Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Characteristics of God

Well, now that I'm reading through Captivating again, for the fifth, sixth or seventh time, yet again something stirs in me...perhaps my heart and my passion that God has given me for this lifetime, but whatever it is, it is energizing! I'm also amazed at how I can read through a book so many times and have it move me and teach me in new ways every time. So just to give credit where it is due, my upcoming blogs (whatever they may be) will most likely reference that book...alot! On with this blog...

There is a song that we sing at church quite often that speaks the same thing to me everytime. We sang that song this past Sunday, and yet again, the Lord reminds me of the same message. I don't know the name of the song, but the chorus goes something like this:

I want to hear the thunder of where you are
To be captured inside, the wonder of who you are
I want to live
I want to breathe
to search out your heart and all of your mysteries

I think it is more common for us to see what traits of God that a man has; man was made in God's image, and although the word "man" is supposed to represent "mankind", sometimes I think it is easy to forget that woman was made in God's image too. We never hear that phrase "woman was made in God's image". I don't care that we use the word "man" to mean "mankind", I just think it might help remind us ladies that we bear certain characteristics of God...characteristics that men don't have...and that makes us unique and very important.

So back to why this song is important to me. We often hear, speak, and sing of God as a warrior; He defends us; He battles for us; He rescues us; He saves us. We are His bride. But this song represents to me characteristics of God that women have. God longs for us to love Him, to seek after Him, to be captured by who He is. If you think about it, this is what a woman longs for too. We are often condemned for being too complicated and mysterious. Because of this we often feel like we're too much or we're not worth the effort. Therefore, we either lower our standard and just let anyone in or we put up a wall and let no one near. But it shouldn't have to be like this. The mystery of a woman should be celebrated...God created us this His image. When a woman feels sought after, that her heart is genuinely being searched for, that someone is longing to know who she is, and then when that person is really captured by what they find, it is then that a woman feels most alive, most loved, and truly content. I guess this is a good definition of what it means to be romanced. It's not the receiving of the flowers and candy that romances us, it's knowing that someone wants to do those things for us that truly melts our hearts. It is the same for God. He doesn't want our acts of service or our money, He wants us to want to serve or to give. But this isn't just for romantic relationships. I think this goes for friendships as well. To know that I have a friend or friends that would truly want to know who I am does the same for the heart. Also, being rejected by a friend leaves similar wounds.

So, if you're a woman reading this, reread the chorus above and pretend like it is a poem from someone (romantically or from a friend) written to you. Doesn't it just melt your heart?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Body...A Temple? Part 2

So the thoughts behind this blog have been stirring around in my head for a couple of weeks now, but after Nate's message last Sunday, I don't want to wait any longer (although this is the first time this week I've actually had time to write).

To answer my previous question: 'does the battle get easier if I make my health about Him?' ...the answer is a resounding YES! Here's why:

First, my focus is on Him which means my mind is not consumed with all of my imperfections and all of the thoughts that keep me from being content. Now, because my focus is on God and not myself does that mean that I don't care about feeling beautiful? ABSOLUTELY NOT! God created me with the desire to feel beautiful (Captivating is one of my favorite books). Here's the thing, even though the gym feels like a distant memory now and my newly developed muscle tone is turning to mush, I've never felt more beautiful in my entire life! And I know some of you are thinking, "I'd feel beautiful too if I had your body"(you know who you are), but you wouldn't if your focus wasn't on the Lord. I know because I wouldn't be content or feel completely beautiful right now if it weren't for Him; I would find something to complain about and my many imperfections would be my focus. I still admit that getting hit on during a girls night out and supermodel comments (thanks Anna) are esteem boosters, but I don't need them to compensate for negative thoughts...they're just icing on the cake.

Second, because my mind is filled with more of God than with me, I seem to think about food a lot less...which means the temptation level goes way down...which means my fight is a lot easier! The result of all this is that now when I do splurge some I actually enjoy myself and don't feel guilty when it's all over.

End result: I feel like I'm experiencing a new sense of freedom. My outward appearance hasn't changed much, but my perception has! I guess I'm seeing myself more and more as God sees me!

Thank you, Lord, that in your presence I lack nothing!