On the resurrection and our faithful repetition

For several months I’ve been serving as an editor for The Joyful Life Magazine, a beautiful piece of work that features honest essays, great recipes, and some fun DIY ideas. The magazine prints quarterly and would make a great Mother’s Day gift. It’s truly excellent.

Yesterday, the blog portion of the magazine hosted an essay of mine titled “Resurrection” and I’d love for you to read it here. They are doing great work at The Joyful Life and I’m happy to be a part of it

We want to be extraordinary, to live outside of the trap of time and space, but ordinary life requires so much from us and we forget.

Maybe what resurrection really calls for is that every day be a remembrance. Every crawl out of bed is the resurrection to a new day. Every task repeated from the monotony of quotidian life is the bearing-again of everything that gives life or is the result of living. The cleaning up, the putting away and getting out again, the daily opening and closing of books and doors and laptops can be a resurrection and a remembrance: we are not ordinary people, and this is not an ordinary life. We faithfully repeat the same things as we practice rising again, and again, and again.

Read the full post here.

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On Selfies and Sexy and Other Things That Don't Make You Beautiful {And One That Does}

It's always been the way in for doubt and self-consciousness. Even before mirrors and social media, we knew if we were beautiful because of how others saw us. We knew, or we hoped with Eve, that there might be something to make us wiser and wisdom could give us the key to eternal life, or eternal youth, or at least the key to a man's heart. And that might make us happy, right?

Beauty has always been a way in for the wretched father of lies. Having it can make you vain and not having it can make you self-focused.

Which is the same.

Which is sad.

God never intended beauty to be that way.

No amount of silicone or surgery or exercise or excess will ever make you more acceptable. You will never be more truly loved because of it. No "selfies" with arched back, no piercings, no diet and no article of clothing - or lack thereof - will ever make you more beautiful. Ever.

And just for the record? Just to be honest and clear and call it like it is - "sexy" is for married people. Don't try to be something you're not.

You are created in the image of God, whether you love Him for it or not. Created in the image of the God Who thought up Monarch butterflies and mountain lakes and cocoa beans and the color turquoise.

The God Who saw an Egyptian slave-girl in the desert and called her by name, because she was made in His image and important.

God opened her eyes to see a well of water and how desperately do we need God to do that for us? To open all of our beauty-seeking eyes to see the beauty already present? Already shaped and unique, created for life-giving and glory-living.

That's what I want every girl to know.

Whether you do all the right things to be approved or all the wrong things to be noticed, I want you to know that your unadorned beauty is from God and you've got it, girl.

You don't even have to try.

It's a gift we've all been given and the greatest shame is to live without Beauty, or to live with artificial beauty when the world is full of His natural wonder.

But I know it's hard to believe.

Sometimes I catch myself singing a song with my mouth and not my heart. My lips move around words that my heart is paying no attention to, and I can sing the whole thing without ever engaging. So I get it. In my head these words are true in the big picture, for all of us. In my heart, though, I struggle to think that I'm important enough to God to really claim to have an ounce of His beauty or His attention.

So I get that you might struggle, too.

Engage in this with me: beauty is beheld by those who see God, and you can know that you are beautiful when you know that He lives in you. 

 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. ~ Col. 1:27

The more I see God in His word and, subsequently, in my life, the more I see beauty all around. And the more I see beauty all around, the less I feel like I need to be more to be beautiful.

The beauty we long to have is in Jesus, friends.

And now I'll put my soapbox away.

 

Linking up with Grace Laced Mondays, MercyInkThe Wellspring, Imperfect Prose, and  #TellHisStory

 

Five Minute Friday: Small

  Squash blossom

I live like God is small sometimes.

My words clam up inside because worry bars the door, and fear covers my brain with imaginary scenarios. What-ifs and things unpreventable.

I live like God is small and surely He doesn't see my little life here in the corner of a country full of problems.

My problems seem big though, and my husband opens his email every morning with a sigh because the inbox is an influx of his stress, subject lines out to get him.

We have to make efforts to see the small as big, and to put the things that seem big back into their proper place.

He told me last night that I was a good housekeeper.

Seventeen years of marriage, and I don't think he's ever phrased it quite like that. Such a small sentence with simple sentiment, nothing premeditated or planned. He just noticed and spoke it.

We can notice a thousand beautiful things and never take the time to speak them, because they seem small.

This morning for a small moment the sun blazed through living room windows, and I noticed the gold rectangles on the wall. He laughs because I get giddy about small things.

But, he laughs.

 

{I look forward to Fridays because I get free from perfection and just write. For five minutes. Lisa-Jo gives us the subject and we take it wherever we want. Today's prompt is SMALL, and you should get free, too. Click here to join us.}

 

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