I lifted several items from the buggy and draped them over my arm as I entered the confined space. The dreaded fitting room. Oh, how I disliked trying on clothes. Especially with my post-pregnancy shape!
And so I began the arduous steps involved in ultimately modeling for myself.
First the pants: unclip from hard plastic hanger, tug over hips (if they make it past the thighs), button and zip (if you're lucky). Then the top: slide blouse off hanger - trying not to tangle useless strands of ribbon that end up hanging from your underarms), pull top over head or or slip arms into respective holes and button - again, if you're lucky :)
Then the fun begins. Turning this way and that to review your reflection. Front view, side view - and if you're REALLY lucky, you have a 3-way mirror and get to view your backside. Ugh! I've often wondered why department stores don't have those mirrors that make you look tall and slim. Instant 10 lb. weight loss!
Sadly, I've never encountered a dressing room mirror that stretched the truth. Pun intended :)
Mirrors are brutally honest. They reflect back to us what the world sees - the good and the bad.
We make choices every morning about what we'll wear for the day. What the world will see when they look at us. But do we remember to clothe ourselves in the armor of God? The Bible tells us to "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." (Ephesians 6:11)
To "put on" is a directive, telling us we need to do something. Paul says we must choose to wear the armor - it's not automatic.
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground... with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness..., and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:13-17)
Recently, I have been especially convicted about putting on the "belt of truth". God is leading me to share my story and experiences through this blog. I am committed to being authentic and real so that others will be encouraged by the battles I've faced - and won - through God's strength. It won't always be pretty - but it will be honest.
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)
Just like we put on "our face", fix our hair or select a stylish outfit to prepare for the new day, we must also be prepared for the spiritual battle that is raging - often unseen - around us. And as much as I want a mirror to tell me I'm 10 lbs. lighter, the truth is the baby weight will come off if I continue to make healthy eating choices. And exercise more :)
Temptation and sin surround all of us. I struggle daily with procrastination! But I want the world to see Jesus reflected in me. So every morning, I prepare for battle by wearing God's armor. I choose to be honest. I embrace my day knowing the peace I've found through him. I lift the shield of faith against Satan's lies. I trust that God's protection will guide me.
Are you prepared today?
"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
_In honor of my first 45 years on this planet, I though it would be appropriate to share some of the things I have learned. So, here goes - in no particular order!
• Laughter really is the best medicine
• AFV is the greatest TV show in the world! (I can literally watch it for hours)
• Monday morning is not the right time to ask 'so what do you want to do when you graduate?'
• The world disappears when you look into the eyes of your brand new baby
• Be prepared when you pray for patience - God will give you opportunity to practice it!
• God hears our prayers
• Be thankful for EVERYTHING
• God really does loves me
• Grown up daughters become best friends
• Age is just a number
• I am fearfully and wonderfully made
• Hearing a baby laugh = instant good mood
• God's timing is always perfect
• Learning from my mistakes = growing up
• People may disappoint us but God won't
• Time spent with good friends is time well spent
• People don't care if your shirt came from Goodwill or the Gap
• When I give back to God he blesses me - ALWAYS
• Count your blessings instead of what you don't have
• People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care
• It's not wrong, it's just different
• Family is ALWAYS more important than work
• Real men love Jesus
• Nobody will notice when you wear the same jeans 3 days in a row.
• Fish sticks and french fries are ok for dinner… 3 days in a row (it was a rough week!)
• Never leave home without earrings
• Ice cream is ok for dinner
• The digital camera is the greatest invention EVER
• Sometimes people just need you to listen
• Good manners count - please and thank you IS important
• A mother's love is unconditional
• My brothers aren't so bad now that we're grown up
• Sending a card 'just because' can make someone's day
• Keep an umbrella in the car at all times 'just in case' (I don't 'do' wet hair!)
• People are watching you - be an example
• An overdrawn checking account does not equal the end of the world (even up to 6 returned checks!)
• It's ok to say no
• It's ok to negotiate with a salesperson - the worst they can do is say no!
• When cutting your son's hair with clippers, don't start straight down the middle!
• People need kindness - say hello, smile, ask someone how they're doing
• Hugs are free
• Babies are more resilient than they look - goes hand-in-hand with...
• Eating needles from a real Christmas tree will not hurt the baby (they pass right on thru!)
• I am right where I'm supposed to be
• Don't multi-task when making dinner (don't ask! hehe)
• Our children need to make their own mistakes
• A movie marathon on a beautiful Saturday is ok!
• Love is a choice
• When God shuts a door, he opens a window
• Counseling works
• God's word is real
• Broken hearts heal
• It's ok to ask for help
• All we have is today
I'm looking forward to what I'll learn in the next 45 years!