Choosing Inspiration

Inspire me….

Maybe it’s her: the way she throws her head back with abandon and laughs from the core of her being.

Or maybe him: the way he gives selflessly over and over again just to help someone in need.

Or maybe her: the way she feels so passionately that it consumes her whole being.

Maybe it’s him: the way he always has a kind word just when you need it.

Or maybe them: the way that they give and give and give again.

Maybe it’s her: the way she isn’t giving up, even when she wants to.

Or maybe it’s him: the way he works so hard and is so much smarter than me.

photo credit: ivoryjohn.com

We can find inspiration when we choose to. It is everywhere, if only we choose to see it. Choosing isn’t always easy. I’m too often quick to see the negative, the messy room, the empty seat at the dinner table, the way that passion consumes beautiful and frightening in the same flame.

Those things are easy to see when we’ve been pressed on, pressed in from every side. But when we choose to look with eyes that are willing to scan and adjust and blur the background so the beauty takes center stage, then we can be inspired.

That is where beauty and inspiration run deep and course through my veins.

That is where the pulsing in my head cannot compete with the pounding of my heart.

Inspiration is everywhere we choose to see it.

And maybe that is what inspires me today.

Maybe it’s me: when I choose to adjust my focus and see clearly.

Linking up today with Holley Gerth  at

Coffee for Your Heart 150

and Jennifer Dukes Lee for

Stop by and be encouraged!

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Less than 1%

“Just follow me,” the doctor asked.

Wait. What is happening? We never go this way. We always go right to his office.

“Would you please step on the scale?”

WHAT? No, no, no. This was the one doctor that never weighed me. I’ve been coming to him for 15 years and not once have I had to step up to bring myself down. But what could I do? I smiled and tried not to look at the numbers.

This is not a measure of who I am. This is not a measure of my worth. And I smiled.

Ok, so the smile was fake and it was forced, but I made a choice. I not to allow a twelve-inch square ruin my day. I chose, not to ignore those 30 seconds, but to treat them as what they really were: three hundredths of a percent of my day. That’s right. Less than 1 % of my day was on that scale. Three hundredths of a percent didn’t deserve that much power over me.

What do you need to choose today? Maybe it isn’t a scale, but what areas of your life do you give more power than they deserve?

Take a moment and put them in their place. Recognize them for what they are, but nothing more.

Yes, that number on the scale is higher than I’d like. No, that number does not make me feel beautiful. But it doesn’t have to be about feelings. It was that way before I stepped on the scale and after. Those 30 seconds only have the power to shame me if I let them.

“In those places where we don’t believe it (that we are beautiful) we continue to shame ourselves. And shame will never be an agent of change.” Stasi Eldridge

Beautiful Hope

I need to start by telling you I am making no resolutions. A resolution is marked by decidedness, firmness, a hard-fast determination to do something. Life has enough hard edges for me. I’m going for soft.

photo credit: flickr

This New Year I am not looking at what I need to change. I will set a few goals that I’ll work on and flesh out and revise, but right now I am starting by looking at the beauty God sees in me, the beauty He sees in you right now.

At this weight.

With this mess.

Knowing my temper rages.

Even when gossip glides off my tongue.

Perfectly impatient.

This is beauty.

Why? Because He made you. He made me. If that isn’t reason enough; if He isn’t reason enough then there is no hope.

Goals are good, but they are not our hope.

“Our hope doesn’t rest on our finally getting it together. Our hope rests in Jesus.” Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge

So take just a moment and let go of all the harshness that we filter our world through, filter our reflection through. Exhale and breathe soft.

photo credit: wordpress blog

Now look at your legs. Seriously. Look at them. STOP! Before anything negative enters your mind say, “My legs are beautiful.” Yes. Out loud.

Again.

“My legs are beautiful.”

Don’t stop there. Now think about why.

My legs are beautiful because they move. They work. They get me where I need to be and they work hard for no praise. They are beautiful because they were crafted for me.

30 seconds. Maybe 60. That’s all it took for you to see beauty today.

Now breathe soft.

This may feel foreign to you (it sure does to me). But I’m fighting a battle here, and I am not willing to lose. There is too much at stake. We can go through this life always trying, striving to be more, be better, be someone. But the truth is…we already are.

Day 21: Choosing to Believe

To My Husband,

I’m sorry I haven’t believed you. I have no right to distrust your word, yet I have time and again. You’ve spent almost two decades telling me I’m beautiful, and I haven’t always believed you.

photo credit: utahstateaggiegirl.wordpress.com

photo credit: utahstateaggiegirl.wordpress.com

It really isn’t you, and I think you know that by now. That doesn’t make it fair, either. You deserve better than that. You have shown yourself to be nothing but honest with me, and I want you to know that I’m trying.

I’m trying to believe when you tell me my smile is beautiful.

I’m trying to trust that you like what you see, what you feel.

I’m trying to choose your trustworthiness instead of my insecurity. I may have known me longer than I’ve known you, but I think you’ve been more honest with me than I have.

I do trust you. I do believe you. And I’m choosing that every time your eyes linger or your hand grasps mine. I want to believe you every time. Every. single. time.

So, please don’t give up on me. Know that I know you mean it. Know that I love you. Know that I’m trusting you more than I’m trusting myself.

Thank you for seeing my beauty when I cannot. Don’t stop telling me. Every time you do I will try to exhale so you are all I hear.

I love you.

Your wife

If you would like to follow the rest of the series, please click the link below.

photo credit: 1ms.net

photo credit: 1ms.net

Day 20: Frames and Pedestals

To My Kids,

I have to start by telling you that beauty is not what you think it is. Somehow we have been consumed by our senses rather than our heart, and beauty appears to be about how someone looks. It really isn’t.

Let me tell you what beauty is. Beauty is something that starts deep in a person and radiates out of them. You can often see it in their eyes or hear it in the voice or feel it in their hands. It is part of who a person is, not what a person is. God created each person to be beautiful. We are all like different pieces of art in the same gallery. There is beauty and merit to each masterpiece although they may look nothing alike.

When you see a painting do you admire the frame or the canvas?

When you see a sculpture are you left speechless by the stand or the piece?

It is like that with beauty in people. What we see is only the frame, the stand, the tool to showcase the treasure. Somehow in this world, we have focused our eyes on the frames and lost sight of the canvas.

The face and the body and the hair are all part of the masterpiece, but if that’s all you see, you will miss so much beauty in the world, in people. So try the best you can to look past the frame, look beyond the stand, and look into the heart where the beauty of love and kindness and compassion and all that is good shines from.

This will be difficult. Especially with yourselves. But let me tell you a secret about how God has made you.

He used His immense creativity to fashion a beautiful spirit full of love and grace in each of you. Then He took that masterpiece and framed it to perfectly match the art inside of you. The frame is there to enhance your beauty.

Some days you’ll feel like you’re framed in swirly gold and some days you’ll feel like you’re framed in cheap plastic with corners that don’t quite meet. But you need to know that the frame cannot change the masterpiece unless we let it.

So take a moment and remember you are a work of art, full of beauty and displayed splendor. Allow yourself to bask in that truth and exhale.

I love you in all your beauty!

Mom

To see the rest of the series, click the link below.

photo credit: 1ms.net

photo credit: 1ms.net