Thursday, April 30, 2015

Are You Living a Beautiful Life?

I am overjoyed at the fact that I get to watch the 2-year old daughter of my long time friend (sister through love) once a week! Since my girls are older now, watching her grow and develop brings back fond memories. Those of you that have parented more that one child, know how amazing it is that each of your children are so distinctly different. God truly crafts and creates each of us so miraculously and specifically!

With my oldest being 21 and my youngest turning 14 this year, I had already lived through the toys strewn all over the house, sleepless nights, naptimes, and all things that go with that age. So the days that I am blessed to have this sweet little bundle in my care for the day, are the BEST! I find that I have some fresh eyes, or fresh perspective. Let me explain what I mean. Today she pulled all the tissues out of the tissue box, dumped out the train set, pretended to blow all the dogs' noses, and unrolled a whole roll of toilet paper. She also joined me in singing Jesus Loves the Little Children, told me I was pretty and held my hand as she sat beside me and played on my iPad. You see what I mean? Definitely the BEST!
This is The Beautiful Life
 What is so different about me watching this sweet little bundle as opposed to the struggles I went through as a young mom?  PERSPECTIVE!  You see, perspective is so important!

As a young mom I found myself worried about many things. I found that I compared myself to the moms I saw around me, instead of relying on Christ to be my strength and wisdom. It took me a little bit to realize that the best thing I could do for my family and myself was to be the best "me" I could be. To be completely honest, sometimes that meant sitting in the middle of laundry holding one of my kids, or reading to them when I really wanted to be doing my hair!  Can any of you relate?

What I realized is that God doesn't make mistakes. He didn't make me and then wish that I would be like so and so. He gave me the family that He wanted me to have, and His desire is that I would live a Beautiful Life through Him!

I heard a powerful sermon this past weekend at a Women's Encounter by Michelle Bell about what it takes to live a "Beautiful Life." (I wish I had a recording of it, I would share it on here.) She shared a little about going through the same struggle as a young woman of God trying to see who was living that beautiful life that she could duplicate. What she found....what I have found is that the "Beautiful Life" looks different for all of us. What it takes is being exactly who God made you to be. Be faithful to God in every age and stage......and don't rely on your feelings. Our feelings are fickle at best and deceitful at worst.

God placed you in the right family, and gave you the kids he wanted you to have. When we go through hard things, we can face them in the strength and hope that comes only through Christ. You see, the Beautiful Life doesn't mean that it is always perfect, it simply means that we are keeping ourselves eternity minded. We need to keep our hearts open, always listening to what He has for us to do. As a Christian we all have a ministry to fulfill for Christ. Sometimes that means when our kids are small, they are our ministry. Or it may mean that when someone calls or stops by needing to talk, they are not an inconvenience, God has entrusted them to us as our ministry. It means that when our life takes a turn that we didn't expect, He already knew it would happen. He is still with us, ready to help as long as we put our trust in Him.

You might ask, how do I find perspective? Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." I am reading a book written by Bill Hybels entitled "Simplify" He talks of the importance of at the least 15 minutes sitting in a chair or somewhere alone, spending time listening for God to speak to you for the day. He calls it "chair time."  Spending time in the chair will definitely help you gain perspective as you go through life.

Keep your eyes focused on God. Allow Him the opportunity to speak to your heart. Trust Him with your whole life. Stay eternity minded! That is PERSPECTIVE!
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