Friday, June 27, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

****I actually wrote this blogpost on Friday, June 27th. As I write, I am getting ready to head out of town for a much needed vacation with my family. I have a devotion running on Tuesday, July 1st and I wanted to welcome any Proverbs 31 Devotion readers to my blog who are visiting because of that devotion. Of course, I love my regulars too. Welcome to "I Am Beautiful".

***If you haven't read the devotion, you can click to read it.


This blog is called "I Am Beautiful" because it's the very thing I struggle with...feeling good about myself. On my own, I don't feel beautiful. I'm overweight. I say things I regret. I do things I regret. I don't have much style, really I don't. I'm freckled due to sun damage. My face breaks out like a teenager, yet I'm 40...I mean 41. I have 2 toes stuck together on each foot. And I'm very clumsy. But according to the Lord all of that doesn't matter. He loves me anyway. And He loves me no matter what. He says I'm "wonderfully made". He says I'm made in the "image of God". How is that not beautiful? When I describe myself, it's not so pretty. But when God talks, I'm "precious and honored in his sight"!

If you read "Encouragement for Today",, on July 1, 2008, you read the story of Dylan's struggle in this area also. I actually blogged about this on my other blog, back in February. When Dylan came home from school upset over the words spoken to him, it broke my heart. I mean it really broke my heart. I could so easily relate.

Dylan is a great golfer, as pictured here...just look at that swing!

I remember so clearly being 7 years old and playing barefooted on the playground. Some kids I didn't even know came up and started playing too. One of them noticed something different about my feet. You see, my 2nd and 3rd toe on each foot are stuck together. He pointed that out loud and clear. He called the others over to look too. I felt like a freak on display. "Ewww, look at her toes, how weird!" "Why are they like that?" "How does it feel?" These are words that sent me into hiding...hiding my feet for the next 10 years.

Here they stuck together toes, as pictured earlier this year after having bunion surgery. On my other foot, the toes are actually stuck together all the way up.

For 10 years, I would not go barefooted or wear sandals. Those words, which I don't think were really meant to hurt me, did hurt. Someone pointed out that I was different. And I just wanted to fit in.

Finally in high school, I kind of got over this. My boyfriend, who is now my husband, told me how beautiful my feet were. Funny thing is, we dated 9 months before I would go without shoes in front of him. Then when he saw my feet, he said they were beautiful. That changed everything.

Words have power. Just read James chapter 3. Words can tear a person down or they can build a person up. I think often we are so quick to speak we fail to remember how powerful our words can be.

I'm happy to report that Dylan is doing fine today. He looks at his scar in the mirror daily. If someone asks about it, he usually says something crazy like, "yea, if you think this is bad you should see my dad!" Or "yea, I just have a scar now, but you should have seen me when I had a hand sticking out of the top of my head." Or, "Oh my, the shark attack was terrible, but I'm doing much better now!" I hear him joking, but I know his heart wishes the scar was gone.

Don't we all have a scar that we wish was gone? Maybe it's a physical flaw like my stuck together toes or Dylan's scar on his head. Or maybe it's the scar from a past regret. Or maybe it's a scar from being violated. Your scar may be from a fear or insecurity that you have. Or maybe your scar is that you just want to feel matter what. Whatever the scar, I've learned that our scars are indeed beautiful to God.

I'd like to leave you with one of my favorite verses. It's Isaiah 45:3. "I will give you treasures in darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." There are treasures in our scars. So often it is our scars that draw us closer to God and actually help us to realize that we need Him in our lives.

I'd love your comments on the devotion, words of encouragement to Dylan, or sharing of your stories of your personal scars.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I pray you realize how beautiful you are. No matter what you've done, where you are, where you've been, or how you look or feel. You, my friend, are beautiful. And so am I:)

Beautiful Blessings,


Tomorrow, July 2nd is Dylan's 11th birthday. Happy Birthday my sweet beautiful Dylan! You are an amazing boy and I love you so much. I also love the way God is using your life to reach others. Thank you for giving me permission to share your story. You rock Big Dyl! Love you, Mom

In the first picture: Here is my sweet joyful boy! This picture describes Dylan perfectly. He is sensitive, sweet, smiling, and always wanting to have fun! And the 2nd: Dylan and I pictured here a few years ago after his team won the soccer championship. He asked me to mention here that he no longer has a bowl cut and never will again:)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Motivation Fades, but Commitment Remains

You know how when you first start something new, you get real excited about it? And you are motivated and have all this willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal? Well, that's how I get at least. And that's how I was when I posted my new goal to run a half marathon next December. I set up a walk/run schedule, I was eating healthy, I went online to find a training schedule, and even selected the race I wanted to run. I even recruited my husband, not to run, but to support me. He was very excited and proud of my new goal. Last week I exercised each day and actually looked forward to it.

This week however, the motivation began to fade. But I'm still committed! I can't believe how last week, I was so excited to get up each day and run. I told so many people how I was going to run 13.1 miles next December. Then the weekend came. I went to the mountains with friends. Had a great time. But when I came home, my excitement of the new goal had faded. Monday came and I did not want to get up and run...or walk...or even crawl. I just wanted to sleep and eat potato chips. Not exactly the formula for a marathon runner!

I'm thankful that my body doesn't rely on feelings to achieve my goals. If it did, I definitely wouldn't make it very far. I made a commitment...a goal. And I'm not quitting. Quitting isn't beautiful.

This week, it took a few days to get back into the game. And that's okay. Will and motivation will fade. Only with a solid goal and dedication will I actually get to the prize of the goal. I find my Christian walk is like that too. There are days when I am on fire and so ready to be all that Jesus wants me to be. I'm ready to live my faith, walk my talk, and share what Jesus does for me. Then there are also days when I feel like I just can't do it any more. I'm tired. I'm not good enough. I've failed. I don't feel like I'm a good example to anyone.

Fortunately, those feelings are just that...feelings. They are fickle and they change quickly. And they don't define the goal. My motivation may fade, but my commitment remains.

I'm committed to running that race in December. I'm committed to getting my body in shape between now and then. And I'm committed to Jesus.

I'm so thankful to be beautiful...aren't you?
Love to all my peeps,


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A New Goal: 13.1 Miles

I have a new goal and I'm so excited about it! It's something I've ALWAYS wanted to do and now I'm going to do it.

I am going to run a 1/2 marathon. Yep, that's right. I'll have that 13.1 sticker on my car. My time frame is very doable. I'm signing up for the Kiawah Half Marathon to take place on December 6, 2008. That gives me 6 months to prepare and get ready. I talked to Jeff about it and he is all for it and we are going to make a weekend of it...a get away with a little exercise thrown in. The most I've run is a 10 miler and that's been a few years, so this will be a challenge and give me good reason to keep up my workouts. I'll begin charting my progress and my training on this blog. Right now, I'm walking about 5 miles a day, but not all at one time. I'm running some, but only a little at a time. I'm going to keep building until I've built up. I'm going to find a training program online. I'll share it when I decide which one I'm doing.

Is there anyone out there that wants to join me? Not necessarily with running a race, but setting a goal? Come on ladies, let's go. Set a goal and go for the prize. I'm so excited!



Sunday, June 1, 2008

Looking Forward to an Awesome Week!

Are you looking forward to this week? What do you have planned?

As I've posted, I'm really trying to focus on my thoughts and keeping my mind set on what is true, excellent, and praiseworthy. When negative thoguhts enter, I challenge them with the truth. The result is that I have felt so much better!!!! I'm actually happy to be me:) Even though I'm 25 pounds overweight. Even though I have made a mess of life over the past year. Even though I have disappointed so many people around me.

I am still happy to be me. Why? Jesus lives in me. No one can conquer me because of that one fact. No one. Nothing. I am alive. I am so well. I am free. I am forgiven. I am a new creation. I am beautiful.

This week I want you to join me in an awesome week. Of course there is much out of our control, but there is much in our control. For what is in our control, let's make it beautiful. Pick out one Scripture that you can learn and meditate on and live this week.

For me, I'm picking Joshua 7:10, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?". In other words, I am getting up. I have confessed and now I am getting back to my High Calling in Christ. I will not spend any more time on my face. I will move onward and upward. Because of Christ I am worthy of that privilege.

And I am looking forward to an awesome week!