Welcome To My Refuge Spot

Welcome Friends to my blog about single motherhood and living for God. I hope that you find my thoughts and musings thought provoking and in alignment with God's word. Thank you for visiting and please feel free to share your comments and pass the word along to others who you feel could be blessed!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Bondage of Beauty- And How It Affects Us Part I

Sorry friends for posting so late today. I was pondering today about what to write about, I have so many thoughts and writings that I have started but I want my posts to be by God for God so after praying about what to write for his glory, he laid today's topic on my heart.

I have been following the news about the rapper Kayne West's mother who died from complications of her cosmetic surgery. My prayers are with him and his family. While I do not listen to his music, I am aware of who he is and the contributions that his mother made during her life here on this earth. She was a very highly esteemed, respected, successful and well educated single mom. I thought of her as a role model for how she never let her single mother status stop her from achieving her goals.

I hope that my thoughts surrounding this situation do not come across as uncaring, or disrespectful as I am not commenting on his mother but of what I feel is the trap behind cosmetic surgery and the need for women to feel pretty. With so many un-reported complications behind cosmetic surgery, eating disorders, depression, and other ugly things associated with the need for our girls to fit in a mold that is not always as pretty or beautiful as they think. What about the images that our boys are given. What they are taught to accept and embrace as beauty? This has been such a heavy weight on my heart and mind this week.

For instance, today I felt I was having a very un-pretty day. Translation, I just didn't feel that I looked my best. Something has created a break-out on my face, right around my eyes and so I felt as though I look horrid, as young as I am I seem to sprout grey hair by the hour, I feel as if I look so old. I can tell that I am gaining weight in the wrong place, but just don't have the time to committ to the strenuous excersise that is needed to manage it before it gets out of hand. All of my flaws and insercurites seem to be right in my face larger than life.

Well as soon as I accepted these thoughts, the enemy being the person that he is decided to try and get in a few punches- "Vanity, saved women aren't supposed to struggle with feeling pretty. It's vanity and pride." Well I cast that imagination down and decided to talk to my husband about how I was feeling. Why? Well first the way we think of ourselves is how we project ourselves, I believe and secondly and more imortantly I have two beautiful daughters, and they both have days when they tell me they just don't feel pretty.... I want and NEED to learn how do I deal with this? How do I teach them self acceptanace and how to embrace thier inner beauty, and most importantly how to accept how God sees them!

Is there Scripture supporting how we view ourselves? YES-And last but not least, how do I teach them that naturalness and modesty is beautiful ? Truly I know that the world is against the very thing that I stand for in regards to modesty, and I don't want this to be a battle for my daughters.

I also find it sad that the generation of women who taught us as young women to embrace our beauty, that it comes from the inside and not the outside are now turning to the knife to make them mainstream beautiful. What has happend when our grandmothers are now falling under the pressure of the sterotypes that the world had given us about beauty and self acceptance??

A few Scriptures came to mind as I meditated and prayed about this , the first being Psalm 149:4For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. I love this Scripture!! I remember the days when I wouldn't go to the corner store without a face full of make up! How sad was I to be bound in selfcentered vanity!!! I want my daughters to grow up knowing strongly that a meek and humble spirit given through salvation is the most beautiful gift ever recieved! I want my nephews to grow up knowing that true beauty comes from within, it is not what man teaches us, it is not what we see on the magazines, and televisions but it radiates from within. Beauty is a way of life, not a mask that can be brushed on and washed off, trimmed, or lengthend, or artificial in any way.

We must teach our little girls and boys from babies to adults how to love themselves, and to accept the person that God has made them. If there is anything that they don't like about themselves, we have to teach them to pray and ask God to help them love themselves as he created them, and to give them the measure of meekness that is needed to be beautiful and of great price in his eyes. 1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not at all saying that we shouldn't want to look nice, or pretty, I am saying that we have to be careful and see the bond of vanity that can easily creep in and take away our appreciation for how God created us. If we or (our children) find ourselves comparing ourselves to what the world thinks is beautiful, we need to stop and pray for God to refocus us and shift our thoughts to the things that are beautiful in his eyesight. I have so many thoughts on this that I believe this could constitute a Part II!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Devil In My Chair!!!!!!

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you 1 Peter 4:12

Isn't if funny how when the Lord leads you to encourage someone, how the devil will always step in and try to take your joy???

This morning on my route to work,I was talking to someone about about a employment situation and I was trying to offer words of encouragement, we even prayed about the situation for God to bless and show himself, little did I know what was in store for me when I arrived to work. I came to work full of joy, feeling encouraged and energized in my soul, but when I turned the key to my office it was if Satan, Beeazlebub, Lucifer, or whatever you like to call him was sitting in my chair, arms crossed like "Hey Girl, I've been waiting on you, what took you so long to get here" I mean the devil showed himself through a co-worker as soon as I walked in! But I thank God for showing himself to me by allowing me to encourage someone else earlier.

By being able to encourage someone else, I too was able to be encouraged, I was "prayed up" as we say, because as the devil was attacking my friend, he was roaring about seeking to devour me also! God however, is faithful to prepare us for these types of days. Like Paul said in Scripture, " think it not strange" why would I expect anything less from the devil when I am upsetting him by exposing him to someone else! I wanted to be upset with my co-worker because her behavior shocked me, but then I had to stop and thank God for showing me her true colors as we like to say and allowing me to see that I had put too much confidence in her. He showed me her fruit and it wasn't sweet like I thought! But still, I had to humble myself and treat her with an extra dose of kindness and by doing so, I have been happy today.

The thought then occurred to me that I must explain this to my children. They need to understand early that when people are mean or hurtful, or intentionally rude or unthoughtful, that we as Christians need to think it not strange, and that when you don't think that its strange then it makes it easier to see the devil behind the person playing his infamous role of puppet master. We also need to let them know that when they get into situations where they want to be upset at someone for being mean that they must continue to pray for them and show them love and kindness.

Just as the devil is after us, he is also after our children and they don't know all of his tricks just yet. We need to teach them Scriptures they can use to encourage themselves. Today I choose Proverbs 16:7When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (My wonderful dad used this scripture to encourage me today!)

I believe that this will be both a great learning and growth process for me and my children. Can you share tactics you use to help teach your children to fight the enemy? Or what you use to fight the enemy?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just a Thought

Sorry friends for being MIA over the past few days. I took some well deserved downtime and actually was able to accomplish some much needed cleaning and organizing in my home.

I want to leave a word of encouragement with you today it is a quote by Max Lucado:

" Change the thoughts and you change the person.
If today's thoughts are tomorrow's actions, what
will happen when we fill our thoughts of God's love?
Will standing beneath the downpour of His grace change
the way we feel about others? Absolutely!"
Max Lucado

I encourage you to fill your thoughts with God's love, you just may make a difference!

Be blessed and encouraged!