Monday, February 10, 2014

What do people see when they look at you?

In the past year I have gone from a size 12 to a 4/6.  It feels good to be healthier!  I don't walk out of the mall in tears.  Shopping is FUN!  Still, I go to the fitting room with a size 4, or 6 pants, and a small, or medium shirt and I think "there is NO way this is going to fit me!"  And then, it does!

I am happy with my smaller size.  I am happy that I am healthier, and as a result my family is healthier, too.  I am happy that I am more fit.  I am thrilled that my husband is proud of the hard work and the changes I have accomplished.

BUT...really...I don't want to be noticed.  At one time I liked being the center of attention, but that was before God became the Center of my life.  Losing weight has caused me to gather attention, which I understand, but I will be glad when everyone gets accustomed to my new size and forgets about the weight loss.  Please do not think that I don't appreciate the compliments I have received, though!  I truly do!

I have been blessed to receive some hand-me-downs, so I haven't had to shop much since losing weight.  I needed a few new sweaters and long sleeve shirts, so I went shopping last weekend.  Yes, it was fun!  I got some great deals and some cute things!  I was really excited to wear one of my new outfits to church yesterday.  I thought about it Saturday and how I would piece the outfit together, and what earrings I would wear, and how I would wear my hair, and, and, and...  It was all about ME!

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?"
Matthew 6:25

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin."

Mathew 6:28

"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?"
Mathew 6:31

The previously listed verses are about "worrying," but the context is there that you really don't need to think about your clothing, and if you have enough, or if it is nice enough, or what you should wear.  Go back to the beginning of Matthew 6!  You will read that God does not want us to draw attention to ourselves.  It is not about us!  It is about HIM!  The fashion industry would have us think otherwise.

As I was lying in bed last night and thinking about how misguided I was in wasting so much time deciding what I should wear, I had a revelation.  God is so good to teach us, right?  This is what He taught me last night:

"Do not draw attention to yourself through your hair, makeup, clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc!  Keep those things minimal.  Draw attention to ME through you!"

I want God to be the center of attention...not me!  Not my clothing.  Not my shoes.  Not my hair.  Not my jewelry.  It's all about God!

I don't want to take this to a legalistic realm!  I am certainly not saying that it is wrong to look nice, dress cute, enjoy shopping, and take time to put together a cute outfit.  I like looking nice, and well-put together!  It becomes a problem when our appearance takes away from the Christ who lives in us.  It also becomes a problem when we are more excited about what we wear than about worshiping the Lord who deserves the time, attention, and glory.

I take the time each Saturday evening to lay out the clothing my family will wear the following day to church.  Why do I do this?  Well, because I want my family to look nice, and because Sunday mornings are a little hectic, so I can eliminate some chaos, and tardiness!  Still, I don't want to put so much focus on the clothing of my children, or myself, that I miss the preparations of our hearts to worship.  Again, it is not about is about HIM!

I went to sleep last night with the question, "What do people see when they look at you?"  Do they see your cute clothes?  Do they see jewelry?  Do they see your hair?

And this is what I want you to see:

A smile on my face...because no matter how difficult the circumstances are in my life at this moment, I have an unspeakable JOY that can only come from a wonderful Heavenly Father.

A love for others...may my love for others be a reflection of God's love in me.

A meek, and quiet, and gentle spirit...because it isn't necessary to always "speak your mind," and being boisterous and loud can only draw attention to you, and not the One who abides in you.

A thankful attitude...because there is nothing good in this life that I "deserve," but everything I have is a tremendous blessing from a giving God.

A forgiving heart...because I have been forgiven for so much, and cannot hold a higher standard than God.  I may feel hurt, but I have no reason to withhold forgiveness.

Kindness...may you always find me to be tender and kind.

Attentive to the needs of others...may I not be so absorbed in my own life that I cannot see the needs and hurts of those around me.

One who listens, and does not always feel the need to speak...because I don't always have to have an answer, and sometimes you just need a listening-board...and that's okay.

A prayer warrior...because calloused knees are far prettier than a calloused heart!  And, because I want to trust God in all things, and I can find no better way to do that than to be in constant prayer.  And, because I want you to know that if you ask me to pray about something...I will do it!

Oh, my Lord...let them see YOU in me...

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