Day 513: Aston Martin Me

I recently watched the movie Django Unchained with my husband. I can’t help it… I love shoot-em-up movies and I really wanted to see Leonardo DiCaprio in it, so there ya go. (For the record, it’s wasn’t all that hands-down fabulous other than the gentleman that played Dr. King Schultz, Christoph Waltz… he was brilliant.)

In the movie, a slave woman is purchased for $12,000 (which would be roughly $300,000 today) and the average price of a slave at the time was $400 or $500 ($10-$12,000 today). Now, it gets a little sticky to discuss this because let me be clear: the concept of “owning” another individual is abhorrent to me… the thought of “owning” another individual that has been kidnapped from their home and country… well, it literally sickens me.

But I just kept thinking about it.

I mean… if someone told me that I was “worth” the same amount as a used Kia, I mean… gosh. Love Kia and all, but… okay, not much of a confidence boost there. But then if someone came up to me and said that I was “worth” the same amount as an Aston Martin Vanquish. Well… I’m just saying. That’s a self-image game changer there people. I mean… look at the difference.

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And ya know- the way you treat a Kia versus an Aston Martin is gonna be different too. A used Kia you’re just gonna… drive it. use it. abuse it. But an Aston Martin… you’re gonna get an extra secure garage space for that sucker. You aren’t gonna drive it when it rains. You aren’t gonna take your kids to McDonalds in it. And you DEFINITELY aren’t going to put diesel in it. Heck, you aren’t gonna put anything other than premium-diamond-encrusted gas in there.

This is how I need to think about my body. God didn’t buy me for the same price as a used Kia. It’s closer to the Aston Martin, but that is still far below. He bought me with blood. He traded his own child for me! My body is worth-it. It’s worth the effort to honor it!

So, I can look in the mirror today and know that I am the Aston Martin. I am valuable.

{And I’ll be honest… thinking this way this morning when I opened up the fridge… I wanted something easy and quick and then I remembered “I am an Aston Martin Vanquish.” It made me change my thinking from “I should have blueberries” to “I WANT blueberries.” I didn’t want no diesel in my tanks today, cause I am an Aston Martin worthy of being honored and cared for. I wanted that diamond-encrusted-premium in the tanks today.}

POSITIVITY: I am valuable.

God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20

PRAYER:

God, WHOO HOO! I love being valuable. Especially because I know that the part of me that is valuable isn’t what is on the outside… but it’s what is under the hood. You make me want to take care of myself just to honor You because You bought me at such a high price!

Thank you for giving me such a positive self-image of myself today… thank you for buying me at a HIGH price instead of on the cheap so that I would know how much I mean to you. Thank you God for making my worth: valuable.

You are so good to me!

Amen!

Day 512: Guard On Duty

me and the hubs - nashville

{Me and the hubs in Nashville being
touristy after my first
Summer
NAMM show for Chord Dice!}

When I was single, I became pretty darn independent. I mean, I paid my own bills, bought my own fast car, traveled around on my own, rented very nice apartments. I mean… I was doing just fine. And then I met my husband, and I fell in love, and I married him.

Wait… all of a sudden I wasn’t the one calling all the shots anymore.

Yeahhhhhhhh, that’s tough for an independent woman who is married to an independent man. I remember thinking (for years) “He is just SO protective! I can take care of myself but he doesn’t believe in me.” Of course, the longer that we’ve been married I realized that my analysis was a smidge off. Yes, he is protective, but it’s not because he doesn’t believe in me. It’s not because he wants to rule over me. It’s because he loves me and wants to protect me.

The longer that I’ve understood that, the more enjoyable it is to be guarded and protected by my husband. It’s… nice to be able to put some of those cares on him that I carried by myself before. It’s nice to be able to go to him when I am scared or unsure of things. It’s nice for him to step out, a bit like a knight in shining armor, and protect me. But before I realized all of that I fought against his protectiveness because I thought that it would restrain me and make me into something I’m not. I thought it would make me weaker. I thought it would take away my individualism.

But it’s been the exact opposite.

And God is like that… He just wants to protect me because He loves me. And the more that I realize that, the more that I release to Him, the more I am protected, guarded, taken care of. And then more I love my life and find comfort in peace. The more I can, like the Proverbs 31 woman, laugh at the future.

POSITIVITY: I am guarded.

I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

PRAYER:

God, it is so refreshing to know that you are in control. That you have all kinds of crazy power… power that I can’t even fathom. And it’s so cool to know that with all of that crazy awesome power you are taking care of my life.

Today it was so neat to remember and to rest in the knowledge that You have me under your wing. That when the craziness of life and the uncertainty hits… that you are there guiding everything along. It makes it so much easier for me to “die to this life” and just snuggle up and allow my soul to remain hidden with Christ in You.

Thank you for my comfort. thank you for my love. thank you for my protection.

Amen.

Day 511: Caught… Chocolate Handed

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My Sunday School teacher, James Tippit, said on Sunday, “Some suffering is actually our down payment for something glorious.”

I loved that truth… because now every time something “bad” happens it can make me think… “Oh, I wonder what awesomeness is going to come out of this?”

Sorta like yesterday… when my son (again, my oldest from Day 506 and Day 509) had his first “sneak eating” moment.

Now, I know that a 5-year-old sneak eating is a little different from a 34 year old woman sneaking eating, but all the same, it hurt my heart.

I was reading some books with my 3-year-old and my oldest came shuffling in sniffling. My husband was behind him and said that Pico needed to tell me something. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he confessed, “I ate some chocolate.” (Of course, little did he know but it was blazingly obvious because it was smeared all around his mouth!) Well, apparently, while I had been out of the room, he got a bowl and poured some mini-chocolate chips into a bowl and ate them. And then was trying to wash out the bowl to put back in the cabinet when he got caught red chocolate-handed.

Torn between punishing him for being devious and being gentle with him because of the situation, I went with the latter. I thought to myself, “Oh wow… if I don’t handle this correctly, he could become even more of a sneak eater in the future.” So, I held him in my arms, talked to him about how if he’s hungry or craving something that he can tell me. Told him it’s not wrong to be hungry. Told him that food is a great thing – a way for our bodies to get energy. Told him it’s not wrong to eat chocolate. Told him that I don’t ever want him to feel like he needs to be sneaky about eating food. Told him to ask me if he wanted something.

And then… he saw one of his Lego Club magazines, hopped out of my lap happy as a lark, and all was well in his soul! Ha!

The whole situation made my heart a little sad because oh-how-well I know that spirit that makes a person sneak-eat.

Well, last night after I caught up on the past two days of posts, I took a peak at what today’s positivity and verse were to be and was just… struck… by the perfectness of it all.

POSITIVITY: I am understood.

Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16

Yesterday as my son came to me, I understood his weakness… because I’ve. been. there. Just as Jesus understands mine… because He’s. been. there. And just as my heart hurt for my Pico, so does God’s when I struggle. Which is why when I come to him, He gives me mercy… just as I was able to do for Pico. And just as Pico can come to me when he is hungry or has a craving so that I can help him… so God provides help when I need it most. And it’s all because HE UNDERSTANDS!

I mean… how rad was all of that?!?!?! I wanted so badly to write it all last night but I was exhausted! Needless to say, I was actually happy when the alarm went off this morning because I knew I had something great to write about!

I am understood. By the God of All Creation and The Universe… I am understood.

PRAYER:

Wow God… the way you orchestrate every little moment of our lives is so beautiful. I mean, there I was sitting thinking of how sad it was that he had done that and you were thinking, “Oh I can’t wait until tonight when she sees all of this come together.” It is just so cool.

And ya know, thanks God. For all the ways that you could have saved us… but you sent us your son in the form of a person who would feel, first hand, the pull of temptation. That you could feel the pull when we feel it. That you could know the battle between choosing righteousness or sin. That you could understand me… in my testings. You are so amazing.

Thank you for the blessing of You in my life. Thank you for giving me Your eyes to see the world. Thank you for the path of transformation that you are taking me down.

I love you, God!

Amen!

Day 510: Welcoming Party

sister in law

I remember hearing these horror stories as a kid about how people always hated in their mother-in-law… I mean, at least, in the movies they always did. Now that I think about it I don’t really remember hearing about it from any real people.

Either way, I was pleasantly surprised when my in-laws turned out to be easy-going, supportive, and fun.

And I think, again, like I said on Day 503: An Ode To My Mother-In-Law, they have been so awesome to just welcome me into the family as a daughter… not as a stranger, or as the girl their son married, but as a daughter.

I still remember my first Christmas as I was opening gifts and my in-laws had gotten me this awesome red bag. My sister-in-law (in the pic above) was quick to tell the back story about that bag: they had been shopping and her mom picked up the red bag and said, “Do you like this?” and my sister-in-law said yes (assuming that her mom was going to buy it for her… she’s the only girl) and then her mom said, “Okay good, I think I’ll get it for January.” My sister-in-law said her mouth dropped as she realized that she would now have to SHARE with a SISTER!!! Haha!

But you know, that’s just what Christ has done for me. I’m not a descendant of Abraham. I’m not “supposed” to be part of the family, but He came for us ALL… and He makes me welcome into His family. I can approach God, because of Jesus, as if I am his very own precious only daughter and He will welcome me as if I am such.

Think of that… it’s as if I tried to walk into the White House right now to visit the president. I’d be taken DOWNNNNNN.

Imagine that same scene with instead with God… He would see me at the door, those powerful warrior angels of his would be ready to keep out this human. this sinner. this gentile.

And then God… would look over to His Son, Jesus, who would give Him a quick nod and then God… GOD… would motion for me to enter. He would tell me to sit… heck, He might even get up and embrace me. As if I were family.

Oh my heavens… I’ll be honest. I love the world that God has created here. I love that we are working on the Kingdom of God right here and right now, but THAT greeting… THAT family reunion… THAT welcoming… well, that is something to look forward to.

POSITIVITY: I am welcome.

I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18

PRAYER:

God, oh my Father. I see myself as such a misfit so often, but you have deemed me worthy through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus… worthy to be called FAMILY. Worthy to be with you. Worthy to be welcomed.

It just reminds me that I am given so much… here on earth as well as in heaven.

Today God I just want to remember that I am not displaced. I am just where I need to be. I am here, on earth, but I am your welcome daughter. Able to come to you at any moment because of what Jesus has done for me. Thank you for granting me an audience so. very. often. over such trivial matters as temptation of cookies.

Thank you for making me so very welcome in your family.

Amen.

Day 509: The Master’s Piece

{This post is from yesterday… sorry, I had it 97% finished but just couldn’t get it published until today. And even then, it took me all day today to just finish up the last few lines. Ha! What can I say? It’s summertime?!?!}

I’ve always thought that God created some of us to be great artists, and some of us he created to be appreciators of great art.

I… am an appreciator.

I always wanted to be musical, or able to draw or paint beautifully, or sculpt, or take amazing photography… but it is just not in the stars for me (unless you count the excessive iPhone pics that I take of myself, my hubs, and my kids. If you follow my instagram, you have to know that I have to straight-up hold. myself. back. from posting 8 gillion pictures a day… I try to keep it to one or two!)

So, while I cannot necessarily create a masterpiece, I sure as heck can appreciate one.

Unless… it’s myself.

I know right?!?!? Backwards.

But you know, yesterday, we were listening to the latest version of a song my father-in-law is about to release on iTunes, and we all got to dancing. I thought it would be cool to video us dancing so he could see how it immediately made his grandkids just want to move! Well, my husband took the phone from me and videoed me dancing around with the boys some, and wellllllll, as I’m watching the video later with my boys, my oldest (ya know, the sweet precious one that helped me face my sin on Day 506: Childish Conviction) covers up my belly rolls on the screen with his hand quite seriously and says “I don’t really want to see that.”

I looked at him and, quite seriously, said, “Yeah. Me either.”

But then I was looking at my belly rolls later that evening (which I was quite poorly hiding… bad choice of capri and top combo) and I thought of how Jesus must have looked down at the wounds in his hands for that month or so that he was going around after coming back to life. I’m sure to the normal eye they would have looked horrible… disgusting… hideous.

And to him, every time he saw them, he could remember the sin. Not his sin… mine. OR he could see the FREEDOM that those nail holes represented. He could see the SALVATION represented in those holes.

Those holes were… a masterpiece… showing God’s love for all of us.

Just like his nail holes my rolls can either remind me of my sin of gluttony, OR it can remind me that God has brought me on a journey away from gluttony and food lust. It can remind me that I am free of all of the things of this world. That belly roll reminds me a bit of where I’ve been and a bit of where I’m going.

And I’m not gonna lie… maybe it was a good thing for Jesus to have those holes. So that as people saw him they were confronted immediately with their sin and its effects. Just like I think it’s a good thing right now for me to have a little reminder of what the sin of gluttony will get me.

But either way, you see, I am a masterpiece… a masterpiece of God’s love. a masterpiece of newness. a masterpiece that has some work to do.

POSITIVITY: I am a masterpiece.

I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10

PRAYER:

God, {sigh} I am just daily blown away by your unending love and faithfulness. How you can look at me and think “What a beautiful masterpiece” somedays… it’s beyond me. But you are so good. so loving. so hopeful. And it’s just so cool that you have created me, and made me new, SO I can do stuff for you.

I feel so excited knowing that I am part of some plan… part of Your purpose. Just walking around or looking in the mirror I can tell myself that I am your masterpiece. that I have been made to do work for you. that my life is an expression of you.

Wow. That last one gives me goosebumps.

I am an expression of You.

Yeah. That’s amazingly rad.

Thank You God. Thank you for making me. for believing in me. for crafting every bit of me and my life with purpose.

Show me how I can serve you God. Lead me further into my masterpiece.

Amen.

{Annnnnd this is me, “jamming out”
on my air guitar with my kids.
I’m not entirely sure what the
facial expression is all about though.}

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Day 508: More Than Saved

saved from more than death

You know when we Christians hear the phrase ” I am saved” we so often just think immediately of someone that believes that Jesus is Lord in their heart, said it out loud with their mouth, and so now they are saved (Romans 10:9).

POSITIVITY: I am saved.

Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5

Ya know… Jesus has saved us if we believe in Him. But Jesus has saved us from so. much. more.

He has saved us from a life of sadness. of hopelessness. of powerlessness.

He sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us towards a full life, an abundant life, a life with hope and a future. He gave us strength and wisdom when we ask.

It reminds me of a few of the stories (and sadly, there are only a few) from when slaves were officially freed in America and there were some “masters” that gave their former slaves food, land, and money to get started on their own. Not only were those slaves “saved” from being a slave but they were also “saved” from starting life out on their own with absolutely no help and only a bunch of animosity from the whites as most slaves were. But this is what Christ has done for us… he has saved us from oppression of the worst kind and has provided us with the tools to life a wonderful and complete life.

PRAYER:

Lord God… I cannot fathom what it means to really be a physical slave. Honestly, I hope that I never fully understand that truth because I know how difficult it has been to be a slave to my own sin… to be a slave to temptation… a slave to the devil’s wiles. It has been a slavery that has wrapped my soul in pain and sorrow.

But today I remember that it shouldn’t be that way any more. Today I remember that you have saved me. That you have given me life… real life… full life… abundant life. A life that is FREE from the pull of food. A life that is free from the devil and pain and sorrow and worry.

Thank you Lord Jesus that you saved me from eternity in emptiness… in separation from You and all that is Good. But thank you God that You also sent Jesus to show me how to fully live. You are my abundance!

Amen!