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The Hidden Person of the Heart

There is definitely something to be said for dressing nicely, fixing your hair, and accessorizing it up to feel confident and pretty.

Formal Down Do

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.

DWTS Dress

 

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! IMG_5654My 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!

Mindy Jeanette red carpetYes, 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, IMG_9215and 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

IMG_6679

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:

  • of high price or great value;
  • very valuable or costly:
  • highly esteemed for some spiritual, non-material, or moral quality:
  • dear; beloved:
  • a precious child.
  • a dearly beloved person; darling.

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 🙂

Oceanside shorts

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!

 

 

 

 

You Are Amazing!

     Don’t let the broken curves of your life defeat you! Take those twists, turns, breaks, curves, and pieces and let them form the stronger, wiser backbone of the amazing, life-filled person you are capable of being!  You can do it!

     Then triumph over those scars by putting them to GOOD use! – Use your experience in surviving your scars to help others get through their own broken curves and scars. God can and will help you make something good out of your life, no matter what is in your past, if you let Him.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  (Romans 8:28)

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Crooked Tree Meme Comp

 

…but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and [b]we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.(Romans 5:1-5)

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.   (James 1:2-6)

Have faith in the One who created you and planned for good things in and from your life – before you were even born! Just believe in Him and ask Him to help you and He will!

Then change your life for the good! I am cheering for you ❤

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139&version=NASB

 

My House is a Mess, but I Am Oiled In the Presence of My Enemies!

A beloved Psalm throughout the ages, Psalm 23 speaks of devotion from our Shepherd, peace and rest, and protection.

But do we really understand what these beautiful Words say?

And how do we meaningfully apply them to our lives?

Here is my take on these timelessly beautiful and peaceful Words. The Words in Burgandy are Scripture, with my interpretation and a little humor on how I have been applying – or NOT applying them to my life in green. 

Enjoy!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd

 (when I allow Him to be)

I shall not want. 

(even though I do want – lots of things – I will try not to want unreasonably)

He makes me lie down in green pastures; 

(even though often I don’t see them)

He leads me beside quiet waters. 

(even though I tend to stir them up)

He restores my soul;

 (time, after time, after time)

He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 

(This means He guides me when I seek Him. When I forget to seek Him, or ask for His help, more often than not, I end up on the wrong path!)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

(Sorry God, I know that not having enough money for the things I think I need, is not actually the valley of the shadow of death, nor is having shoe and boot envy! – but I get what you mean here.)

I fear no evil, for You are with me; 

(I know You are with me, God, but sometimes it’s so hard not to worry or be afraid. Bad things have happened in my life in the past, and I keep being afraid they will happen again. But I will try NOT to worry, and trust more that You know what You are doing.)

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

(Yes, God, I have to admit that in probably every tough lessen I have had to learn, I came out better for it. I don’t like tough lessens at all – as a matter of fact, I dread them, but there is comfort in knTall Table compowing that once through the lesson I will be stronger and a better person for it.  And when I let You lead me, my reward is always greater on Your path than my own.  Yes, I have learned this.)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

(Sometimes I don’t get this one – but I know that when I’m around people I don’t know, or those I feel uncomfortable around, or a little scared of – if I just say a quick prayer to You to help me or keep me safe, I always feel reassured. I know from Your Word that You will bless me for my faithfulness and carry me through any danger.)

You have anointed my head with oil; 

(and my feet with beautiful shoes)

My cup overflows. 

(Yes, Lord, even though I like to “want,” I do realize that I have much more than many, many others. I have a non-leaking, heated and cooled roof over my head; I have a dependable car to get me where I need to go; I have ample and nutritious food in my tummy every day; and I have so much love and support in my life from family and friends – My cup does overflow!

I will be grateful!!

And during those times when the level in my cup begins to lower, yes even when it seems it will dry up – well, somehow just in the nick of time You seem to always fill it back up and then even overflow it again!

I will remember this! I will!)

Surely goodness and lovingkindness (and mercy) will follow me all the days of my life. 

(This means God will take care of me, providing for my basic needs and love me forever. This does NOT mean I will always be trouble-free, carefree, or rich! But I promise I will try to remember this and be grateful, even in the tough times.)

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

Thank You, God, that I have Your house and Your presence to dwell in, because I, and my house are sometimes a mess!

Thank You God for the Words You give me – that You give to everyone, to help me – us- make it through each and every day. God, please help me remember to start each day saying “hi” to You, and asking You to walk with me that day, and to be with me, no matter what. Show me who You are in my life, God. Give me faith to believe completely in You, and that You have a pre-made plan for me, because You loved me and formed me, and consecrated me even before I was born. Please help me remember this and be faithful. And in this season of Thanksgiving, please help me see and remember how much I have to be thankful for.  I love you God – Amen ❤

Thankful Table

Overflowing Fountain of Life

Do you feel blessed?                            Pohnpei Waterfall For Blog

Have you ever felt blessed?

Hmmm…consider these Words:

You’re Blessed

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.  Matthew 5 The Message (MSG)  

Wow – these wonderful words tell me that  

  • when I’m exhausted and have nothing left to give, that is when I am most open and accepting of God’s care of me and His guidance. Yes, in reflection, I see that this is true.
  • That when I have lost my heart’s desire or a most dear loved one, then that is when I am able to accept God’s embracing and enveloping love of me. When I am too wrapped up and focused on the one(s) I love, I am too full and distracted to receive God’s love (God – who loves me more than anyone else ever would or could.)
  • That when I am ready to accept who I am, with humility, with all my little quirks, flaws and all, that is when I receive peace in having all the important things in life that cannot be bought with a price.
  • That when I deeply desire to know more about God and things of God, then I will be more fulfilled and satisfied than with anything else.
  • That when I am mindful and caring and merciful to others, that is when I will find caring and mercy given to me.
  • That when I set my sights and heart on the right things, good and caring things, pure things, things that truly matter, not just to me, but to others around me, then my eyes will be open to all the good, right, pure and wonderful things in my life and in the world.  And it is then that I will see God!
  • That when I work to create peace and harmony in those around me, instead of gossip, rumor spreading, or conflict, then I will find my place in God’s plan and kingdom. Meaning I will find peace and joy and contentment in my own heart. And make God’s heart happy as I embrace being one of HIS.
  • And that when I take a stand for God, when I take part in worship of God, when I share His Word and love with others, and as a result am made fun of, ridiculed, or even lose out on something I wanted – that’s ok.  I can surround myself with Christian people, keep seeking God, sharing things of God, and become more deeply centered in God’s kingdom and His care of me.  Some others may not like it, but God does – and He will reward me for it!!! After all – all the great prophets and teachers of the Word have all gone through some persecution. And they held fast.

We all go through persecution of some kind or another. 

We just need to choose if it’s for a bad or non-productive cause, or a good and life-changing one.

So, this morning, in contemplation of these verses and words – I feel a little silly and misguided in ever having a pity party.  Yes, I get that there will be times when I feel overwhelmed and wonder “why me?” But that’s ok.  Because it is those times that I will turn to God and ask Him why?

I will have conversation with God.

And He likes that

Because that is when we have relationship – a 2-way relationship ❤

Instead of me by myself or God by Himself.

Yes, I see that it takes conversation between us – me and God.  And my heart being open and willing to hear His leading, and not my own stubborn will.  Sometimes that means being empty, broken, harassed, lost, or torn.  And if that’s when I find God most intimately and allow myself to feel His presence and love the most – then that’s ok. 

Because therein lies my peace, my purpose, my life.

May you each find peace, purpose and an overflowing fountain of life in your day to day living.

And may you feel totally blessed indeed!

Love, peace and joy to you,

Mindy