Day 604: Peace Out

peace and faith

I’ve talked about her before.

The woman who had been bleeding for twelve years.

I mean… the story has always grabbed me. It’s just so… me.

Although I haven’t been bleeding for twelve years… I’ve been EATING for 34 years.

And really, I started to write a whole new post about this, but then when I reread my post from Day Seventy-Eight, it was still just so… perfect for now, so I’m not sure if this is breaking some kind of “blogger rule” but I’m just going to copy paste it here…

Day Seventy-Eight: G.I.P.

My favorite miracle has always been the woman in Mark 5 who had been bleeding for years. She had suffered… for twelve. years.

And I know that some people have already heard this about her and the background around her, but just in case someone had missed it… not only had this woman been suffering physically, but she had also been suffering socially. A woman that was bleeding was considered “unclean” (for obvious reasons) and was not allowed into the community. For most women this would only last a week or so but this woman had not been allowed into her community, her church, possibly even her family for twelve years.

There are so many different lessons that this one woman can teach, but more than anything I just like to identify with this woman…

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.

Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

I find a connection with her for two reasons:

1) The woman had tried all the ways of the world to be healed and had gotten worse. Not only was she suffering physically, socially, but now she was also suffering financially… and had gotten worse. I identify with this when I think of the money I spent on “good for you food” that wasn’t that good for you… on SlimFast (yeah, remember what a waste that was for me?)… on pills… teas… herbs… exercise equipment… you name it, I probably bought it. And yet, at the beginning of this covenant I was worse off than I had ever been… eating a mixing bowl full of cookie dough.

But I suppose that is what drove her to go to Jesus. She had nothing… literally, nothing… to lose. An unclean woman touching a rabbi could have gotten her in some big trouble. And she would have made Jesus unclean as well. But all she wanted was healing. All I wanted was healing. And I had nothing to lose by going this way with Jesus. By allowing Him to “clean me up”.

2) She was healed and her suffering was over. Even though I am already beginning to feel the relief of healing of my addiction, I’m sure that it doesn’t even compare to the relief that she must have felt. But to hear Jesus say the words, “Your suffering is over.”

Over. Done. Gone. Forgotten. Closed. Completed. Ended. Finished. Past.

And I like to imagine her as the crowd’s attention, and Jesus’s attention, was turned toward Jairus because his messengers arrived telling him that his daughter had died… I imagine her still on her knees. Watching as the crowd walked away. Watching as Jesus walked away. I imagine that it must have been like seeing the world for the first time in 12 years… seeing that it could be full of hope. full of beauty. full of peace. full of relief.

And then I see myself in such the same way. Jesus has ended my suffering. He has ended my slavery to this lust for food. And now, because I am healed. Because I am no longer suffering, then I can… Go. In. Peace.

 

Day 290: Making Myself Beautiful

I have taken a bit of a break from my “Read Through The Bible In One Year” plan. It was just bringing me down.

Yeah, I said it… the Bible was bringing me down. No wait. It wasn’t so much The Bible was bringing me down as it was my reading plan was bringing me down. It had gotten to the point where it had become a chore. And I was reading through all of these doomsday prophets and… I just did not want to read anymore.

Until my Transforming Prayer bible study leader pointed out the concept that I wrote about on Day 269 that says, “The antidote for spiritual lethargy and heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.” And I decided to take a run through the Psalms… very refreshing.

So yesterday, I decided to look on YouVersion and see if there were any reading plans focusing on the Psalms, and when I opened up the “plans” section, my old reading plan was on Day 333. It’s a bit of a back story, but God has shown up in our lives several times in conjunction with the number 333. It became my husband’s fav number after Psalm 33:3 was the inspiration verse for his product and then it was like God would use those numbers to remind us that He loves us and cares for us… like having all 25,000 of the dice for his product delivered at 3:33pm. Yeah, we totalllllly kept that confirmation slip from FedEx!

Anyway, so I thought- I should probably pay attention to today’s reading just because that number is there, and well, whadda know…

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My heart kind of caught in my chest… especially after Day 288 being entirely about getting a bunch of clothes from my friends.

But the words are too pointed and too clear to be mistaken.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. 1 Peter 3:3-5

And as beautiful as I feel with all these beautiful clothes, and as beautiful as it was for my friends to help me with these clothes, and as beautiful as it is to be skinnier, all of that beauty will fade. And God will look solely at my spirit… and I so want Him to say, “Oh, January’s spirit… gentle and quiet. This spirit is so precious to me.”

And I thought of this verse too that deals with our spiritual clothes:
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colosians 3:12

And I was thinking that there are four basic things I put on every day that I could use to remind me to pray for those words. Feel free to laugh at my associations but I’ll probably remember them!!!

Under garments: Humility (cause I am humiliated if someone accidentally sees them)
Shirt: Tenderhearted mercy (cause it covers up my heart)
Gentleness: Pants (cause I gotta wash those suckers on gentle cycle lest they shrink!)
Shoes: Kindness (cause sometimes I wanna kick people to the curb… and that’s not very kind)

And what a great way to pray for those things every day? I get dressed every day… and I could pray for God to help me be humble. full of tenderhearted mercy. gentle. and kind.

And then I won’t have to worry about my outfits as much… cause it will be God making me beautiful.

Day 133: Face To Facebook

I haven’t been very… good… about taking “real” pictures of my kids the past several months.

Okay, so I have been horrible about it. My iPhone is just so totally convenient, so I never remember to take my “real” camera… and I kept forgetting to charge it whenever I would take it to an “event”. Thank goodness my mother goes to most of the “big” events in my life and she always remembers her camera, so I often just piggy back off of her pics!

Anyway, I did finally charge my camera and take pics at my son’s preschool graduation and at my toddler’s birthday! And I was just so stinking proud of myself that I put them on Facebook (which I also haven’t done an official “album” in a while… most of my pics are mobile upload pics)!

Well, in doing so, I had to go through and choose which pictures I wanted, because… come on. Let’s all be honest here. It don’t matter if there are 37 people in a picture and alllllll of them look fabulous… if I don’t look good then it’s not a good pic. Haha! So, I went through and weeded through some of the less desirable pics of me and others there.

And my emotions at looking at pics of myself were a little back and forth. I’d look at myself in one picture and think, “Wow. I look way skinnier than I realized” and then five seconds later I would look at a pic and think, “Wow… I’m not nearly as far along as I thought.”

But what I think is cool… is that those thoughts just sorta… ended… right there. I just stopped thinking about how I looked and went on with my day. I more so enjoyed all the comments that people were making about my precious boys in the pics having fun. And it wasn’t like I consciously had to think, “Now January… you are beautiful just the way you are.” It was more like my thoughts ran subconsciously but more in this vein: “Now January… The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

And I love that it was subconscious… that I never really thought about the fact that I was feeling “unconcerned” about my looks. I was just… well… unconcerned! To look back on that now at the end of the day, well, it’s just… cool. In fact, I’m kinda smiling to myself right now. Kinda… feeling the joy.

I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart. Psalm 40:8

Day Seventy-Eight: G.I.P.

My favorite miracle has always been the woman in Mark 5 who had been bleeding for years. She had suffered… for twelve. years.

And I know that some people have already heard this about her and the background around her, but just in case someone had missed it… not only had this woman been suffering physically, but she had also been suffering socially. A woman that was bleeding was considered “unclean” (for obvious reasons) and was not allowed into the community. For most women this would only last a week or so but this woman had not been allowed into her community, her church, possibly even her family for twelve years.

There are so many different lessons that this one woman can teach, but more than anything I just like to identify with this woman…

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.

Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

I find a connection with her for two reasons:

1) The woman had tried all the ways of the world to be healed and had gotten worse. Not only was she suffering physically, socially, but now she was also suffering financially… and had gotten worse. I identify with this when I think of the money I spent on “good for you food” that wasn’t that good for you… on SlimFast (yeah, remember what a waste that was for me?)… on pills… teas… herbs… exercise equipment… you name it, I probably bought it. And yet, at the beginning of this covenant I was worse off than I had ever been… eating a mixing bowl full of cookie dough.

But I suppose that is what drove her to go to Jesus. She had nothing… literally, nothing… to lose. An unclean woman touching a rabbi could have gotten her in some big trouble. And she would have made Jesus unclean as well. But all she wanted was healing. All I wanted was healing. And I had nothing to lose by going this way with Jesus. By allowing Him to “clean me up”.

2) She was healed and her suffering was over. Even though I am already beginning to feel the relief of healing of my addiction, I’m sure that it doesn’t even compare to the relief that she must have felt. But to hear Jesus say the words, “Your suffering is over.”

Over. Done. Gone. Forgotten. Closed. Completed. Ended. Finished. Past.

And I like to imagine her as the crowd’s attention, and Jesus’s attention, was turned toward Jairus because his messengers arrived telling him that his daughter had died… I imagine her still on her knees. Watching as the crowd walked away. Watching as Jesus walked away. I imagine that it must have been like seeing the world for the first time in 12 years… seeing that it could be full of hope. full of beauty. full of peace. full of relief.

And then I see myself in such the same way. Jesus has ended my suffering. He has ended my slavery to this lust for food. And now, because I am healed. Because I am no longer suffering, then I can… Go. In. Peace.