Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Still Fabulous, Darling

fab-yuh-luhs

This word, fabulous, has been on my mind lately. As my daughter and I were playing at Disney Land, we took some time to just sit and watch all the people. So many of them were all decked out in Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Fuzzy jamies with Goofy or their favorite character. Mickey Mouse ears adorned heads of children and adults. It was all truly festive and fabulous! Each person really seemed to feel fabulous too. Adult men adorned in Disney characters, women twirling in skirts, and children laughing with delight. Disney Land brings out the fabulous in all of us, really. It was then that I had a thought that I believe was direct from the heart of God, "You, Darling are fabulous to Me, all the time!"

Smile.

But then, I questioned the all the time part. Does that mean I am fabulous to Him all of today? Or maybe this week? What about 20 years ago, does it apply to my entire life even when my actions and thoughts did not feel fabulous?  Again, His heart responded. "Whatever. You are still fabulous!" 

God has given me and you the gift of fabulous. Because of the blood of Jesus, fabulous is all that He sees, and it's beautiful.  Did you get that? "YOU, Darling, are fabulous!" As I think back on my life, my story, it is sometimes difficult to understand how through it all, God saw fabulous in me. But then, when I look at who He is and understand how He created me, my mind begins to shift and I allow myself to believe that He sees who I am, not what I've done. He sees all that He created me to be, which could be nothing less than fabulous.

We all have something in our story that was not our most shining moment. Some of us may respond with regret, shame, guilt, or negative thoughts about who we are. Or, we could say, "Whatever. I'm still fabulous!" And, with that positive thought, move on. If we have hurt someone, ask forgiveness. If we have hurt ourselves, then forgive yourself. If we have fallen back into old patterns, get help. Most of all, don't forget that God wants you to know that you are still fabulous! 

Whatever. Still fabulous!

The Bed Maker

 

Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we submitted and respected them [for training us]; shall we not much more willingly submit to the Father of spirits, and live [by learning from His discipline]? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for only a short time as seemed best to them; but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

Hebrews12:9-10

So, I am not a huge fan of house work, except laundry. I enjoy doing laundry, unusual I know. Since I have had this distaste for house work, I have not ever spent too much time concerning myself with making the bed. I spent years making it once a week, when I changed the sheets, and that was it.

But, then one morning as I was reading a book on discipline, the author encouraged every reader to ask God to reveal an area that He would like to see us work on, an area that could bring fruit into our lives. So, I prayed. When I finished the immediate thought in my head was "go make your bed, and keep making it everyday!" This seemed like a very silly thought for me to have, after years of non-making why would I be thinking such a horrid thought? So, I dismissed it for that day.

Then, the next morning came and I prayed the same pray with all sincereity, and hopes of being asked to do something great! But, the same thought returned when I finished praying "go make your bed, and keep making it everyday!" This time, I listened and I made the bed that day, and the next, and so on. I'm still making the bed, and it's been a lovely experience for me. I have to confess that I don't always get the bed made first thing in the morning, sometimes it's much later in the day, but most of the time it's in the morning. When this bed making practice began I didn't understand the purpose, and it felt like an inconvenience to me.  But, as time moved on, I began to relish in the feel of the sheets, the cozy blanket, the beauty of a made bed everyday. I would stand back and admire a job well done, and it felt good to me.

As time progressed and I continued to ask God why He asked me to do this bed-making business, I began to understand the significance of what He asked. Just as I carefully made the tosseled bed everyday and then stood back to admire my handiwork, God does this for me. He lovingly arranges the tosseled, messed up pieces into His magnificent handiwork. Even though I already knew this about Him before I started to make the bed, there was something about me going through the discipline of making it every day that really helped me understand His activity in my life. 

Just as I daily work to make beauty out of something unmade, He daily does the same for me. And, the best part? He admires His work!  Just as I began to like the job of bed making and apply principles to my life through this simple action, He too loves all that He does for me and you. He does a sacred work within His children. And, this may sound a little odd to you, but now when I make the bed it feels like a sacred time with God; it's special to me. I marvel at the work, not just because it looks better, but because He has changed my heart towards this daily discipline. I love that about God.

What does God want you to work on today? Ask Him and then listen for His thoughts. Don't worry; it will turn out for the best!

When a Woman has Legs of Steel

"You can't find firm footing in a swamp, but life rooted in God stands firm."

Proverbs 12:3

Flamingos have legs that look like rebar, so it makes sense to me that they have very strong and sturdy legs...

Have you ever had jello legs? Or, legs so heavy it feels like you are dredging up all the mud in a swamp? Have you been in postitions that have caused you to feel like your legs are about to give out from under you and cause you to fall? 

I have.

It's taken a few years to grow strong legs. Legs as strong as steel. And, I know they still have some growing to do. 

When a woman has legs of steel

She knows how to stand firm in her convictions. She has direction, purpose, hope, and peace. She is grateful-everyday. She admits to her mistakes. She forgives. She finds her safety in Jesus. She is not easily offended. She is willing to take a risk.

When a woman has legs of steel

She is clothed in Jesus, she exudes His strength. She knows He is the Armor that gives her the ability to stand firm against the devils schemes and his strategies. She is able to stand her ground when the enemy of her soul bombards her with lies. She walks in integrity and truth, her heart is upright. She faces the enemy with firm-footed stability and carries the shield of faith in her hands ready to extinguish the blazing arrows that come her way.

When a woman has legs of steel

She knows she cannot face life alone. She walks with the sword of the Spirit steady in her hand. She reaches for her family and her friends. She prays with deep honesty and listens with hope. When she falls, she gets back up!

When a woman has legs of steel

She has learned from her jello legs. She allows the times of being in the swamp to become her testimony of who God is and how He rescued her. She does not sway by the opinions of men, but stands with great stability in the identity of Jesus.

When a woman has legs of steel

She does not compete. She is not jealous. She knows when to stay, and when to walk away. She understands there is a season for all things. She accepts her self as God sees her. She works towards balance, but doesn't condemn herself when  balance is only an idea or "should" herself and others. She does not have a need to conform to the world around her. She stays present, and stands on the Rock that saves her. She is unique.

When a woman has legs of steel

She supports her loved ones. She knows she is created equal to the man she stands by. She is humble enough to follow, and bold enough to lead. She remains down-to earth; while at the same time she keeps a firm grip on life as she assuredly walks out her Godly purpose. 

When a woman has legs of steel

She learns to be flexible in the little things of life, while remaining constant in her convictions. She has grace towards others. She does not judge herself or others. She is grounded in love, rooted in mercy, raised to praise, tender, wonderful, lovely, joyful, inspirational, positive, helpful, motivated.

When a woman has legs of steel

She truly does see through the eyes of God, and she sees treasure everywhere. She gives her cares to Him and lives in freedom.

She is as carefree as a flamingo!!

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When She is ROOTED

 

"I LOVE You [fervently and devotedly], O Lord, my strength." The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and the One who rescues me; My God, my rock and strength in whom I trust and take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower-my stronghold. 

Psalms 18:1-2

When she is ROOTED

She prays. She understands Who gives her strength. She knows that she is beautiful, precious, chosen, wanted, and loved. She seeks wisdom, and shares wisdom. She is connected to her Creator and to those that love her. She knows Jesus, the Father, and Holy Spirit. She believes in Who they are, and walks in their Light.

When she is ROOTED

She runs to the Rock and is secure in her firm standing. She lives in the fortress of His arms. She calls out to Him when she needs to be rescued.

When she is ROOTED

She trusts that even when she is feeling weak, He will give her strength. She has courage to know that He will work all things together for her good. She is radical in her faith. She works towards restoration, renewal, and the revival of nations.  When her enemies forge upon her, she calls upon the Lord and praises His worthy, holy name. 

When she is ROOTED

She acknowledges truth. She values her people. She faces life with hope. She steps out in faith.

She dances with the Spirit and is filled with peace. 

She challenges the lies that try to invade her space and she calls out to God. He covers her in His Light and sends arrows to scatter every enemy. He wraps her in abundance and promises her a rich inheritance. 

When she is ROOTED

She sits in heavenly places, she approaches His Throne with boldness. She breaks through barriers. She knows that He is her Breaker, her Lover, her Friend, her Father.

When she is ROOTED

She lives with heaven on earth. She finds joy in everyday. She is a tender warrior. She is kind.

When she is ROOTED

She knows that she is fashioned in the image of God. She knows she is designed for destiny and that destiny will break through mindsets that want to hold her back. She does not step to the beat of men, but only to the heartbeat of her God.

When she is ROOTED

She works through her issues and then lets them go. She lives with freedom and gives it to others. Manipulation is not her game.

She is blessed and in God's great favor. She sees Light where others may see darkness. She uses her shield, and knows that she is encircled with great strength. She sees angels guarding her path in every direction. She leads her children to safety and peace of heart.  She has a secure step that will not slip.

When she is ROOTED

She hears His voice calling her and does not deviate from His way. She waters and cares for herself to enable every root to grow deeper.

When she is ROOTED

There is great mercy!

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