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)
_2012 - a new year. A time for reflection and a time for purpose.
Time for setting goals for the future (I don’t like saying ‘resolutions!’) and reflecting on the past. And while it’s easy for most of us to reflect, it’s not so easy to make those goals. Personally, I struggle with that dirty ‘P’ word: procrastination. I imagine a lot of us do.
Why is it so hard to begin? I make a ton of plans in my head and visualizing has never been a problem. I can ‘see’ how I’d look 20 lbs. thinner. And I can picture speaking to women’s weekend retreats and Bible classes. It’s the ‘DOING’ that trips me up. Have you been there? Do you struggle with starting a project or beginning something new?
__For me, starting something new is a challenge because I have to step out of my comfort zone. Making specific changes (goals and plans) requires me to change – another dirty word! Instead of looking at change as scary or uncomfortable, my ‘goal’ (!) is to look at change as opportunity. Opportunity to make a difference in the world. Well, in my little section of the world anyway. Beginning with my family and my friends. And eventually – in God’s time - reaching women who could be inspired by my faith journey.
So as another year begins, I am determined to make the changes necessary to realize my goals. My fear now is that I will be reflecting on 2012 in 12 months and be in the same place I am today! Totally unacceptable... and definitely uncomfortable.
Setting goals is like putting wings on your dreams. Specifying my goals in writing will help me stay focused and make them seem real and actually attainable. This is going to require discipline (ugh! Another one of those words) and ‘on purpose’ choices. Our choices should move us toward our goals, not away from them.
I'm a big fan of 'to do' lists. Mostly because of how I feel when I check off an item on that list. That sense of accomplishment. Do you get the same feeling? I am committed to making smaller, mini-goals that will help me accomplish my bigger ‘opportunity’ – and I have now put it in writing!
I am excited about writing down my smaller goals to support the bigger picture. Writing this blog is the first step to one of them: encouraging women.
Now about those 20 lbs…