Tag Archive | Lifestyle

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!

 

 

 

 

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

Heart-Healing Words

Happy Sunday to you!!

Are you happy this morning? Or are you, like me, maybe feeling a little hurting in your heart – from hurt feelings, or maybe sadness from a loss?

A few days ago someone I love slung some very hurtful words at me and in hurt and anger I slung a few ugly and not nice words right back.  Words that I thought would never come out of my mouth. Today I feel great remorse (even though I am still reeling in hurt).

However, I read a few Words this morning that sounded so good and reminded me where I always can find healing for my hurt. These words were:

How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Ps 119:103
And I am reminded again of how magically reviving and hurt-healing the Words of this Book can be to me when I remember to seek them out and let them into, and wash over my heart. I love to also dwell in Psalm 139 to know that I am not, I am NEVER alone. And there is good with me, wherever I am – always.
Today, I choose to dwell in His Words, instead of those other hurtful words.
And bask in His awesome healing.
How about you – where do you turn for your heart healing?  I invite you to click the link above to read Psalm 139 – let the Words flow over and sink into your heart as you reflect upon what they are saying to you.  Then re-read verses 13 & 14.
Oh, how I love these beautiful Words! They tell me (you) that I (you) was planned and placed and created by a wonderful Maker, whose works are **marvelous  – marvelous! – that means I (you) am marvelous! We are marvelous!
So I will let those hurtful words someone said to me, roll right off of me! They don’t stick today because God’s wonderful Words have healed my heart! I was created wonderfully and marvelously, with awe, and as long as I choose to live in this example of goodness, I can be wonderful and good, and no words can take that away from me (or you)!
So, choose to embrace this wonderfully marvelous self who God created you to be and let your heart be healed!
**Some other Bible versions use the word “wonderful” here. God’s words are wonderful! We are wonderful!
Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 139 – New American Standard Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience. – For the choir director. A Psalm of David. O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I

Wild Beauties

Wild Beauty     As I walked through my back yard this morning, meditating, and enjoying the lovely Springtime blooms, I came across the tree bearing this colorful flower. I stopped a moment to take in its unique and sort of wild beauty. While studying it, I couldn’t help draw a parallel of this flower’s half bloomed, unique beauty, to the partially bloomed beauty of our lives.

     This last month I’ve been doing a group study about letting go of worldly definitions of  beauty and feeling free to be the beautiful, wonderfully made individuals God intended us to be.  Looking at this beautiful, sort of exotic looking flower this morning, I thought, “this flower represents every one of us – such unique, vibrant qualities, and still in the process of blooming!” But oh my, how beautiful are the budding characteristics! The already bloomed parts that make this unique flower so special, which are weathering Spring’s wind and rain, yet standing out strong – are like the unique and special qualities in each of us that have born the tests and trials which have molded us into the beauties we are today. Yet, this special flower has not yet fully bloomed, we can’t yet see the full exquisite beauty this half-bloomed flower promises.  Oh – but promise it does!! Just as our own half-lived lives promise!

     And notice something else – the little green closed buds in the middle of the flower that have not opened yet – do you see how pretty they are? How they work together with the rest of the flower’s design and add to the special beauty of the overall bloom? Wow – how exciting to me to think that this is how I am – how each of us are – we are each a very special, beautiful, blooming work in progress!  Yes, you boys and men too! Just as God created this amazing, uniquely special, beautiful flower that blooms in stages, so has He made each one of us!

     Each stage of our lives, we have learned and brought forth a beautiful, unique, new quality that defines us. By the time we are adults, (like this flower) our outer shell is mostly formed, in all its stunning glory!  But there is yet wisdom to be learned, beauty to unfold and bloom, in our hearts, and throughout our lives as God directs us through our life paths, our challenges, our loves and losses, our joys and sorrows. And as we purpose to serve Him!

     So, as we go through our week, let’s all remember this beautifully unique, half bloomed flower, and the promise of exotic, perfect beauty it holds to come. Then let’s apply this to our own selves; we each are this beautiful and unique flower, which under God’s perfect hand, will over our lifetimes, grow and bloom and perfect into an exotic, perfect creation, meant to live out the unique purpose He individually chose for each of us and which will please Him! Our differences, our trials, our mistakes – they will all work together to grow us and refine us into these gorgeous creations and purposes that God intended.

     Now, go look in the mirror and see how uniquely beautiful you are! And just think – like this spectacular flower – God’s not done with you yet!

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
   and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

   as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
   before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
  they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
  you are still with me!

Psalm 139

Have a Beautiful Day!

#Goodness #Love #Mercy

#Goodness #Love #Mercy

May Love and Kindness

Guide your life today.

May you find a little Peace

Along the way

Enveloped in Compassion

Walking with Faith

May you sit with Contentment

At the end of this day.

 

Bury My Specialty – um…what?

Is there something in your life that you would really like to do, be, or accomplish – you know, that something that fills you with great passion, that something that seems you were born to do, or be? But…somehow there’s something else that bogs you down, makes you procrastinate, keeps you from seriously pursuing and accomplishing it?

 What is that something? And what is that something else keeping you from it?  Hmmm…is it  IMG_8590                     All my life, one of two things I always wanted to be is a singer. In elemSpecial Giftsentary school, I jealousy watched my best friend sing a solo in our school program. In junior and senior high, I happily sang in choir and took a solo to contest my senior year! 

But that’s when the nerves really kicked in – and began to derail my dreams!

The nerves became fear. The fear grew and took on life of its very own over my gift, leaving it weak and trembling! But, ooooooh, how I wanted to sing! But for the next 10+ years after high school, I hid – I buried my gift of singing underneath daily life and didn’t sing because it was too scary to put myself out there for rejection – yep, that old, powerful critic,

Fear of Rejection got me.

 Are you familiar with Fear of Rejection? That little sinking feeling inside you when you want to put yourself out there where someone has the opportunity to judge you and find you lacking? That little sinking feeling starts in your stomach and begins to grow inside you, swelling up, developing a voice, reverbing and banging around in your stomach, and your chest, then yelling and throbbing in your head and ears along with your heartbeat? Every time you muster up the courage to do that something you long to do, that special something you LOVE to do, this feeling takes over you and your “special something,” and your gift jumps right into the back seat- oh yes, again!

Fear dirtUuuuugggghhhh!

Well…that’s what happened to me every time I got up to sing. When I looked out over those expectant faces, this Fear would take hold in the pit of my stomach, then radiate in neon waves into my throat, effectively squeezing my vocal chords, making my voice into this foreign, wimpy sound no one recognized – every time. Even with constant affirmation, I questioned and doubted my ability. I worked hard at voice lessons, exercises, prayed continually, consulted experts in vocal performance, etc. In the privacy of my own home, I sang out with joy and abandon! In 3 different churches I prayed up and conquered my fear through auditions and made it into choir and amazingly praise team – but as soon as I got in front of a crowd – bam! That Fear slammed me! Year after year after frustrating year! Suffice it to say, I allowed Fear to bury my special gift Fear Burying Special Giftsin the back seat of my life and never realized my hope, my DREAM of being a real singer. This will go down in my life as one of my greatest disappointments.

 So how about YOU – what are YOU allowing Fear to squash and bury in YOUR life? IMG_8590

 My pastor’s message a few weeks ago used Matthew 25:14-26 – the Parable of the Talents to make his great point: Three slaves were each given talents (units of money) to manage for their master while he was away. The first two bravely went out and invested their talents and each doubled what they had been given, and received a great reward. But the third slave was afraid, and in his Fear, went and buried the coin instead of investing it, so nothing became of it. And because, in his Fear, he squandered his one gift and didn’t make good use of it, not only did he not receive any reward, his one talent was taken away from him.

Yikes! I think tFear dirthat’s what I have done! Living in my Fear, I have squandered the wonderful gift God gave me – the gift of joyful singing! I buried it with my Fear and didn’t grow it and share it with others. Now my prime-time-for-singing years are behind me. Opportunity lost. Gift effectively buried. Because of Fear. Friend – don’t let Fear bury your special God-given gift! Special Gifts

 If there is something (positive and legal) you are really good at naturally, that you deeply desire or “need” to do or be in your life, then pursue it!

Pursue it!!

You see, if God has given you a special gift, then He also has already given you the ability to use that special gift for good purposes, to grow, to share, to touch other lives with it. And He intends for you to do so.

Tap into it!

Pray about it, talk to others about it, find a mentor or accountability partner, do what works for you to rise up and conquer your Fear.    Don’t let fearSpecial gift burying fear of failure or fear of rejection keep you from doing or being what God created you to do or be! It will be a great disappointment and regret in your life if you do. But if you embrace your gift, and pursue it and walk in it, well, this is where you will find your greatest happiness and fulfillment!

 Now, go dig up that gift, wash it off and put it to great use! Let’s have no regrets! Special Gifts Burried Fear

 PS – the second thing I always wanted to be is a writer – after dabbling with Fear, I have thrown it in the back seat and am now deep into pursuing my passion – yes with blogging, but also in editing/publishing a book I’ve written!

Will you hold me accountable?

 

Yours,

Mindy ❤ ❤ ❤