Saturday, March 22, 2014

Broken Silence

It's been more than two months since my last post. I would love to say that I've just been too busy to write, but I just don't think that quite gets to the heart of it. I have been REALLY busy, but...that just doesn't encompass the reality.

I've been silent because I feel like God has been silent. God is always there. He's always with us, but sometimes I think He stands in silence, waiting for us to appreciate His a drought makes us love the rain.

However, in the last couple weeks, I entered a period of anxiety and conflict, and when I needed Him most, He now I'm writing again.

It was really not that big of a deal in retrospect. I let myself get so busy that the house was a pretty big mess, and Josiah was really getting frustrated. However, after a couple of conversations where neither of us communicated well, we both felt bruised, battered, and worse for the wear.

It had another effect on me, though. This domestic failure of mine resulted in a far deeper trauma, which led to one of the worst 3 a.m. sob sessions I've had in quite some time.

I stopped wanting to do everything. I told myself I didn't want to:

host the Art of Marriage event at church,
start a ministry,
be part of any other ministries,

I didn't want to do anything. I told myself the calling I felt a couple years ago was a lie I made up because it was what I wanted. I told myself any talents I thought God had given me to do His work were imagined. He didn't want me. Why would He?

Oddly, I knew this was Satan whispering in my ear. I knew what I felt wasn't from God, but I felt like I just didn't have the strength to battle the lies. I just couldn't find the will to fight.

But God...

In His infinite wisdom, God has given me some very weak moments to try to fight through within the past few years. I used to spend tons of time trying to fight through them myself, trying to get through on willpower, battling Satan on my own. Only after days of the lies tearing me apart would I finally cry out to God for help, and only then would His peace save me.

But not this time. This time, even though I knew I had no strength to fight, I remembered to turn to the One who does. With the enemy's lies still ringing in my ears, I cried out to God. I told Him I didn't have the strength to fight, and I begged Him to separate the truth from the lies in my head. I begged Him to wrap me in His love, and give me peace.

And He did.

His peace engulfed me like a river and stole my tears away in seconds. And there, where I had been sobbing on my living room floor, I looked up and saw the Art of Marriage kit sitting in my living room, waiting for me to get moving on the planning of this event - an event I know will change and save marriages in our community.

And I started planning. It was 4:30 in the morning at that point, but emails needed to be sent and things needed to be figured out. There was work to be done.

When Josiah got up for work and asked what was wrong, I told Him the lies Satan had been telling me. At that point, while God had settled my heart, I still felt their faint whisper, and I wasn't quite ready to admit they were all lies yet.

Even a couple days later when Josiah was talking about our ministry, I was hesitant. He was trying to tell me it still needed to happen, that He felt God was still pushing us in that direction (albeit slowly), and that I should still write and pursue the plan God had revealed to us, but I just couldn't jump back in.

So God shoved me.

This is my last semester at Liberty, and because I'm getting a Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies (which sort of combines majors from different areas), I have to take an Interdisciplinary class. The purpose of the class is to bring some cohesiveness to the degree and your future, and help you move forward with the cluster of majors you've chosen.

Part of the first few weeks' assignments? Analyzing your strengths and your spiritual gifts. Talking about your future plans. What do you plan to do with your degree?

In one night, I had to write about forming the ministry three times. I had to take a StrengthsQuest Assessment that named my top five strengths, and I had to relate to my professor how I'd seen those work in my life...which was mainly through writing this blog and teaching at church.

When I took Elmer Towns' Spiritual Gifts Assessment, I scored evenly on four gifts: teaching, exhortation, mercy showing, and shepherding. I then had to relate to my professor, again, how I'd seen these gifts work in my life thus far...and again, I had to talk about my blog and some of the ministries I've been involved in. I had to talk about my future.

I didn't want to walk back through the door, but God shoved me through it anyway.

So, while I don't think I'll ever be the most talented writer to grace the internet or written page, I have to admit that God is calling me to write anyway. While I'll never sing as well as others, I'll raise my voice to praise Him anyway. And while other ministries may do a lot more good and have much more worthy founders, eventually (as long as the good Lord wills it), we'll get the ministry off the ground anyway.

I know God is urging me to move forward in a lot of areas, but I also had to acknowledge that He wanted me to pull back in some others. One of the reasons it was so easy for Satan's lies to creep in and take over was because I already felt like a failure.

I had so many things I was trying to juggle, that responsibilities were falling to the ground all over the place, and as hard as I tried, I just couldn't keep up with them all. The house was a disaster. I still had A's in my classes, but I wasn't putting forth the effort I should have been. The kids are behind in their class schedules, despite the fact that I started the year early. I wasn't fulfilling my Awana secretary duties properly. I couldn't even remember to drop a couple checks off for the Women's Ministry's trip to Women of Faith. I hadn't done the things I needed to for the Art of Marriage event.

I was just failing.

So, when the issue came up about the house being a mess, the rest of the failures I felt came crashing in around me, and I lay somewhere under the mountains of rubble.

God rescued me, but He also told me I needed to re-prioritize.

So, much to my dismay, I stopped my involvement in the Women's Ministry mid-year.
I resigned as secretary of the Awana Journey club, as well.
I quit the homeschool co-op just before this, so that wasn't an issue.

I streamlined my schedule so I could make room to really put effort into the things I stayed involved in, like being a mom and a wife. I finally admitted to myself that I couldn't do everything and do anything well.

It was a lesson that was very hard-learned, but worth it in the end, I think.

Unless you're struggling with the same thing, I don't really have any overarching lesson here. This isn't a devotional or teaching tool.

Today, the blog is simply dedicated to sharing what I've been going through, to give my sincerest apologies to any I may have let down, and to cleanse my heart so I can move on.

I know this has been long and somewhat disjointed, so if you've made it this far, I'm grateful. Thank you for listening to my heart. <3 p="">

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Needy Men are Sexy heard me. I said it. Needy men are sexy.

Now, if you know me, I'm sure you've ascertained that this means something more than what it appears.

Indeed, those who know Josiah and I know that I revel in his strength. I love that he is strong enough (physically and emotionally) to allow me to lean on him a good bit of the time in a way that I've never been able to lean on another person. There's freedom in the way his strength allows me to be vulnerable.

But...(and you had to know it was coming)

There is one way in which Josiah is weak and needy that is sexy beyond belief: my man knows he needs Jesus. 

He is not afraid to start each day at the foot of the cross, reaching out to his Savior saying, "I love you, and I need you. Forgive me, hold me, guide me."

And you know what? That is sexy. 

You might wonder why I'm writing this, and of course, there's a reason (other than me wanting to praise my husband).

I have a friend who posted on facebook the other day that he was sitting out in the church parking lot waiting to go in...that it was the hardest part of his week. He said it was hard for him to come to this place where he was in need and didn't have all the answers.

Praise God, he's starting to get it.

My pastor said once, there's a reason there are more women in church than men, and that's often because church brings a man publicly to a place of vulnerability, of neediness. It's a place where a man comes because he doesn't have it all together and to admit he needs a Savior.

What most men don't get is that placing themselves in that vulnerable position actually makes them so much stronger!!! 

What could David have done against Goliath without God?! Not one thing. David was only able to defeat Goliath because he knew God was with him.

How far would Moses have gotten in freeing the Israelites without God by his side? Not even a step, and certainly not across the Red Sea on dry ground.

Over and over the Bible shows us that men who admit they are weak and need God are far stronger and able to accomplish more because they know who is in control...and it's not them.

Here's the thing is often the case, the world is screaming something different at our men and boys.

The world is telling them to be tough and independent, not to need anything or anyone. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for teaching boys to be strong, but in the right way, and strength is Jesus Christ is the strongest you can get.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

So men, you've seen the bumper sticker - "Real Men Love Jesus" - and it's true: real men do, indeed, love and need Jesus. Know it.  Accept it.  Live it.

And ladies, spread the word. Share, tag, blab, brag - do what you need to do, but get the word out because our Christian men need to know we love their dependence upon God!! 

So, to my friend who was in the parking lot, admitting you don't have all the answers and leaning on God for understanding makes you infinitely stronger than you could ever be on your own. You'll get more comfortable with that the more you come to that place of vulnerability, the more you place yourself at the foot of the cross each and every day, not just on Sunday. 

And then, my friend, when you come to that place, you'll be racing me to the church doors, and I'll be happy to let you get there first...and I'll even let you open it for me. :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quick and Dirty: A Visionary Flop

This one is going to be quick and dirty (written on the fly with little editing) because I feel like death and I'm buried under a ton of schoolwork, but I think it's important enough that I'm willing to take a few minutes out.

I've felt a little...attacked lately.

First, there's the whole gym thing. Since I started going to the gym, I've felt SO much better. I haven't dropped a ton of weight or anything, but it's only been about a month, and that's just not the point. The point is, I FEEL better when I go.

However, within a couple weeks of rejoining, my ankle (which hasn't given me major problems in over a year) locked while I was simply sitting on the floor helping Ryan put together a puzzle...completely random. And do you know when I stopped going to the gym last time? Yup...when the same thing happened to my ankle.

I was bound and determined this time, though...nothing was going to keep me from working out - so I decided to take some aqua aerobics classes. Yes, there are old people in there and you feel pretty stupid running around a pool, BUT I felt GREAT after my first aqua kickboxing class, and I was determined to continue.

Until this week, when I got hit with some sort of pulmonary virus (a.k.a. "chest funk") that landed me flat on my butt. Seriously, I woke up Tuesday feeling like I had an elephant on my chest and by the end of the day I was out of breath if I tried to move. Today, I'm at about better, but still no gym.

But guess what? The first day I feel I'm no longer infecting the world with my funk, I'm going to be in that gym. I don't care if I just walk on a treadmill at 3.0 mph for 20 minutes...I'll be there.

And then there's the think with the ministry. I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm still blogging from Life Under Construction - not Seeking the Symphony. I've made ZERO headway lately with the ministry...and I assure you, I've felt like a super failure because of it.

Furthermore, EVERYTHING I've come in contact with has talked about praying BIG prayers, dreaming BIG dreams, seeing the VISION, leading with get the idea.

But that's not how I feel lately. I feel like I've lost the vision. I feel like the vision and the dream and everything else has gotten lost in the mundane, everyday tasks of life, like homeschooling and my classes and...I

I feel like a visionary flop.

I had this conversation with Josiah the other day, and poor guy...I happened to look to him for emotional support on a day where he was pretty low himself. I attacked him with questions like, "How do we know we're really doing the right thing by starting the ministry? Why isn't God giving me more information if this is the way we're supposed to go? What do you think? How do you feel? How do we know for sure?!" His response was basically "I think we are going the right way, but I don't know." Poor guy...there's nothing like getting attacked while you're trying to cook dinner. So then I did what I should have done in the first place:

I went into my bedroom, got on my knees, and cried out to God. I poured out my heart to Jesus right there on my bedroom floor.

Sometimes, it takes God a while to answer our prayers, but sometimes...sometimes He answers right away...and this time that's exactly what he did.

Right there, while I was praying, he reminded me that he HAS given me a Women of Faith a year and a half ago (you can read about that here). Heck, I just stood on stage at church talking about it last weekend. Is Seeking the Symphony part of that vision? Maybe...maybe not. Either way, fail or succeed, it's a stepping stone for us and I truly believe it's God's will for us.

He also reminded me that I've felt discouraged about this lack of a solid plan where the ministry is concerned, and what He told me THEN was that I needed to follow the steps He's given me for now, and then He'll give me the next pieces...and guess what? I haven't finished those yet.

And I think I know why.

Today He reminded me that sometimes He slows us down on purpose because we have more to learn before we can proceed.

Before I started back to school, I started working with some Dreamweaver tutorials so I could learn how to build the StS website, but then, as I said, I got sidetracked by life. But sometimes, God builds His lessons into our lives -

Like today, when I realized that this week's presentations in my Digital Imaging class are all about building webpages in then be linked with Dreamweaver if necessary.

I hope you know what this feels like. I hope you know what it feels like when God reaches down and gently wraps His hands around you and reminds you that He is in control, that He has already prepared works for you to walk in, and "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

Ours is a mighty, loving God. El Shaddai - God Almighty. El-roi - the God who sees me.

See, here's the deal. Maybe I'm not being attacked. Maybe that's just my imagination. Either way, there are some trials, and you know what? I'm thankful for them. Through them, God is producing endurance and maturing me, making me full and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2).

Let's face it - He has His work cut out for Him, but every day He works on me, and for that, I am exceedingly grateful.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

With A Passion

Do you believe in coincidences?

I don't.

I ran into a man today at the dentist's office. Josiah had an appointment, and our dentist's office is on Main Street, and since I'll take just about any excuse to spend time with him, we decided to brave the icy sidewalks and walk to the office.

While Josiah was busy in the dentist's chair, I struck up a conversation with the previous patient who, as divine providence would have it, was a Christian.

We spoke for a long time about many different things and, while we had some theological differences, he said something to me that made such an impact I knew I'd write about it.

He said there was a day he was supposed to debate some piece of scripture with a fellow Christian over lunch - just two angry men convinced they were right (and another there just to watch the show over a sandwich).

He said he prayed sincerely for wisdom before-hand, and then he went in and told me man he wouldn't debate with him. He said he would sit down with him and the Word; they would sit next to each other and study the scripture together and then as united Christians they would derive the meaning. 

In the end, he said both of them had been partially right, but they walked away knowing the other was a brother in Christ.

He told me the end of the story with tears in his eyes and my heart almost exploded.

This man had passion.

Before our chat in the dentist's office, I was reading one of my textbooks for my Christian Leadership class (The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler). I read about the "Passion to Lead" and my heart was both heavy and hopeful.

I've lost momentum on forming the ministry. With the kids and I back in school, I just don't have time to finish designing the logo or set up the website/new blog...or anything else really.

I feel like I've lost some of my momentum...and some of my passion.

I found myself praying while I was reading, and then, for the first time, scrawling those prayers in the margins.

"Please God, make me passionate for Your word and Your will in everything I do."

"Please Lord, if I'm meant to lead, make me an infectious leader. One who leads with deep conviction and a passion for You."

"Please God, lead me so I can lead others."

"Please God...please."

And then I ran into Mr. Tom...a man with a passion for Christ...a man who, at that moment over lunch with a fellow Christian, chose unity in the body...the exact same thing our ministry is after: healing the body of Christ.

God lit the flame of my heart again for our cause, and while I know I still might not have time to work on everything today or tomorrow, that's okay. I'm on God's time and taking His lead, and His timing is perfect. Amen.

So, today, I'd like to thank Mr. Tom for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to me through him, and for his lovely conversation in our dentist's waiting room.

I walked away knowing another brother in Christ.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26-26

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kids are people?!

I've had a revelation, and with that revelation came some conviction.

The revelation: our kids are TOTALLY people!!

I know, it sounds foreign, and as much as my father-in-law is convinced kids are plastic (family joke), I have discovered they are, indeed, flesh and blood people.

I know you're confused right now. As always, I have a story...

I have been very upset with a couple of adults lately at church because it got back to my child that they were speaking ill of her.

She used to love going to church and now, she still enjoys the Word, but heaviness hangs over her when she's there. She feels whispers around her, probably even when none exist...because you know, that's what gossip does.

How dare they!! Despite what they may think, our children are people, too, and talking about them is gossip just as much as speaking about an adult is. They're hurting my child! 

And then, the Holy Spirit swooped in with conviction for He often does.

How often have I spoken ill about my children to other people? How often, when someone is sharing about their teenage daughter woes, have I (in an attempt to sympathize) said, "I don't really have those problems with Des, but man are we scared of when Emily gets there!" and many other things about all of my kids.

Ya know what? That's not nice. 

I learned before Josiah and I were even married that I should cover him in my speech (Time Warp Wife), but unfortunately, I didn't learn the lesson about my kids...until now.

Should we revisit what the Bible says about gossip?

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up,as fits the occasion,
that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
Psalm 101:5

If anyone thinks he is religious
and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart,
this person's religion is worthless.
James 1:26

...and MANY more. Ouch.

Now, please don't misunderstand me. I know sometimes we need parenting advice; we need prayer for this journey. However, if that's the case, then we should following the same rules for that as we would for getting advice and prayer for our marriages - seeking wise Christian counsel in confidence, always being aware that we should still speak respectfully, even in times of trouble.

As a general rule - when seeking advice concerning anything that concerns another person, follow exactly the same guidelines you would want them to follow were they seeking advice about you.

What? You wouldn't want them talking to 20 different people to ask for advice and "get prayer" about you? You wouldn't want them to talk to people who wouldn't protect your relationship and may jump on the "ill-speaking" bandwagon?

Huh - interesting.

It's the golden rule, folks. "Do to others as you would have them do to you" Luke 6:31.

And, as it turns out, this doesn't just apply to grown-ups or people you haven't birthed. 

I guess I have some apologies to make. How about you?

Linking up with:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Seeing His Hands

I sank to my knees in the middle of the kitchen, paying no attention to the fact that the linoleum was cold and hard and the fact that my husband might think I was insane.

But he didn't.

He joined me on the cold kitchen floor, and raw emotion crashed over me like waves.

I cried, and in a quiet voice I prayed:

"Thank you dear, Lord. 
Thank you for your many blessings,
but thank you most of all for revealing yourself to me.
Thank you for knowing I needed to see your hands working in my life,
and thank you for so graciously giving me what I needed.
Just thank you."

In his book The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson says, "In order to experience a miracle, you have to take a risk." Of course, he's not talking about taking just ANY risks; he's talking about taking those risks the Holy Spirit is speaking into your ear, the ones that don't add up on paper - but hey, 5 loaves and 2 fishes can't feed thousands either, right?

Just about a year ago, Josiah and I were struggling with whether I should quit my job to stay home with the kids or continue working. We both felt me staying home was best for our family, but...

let's just say we were wondering about God's ability to do math.

Everything we felt, heard, and experienced, though, told us that I was supposed to stay at home (and the decision to homeschool was not far behind). We trusted that God would provide...and oh, has He so many ways.

Here's the thing, when you're put in a position of pure dependence on God in alignment with His will, then you are in the very humbling and awe-inspiring position of seeing His hand move...a lot.

And in the last 10 months, that's exactly what we've seen:

  • when we needed a new van and He gave us one for 1/3 of it's actual value
  • when that van lost it's transmission while we were on vacation in the Smoky Mountains and He provided in so many ways, through so many people
  • when we bought a lot of books at an auction for $10 and wound up selling one of them for $880
  • when friends of ours sponsored us to go to a Smart Stepfamilies conference and bought us lunch afterward
  • when $250 showed up on our doorstep right before Christmas
  • when loving family members went out and bought quite a few presents from us to the kids
  • when our dear friends handed us a check and simply said "Merry Christmas"
  • when grandparents sent gift cards and money for Christmas that have been such a blessing
  • and yesterday, when one of Josiah's regular customers who just loves him blessed us with over $100 in groceries and a $25 gift card to match...and I found myself thanking God on the kitchen floor.
It started pretty simply, apparently. One of Josiah's elderly customers chats with him regularly, and just loves him to death; she even sent us some of her homemade rhubarb jam at one point. When they spoke yesterday, she asked how Christmas was, and he said it was great. He told her that things were tight, but how we'd been blessed by God through the people around us. He told her that I'm staying home with the kids and homeschooling. She talked about her grandkids.

And then...

She came up to Josiah and asked him to come out to the car with her. She handed him a $25 gift card, and then she took a small bag of groceries out of the full cart and gave the rest of the cart to him. I don't think he'd mind me telling you he cried and gave her a big hug.

He showed up at home with a kitchen full of groceries - staples that we use every, single day - and that's when I sunk to the floor, overwhelmed with joy.

See, here's the deal: our budget is tight, and things are late sometimes, but we're not absolutely destitute; we're decently broke, but we're not starving or anything. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying I don't appreciate the groceries. That is such a huge help.

But more than that, I was overwhelmed by the sense of God's presence in my life, staring at me on the kitchen counter in such a tangible way. It was more than my heart could take; it sapped the strength from my legs and the joy spilled from my eyes.

Pure, joy and thankfulness.

Conversely, this has been a hard post for me to write. It's hard to tell the world you're poor and someone gave you groceries. That's just not how we're put together. The world says no matter what's going on in your life you're supposed to put on a happy face and pretend we have it all together.

But God says:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God 
so that at the proper time He may exalt you....
1 Peter 5:6


If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
2 Corinthians 11:30

So I had to write it. I had to. God has blessed us so much, and used so many people to do it. How could I not shout His praises for it from the rooftops? How could I not tell everyone about all the beautiful ways He's touched our lives?

I just had to, and now that I have, I will send this into cyberspace and hope you're blessed by reading it.

What risk is God telling you to make? What is He telling you to do that's making you respond by saying, "but God, it just doesn't add up?!"

Listen to Him today. Let Him guide you. He'll never steer you wrong.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. 
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Carnality of Comparisons

"Wow. That girl is on the elliptical and not one bit of her body jiggles. Her back is really strong, too - holy cow! I bet she hasn't had four kids, though. And could her shorts be any shorter? You are definitely looking for attention if you're wearing shorts that short to the gym. Oh, and I can see that her face isn't all that pretty...."

Wait. What?!

The above conversation is one I actually had with myself at the gym last week. It was right around "her face isn't all that pretty," that a quote from a book I've been reading over the last couple weeks screamed at me: "comparison is at the core of carnality." (From Good to Great in God's Eyes by Chip Ingram).

Need a little more clarification on that? I looked up the definition of "carnality" (base word "carnal" of course): relating to or given to crude bodily pleasures; bodily; worldly; temporal.


So, as soon as the quote screamed at me, I reached up, grabbed a hold of that thought bubble, crushed it, and stomped on it

I realized that was exactly what I was doing! I was comparing myself to that girl. I was noticing all the good things about her that made me feel awful about myself, and then to balance it out, I was looking for something bad to say about her.

That's ten different kinds of ugly.

Just after Chip Ingram laid that little bit of wisdom out, he elaborated by saying, "...when I compare my gifts with someone else's, there are only two places to go: inferiority or superiority. I either become envious or arrogant. It's the same when I compare personalities, success, possessions, relationships, or anything else."

The scriptural basis he uses for this is 2 Corinthians 10:12:
We do not dare classify or compare ourselves with someone who commends themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise" (NIV).
In this part of Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, he is defending his ministry. In doing so, however, he is trying to be careful not to put himself in the same category as the people who are putting themselves above Paul and boasting because he knows comparisons and competitions are futile.

The Message Bible puts it this way:
We're not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they're our superiors. We wouldn't dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.
They miss the point. *sigh*

I've written about this before, about my need for humility and comparing myself to others internally (see "I Am So Much Better Than You...In My Head"). This is not a new struggle, my my God is faithful and good. He sees me and He knows me. He knows I don't always get it the first time, and like Saxon math, I need a spiral approach to learn the lesson thoroughly; I need a lesson and then practice and then another lesson and more practice until I really get it down.

I need this lesson a lot because, honestly, I think this is deeply ingrained in our culture, particularly in girls. Girls are ruthless when it comes to comparisons, and frankly, sometimes when you're growing up it feels like you have to find ugly in the ones who are so mean to you because you feel like, if you don't, you're going to forget there was anything good about yourself. 

Girls are mentally and emotionally vicious. They don't attack the body as much as they do the heart and mind, and they are bloodthirsty.

The sinful nature at its worst.

It's time we stopped it. It's high time we, as women, stopped this nonsense in ourselves and in our daughters. We have to teach them to look at the beauty in others and in themselves when they look in the mirror. 

I'm going to start with me, and my girls. 

In the Bible, Joshua once said:
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15, NIV, emphasis added).
I'd like to change that around a bit. I'd like to say this:
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then go ahead and choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of inferiority, or the gods of superiority, or some unhealthy combination of the two, in whose land you are living and breathing and dying. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
So today, when you look at that girl with the perfect thighs or hair or voice or anything else and you're tempted to try to find something else wrong with her to compensate, or you skip right over that and go straight to putting yourself down and calling parts of you worthless, remember that you are a daughter of a mighty God, created by Him personally; you are his masterpiece...and so is she.

Linking up with:
Time Warp Wife - Titus 2sday
Juana Mikels
Simply Beth - Three Word Wednesday