This morning as I spent some time in devotion, I closed my eyes and let myself get lost in the beauty of the instrumental, as well as the words of this gorgeous song – New Wine, by Hillsong Worship.
Wow! Just Wow!
Do you know this song? My church sings this song frequently so I know the words, but this morning they touched me to my soul.
In reflection, my whole life I have struggled with fear of failure and fear of rejection, mostly because of the dysfunctional pattern and deep hurts of my growing up years. Maybe you have struggled with some of these too? Well, over the years I learned – by doing OVER and OVER, until I FINALLY did it – to laydown these #lifehurts that kept me tied up in knots and afraid. And last year I finally laid down the 20-yr old #deepgrief of losing my beautiful son when he was just 9 yrs old. My heart is renewed!
So now, with the beginning of 2019, after much prayer, my spiritual #WordfortheYear is Courage. Courage! Me? Little #MuchAfraid? (If you are not familiar with the character, Much Afraid, you might want to check out the soul-stirring book, Hinds’ Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard). Oh boy!
So, this morning, in reflecting on this new #courage, along with this gorgeous song, this Verse also hits me hard:
No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. Luke 5:37-38
Woah! Did you get that?
Wow! I FINALLY did! What I finally get now is this: In the crushing, in the pressing of each #lifehurt I endured, as Jesus loved me through each one, he was making New Wine in me. And as an adult, as I laid down each crushing, breaking #lifehurt at the alter, Jesus fashioned a piece of my new wineskin out of each hurt. And as I finally laid down my last deep #lifehurt – my #deepgrief – my new wineskin was complete and ready for filling up with all that New Wine!
Whew! Oh! My! Goodness!
Now, with my spiritual new #WordfortheYear, Courage, I realize it’s time, yes, it’s time to pour myself OUT of my old wineskin and right INTO my new wineskin! Woohoo! And oh yes, it’s also time to embrace my true treasure, *Matt 6:19-20, which is helping women find healing from their lifetime of hurts. For me, this specifically means finishing my book #LayItAllDown, putting myself out there and getting it published! Do you know what YOUR true treasure is? Are you embracing it?
Oh my Goodness, YES! This is so exciting!
2019 is the year that I fully embrace being whole, complete, and courageously new!
I am NEW WINE and I live in a NEW WINESKIN!
Jesus, make me Your vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever You want me to be! Jesus, bring new wine out of me!
Dear Reader, how about you – are you still living in your old wineskin? Do you have life hurts you want/need to lay down so they won’t hurt you any more? Are you still wandering through the desperate journey of deep grief and don’t know how to climb up out of it? Whatever it is that might be hurting you, holding you back, I implore you to take it up with your Heavenly Father, who loves you to distraction, who wants BETTER for you. He is just waiting for you to come to Him, with ALL your heart, telling Him what you need. He already knows what you need and is just waiting to help you – He just wants to hear it from you. Beloved, He will help you through it. I know He will, because He lovingly carried me through all of mine.
I’d love to pray for you too if you’d like to leave a comment and I will lift you up to our Heavenly Father, our Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, asking Him to help you, to give you courage and strength and to see you through as He, our Jehovah Raphe, our Healer God, draws you into healing and your new wineskin! He can and He will if you will just ask Him.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.
Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.
*Matthew 6:19-20 NASB“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
At first glance mine looks like a total mess. Right? That’s what I thought. But as I looked around it to see what I could put up, I realized something. Everything on my desk was an uplifting, make me feel good item. As my eyes took in each item I found myself smiling and experiencing either a thankful feeling or a nice memory. Or a good teaching tool.
This is my space. I am happy in my space. I feel good in my space. I love my space, even if it’s a mess. Because it’s filled with feel-good to me stuff. And encouraging, uplifting, learning stuff. I happily realized that everything in my space inspires warmth and creativity – no wonder I look forward to beginning my day, each day, right here
So, what does your workspace look like? Is it filled with encouraging, feel-good-to-you stuff? Or, does it maybe need a #messymakeover?
There is definitely something to be said for dressing nicely, fixing your hair, and accessorizing it up to feel confident and pretty.
Beautiful hair, jewelry, makeup and clothes!
Some of my best days seem to be when I have on a feel-good pretty outfit that I know looks great on me, gorgeous notice-me heels, glittering jewelry, hair curled and flowing down my back, and a great bag on my arm.
However, because I currently live on a tiny tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where it’s drippy hot and humid every single day and the appropriate daily attire is shorts and flip flops, it’s not too often I get to dress up pretty like that. I struggle some days nose-diving right into low self-esteem – instead of the beautifully turquoise ocean – when faced with putting on those flat flip flops and boring pony tail AGAIN! My heart (and feet) yearn to put on those gorgeous, towering heels and that silky flowing dress, which are calling out to me from my closet. Ooooohhhh, to feel so pretty and vibrant again!
Yes, the struggle is real, folks.
But then I remember!
Yes, God made me and created me with a deep desire for beautiful things, especially when I can surround myself with them and WEAR them. This is a big part of my personality – of who I have always been. And oh how the world can chew me up and spit me out when I equate the ability to satisfy this desire in me with my ability to be beautiful. Let’s face it folks, to me, on ME, simple flip flops and boring pony tail do not = beauty!
But, yes, then I remember!
I remember these beautiful Words the Lover of my soul says over and over again to me:
Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and
All my gold finery, right?
quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3)
Ooooohhhhhhh that’s right – I don’t have to have on a beautiful dress, or sexy heels, or glittery, materialistic ANYTHING to BE beautiful! I don’t have to fix myself up with braided or curled hair and fancy jewelry and colorful, accentuating makeup (yes, I also love pretty makeup) to be beautiful, special, or precious.
Precious? Do you know what being precious actually means? Dictionary.com defines precious as:
Yes, that is what I totally want to be, don’t you? A dearly beloved person or darling to someone – just as I am, faults and all. Stripped down, naked. Bare feet! Beloved and precious.
That’s me. That’s you. Beloved and Precious.
Just as we are.
Without outward adornment. The One who loved us first, the One who loves us best, even with an everlasting love, does not care about those things. What does He care about? “the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,” In other words, what’s in our hearts. What is precious to the Lover of our souls is having a true, soft and gentle heart that does good, even when others are not looking, not being loud and quarrelsome, but being peaceful, one that truly loves Him and continually puts their spirit in tune with Him. This is what makes us – me – you – precious and beautiful to God.
And I find that when I allow myself to be precious and beautiful to God, I feel precious and beautiful. I AM precious and beautiful. Even without those sexy, towering heels 🙂
Shorts and flip-flops CAN be BEAUTIFUL!
So, next time you are tempted to dive into that sea of low self-esteem, remember, you don’t have to measure up to the world’s standard of being beautiful – you were created to be precious and beautiful just by having a heart that loves God and is spiritually in tune with Him. Just tell Him you want to feel precious and beautiful. Tell God, your Heavenly Father that you love Him and want to be close to Him, that you want Him to guide your life. Then open your heart to hear His soft and reassuring voice, open your eyes to see the things He puts in your life. Let your spirit talk with and connect with Him all day, every day. Then be precious and beautiful – because you are!
There’s something to be said for a writing that gives you great inspiration, especially in times of great turmoil. We, in America, right now are in great turmoil.
With the close of our presidential election, 2016, we find violence in the streets, word violence all over social media, and heartache in our souls. I will admit that I’ve had great trouble not hitting that reply button on Facebook to forever mark my righteous opinion or indignation in answer to an unacceptable comment regarding the election. Ha! The struggle is real, folks.
And when it comes to the media and what their mass message to women right now is – my righteous anger is ignited almost more than I can bear! But, that’s for another post! This post is for peace 🙂 I need a little peace right now, how about you?
Well, this afternoon I came across some familiar, but currently forgotten words and my heart was uplifted and inspired with fresh hope. Yes! Hope! I realized anew that here is a way to make a positive difference, to soothe a little hurt, to rise above all the ugliness going around today everywhere we look! Yes!
Read these inspirational words:
Love(yes, this says love, not hate) from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil;hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12:9-21 The Message (MSG)
Get the best of evil by doing good. One good deed at a time. I know that to do good right now may seem a little hopeless and to some even pointless.
But take heart my friends!
Doing good in times of trouble is a tried and true recipe for positive change! And if your heart, like mine, is weary of all the angry, destructive, political rhetoric, then I hope that you will bathe your heart, your spirit, your very soul in these beautiful words of hope from Paul. And then go out and do something good! Post a positive message or a smiling selfie. Don’t let the political “evil” take over your heart, which is the center of who you are. No – run for dear life from it! Yikes! Hold on for dear life to good instead! Set your mind on something good!
Put some love back into your heart – you know, like the song lyrics, put a little love in your heart. (I hope you will watch this as well as listen.)
Try to love, and love deeply – for REAL! And remember – this means unselfishly. No ulterior motives 🙂 Do something generous for someone else, especially someone who you disagree with. Warning: This might make you feel really good!
Get the best of evil by doing good!
And soothe your heart. Spread some love. Spread some hope. Spread some peace.
#spreadsomelove #spreadsomehope #spreadsomepeace
And just maybe the world will start being a better place, for you, for me, just wait and see!
This is actually one of my favorite places on the island, to sit and meditate as the bright afternoon sun begins its setting trek to the west. I took this picture right after a little rain shower, just as the sunshine crystallized through a drop of water on the palm.