Tuesday, February 26, 2013

feb 25-mar 3

Monday: Exodus 10
Tuesday: 1 Samuel 31
Wednesday: Psalm 85
Thursday: Jeremiah 23
Friday: Ezekiel 17
Saturday: Matthew 25
Sunday: Jude


Prairie Chick said...

1 Sam 31. notes from the LAB "Saul was tall, handsome, strong, rich and powerful but all of this was not enough to make him someone we should emulate. He was tall physically, but he was small in god's eyes. He was handsome, but his sin made him ugly. He was strong but his lack of faith made him weak. He was rich but he was spiritually bankrupt, he could give orders to many but he couldn't command their respect or allegiance. He looked good on the outside but he was decaying on the inside. A right relationship with God and a strong character are much more valuable than a good looking exterior."

This resonated with me today. I can relate to this but from the opposite end of the coin. I have always been very concerned with character and right relationship, to a point of such intensity (an intensity that I carry over into everything I am passionate about) that I really struggled with the balance of caring for the "exterior". In some ways, due to my upbringing (I had a mom who wanted to keep me as plain and unattractive as possible because she feared a future of promiscuity on my part like she had on hers), and also due to her comments about other people (regarding vanity, shallowness, and obsession with externals) I grew up with this underlying feeling that it was sinful to be so pretty that people noticed you. May sound crazy but it's true.

And then, as a low self esteem developed for me, it snowballed. I felt self conscious, therefore I ate disappeared into the world of books to self medicate, and of course the weight continued to pile on and the self esteem continued to go down. This has been the story of my life.

But God has recently been teaching me to love myself. The way He made me, whether I'm overweight or not... I need to love myself now. I used to think loving oneself was sinful too.... but now I realize it is essential to a healthy and purposeful life. It's crazy how long it takes to learn these life lessons!

The other thing that I am learning is that if I am going to love myself I need to take pride in myself. Not a sinful pride, but a healthy, confident, satisfied, I am happy with the choices I am making kind of pride, and I need to respect myself enough to nurture my beauty. I recently read that "being well dressed is the nicest form of politeness." and I just found that inspiring and beautiful! I realized that there are many very different ways to look at it as just plain old "vain and shallow and consumed exteriors". (of course it seems silly that I couldn't see that before, but that's how it is when convictions are planted in your head at a vulnerable age).

The other thing that I am seeing is that I have less fear of being noticed when I feel presentable and lovely. Then I don't MIND being noticed, but normally I live in absolute anxiety of being noticed because I feel so horrid and ashamed of myself.

I got all fancied up for Valentines day in formal wear and fancy hair. This is a tradition of ours, we eat a fancy meal by candlelight and then dance together, drink some wine and watch a romantic movie. This Valentines my husband said the only gift he wanted from me was to see me like that more often. That really clinched this whole journey I've been on. So my gift to him is to embrace my femininity, nurture it and practice this form of politeness to him, myself and the world. :)

Like I said, opposite side of the coin from Saul's experience, but this is mine.

Prairie Chick said...

Psalm 85:2 "You forgave the guilt of your people, yes, you covered all their sins. You held back your fury . You kept back your blazing anger."

This is such a great verse for me to read this morning as I go into this day thinking ahead to kid's club tonight. This is the theme of my talk with the kids. That our sin makes God sad, not mad, yes, our stubborn rejection of His love and truths and our willful rebellion does make him mad, but his promises to us, his covenant to us, stands, because HE is faithful. yes, He will punish willfull disobedient sin, but because of His great love for us we are not consumed. What a wonderful and gracious God we serve!

Prairie Chick said...

Jeremiah 25. Wow. This is what my club lesson was about last night. God's unconditional love and God's righteous anger and justice. It's hard for us to understand how both of those can go hand in hand but they do. He is just and He does punish us for our unrepentant stubborn refusal to submit to His ways because He loves us and knows that our ways lead to death and misery.

Prairie Chick said...

Ezekiel 17. Hope. As desperate and awful as things ever get, in scripture, in history, in everyday life. Hope is the rope we cling to as the waves threaten to engulf us. The hope of redemption, the hope of restoration, the hope of eternity righted and peace and joy and all things being made beautiful.

Prairie Chick said...

Matthew 25. Today is my day of solitude so I have all the time in the day to sit here with my latte and my bible and my thoughts. I love this day. This chapter is one that I could go on and on about all day, too... stuff that excites me so much and stuff that is so often (I believe) not fully comprehended because our culture lacks understanding of some of the most basic Israeli customs that make the chapter so much easier to understand.

I love passages that touch on the Jewish wedding system, they are such a beautiful foreshadowing of our own relationship with Christ, how we were chosen, bought, are being sanctified and how one day our groom will be announced, will appear to claim us, and take us to the home he has prepared for us.


about the talents. I love that that word has such a double meaning. In this passage it is referring to money and symbolizing gifts, but for us today that word really does mean our gifts.

What talents have I been given? How am I investing them? I would say my talents are a passion for learning and a gift for teaching. I seek to foster these talents by taking time to both learn and teach. Time in the word each day, time being enriched by literature and history and biographies and the marvels of math and science that all show the intricacies and awesomeness of our creator God and by passionately passing on my enthusiasm to my kids, my friends, and the world at large.

Namely, doing what I love and being who I am to the glory of God.

Prairie Chick said...

Jude 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment.

That really leaped out at me after the sunday school lesson yesterday. One of the quotes from Sunday school was about if people go to hell, it should be they have to jump over our body, barring their way, and that our arms should be wrapped around their legs trying to pull them back. This just hammered that home for me. Praying for a heart of courage and passion for the lost.