3 Steps to Feel More Beautiful

 “Cheeeep”, “Cheeep”

This morning, at the sound of birds chirping, I opened my groggy eyes.

Only these sounds were not coming from outside my window, they were coming from a small cardboard box in my office. I have awoken to this sound each morning for the past few days and will continue to for the near future because I have three orphaned birds living in my house. Every morning they're hungry, very hungry. I wake up quite literally "with the birds". 

“What kind of birds are they?” 

The question everyone asks.

“Starlings”

“Oh.”

Simple as that, just “Oh.”

Not “oh how sweet”, not “oh they are beautiful birds”, just simply “Oh”.

Yes, I am raising starlings. The plain black, boring looking, “nuisance birds” who simply love to take up residence in any corner of a house where they can find a tiny hole. Often causing damage. I know, I know, I’m raising starlings.

But this morning as they looked up at me and opened wide their tiny beaks to me, I thought,

“You really are cute.”

Cute. As I thought this, I wondered, why do we consider these black birds lesser than the golden yellow birds. Or why do we consider the eagle, who rips into dead animals to eat, more majestic than the vulture, or the seagull who do the same thing?

Then I thought…we do that with people too.

Why are some people considered more beautiful than others when each and every person is created in the image of God?

These lines of thinking hurt people, sometimes deeply. And that is so sad. 

These tiny starlings probably don’t have any idea they are thought of as lesser than the eagle. They probably have no idea people just say “oh” at the mention of their name. The starlings will just go about their lives doing what God created them to do…being the best starlings they can be.

We could learn a lesson from the starling.

Have you ever felt like an ugly starling?

3 Steps to feel more beautiful

Here are a few points to help change your thinking, a few simple steps to feel more beautiful. 

1)      Know and trust that you were created in the image of God and you are beautiful and perfect just as you are. You are beautiful!

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27

I know that there are times when this may not seem like enough...but it is, really it is. 

2)      Know that God calls you His “workmanship” and you were created for a distinct purpose.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

God has a plan and a purpose for your life. He has good works for you to do.

3)      Find that purpose and live it. These starlings are one day going to leave my home and fly away and live their lives doing what starlings do, possibly even living in a hole in someone’s house (and I'm truly sorry if it's yours). They are going to live their purpose. They won’t give one thought to the fact that some people consider them to be among the “lesser” of the birds.

Live your life like the starlings.

So, get out there this very day and begin to discover your passion and purpose, whatever that is.

God has exciting things for you to do if you will just step out in faith and find what it is.

What is God calling you to this day? I'd love to hear, please leave a comment sharing what it is.

 

  • Our art journaling course helps you discover your passion. If you would like to be notified of updates and upcoming course schedules fill out the form below.
  • If you would like to see some photos and information about our art course see these posts. The first one contains a video.

http://becauseliada.com/blog/2014/9/9/and-he-saved-them-out-of-their-distresses

http://becauseliada.com/blog/2014/10/8/more-photos-from-the-current-ongoing-journaling-class

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More Photos from the Current Ongoing Journaling Class

We're in the final stretch of the current journaling class and what a delight it has been getting to know these lovely ladies. We've laughed, we've created, we've eaten delicious goodies, made new friends and grown in the Lord. 

It has been wonderful to see the creativity poured out on the journal pages as these ladies think through the things which the Lord put in each of them to make them awesome and unique individuals. 

Every one of us has a unique story to tell. We all have things in our pasts, whether hurts, trials or victories which have added to the person we are. We all have unique gifts and talents which blossom when we are being the authentic person we were meant to be. In this class participants are able to think through all these things and more and get them onto a journal page in a creative fashion.

If you have interest in attending a class, learning more about upcoming classes, or having Shelley come to teach any of the classes to your ladies group, please contact us at becauseliada@gmail.com. 

Here are some more photos from the current class.

Delicious and beautiful fall cookies





And He saved them out of their distresses

Psalm 107:19-21

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Life can be hard....really hard. We've all been there. We've all had times when the entire world seemed to be crashing down around us. Maybe you're in the midst of one of those times right now. One thing I know for sure, life on this side of Heaven is never going to be pain free. But another thing I know for sure is...God heals. He really does. When we cry out to the Lord, He listens. He's there. He holds us, lifts us up, and loves us as no other can. I have been seeing evidence of this as I teach the Because Liada Art Journaling Adventure Class.

The Because Liada Journaling Adventure is a mixed media art journaling class. During this class participants create a personalized art journal as they work through the lessons. As I lead the current group of lovely ladies through the class, it has been wonderful to see how the Lord has worked in their lives to bring about healing. This group of ladies come from various backgrounds and just like most of us, they are backgrounds full of pain and regrets. During the class there have been times of both laughter and tears, and yes, both have been healing. We've talked about forgiveness of others and ourselves. We've explored our pasts and in an upcoming lesson we'll talk about our futures. But best of all, these ladies are learning to see how very much God loves them. They are learning they can live life with passion and purpose knowing God has a plan for their lives and that they too can live out their own daring adventure. 

If you are interested in having Shelley come teach this class or any of the other classes at your church or to a group of your friends, please send an email to becauseliada@gmail.com.

 

 

Shadow Praise

Today we tried to capture the act of praising the Lord through our shadows and our camera, here are a few of the results. 

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shadow praise 3.jpg
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shadow praise1.jpg

And then as always, the puppies thought it looked like we were having fun without them and wanted in on the action. 

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I think we'll explore playing with shadows again soon because this was fun. If you decide to play with shadows add a comment with a link to the pictures, we'd love to see them. 

If you want to see something amazing done with shadows, check out this video, keep the tissues handy though.  

Free: 31 Days of Journaling Through Scripture

Are you looking for faith based journaling prompts? .

We have a new downloadable PDF available for free called: "31 Days of Journaling Through Scripture".  This download is perfect if you need something to help keep your journaling focused on the Word of God. Each day you will be given one key word and an accompanying scripture. In addition you will be given instructions on what to write about. Each day you will be guided in your journaling with prompts which will

  • build your faith
  • fill you with praise for the Lord
  • challenge you to confess things to the Lord
  • and more.

As an example this is day #7 journal prompt from the download:

 "Caring: Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Today make a list and write about all the people who come to mind for whom you could do a caring act. But remember, a list is no good without action following the creation of the list."

If you want to spend 1 month journaling through scripture,  "31 Days of Journaling Through Scripture" is just the thing, download and enjoy.

Also: As this is our original content, please feel free to post information regarding this on your own blog or website, however, please link back here for the download. Thanks so much.

Mixed Media Journal Art Page - I do not remember crayons being this much fun!

journal page3
journal page3
journal page 2
journal page 2

My daughter and I have been having a blast trying out different art techniques. The bible study I am in the process of writing has a different mixed media art journal page which you create to go along with each lesson. We've had fun experimenting with the art mediums and techniques to find which ones go best with which lessons in the study and well, you know, just playing with art supplies. But...Oh my goodness did we have fun with this new technique...and as I said before, this makes crayons even more fun as an adult! Then to top it off, I had these vintage ledger pages from a  tobacco manufacturers cigar ledger which I purchased and they have that oh so perfect vintagy discoloration which is just delightful. I am really excited about this study, it walks you through the process of learning about yourself, about learning who you are as a child of the King, finding out what your spiritual God given gifts are, embracing your life story and giving God victory over past hurts. In the process of working through the study, you create a mixed media art journal which is uniquely you, uniquely your life story. I can't really get into how this page was done right now, but all the directions will be in the study. I will also post directions on the blog for a couple of the techniques eventually.

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Image

 It has been fun to work on creating my own book, to lay out my life story in this manner and really think about who I am as a beloved child of Christ, but it's been especially fun to figure out the techniques for you all to use to create your own personal journal.

journal pic 1
journal pic 1

God does not want us living stuck in a rut being dragged down by our pasts, He wants us living a victorious life. He wants you to know about all the awesome, unique, hand selected gifts He has put inside you and He wants you using them. He wants you to believe you can do it, because you can through Him, and He wants you to be free to be you, to take flight and be all you can be. If you are interested in hearing when this bible study is finished, just email me and I can put you on the email list. In the meantime....go...live life abundantly, and if you haven't been living that way, start today.

What's Your Excuse?

What do you want out of life? What dreams are you not pursuing and why? Is it fear? finances? routine? too many "I don't know how to do that's"? or maybe it's your past, your dreaded past.  Well, I think it's time to put all that stuff aside and take the first step toward whatever it is you have been putting off. God does not want us living stuck in a rut, He wants us living an abundant, full life. Now I am not of the "name it, claim it" "prosperity preacher" mind set. But I do believe that as long as we have prayed about something, waited patiently on God for the right timing, and believe He has given something a go ahead, then we are to move forward in faith and with a “whatever it takes attitude” and take the first step, and then the next...and the next... So often, we don’t even give God a chance to let something happen. When we constantly make excuses for why things don't happen, and we constantly say things such as "I can't start that business because I don't have the money", or "I can't do that because of my past (divorce, substance abuse, abusive relationship, etc.)", or even "I don't have the skills to do that", are we even giving God a chance?  I'm glad Noah didn't say "I really don't have the skills to build an ark".

God does not ask us for perfection, He just asks us to trust Him. It is time to take the first step into whatever it is you are feeling called to. It is time to stop living in our past, our fears, or whatever is holding you back and it's time to give God the victory. He has so much planned for you. He sees so much worth in you and He knows you can do it. So do I.

When our family began down this path of starting businesses, there were so many things which could have held us back. There were so many things which we were going to have to do which we had no idea how to do. There was also the financial issue. In the past three years we have had to learn how to design websites, learn SEO, design tradeshow booths, figure out how to get a homecare agency licensed by the state (two states), come up with all of the marketing material for a homecare agency and two other businesses, all while moving into and rehabbing a house. Now you may not have to move into a not habitable house, and you may not have to design your own website, but you may have to do other things which I have not had to do. My point is, with God in charge and with a "whatever it takes attitude", you can accomplish incredible things.

So I challenge you, take the first step. Have faith, move forward, and give God the victory.

The things which are not seen are eternal

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While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18 Yesterday I went hiking with my husband and two of our kids, it was a beautiful day and the forest was lovely. We brought the puppies with us. When we arrived at the top of Great Hill, I could see through a small opening in the trees, a gorgeous view which included the awesome NH mountains and lakes, but when I turned back around to look at where we had come from...just woods, trees and trail. We sat at the base of the fire tower refreshing with a drink of water, then we moved about to get a better glimpse of the view through the openings in the trees. Then, after resting from our hike it was time to climb the tower. 

Guess what, at the top of the tower, there was a 360 degree view. Mountains and lakes as far as the eye could see. Little did we know when we were resting below that  just above our heads was a full perspective view of where we were.

360 view
360 view

This got me thinking about this passage from 2 Corinthians 4:18. It says "While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

How often do we focus on the things which are seen when God sees the whole picture? How often do we focus on the trials at hand when God has the whole situation in the palm of His hands? How often do we attempt to move about from side to side to get a better glimpse of the view instead of trusting Him, who has the 360 degree perspective?

God wants us focused on Him, not on the view ahead. The view ahead can sometimes look great, yet from our limited vantage point, we can't see the whole picture. If we could see the whole picture we'd see trials coming from each side and even the path which we have walked in the past which might pull us back and slow down our growth.

Focus on Him who knows you best, for only He has the 360 view. For "the things which are not seen are eternal."