Multifaceted

Today the word “multifaceted” caught my attention. This is a word that rarely comes to mind, so when I saw it, I was intrigued, and knew it was related to our beauty. Multifaceted means to have more than one facet. No surprise there. When I looked up facet, it means: one side of something many sided, such as a gem. A particular aspect or feature of something—a dimension, characteristic, ingredient, strand, etc.
We are multi-faceted people. We each have many characteristics, or dimensions that come together to form us as a unique person. I’m sure we have all seen a beautifully cut gem with many facets, revolving under bright lights, shining and reflecting a different section with each turn. In that same manner, we can shine and reflect in a variety of different situations, showing different characteristics of the Father’s love in a way that perfectly fits the situation and the need of the recipient.
As we walk our life path, we may discover aspects about ourselves that we did not know existed. We may uncover a hidden strength that perfectly meets a need to assist another in a time of need; learn that we have an abundance of patience for loving and nurturing a fussy child; or discover the ability to act as a mediator to bring about a peaceful resolution. Each one of these facets was created by God, and polished to a brilliant sheen when applied in each situation. When situations change and challenges arise, rest in Him, knowing that a new facet is reflecting and shining its beauty for the world to see.

Acts of Beauty

This weekend, I had the opportunity to hear 2 women share acts of beauty. One lady shared with me about caring for her in-laws—freely and lovingly, and in her words “by the grace of God”. Caring for others a is tiring, stressful, and selfless act of beauty. I commend her for giving them such a loving gift!
The second woman shared a story from her childhood. She recalled hearing a lady praying—she initially thought it was a conversation with another person, then realized the conversation was with God. The conversation went something like this:
“God, I don’t like “Sally” much. She’s mean-spirited, selfish, and hateful, and I just don’t love her like I should. But, You love her. Show me how to love her. Show me how You love her. “. What a beauty-full prayer, one that had an effect on this woman for a lifetime.
Acts of beauty are all around us. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to hear these ladies share their stories. It was a blessing to me! I hope they blessed you, too!

Reflecting His light and love

Isn’t the moon beautiful? I’m sure we have all, on numerous occasions, looked at the moon in awe and admiration. I was recently reminded that the moon does not shine of its own energy. It simply reflects the light of the sun. Similarly, our true beauty does not shine of ourselves. Our beauty is a reflection of the Father’s love. When we allow Him to shine on us, the world sees His beauty in us.
The amount of the moon’s beauty we are able to see (full moon, half moon, crescent moon, no moon), is dependent upon the position of the Earth, moon, and sun. To the extent that the Earth is between the moon and sun, it will block the suns’ rays, and limit how much we can see of the moon. And likewise, we also can limit the amount of the Father’s light shining on us by letting too much of the world get in the way.
Let us be ever mindful of how much we are letting the world get between us and the Father. The world is in desperate need of the Father’s light and love, and your reflection may be the only image of Him they will ever see.

Finding beauty

It’s easy to get the idea that being beautiful is all about making sure your lipstick matches your outfit, or that your hair is fixed perfectly. But beauty is not dependent upon perfect hair and make-up. It isn’t solely based upon an amazing figure, flawless skin, or manicured nails. Beauty is a kind smile. Beauty is found in gentle, helping hands. Beauty is the eyes that find the good in people and things. Beauty is a lap full of kids being read a book (for the millionth time). Beauty is in the hug you give someone that is hurting. Beauty is the words of hope and healing that you say. True beauty is found in our actions. Don’t look at yourself and your imperfections, and think you don’t have beauty! See the beauty in all you do, for that is where your true beauty lies.

A change in perspective

Years ago, when my husband and I were first married, he would occasionally come home from work smelling like diesel. I REALLY disliked the smell, but I hated even more how that made him feel—as though he was too dirty for me, his job was menial, etc. So, I determined to change my perspective about it. Since that smell was associated with his job, I began to say, “It smells like MONEY!” I would give him a big hug and tell him how thankful I was that he worked so hard for us. Soon, the smell began to bother me less and less. Even though he rarely smells like diesel, we still laugh when I say, “It smells like money!”
Sometimes, we don’t feel beautiful, and don’t see our own beauty. Perhaps, all we need is to change our perspective. When you do an act of kindness, see the beauty in that action. When you hold your tongue, encourage a young Mom, allow strangers to merge in front of you in heavy traffic—those are all acts of beauty. When someone says, “thank you”, hear them saying, “you’re beauty-full”; for they are really saying that they appreciate your beauty-full actions. They have been the privileged recipient of your beauty, and they are grateful.

Listening attentively is a gift

Everyone appreciates being listened to.  Whether its small talk or big news, we all enjoy an attentive listener.  Listening attentively is a gift that is rare in most people’s lives.  Most of us typically have several things competing for the attention of the listener:  the TV or tablet screen, children vying for attention, multi-tasking chores such as laundry or dinner.  A simple, eye-to-eye conversation is a gift.  When possible, make it a point to limit the distractions around you so you can listen well.  When the moments are few and far between, make the best of those times to love those around you by giving them your full attention and listen with your whole heart.  You will both love it!

A Beauty-full Man

Today, I’d like to share about a man that is truly beauty-full. A few years ago, while I was pregnant, I had a brief conversation with a man in church about pregnancy stuff—due date, boy or girl, what names were we considering, etc. He mentioned that he was going to have a grandbaby just a few weeks after I was due. We shared in our mutual excitement and congratulated each other.

Several months later, after my son was a couple of months old, I saw him again at church. I had my son in my arms, and he walked up and began to admire my son. He was full of congratulations and admiration. As he was getting ready to move on, I remembered that he mentioned a grandbaby, so I asked about it. With tears in his eyes, he said that the baby had been stillborn. I was stunned, and overcome with grief. What a tragedy! As I expressed my deep condolences, I realized what a selfless act of love I had just been given by this man. In the midst of his great tragedy, he was able to congratulate me on my gift of a healthy son. With a heart keen on my situation, and ignoring his own suffering, this man poured out a gift of amazing love. I know it had to be painful and difficult, but he allowed his love to transcend his pain and share my joy.

This walk of love is not easy. There are seasons in our lives when it is extremely difficult to share in others joy, but it is worth it. I encourage you to follow this example, and extend love even in the midst of personal sorrow. Continue to bless others, and blessings will come to you.

Broken versus Destroyed

I’m sure most of us know someone who has a talent for fixing and repairing things. I have been fortunate to have lived most of my life with several such people. When something has broken, they are able to look it over and usually come up with a solution to repair the item to working order again. But, occasionally, something has been destroyed so badly that an item is just not able to be fixed.

The definition of broken is violently separated into 2 or more parts. The definition of destroyed is to reduce an object into useless fragments; to injure beyond repair or renewal. A big difference between those 2 things. Something that is broken is usually repairable, something destroyed is not.

Did you know that Jesus destroyed the yoke? Isaiah 10:27 prophesied that “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” The yoke and burden were not just broken in 2 pieces, to be put back together. They were DESTROYED, and rendered utterly useless, unable to be repaired, or fixed.

My image of a destroyed yoke is a huge, heavy yoke that has been reduced to a million little fragments, scattered all over the ground. There is NO WAY anyone could put that back together. So, give Him your burdens, walk in the freedom that He has provided, and live your life in the way He has planned for you—it’s a GOOD one!

Give into your ministry

Have you ever felt (or known someone who felt) frustrated that others in the church were not as concerned about a certain area of ministry as they were? Perhaps they were involved with a food ministry or a crisis pregnancy center, and didn’t understand why so few people helped. It is because that was THEIR ministry. In 1 Corinthians 12 are the “One Body, Many Parts” scriptures. We are taught that every person has their own unique part of the body of Christ, and that we need and complement each other. If you feel strongly about a certain aspect of ministry, that is your calling—PLEASE fulfill that calling! That is where you will find joy and accomplishment. This is where your gifts are meant to be used.
Sometimes, your ministry may change or adjust. Sometimes, there is mourning in those changes. I know. I have been there. It hurts when you want to continue to share your gifts and talents in a certain area, and it seems as if the doors in those areas have closed. May I encourage you to continue to give wherever you can! God will see your willing heart, and honor your commitment to serve Him. We all have several ministry areas, and even when an area seems to close, we have other areas to give. Sometimes, that is when we “discover” another ministry area, and find purpose and achievement there.
Even when it’s hard—keep giving. Even when the well seems dry—keep giving. When you keep giving, the principles of sowing and reaping will provide you with enough to keep pouring out to those around you in need.

Pouring fluently

Last night, I poured a glass of tea. A common thing that I do numerous times a day, but this time, I was really making a mess! Tea was dribbling down the side of the pitcher all over the counter instead of into the glass. It seemed like the more I tried to correct it, the bigger the mess got. What was the difference? The container. I was using a pitcher that I rarely use, and the spout on it was different. In order to successfully pour the contents, I had to pour much slower. When I adapted my pouring to match the spout, the tea easily poured into my glass.

I began to think about how we are all containers, in all shapes and sizes with different spouts. When I try to pour out of myself like someone else, I can make a mess of things quickly. But, when I pour consistently with my unique container, the contents flow naturally and easily.

It made me recall one of the definitions of “fluent”—effortlessly smooth or flowing. By recognizing the beauty of my own container, I can pour my love out fluently.

I encourage you to pour fluently out of your own unique container, in a way that shows your love and beauty to others, naturally and easily.