Outward beauty= fleeting… inward beauty= Eternal

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment… rather, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

– 1 Pet. 3:3 (NIV)

APR 21 // What our culture calls beauty has no staying power. Styles change, bodies age, and the media itself presents conflicting views from one minute to the next when it comes to what is and is not “attractive.” Looking to the mirror of our fickle culture for your measure of worth will lead you to fickle living, always questioning who you are and what you stand for. Today, ask God to turn your eyes toward him, that he may shape in you a gentle and quiet spirit that reflects the God-given value you already have. //
Lord, so often my heart is restless. I live for my pleasures alone… my desires alone, live only to please others. Please bring my heart back to you, Lord… you give so much to me. Help me to realize how I’m a servant saved by grace and life is not about the high of others liking us, but about serving others and sharing your love with them. Give me love for others, including my sister. Help direct me to the job and the people i can help. Order my steps, Lord Jesus, and make me a blessing… make my beauty come from within… thank you Jesus… Amen

body image issues

I’m having a hard time with my body image the past few days. My philosophy on food and my body is to eat healthy and not measure or control… but even though I’ve come so far, by God’s grace I still fall into this trap sometimes… I KNOW Life is so not about that. I don’t want to be about that. When those thoughts invade my peace, I need to turn them right back over to the Lord and declare, “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; I know that full well”.

Yesterday was a particularly difficult day in terms of body image. First, I was at the mall with my fiancé looking for wedding bands. We were in a jewelry store, and I really think that they purposely design the lighting in jewelry stores to be extra strong to show off the jewels. I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I hope it was that the lighting was extra strong, because I saw a woman with a beard! I decided to go about my merry day and forget about it. After we got my wedding ring, we went to the barber shop for a hair appointment for Richie. I have a pickle obsession (favorite food) and was starving, so I decided to go to the deli next door to get a hot-dog sized pickle while I waited for him to get his hair done. I came back and had a seat and after the appointment we were talking to the woman who cut his hair. We were discussing our plans to get married next month, and I think he mentioned that we didn’t want to have a really long engagement. Then the woman asked me: “Are you pregnant?” She was from another culture (i think she was Russian), and i was wearing a big coat, so even if I happened to be pregnant, it would have been hard to tell, but still, how terrible hearing those words. And really? Who asks that??? Sigh. So we went home. Then we went to a trial dancing lesson (we both were miserably awful… kinda stumbling over each others feet and then pausing and laughing… and we decided not to spend the money on the course, but rather to just try our best and have fun and if we start to trip over each other and are unsure at the wedding just make out lol). Anyhow… I decided to try to wear something sexy to make it extra special for him. I wore a little navy blue dress I got when I was about 30+ lbs lighter at age 14 (kid side i think). Well… it kinda was designed for a girl’s body i think… not a woman’s body, because it hugged me in all the wrong places. I was running out the door, so I didn’t get to properly examine myself in the mirror. At the dance studio, there were definitely plentiful mirrors, and all I could think about was the rounded belly in the mirror!! UGGGH. I felt the opposite but sexy. At least some men think pregnant is sexy, because my man got the pregnant look without the baby responsibility. =/ I went home feeling sad. I try. I haven’t weighed in a while, so I don’t know the current number, but it’s such a sensitive issue for me, I think i’d rather not know right now. I am not a number. I’m so much more… 

So I’m an OT!!! And Easter!!!

So, I found out 3 days ago that I’m a registered occupational therapist. I’m done with school! The Lord answered my prayer and His answer was to let me pass this time. Richie and I are thrilled and were simply shocked. I had already told all of my inquiring prayer warriors that I was sincerely 99% sure I failed. And I wasn’t just saying that because i was kinda unsure but thought i passed but wanted to make people think the worst just in case I failed- i in all honestly was sure I failed. I was failing every practice test (but only by a few points each time but still). After the last 2, I sobbed like it was hopeless and someone had died or something because I was so sure that there was no way that I could possibly pass. Based on my scores (I failed 4 practice tests- every practice test I took, I failed, and with each one I got more and more upset and desperate, thinking that a fail was inevitable) I knew that it would take a miracle to pass, and wasn’t even sure if it was God’s will for me to pass then (when I’d pray about it, I’d get the sense that the Lord was reassuring me “you will pass”, but I was pretty sure that didn’t mean now… maybe after a few tries .  I even did a few sessions of tutoring and asked the tutor her honest opinion and she was not sure. She said that she would have told me to reschedule the exam, if it was not for the fact that I had a wedding in less than two months.

So the test felt no better. I left crying. I drove to my fiance’s job and sat there in the car until he came out and spent the night in tears but we gave it to the Lord as we had been doing as I studying and kept being very discouraged as I’d keep taking practice tests and keep failing. I had moved on already and planned that I would start re-studying slowly as I prepared for the wedding. 

So I knew they posted results every Thursday morning. I already had accepted that I had failed and was going to make a plan to reapply. I went to the gym that morning and spent extra time there (needed an endurance boost as I knew I was about to receive bad news) and came home 5 minutes before fiancé had to leave for work so he could hug me after I found out I failed. My mom and he were sitting at the kitchen table having a serious conversation. I grabbed my lap top and signed onto the website. It said… “your certification with the NBCOT is current”. “Hmmm that sounds promising,” I thought. I had heard through discussion boards that that is the screen you see if you pass, but I wasn’t buying it. I then clicked on “exam results” and I found out I had passed…
I was completely STUNNED. My first reaction was, “Uhhh… I think they got my score wrong”… Richie and I and my mom were just like “Thank you Jesus!!!!” I was shaking. Then Richie and I started screaming. He picked me up and spun me around. It was a beautiful moment. I KNOW for sure this (me passing on the first time) was not me or my doing, and so the Lord, for this timing, because I very likely could have failed by a few points. Will not know how much I passed by, but I have a feeling it wasn’t by much.
I have a big issue with confidence in every area of my life. As a daughter of the Lord, I know (but so often forget) can have my full confidence in Him that He will use me. In myself I feel inept and incompetent and unconfident in all I do. I have seen too many times that the Lord has led me to this field and has guided me, that I cannot doubt His hand and His plan in it! I still worry about if I’ll be good and if I’ll be able to do this. It hit me yesterday as I started to look for jobs (Hoping to start perhaps in a school in September) that WOW I am an OT (Thank you Jesus). An OTR. I can write that after my name!!! Wow. At the same time I’m like, “Wow… this is really scary”. But I’m praying for the Lord’s guidance in this. That He will guide me to where I need to be to most bless others. I am so grateful for Him leading me in this journey and I am so truly humbled that He has allowed me to do His work in this way and just pray that He will use my mind and hands to touch and bless those with whom I work in my career! What a privilege.
On another note… I write this on Easter as I decided to stay home from church and festivities because I’m sickish in bed. We are getting married in 48 days. Less than 50!!! Still learning more and more about how to work together when we are living sort of together (he is living in my parents house for now). It’s a learning experience too in so many ways!
Will write more later.