Beauty Does Not Equal Relational Security

While standing at the grocery story the other day, my eyes caught a sad headline. The celebrity named “the most beautiful woman in the world” was having relationship problems again. They captured the heartbroken Jennifer Lopez grieving over her cheating boyfriend.

While I’m not caught up on celebrity gossip, and I try to not look at those magazines, my heart broke for Jennifer Lopez. Many girls would do just about anything to become the most beautiful woman according the worlds standards. Yet here is this gorgeous woman, left alone and hurt. Obviously this means that beauty does not offer relational security.

The thoughts that swirled through my head, and the message that gets sent out to the world is that if someone like Jennifer Lopez can’t keep a man, how is the average woman going to prevent hers from walking out?

In the moment of her pain, I’m sure she asks herself the same questions we do in crisis.
What if I were prettier?
What if I were smarter?
What if I was more talented?
Then would I stop getting hurt?

After thinking and praying on this, I have thought of many couples who have stood the test of time, and haven’t succumb to divorce and adultery. None of those situations ranked outward appearance anywhere near the top of important qualities.

I hope that allows you to exhale for a moment. We can rest easier when we know that the important things are areas that we can work on and submit to the Lord. Our physical self can change to an extent, but then no more. Our inner self can continually be made more into the likeness of God everyday, as we make it a priority.

Proverbs 31: 28-30 in a familiar verse, but let it sink into your heart.

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

The husband of a wife who works on her inner beauty, will praise her, and out of that his love for her will grow. As I hear older men speak of their beloved wives, you can tell they love them in a much deeper way than a younger couple can even comprehend.

Sadly the world has rated these as top things to have: beauty, fame, power and money. People attain these, and still often have nothing.

We can still have it all with Jesus; He has given me beauty for ashes, recognition in the courts of the King of Kings, power from on high, and a promise to supply all my needs. My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the courts of my King forever.

Don’t keep this hope to yourself. Many women around us have relied on their outward beauty to bring them acceptance. Eventually it fails. When it does, be sure to point them to the one who wants to beautify them on the inside to attract the man who will love, praise and honour them for who they are as a virtuous woman.

 

Hashtag Reality Checks

I’m kind of freaking out today. My stomach is one big ball of emotion. We move tomorrow morning. I just laid Caleb down for his last nap here in this house. Wow, I did not expect that flood of memories. In fourteen short months, he has filled this house with inexplicable joy. I will always remember bringing that boy home from the hospital, to this special house. I’m sure we will drive by for the rest of our lives and tell our kids that this was the first house mom and dad owned, and this was also where Caleb was brought home. Houses really do hold wonderful memories.

During one of my freak out moments the other day, I instagramed (as any social media indulgent would do at a time like that) this photo with the hashtag #panicmode.

After publishing my photo, I decided to click on the tag (for those of you who are completely lost, this is a way to view all other photos categorized by this name). Instantly I felt ridiculous.

First, I will say that I was surprised at the photos, since I don’t think I would be stopping to take pictures in some of these scenarios. The most dramatic one I saw was extreme flooding with cars and homes being swept away. I saw a terrified face watching the destruction.

Talk about perspective.

Oh hashtags, some times you bring a reality check.

Anyway, I’m not going to get too down on myself for my lack of understanding for actual world problems. Tomorrow morning when I’m stressing out, I’ll just thank the Lord that it’s not flooding!

I guess the moral of the story is, if you feel like you’re in a tough spot, hashtag your extreme adjective, and see what other people are going through! 🙂

‘Til after the move,

Not My Desire

When we were house hunting, I had many desires in my heart. I was looking for some very specific qualities in a house. I fell in love with a couple of two story,  hundred year old character homes, with beautifully manicured backyards and lots of space. I told our realtor that my husband might be ambitious with what he says we’ll take on, but I didn’t want a fixer-upper. Not one bit!

As one by one the houses that I loved fell through, my heart was breaking. I had let myself get attached to the idea of them, and I was fighting hard for something that wasn’t meant to be. I heard many times the standard christian line “God will grant you the desire of your heart.” Usually this was followed by an implication that the right two story, hundred year old home had not yet surfaced.

Needless to say, the right house did appear, and it is a true understatement to say that it was not what I desired. A bungalow, fixer-upper with a yard that needed a complete overhaul, was not my idea of a fun weekend project, while preparing to move cities. I knew in my heart this was the one, though every part of my flesh screamed against it.

I went back to the Word of God to remind myself of what He says about our hearts desire. I looked no further than Psalm 37:4.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

The Lord is wonderful, in that sometimes he does not give us what our flesh desires, because he knows the deeper desires of our heart. The greater purposes in our heart sometimes are clouded by selfishness and conceited ambition. Proverbs 20:5 says

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.

The Lord really began to draw out the true desires of my heart. What came to the surface were things that might have been choked out by trying to keep up with higher payments. Desires for space to welcome people was granted, and in a creative way, extra time with my husband was granted since we needed to drive more and stay over night and work on the house. The Lord sees the big picture, even when we don’t.

The wonderful thing is, that Psalm 37 addresses is that as we delight ourselves in the Lord, he will grant the desires of our heart. He might have to change them while we’re delighting ourselves in him, but when you are connected with him, he will make your desires one with his desires.

And whose desires can compete with His?

 

Our project isn’t done, but it’s amazing how different this house looks. There are still many lessons to be learned from this new home transformation, but I’ll save them for another conversation, and get back to packing!

 

 

Real Life Video Series

Okay here is my introduction to the “Real Life with Monica” video series!

I am so nervous about this, friends! Writing is one thing, but speaking on camera, AHH!! God is definitely stretching me.

Enjoy!