Saturday, March 12, 2011

Little blessings

My little sister with me - Fall '10
Sometimes you pray for God's blessings, for things you need, but overlook the obvious blessings right under your nose.

I've been concerned about some things lately and praying for God's provision. But tonight, He sent me a small Reminder to not worry about tomorrow, but instead to appreciate the beauty of today.

In the form of a little girl's plea, "Rissa, can you read me the Bible tonight?"

You see, if I'm around when my sister Elise is going to bed, I'll often read her to sleep, usually from the Bible, because, "Rissa, you make it interesting and exciting!

Tonight she snuggled into my shoulder as I read from Psalm 139, "You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me."

"Do you know what a hem is?" I asked her.

When she replied yes, I explained, "See, a hem keeps the fabric from being frayed and ripped. Something like that, God hems us in and holds us, so that we're safe from being ruined and torn apart. He protects us."

Her eyes lit up in her signature way and her smile widened. "That's so cool!"

We talked and snuggled for a little while longer, when she stopped and looked at me, stroking my cheek. "Rissa, has anybody told you you're beautiful?"

I smiled and felt my eyes tear up. "Thank you, darling."

I had just showered so my hair was an unruly mop of drying curls, no makeup or anything. I didn't feel all that lovely.

But in taking time to love her, to give her my undivided attention, to share Jesus' love for her, with her... I wasn't even thinking of my looks.

The Apostle Peter said that a gentle and quiet spirit was how the holy women of the past used to make themselves beautiful.

Not necessarily by spending extra time on her appearance. Not by having everything in life under control. Not by doing more, being more, spending more on herself.

No, her beauty lay in her gentle, quiet attitude. Her trust in God's safekeeping leaves her free to give of herself to love and serve others.

Sometimes, in my preoccupation with my own agenda and modern efforts toward making myself beautiful and successful, I forget it, but...

Perhaps the old-fashioned method is still the most effective.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Of plans, hope and love

I was encouraged reading this post over on YLCF recently, and I hope it might be a blessing to you, too!

Trust that [God's] plans are always good and filled with hope.
Trust Him.  He is good.  His love endures forever.
On the days where the father of lies whispers that you’re unlovable, undesirable, an unworthy failure, may you understand that he is the condemned liar.
He wants to deceive you into thinking that the Giver of all good things cannot be trusted just because you do not have a husband or a family.
Don’t believe the lie.
Remember—he’s condemned and defeated by the Jesus Who chose you.

—Nicole Merchant
(Read the rest of the post:  "Dear Single Sisters" @ YLCF )