Sunday, September 19, 2010

"I am Beautiful" part 1

Hello Lovelies Wherever You Are! I hope you are doing amazing today. I just wanted to share with you what I thought was an absolutely breathataking scripture that I found! Psalm 33:1 reads, "Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful."
Praise from the upright is beautiful. Selah (pause and think on that).
Who doesn't want to be attractive in life? Whether physical, personality, etc. We want others to want to be around us. And sometimes we will do the most ridicuous things to try and make it happen!
Who doesn't like to be around beautiful people? Beauty attracts. Physical beauty attracts. Emotional beauty attracts. Beautiful places, beauty in nature, beauty in art. We as humans are attracted to beauty and have an innate desire to be beautiful ourselves. Why? Because we are made in the image of God and God is beautiful and is attracted to beauty.
About a week ago, in my quiet time, I was in a moment where I was just blown away with the thought and realization that God not only loves me, He likes me. He likes being with me. He is drawn and attracted to me. What a concept.
It is not based on doing things for Him or only when I am feeling, or being, "superspiritual". It is not a robotic, I-am-God-therefore-I-must-love-you-with-my-generic-God-like-Love. NO! It is based on the specific uniqueness of who I am that grabs the heart and attention of God towards me. And you. Whether it is because He thinks you are funny or loves to hear your deep, contemplative thoughts, or loves the way you are good with people, or you truly enjoy fixing things with your hands. Whatever! He thoroughly enjoys YOU! And one of the most beautiful and breathtaking things about you to God is when you praise Him.
I know, I know, but praise is one of those super spritual things right? Wrong. We make it super spritual. If we look at the first part of that verse, " Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise..." The psalmist is equating praise with rejoicing in the Lord. The dictionary defines rejoice as "taking delight in, to be glad". That's it! Take delight in the Lord for He takes delight in YOU. It's as simple as that.
First things first, be glad at what God has made you. Take delight in the simplicity of a Father that thinks you are something pretty special. Whatever you are doing right now, stop and take a moment to pick one thing about yourself that is an innate trait of yours, put there by God Himself and thank Him for it.
Don't just love yourself for the sake of loving yourself. That is futile and fruitless. Understand that the One who painted the sunsets, colored the depths of the ocean, and crafted the canyons and mountains, painted and colored You. He crafted You. Thank Him for your hair color, for your height, your body shape and size, for your mental abilities, artistic abilities, your ability to trouble shoot complex things, to make people laugh, etc.
Pick something that you may think is totally useless and thank Him and give HIM praise for it. Psalm 139:14, " I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." And then let Him talk to you about it. You will be shocked at what He has to say. He thinks it is beautiful, and when we praise Him for it we become even more beautiful to Him. He can't help but be attracted to us. For praise (however small we think it may be) from the upright is beautiful!
I truly pray that you would know the height, depth, and width of the love of our God for you today. Because when you do, it will revolutionize your life and rock your world forever.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Elephant Wisdom

So. I know it has been a bit since the last one and I said I would begin to keep up better, but we all know the story... too busy, too tired, etc., and for me the real big thing is I try to make things too perfect (shock and awe, I know ;). Seriously though, I could blog every day. My problem is, I don't always have a computer... and then, even if I did, we would fall back into previously said dilemmas (busy, tired, etc.). So, I have decided I will try, key word-TRY, to do smaller, shorter blogs more often. Just quick updates, thoughts, things God is doing, saying, etc.
Truly this will be so much better because, as some friends and I were talking the other day, when we talk to family and friends back home SO MUCH is going on, internally and externally, on so many levels, that you really don't even know where to start when trying to relay things. So, how do you eat an elephant? That's right, say it with me... "one bite at a time"! (which, in my personal opinion, is really quite a gross analogy).
So on to our first analogical bite (what???). Last I wrote, I was busy being squeezed through a metal door getting my flesh ripped off ;). Don't worry, it was just a flesh wound! What a time of inner testing and struggle we endured at first, but we feel that now we have truly entered into a time of breakthrough in circumstances, as well as just a shattering of mindsets and attitudes that, in all truth, were downright ugly and a hindrance to moving forward in our lives with God.
Next bite. Jobs. I am very, very happy to report that both B and I have jobs as of yesterday!! I will work as a waitress at Outback Steakhouse, which is more than ironic to me, and B got hired on at a production company. Right now, he works in the warehouse loading and unloading sound equipment and such from trucks. It pays to be big in this case, literally :). The guy that is his boss used to be on staff at Hillsong under Darlene Zscech (in production) and they do alot of the big Hillsong events, etc. It is just another great opportunity to learn and be a part of such amazing people's lives.
School. Brandon is still loving his classes. He will blog at some point more on that cuz I really don't know anything :) . He is currently being trained as the Technical Director of Sisterhood, which honestly, I am not sure all that it entails, but basically he will be in charge of making sure all things technical (i.e. sound, sound checks, lighting, tv crew, the live links between campuses, etc., etc., etc.) are all running smoothly, on time, trouble shooting as problems arise, etc.! And then after every Sisterhood he will be debriefing the entire team on what things went well and not so well, etc. It is such a great opportunity and I am SO proud of him. I know he will do an awesome job at it once his training is done.
Life is settling down and we are starting to feel like normal people again. And it officially took me 8 weeks to get behind on life. That has to be a record of some sort! Maybe that's why I feel normal now... b/c my days are spent trying to catch up!! We have met some truly amazing people here and really enjoying our new friendships.
So far, all I can tell you about Hillsong Church is that it is not what you, as outsiders looking in, think it is (and what we thought). Now that we have been here for 2 1/2 months (which is not long at all), we are just beginning to experience the heartbeat of this church and all I can say is, I'm in love.
Just one quick, and rather important, amazing testimony of our God that we wanted to share, and this will take some vulnerability on our part to share this, but think it is important and worth doing so. Shortly after we moved here we shared with a lot of you the state of our finances. Without going into a lot of the detail again, after getting here we realized our finances were scheduled to run out 4-6 weeks after we arrived. Well they lasted 4 weeks and then were totally, completely gone. We are now on week 11 and have never missed a rent payment (which is weekly) or gone without food or any necessity! Through the generosity of family and friends back in the States, and even through our new friends and family here, for 7 weeks God has Faithfully and Miraculously showed up, meeting our every need and completely blowing our minds along the way. We, as people, do not even comprehend the word Father and Love the way He so desires us to.
I cannot tell you how difficult this process was for us to be that reliant on God, DAILY, in a way we have never experienced in our lives. At first it drained us on a consistent basis, but then as God proved Himself over and over again, and really dealt with our hearts and attitudes, I can honestly say that it really became such a minor thing in our lives to deal with. There were days I didn't even think about it b/c of the reality that it became for me that my God, my Father, was completely aware of our needs and was absolutely going to look out for me and my family. So THANK YOU to those who have given, and still are, and have been praying for us. You just do not know what it means to us. Truly.
Well, I am feeling pretty full on this elephant for now, how about you? We will have to save the rest for another day. I know this one is a little long, and they won't be from here on out, but before I go, we do want to always let you know what areas you can be praying about for us and with us.
1) We really need a car. It takes me about 45 min or so to walk to work and it takes Brandon an hour to walk to his work, which he did yesterday in the rain.
2) Just continued prayer for finances. Though we have jobs, our paychecks have not kicked in yet and will not be at their best for a couple weeks.
3) Favor, open doors and opportunities, etc. as we seek to live out all that God has for us in this life so that we can truly be a blessing to others, making an impact on this earth for the kingdom of God.
Love to all who read this. And know that God's plans for you and your family are above all that you could ever think, ask, or hope.
Jz, B, Sas, and our Chinese son, Asher