It's time to pull up your chair. Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria? You do. It's reserved every week only for you. This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone. This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter. Scooch in close. You won't want to miss a word.
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I'm wondering about you. Truthfully, I've been wondering about you all week. Would you accept the challenge? I thought.
Do you remember the one I'm talking about? Well, there were two actually, but I've really been thinking about the one that includes a party of three:
You. God. The mirror.
Did you look in the mirror before you put on your make-up, did your hair, even brushed your teeth and proclaim God's Word? Did you tell yourself that you are:
fearfully and wonderfully made?
knit together by God in your mother's womb?
that the world looks at the outside but that
God looks at the heart?
Truthfully, I felt a little silly, but I cannot issue a challenge and then not do it. Three days, I did this.
Day one, I said these paraphrases as I looked in the mirror. I shrugged my shoulders and said to myself, "Maybe you're not so bad."
Day two, I said these paraphrases as I looked in the mirror and realized that as I went about my day, a lot less junky judgmental thoughts crossed my mind. And I wasn't even working at controlling them.
Day three, I said these paraphrases and then realized that all my workout capris were dirty, which meant that I had to wear shorts to my strength-training class.
Shorts. Shorts that reveal cellulite and pockets of fat I try to keep obscured from view. I had to repeat my paraphrases but I put on the shorts and I went to class. And an amazing thing happened to me...
As I dead-lifted a 30 pound sandbag over my head while doing squats, I saw beauty.
I saw how almost 7 years of running had shaped my legs. I saw the magnificence of how God has woven my muscles together to make me strong and balanced and able. I saw His craftsmanship inside of me.
The pockets of fat were still there, as was the cellulite. It is not that I saw perfection of my body reflecting back at me, but I saw Him and the work He has done in me.
Perhaps this is what the exercise was about all along -- seeing His craftsmanship within us, seeing His delicate hand in us and on us and around us.
Perhaps it is about yet another perspective shift.
When I appreciate what I have, it changes my spirit. I'm able to cease my relentless striving and I feel less guilty or less unworthy when I need help. I am able to say after two rounds:
I cannot continue to dead-lift a 30 pound sandbag. I need the 25. And, I can say this even though the girl next to me is still totally rocking the 30.
I can appreciate my limits and marvel at someone else's abilities, not with envy or lust, but with excitement about how God crafted her.
This, my friends, is what breakthrough looks like. This is just my breakthrough, though. I am sure that many of use have parts of our bodies or personalities that ignite our insecurities to full flame. Mine happens to be my legs and God knows this. And so, He showed me His handiwork that was obscured before now.
I realize that my legs are just part of my outside and that cellulite is a vain thing about which to be concerned, but I think God took the time to show me a new perspective about myself in order to offer me freedom. If I can see beauty in something that is not perfect in my own body, how much more will I be able to see that in other areas in my life? It's a lesson taught in concrete terms that can be extrapolated into many different realms of life.
What about you? I'd love to know if you did the challenge and how it has impacted your life. Will you share with us?
I am so happy to see your face here at Soli Deo Gloria. Did you know we have small groups? As SDG has grown, it started to lose a bit of the small community feel. As such, we have groups that visit each other and leave comments for each other on SDG days so that you don't feel lost in this big blog world. Would you like to be a part? If so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you are new here, please put "I am new" as your caption so that we might give you a proper welcome.