Month: February 2011

Breath-Taking (Tres Romantique Part Deux)

“The king is enthralled by your beauty” (NIV, 1984).

As I’m writing about wanting to be breath-taking, as I’m recounting my evening of doubting my hubby’s motives and being remind of my Savior’s, this verse (Psalm 45:11), came to mind. It isn’t one I think of often. Maybe that’s because I don’t truly believe it – or maybe because I might become conceited – or maybe because it wouldn’t be so meaningful if it were overused.

Either way, it gets me every time I hear it or read it. Among my vast mess of papers and notes, I remember writing down my thoughts when I first heard this verse (thanks, Beth Moore). But, I’m glad I can’t find them – it makes this morning’s remembrance even more special.

Enthralled – what a word! Unfortunately, it isn’t used a lot any more. As I’m trying to define it for myself, I’m thinking –

CAPTIVATING – JAW-DROPPING – STUNNING – ENCLOSED – CAN’T STOP STARING – COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYTHING ELSE – HAPPY – JOYOUS – SMILE

I think in pictures, and I see a man standing still, mouth slightly open, with a small smile quirking the corner, as he stares intently, taking in every tiny detail of a painting.

And the Bible – the absolute truth – tells me that God looks at me like that because of my beauty.

I’ve tried to substitute smart for beauty, but that isn’t what captivates God.

I’ve tried to substitute talent for beauty; again, my talent isn’t what stuns God.

I’ve used hard work, ministry, and service to try to make up for what I think I lack, but god isn’t open-mouthed-in-awe about any of that.

He is enthralled with my BEAUTY! He says to me, “Gee, you’re pretty!” May I believe Him – wholeheartedly – and live accordingly.

“The King is wild for you.” (The Message)

“The King longs for your beauty.” (God’s Word)

“The King loves your beauty.” (New Century Version)

“For your Royal Husband delights in your beauty.” (New Living Translation)

“Let the King be enthralled by your beauty.” (NIV, 2010).

Tres Romantique

The other night, as my hubby and I were parting ways, he said, “Gee, you’re pretty.” Of course I smiled and said, “I know.” Then I quipped about how I was turning into Bones, very conceited. We laughed. Later, as I was lying in bed, I replayed the conversation in my head.

I’m pretty insecure; it takes a lot for me to admit that. The insecurity is very obvious when it comes to my appearance. I love it when Geek Man tells me I’m beautiful, but a part of me doubts anyway.

It was that part of doubt that caused me to begin wondering why he said it – was he wanting something else, and so said it to prep my mood? Those thoughts led to ones of needing to hear it everyday so that I wouldn’t question his motives.

Then, my hopeless-romantic streak really kicked into overdrive. I thought how wonderful it would be, if just once, I could literally take his breath away. I’ve always wanted to be “breath-taking” – “stunning” – to be able to make at least one man stumble over his feet, or stop in his tracks, or stutter stupidly. I think, at least I hope it’s so, every woman has this desire. I hope it’s so because I’d really hate to be the weird one.

As I’m lying in bed, lamenting how I’ve never caused Geek Man to stumble or stutter due to my beauty, this thought came into my head:

“Jesus thinks you’re breath-taking.” I fell asleep thinking it was “tres romantique” to have imagined that my Savior thinks I’m breath-taking.

God showed up

First, let me start by saying that our God, with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, is AMAZING! I have struggled with talking about this, fearing that I would offend or scare off people I am in contact with. May you enjoy my story of God’s grace and overlook my humanity full of doubt.

The story:

Back in September, I began taking dance classes with my girly-girl. The very first night, I hyper-extended my right knee; at least, that is what I think I did – I tried to make it bend backwards. So at night, when I laid down to sleep on my stomach, my knee hurt as I stretched out my leg. It hurt when I tried to bend it in dance class (grande plia). Since it was not a constant ache, only at night or when dancing, I never took treating it further than a pain pill occasionally.

The weekend of January 14-16, I got away for the weekend to spend some time alone with Jesus in prayer. As I was walking along the lake bank, I stepped into a ditch that was covered with leaves, and I again hyper-extended my knee. I was irritated because I was enjoying the walk; I love to be out in nature, hiking through woods or along lake banks, especially if I’m trying to focus on God.

In my head, in a voice I recognize as my Savior’s, I heard Him say: “Pray for healing.” This wasn’t something I was totally comfortable with (another reason why I know it was Him and not me) because of my own spiritual history. Honestly, I didn’t have faith He would if I asked. And I didn’t want to be embarrassed if He didn’t.

He prompted me again. So I sat on a rock on the water’s edge, placed my hands on my knee, and prayed that He would fix it: take away the pain, fix whatever damage had been done, and make it so I could walk and dance.

My weekend finished with some soreness, but not the pain I had been having for months, or that I would have had from re-injuring it. Monday, at dance, I was moved to tears as I tried to dance because I was able to dance and bend and enjoy Him without pain. Part of our warm-up includes stretching our hands about our hands. Mine were stretched as far as they would go as I praised my Lord, my Healer.

As I write about this, I’m reminded of this verse:

Matthew 9:22
Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

He showed up for me … and encouraged me and built up my faith in Him.

Video continuation of 1 Corinthians 13

Beckah Shae is one of my all-time favorite singers. I love her little scripture snacks, too.

Enjoy this video from her about 1 Corinthians 13:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GAX5wZ18OM]

The Greatest … Part 2

So, here’s my application of 1 Corinthians 13:

4 Love is patient with my students and my children and kind to my Punny Geek husband. Love is not jealous of other believers’ relationship with Jesus or with others or boastful of what I do well or proud of the work GOD is doing in my children 5 or rude to my family when I don’t get my way. It does not demand its own way as the only way. It is not irritable with interruptions or at family, and it keeps no record of being wronged no matter who hurt me or when I was hurt. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice even if the person irritates me but rejoices whenever the truth wins out and life is finally fair. 7 Love never gives up on myself or those I love, never loses faith in my God and His amazing, all-powerful, Abba Daddy-ness, is always hopeful for His imminent return and my gracious transformation, and endures in HIM through every circumstance no matter what.

I’ve already failed at some of this – but God loves me – He’s not surprised – and I’m not giving up.

The Greatest . . .

of these is LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us this, and I’ve known this all my life. This is a commonly quoted scripture, even currently being used on the DIY network for a commercial about marriages and construction.

It recently became much more clear to me. I attended a Spiritual Dimensions Weekend retreat – a time for me to get alone with Jesus and listen to Him. I came with a specific agenda, questions I wanted answered: do I stay or do I go? where do I go? when do I go? what is the plan? And I wanted details, timelines, everything.

I’ve thought of becoming involved in linguistics; I’ve thought about getting a formal education in God and the Bible to be able to encourage my Christian family; my pastor has been a sermon series about faith.

Obviously, once I thought about it, I realized I wasn’t trusting God to be in control.  However, at the time, Jesus took all that in stride, addressing my control-freak tendencies while assuring me of one thing: the greatest of these is LOVE. Here is what I had always overlooked in chapter 13:

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels [IF I WAS A LINGUIST], but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy [IF I ENCOURAGED PEOPLE], and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge [AN EDUCATION & GOD’S DETAILS], and if I had such faith that I could move mountains [AS MY PASTOR WAS ENCOURAGING], but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

God’s response to my demand of details and timelines was this: I love you. Love others. IF I don’t love others, I’ll be fingernails on a chalkboard; I’ll be worth nothing; I’ll have accomplished nothing. Basically, my life will have been wasted and useless.

OUCH! I would hate to stand before my Creator and explain to Him why I wasted the life He gave me – why I had allowed this gift of life to become useless.

I can’t do this. I won’t do this. So, let’s make it applicable to my reality (to be continued).

A New Plan

I used to have a blog at another blog hosting site – but I found it to be dull and boring and un-customizable (hopefully, it really was the site and not the user!)

I also wanted to come up with a better-looking, more broad and usable format, so here it is.

I hope, if you’re reading this, that you’re enjoying it and that you’ll come back for more.

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