Beauty, Then and Now

When I am out and about I feel young and think I look younger than my years. But when I see my reflection in a mirror I am reminded I am no longer a young woman. What I see is an older woman. Why does this surprise me?  I have lived at least two-thirds of my life already. There are fewer years of life ahead of me than years past. I understand this and accept it. I understand that the way I look today is because I have lived more than a few years but this I find difficult to accept.

When I was a young woman I was told I was beautiful now I am told I am attractive. I want to be beautiful. I know it is shallow and superficial of me. I know there is more to sun-622740_640-1beauty than the physical aspect of it. Jesus and I have been having talks about this more often lately.  He reminds me, The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7b) and Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.(Prov 31:30)

Jesus has also reminded me of the gift He gave me long ago, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. I know physical beauty fades and we are not to be concerned about the outward beauty…You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within.(1 Pet 3:4)

Well, I am trying but it is hard!
I still want the beauty that faded.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Image:pixaby

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Be Kind, Tenderhearted, Forgiving

The other day I was asked to help someone.  The person doing the asking is not a close friend, more of an acquaintance, and the person needing help I know only slightly. I was asked to help because I have some experience with the problem at hand. I don’t think of myself as one who holds grudges but the first thought I had was, why come to me, when have you helped me? And I don’t even know the person you want me to help! The minute after that thought was in my head this came to mind,

Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Col 3:13  (gwt)

That stopped me from saying the ugly words.  It was awful of me to think those words but saying them would have been worse than awful. Jesus heard my thoughts and knows my heart and He stepped in to keep me from causing someone pain…again. Thank you, Jesus!

Later on, I was getting comfortable for a chat with Jesus and this was brought to mind,

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against,
so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
Mark 11:25 (nlt)

You see I was holding a grudge against this acquaintance of mine.  I had forgotten all about the day I asked her for help and she said she couldn’t help. Or I should say I thought I had hard-694733_640forgotten. Obviously, I held that day in my heart and let it fester until I was reminded of it and then let the ugliness come forward. I hadn’t forgiven her this little thing. I know better than this. I want to be like my Lord.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
Eph 4:32 (esv)

What have I learned from this?

  • I can be resentful and unforgiving
  • I am not examining my heart as I must
  • My prayers are more self-centered than I thought
  • Jesus wants us to be better than we are and helps us get there

 The Word has been given to us to teach us what we need to know to be like Christ.
All we have to do is let it into our hearts and use it as needed.
Everyday.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Image:pixabay

 

Guard Your Heart

I am very careful with my heart. I don’t want it to be hurt in any way. Not physically or emotionally. Whatever happens to my heart determines my overall health. I could take better care of its physical health but I tend to take that aspect for granted.  Not wise, I know, but a fact. But taking care of my heart’s emotional health is a different story. I guard my heart. We are told in Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.marguerite-1358773_640

So, it is a good thing that I guard my heart. Maybe…maybe not.

There are some broken places in my heart that have healed and don’t hurt anymore, with scars that have made my heart stronger. Other places seem to be targets of unintended hurts and are often bruised and tender, nothing serious just bothersome. But there is a part of my heart that has been shattered. It has been pieced back together. I live with the pain. Sometimes months go by with only an occasional twinge to remind me of it, then there will be a memory triggered and the pain is unbearable. This was why I protected my heart, put a guard around it to keep it safe and untouched.

I  guarded my heart by not trusting many people and letting only a few  have access to it. I didn’t freely share my heart, I was selfish with it. But talking with Jesus has taught me I had it all wrong. He wants me to trust people and let them into my heart. He wants me to share my heart and be generous. What I must guard my heart against is evil in all its forms. I am to use His teachings as the touchstone, the standard, for what and who I share my heart. Yes, I am to guard my heart, with His words, not mine, with His truth, not mine, with His love for me, not my love of self.

My prayer today,
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
Ps 119:18

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Image:pixabay

New Hearts

When we accept Jesus for who He is, not just some nice guy who did amazing things way back when, but as our Redeemer, our Lord and Savior, He gives us a new heart and a new spirit. He throws away the old rock-hard stubborn heart and replaces it with a new merciful and teachable heart. That is an amazing thing!

However, we must guard this new amazing heart because it is not only good that is in newheartthe world there is also evil.  The god of evil, satan, wants back in our heart to do his work. He will do whatever he can to take out the goodness and put ugliness in its place. He will try to make our softened heart bitter and hateful. He wants us to reflect his image not the image of our Lord Jesus.

When we sin satan wins. When we confess and repent he loses. These are battles that are fought every day. But we are not without resources and help in these battles. The Spirit is in our hearts, a fellow warrior who will not be conquered, who fights along with us who will not relinquish his hold on our hearts. Sadly, we still sin and the fights go on and on.But with Jesus at our side, we stand guard over our hearts and have victories. We could not do this by ourselves. Thankfully, the Spirit does not tire or give up, He stands strong and shares His strength with us.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia