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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Need to Feel Beautiful

OK, I've got to confess.  My Facebook profile pic and blogger picture are not me.  Well, actually, they are me but not the me most people see. 
This picture is from years ago, 1994 to be exact.  My skin was glowing, my face was radiant and I was pregnant. I was wearing someone else's clothes and others had done my hair and make-up.   I felt so pampered.  That's not a feeling I'm used to.

     The problem is, I suspect this is how others see me...    but it's probably more like this is how I see myself when I look in the mirror... tired, old, grey and frumpy. 

     The young woman inside me tries to remind me of who I am and the older woman I see on the outside reminds me daily of all the bumps along my road and the toll they've taken. 

     Well, I refuse to sit idly by and so I'm gonna color my hair.  Yeah, I know, big whoop, women do it all the time so what's the big deal?  Well, it's not that it's a big deal... it's just something I'm doing for myself.... a way to remind myself that I can be beautiful.  

     As I'm having to wait for the color to be sent to me (I ordered it online) I'm realizing, as a woman, I have a need to feel beautiful.  

That's not a vanity thing though it can become one.

     A woman's heart cries out for someone to love her the way she should be loved and to be looked upon by the "love of her life" as HIS "beauty." 

     But sometimes, it's not so much how others look at us as it is how we see ourselves and what we are willing to believe.

May God daily remind us that 
He is the "LOVE OF OUR LIFE" ...

that he chose us, he loves us and he calls us "beautiful."

God help each and everyone of us 
to see ourselves the way you see us.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Remembering Who We Serve

Isaiah 53:1-12
     Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

     For He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

     He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

     Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

     But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

     All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

     He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

     He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

     And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

     Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

    He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

     Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


Because of this will my heart cry out to him and thank him for his great love…. in that while I was yet a sinner He died for me, while I was unlovely He loved me.  Instead of my deserved judgment, He has given me mercy and forgiven me and set my feet on a sure foundation.  Of Him I will not be ashamed.  I will declare that He is My Lord and Savior, the one who I serve, the one I trust and lean upon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Care or Beware

As I write this, we are in the midst of a major repair project.  

     Yesterday we started on a job to replace rotting floor from previous water damage in our living room.  I’m ashamed to admit how bad it was… we literally had several spots where only the carpet was keeping us from going all the way thru…the floor had crumbled underneath.  Sadly, this is not the first repair job and it won’t be the last.  We've let many places in our home crumble around us.  We were ashamed of what we had… angry that it was falling apart…. frustrated that we could do no better.  Because of this, we let things go…. what value was there is fixing what we couldn't or wouldn't appreciate?  

     Things that could have been fixed and repaired quickly have turned into major projects now.  Had we taken care of the floor when the water damage first occurred and kept the damage from getting any worse … then we wouldn't be where we are right now…    we've literally had to remove 95% of the floor in the living room and replace it as well as increase structural support for the new floor.  Not all of that was due to water damage but is more of a domino effect of not dealing with a problem when it arises.  

     Thank God we had the wood needed to replace the floor.  But the carpet is so damaged that it can’t be used so we’ll have to figure out what we’re going to do about flooring now.  The cost had we taken care of it when we should have is minimal compared to now…. not only in terms of money but time.  There were important things that were scheduled yesterday that we couldn't attend because night was coming and the floor had to get finished before it came. 

     It’s sad to see how our horrible thankless attitudes towards what we have so badly influenced us.  We didn’t take care of what we already had and yet we wanted God to help us out of our situation and give us something better.  How childish we were acting.  How on earth could God ever bless us with something of any greater value than what we have when we wouldn’t show enough gratitude for having it by taking care of it? 

     It’s interesting how God can take a simple word 
you teach your children, and convict you.  

     Then  put the same words in the mouth of a preacher to confirm … you heard me, yes…. I was talking to you.  We may never have the house that we want, we may never have more than we have now…. but we are darn sure gonna start taking care of the house that we have !  How can we call ourselves good stewards if we don't?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What Would You Do With 10 Days?

     It had been a month since my parents had helped us move back to Florida.  Carl, my husband, was still in Tennessee tying up loose ends.  This is when it happened, this is when I found out and told him… I’m pregnant !  Again!  We both decided, this had to be the last one.  We already had 3 children under the age of 3 1/2 and like the others, this was a surprise too.  The pregnancy turned out  perfect.  There were no issues, no high blood pressure, no gestational diabetes, no problems at all.  When I went into labor we waited for awhile till I knew I needed to go to the hospital. 

     At the hospital everything was different than I expected, I felt like I was being treated as a waste of their time.  They immediately made me lay down.  The nurse came in and put the monitor on me ... upside down so the readings all came up upside down.  The doctor, when he finally came in hadn't even checked out my medical records… if he had then he would've realized that my contractions, though they would pain me greatly, had never done what was necessary to progress things along during labor.  He ask me a bunch of questions and then told me to go home.  

Go home?  

     Yes, he wanted me to go home and not come back till I could no longer walk or talk through my contraction…. then he left.  My wonderful husband started getting things ready to take me home but something was wrong.  

All I could say was that I couldn't go home, 
if I did I won’t make it back.  

     He figured I meant that I’d not make it back in time to have the baby in the hospital.  That was not what I meant.  I didn't understand it, and I wasn't being irrational, I just knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not make it back alive if I went home.  So we stayed… not at the hospital… but at a restaurant not far away.  

     Eventually the pain was too much to bear and we went back to the hospital but it didn't take long for them to realize something was very wrong.  Fifteen minutes later my room was filled with a dozen people prepping me for an emergency cesarean.  They whisked me out of the room without ever telling my husband what was going on.  He had no idea what was happening or what was about to occur.

     In the operating room as they continued prepping me, they brought in a portable sonogram machine.  When they realized what they were seeing they informed me that I had a decision to make.  The placenta had been tearing away, I was bleeding and my child was going without oxygen.  They had no idea how long she’d been without oxygen.... so I had to make a choice….. my life or hers. That’s really what it came down to.
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