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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The Year of Commitment - Yearly Planning Workshop

It's that time again, a year is coming to a close and a new one is about to begin. With the new year comes thoughts of resolutions and fresh starts, thoughts of new possibilities and goals. One practice my I started many years ago and commit to every year is the practice of yearly planning and goal setting. This year in addition to our own yearly planning we will be hosting a workshop where participants will write a yearly plan and learn the benefits of committing the year to the Lord. This event will be held on Saturday January 7th. The event is free of charge and includes lunch and the yearly planning workbook materials. Consider joining us. Email me for more information or to register. becauseliada@gmail.com. Hope to see you there. 

Workshop is closed, email us to find out about upcoming workshops and classes. 

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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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.  

Go Have Fun! Scripture Says To!

Yesterday we took the day off to go to the Fryeburg fair. Yup, smack dab in the midst of a work and school week, we took the day off and went to the fair...and wow did we need it.

 

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fair 2

As a result of taking the day off, I woke this morning ready to face another work and school day head on (although my feet sure were tired last night). Do you ever go through times when all of a sudden you realize you just have to take a break from the routine of life or you're going to snap. I know I've taken breaks before, or a vacation and only in the midst of it do I then realize how badly I needed it.  Things can get overwhelming if we never take time to slow down and enjoy life.  No matter what your work is; whether a job, housework, or dare we say, even ministry, it is easy to get totally consumed with work. As I mentioned in another post (here), we can get so consumed with work we neglect quiet time with the Lord,

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 but the other thing we can neglect is just slowing down enough to enjoy life and the people around us. Do you know scripture speaks on just this subject?

"So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under then sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 8:15

Who doesn't enjoy eating and drinking and being merry? In fact this verse says there is nothing better under the sun, but as I was reading this verse today one other part stood out to me; "for this will remain with him in his labor". I thought, "what does that mean?" Then I thought, I think I just experienced what that means. I worked hard, as scripture encourages, then we took time off and enjoyed life and enjoyed each other, as scripture encourages. Then when I got up the next morning, I was ready to face more work because the time of rest "remained with me in my labor" just  as this passage says. I think God knew how we would tend to work and work and work and then burn out, so He, in His wisdom put in scripture a reminder for us to take time to enjoy life; "a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink and be merry" then He added, a note telling us if we enjoy life, we would be able to face the next work week because we would be refreshed, "it would remain with us in our labor".

 

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fair 1

Do you know what being "merry" is...it's having fun, enjoying life, or as Merriam Webster says "being happy and cheerful".  So go take some time to do that. Go take time to have fun, play and be merry, and do it with those you love, those blessings the Lord has put in your life, and do it today. 

 

You are Loved...Just as You Are

You are truly, deeply loved, really. Why do we all have this desire to be someone else or to have what someone else has? If we are to be honest, I think we all have a current "I wish..."?  I wish I was thinner? I wish I was prettier? I wish my skin was more flawless? I wish I wasn't divorced? I wish I was better at...? I wish...I wish...I wish.... The other day I was talking with a pastor friend of ours and in talking about another pastor he said "I wish I could preach like him.". I immediately stopped him and told him, that was the other pastors style, and God gave him his own style. I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about this desire so many of us have because it is the topic and one of the reasons behind the study we are currently putting together called "Because Liada".  So here's what I want you to know, you are loved for who you are right now today. And from the lyrics from an awesome song by JJ Heller "not for what you have done or for what you'll become". You are loved for you, just as you are at this very moment even if who you are right now is...fallen, sinful, overweight, divorced, depressed, lonely, etc. I'm not saying we need to settle in to where we're at and stay there because it is always good to work towards being the best we can be. But we need to learn to be the best of ourselves, not of someone else. We need to learn to love ourselves just where we are today because Christ is not waiting till you lose weight to love you. He did not wait to die on the cross for you till you accomplished something great.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39 NKJV

Isn't it incredible what we do to ourselves? We try to separate ourselves from the love of Christ by thinking we are unlovable when He has said nothing can separate us from that love. We think He would not want us and we are unforgiveable when He has said He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west.  So if you are doubting your worth, if you are feeling unloved, lonely, unbeautiful, etc. focus on Him who loves you without end, who's love fails not and who loves you today...just the way you are.

Are You Listening? God's Whispering.

As you know ...life is busy, it really is, and the more 'advanced' we get as a society, the less time we seem to have. When we do have some time, we go and fill it with more busyness, work will expand to fill whatever time we give it. Amidst all that busyness, below the hubbub of our days, if we take the time to listen, there is God whispering to us. Whispering, why does He whisper?  I mean, if God would shout at us as we keep working, it would certainly save time and we could accomplish just as much for Him as when we slow down and take time listening for His whisperings, couldn't we?  Well, thats doubtful, and God knows it. I'm not saying God never shouts to get our attention because there are times He definitely does just that. And I'm not saying it's impossible to spend time with the Lord while we work, because I've definitely done that too. However, we all need to be spending quiet time listening for the whisperings of the Lord. Scripture reveals many ways in which God communicates with His people, whispering is just one of them, so what's so special about a whisper?  The depth of your relationship is often discovered in whisperings because the whisperings are the easiest to miss.

In 1Kings 19: 1-14 is the story of Elijah hiding in a cave from Jezebel who was seeking to kill him. God sends a very strong wind which broke the rocks, an earthquake, and a fire but the passage says "God was not in them". All these things were followed by a whisper from the Lord, and Elijah heard it. Again, as I read this I wondered, why a whisper? As I compare this passage to my life, I know in times of busyness if God sent an earthquake...I'd notice, if He sent a fire (which He did at one point in my life), I'd notice that too (and I did). But when He sends a whisper, if not attentive, if too busy filling my days, I could miss it, and that is exactly the point. It's an issue of faith, "Was that You Lord?" "Did I hear You correctly?" I think God wants to find out just how in tune we are to His voice. Just like in the 1 Kings passage, if we can only discern the earthquakes and fires from the Lord and not the sweet whisperings, we can miss out on so much the Lord has in store for us. Elijah was in tune to His voice and God had work for him to do. Elijah had a journey to take and a King and a prophet to annoint.

There is one other thing I notice about this passage, Elijah had distractions going on in his life. First, there was the distraction of running in fear from someone who wanted to kill him, then there was the distraction of natural disasters going on all around him (wind which sounds a lot like a hurricane, earthquake and fire). Unfortunately, it is often during extreme trials in our life, when we let ourselves get so consumed by the trials that we neglect taking time to listen for His voice and yet it is during those times we may need to hear the whisperings the most. God has great and mighty things planned for you, listen for His whisperings. What is He saying to you today?

Lord,

I want to recognize every intonation of your voice.

Every inflection.

Every sigh.

Every whisper.

I want to know you so closely that I can tell by just your voice if you have a smile on your face over something I've done or even...disappointment.

I fail You

Am unworthy.

Yet You're always there-ready for me to come to you.

And yet You do chase after me...

You don't let me go so easily, do you?

That's You're voice isn't it?

If only I was listening.

I do recognize it and heard it over the busy hubbub of my days

But I could have missed it...and kept running.

But I heard, and I'm here, safe in You'r embrace.

Why? Why do you love me?

Why do you forgive me over and over?

You tell me...because I am yours.

Precious.

Even when I feel like a wretch.

Even when I act like a wretch.

Sinner that I am.

Fallen.

But saved.

I Love You, Lover of my Soul.

And I do think I hear a smile in Your voice.

Whisper to me...sweet nothings.

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.