soul are what really make us beautiful.) We have blessings in store that will not tarnish. I am beautiful because of things that will not tarnish: my spirit, my soul. I am bought with things that will not tarnish – my worth is more than temporary things.

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worship

Lately I’ve been learning about worship. How it’s more than just singing songs on Sunday mornings, more than praying at night. More than thankfulness, more than raised hands, more than lifted voices. Worship is a way of thinking and way of living day-to-day life. Romans 12 taught me this – it transformed the way I say what worship truly is.

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Worship is a way of living – it is the surrender of your life to be a life that pleases God. People think that sacrifice and surrender only result in losses and difficulty, but Jesus assures us that whatever we give out or surrender, we will gain abundantly more than what we have given up and lost (the parable of the servants and the coins). Our “true and proper worship” is something that isn’t momentary – it isn’t limited to a time of the day, or an amount of time set aside to worship – it is a continual way of living. It is rooted in us being different and set apart – not “conforming” to the world. Not only are we called to not conform but we are called to be “transformed” – we are called to replace the lies of the world with the truth of the Gospel, and to replace the actions of the world with actions of love. Our minds will be transformed when we read God’s Word and align our minds with His. We will be more filled with the fruit of the spirit: joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. We will see ourselves and those around us with new eyes, and that will translate into more loving, kind, peaceful… actions. This means that non-conformance is not just a passive thing. It is not just saying “no” to things – it is an active thing: intentional and something that we pursue. Then, as a result of living a life of intentional worship, we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is” – we will begin to know what God’s plan for our lives as we take active steps to pursue a holy life! And that leads to such amazing results! Because God’s plan is the best plan for us! He created us and knows exactly what will excite us and fulfill us, and has a unique adventure in store for us! His plan promises “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10) for each of us. So, we can trust that it will be the best decision of our lives to pursue a life of worship that leads to God’s perfect plan!

where I am in my faith

I have built my life on something strong,

Something that grounds me to the depths of the earth

But also suspends me into the air in freedom and expectation.

Security as I am grounded in the earth mingled with the hope of the air –

The potential of immeasurable and abundant growth.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers – Langston Hughes’ words only take me so far.

I need more:

My soul has grown deeper than the rivers.

My soul has grown with the rivers – by the waters of the rivers –

But my soul stretches deeper into the earth

than the rivers’ deepest etches in the earth.

Out of my heart flows rivers, propelling me forward into the future –

The current moves freely, I don’t need to swim or struggle,

I flow – my future is brought into now.

I am a tree planted by streams of living water,

my roots spread wide under the riverbed.

I am a seed planted in good soil – deep-rooted and secure in my growth

And potential for growth.

I feel how my roots have reached deeper than ever before

How they are stronger than ever before. I trust myself where I am planted

And where I will grow.

film photos

There’s something so exciting and special about getting film developed. Not knowing what the photos will look like until you open up the little envelope; having each moment printed off to hold in your hands… It’s sentimental and nostalgic. So here are some photos from my recent roll of film. Enjoy:

wildflowers

Something that’s been on my mind. Lately I’ve been scrutinising every part of myself every time I look in the mirror, and all I’ve been seeing have been the parts of me that I’ve wanted to change. But this truth has been starting to take root: I’m wholly beautiful. Not just the good parts of me – all of me. And some day I’ll look in the mirror and not see the parts that I want to change; I’ll see something created, growing, blooming & wholly beautiful — unique and incomparable like the flowers.

happy accident

this photo was taken during heavy snow one morning. I was so excited, I wanted to get a good picture of the snow falling and the whiteness everywhere. This was my film camera so each picture counted. It was on automatic flash so it flashed when I took a picture since it was still a bit dark — I was devastated. I was sure that the flash would have ruined the photo. So I took another one without the flash. But when I got the photos back, it wasn’t the one without flash that was memorable – it was the accidental flash one that looked the coolest. I don’t exactly know what this post is about but I just wanted to share that happy accidents do happen and that you can get some pretty pictures even when you don’t get to control what the camera does.

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this was what the snow looked like without flash – the camera didn’t pick up the snowflakes without flash!