Sunday, July 1, 2012

Believing In Beautiful

I'm not sure how many times a day she asks me my favorite color, but I can assure that since the day she was born my answer has always been the same.. black. 

Black is my comfortable.

Black makes me feel safe in a crowd.

I own some articles of clothing with other splashes of color but they rarely leave the hanger. 

That spunky girl of mine loves fashion. I'm not really sure where she came from, but even at the ripe-old-age of four, you can find her looking through my closet, trying to convince this simple Mama to put on a little flare. 

Yesterday we went to the Rodeo.

I was looking through the laundry basket for my plain black tank top and she came in and said in her enthusiastic voice that the colorful one I had on would be marvelous for the Rodeo. 

I smiled at her and wondered to myself whether or not I felt brave enough for such a shirt at the Rodeo? 

I went for it.

I even put on a pair of skinny jeans and some cowboy boots and topped it all off with one of The Cowboy's hats. 

I was fine in the car, but then we walked into Chicfila...

I could feel my face turning red as the kids and I sat down in the corner booth and waited for the Cowboy to order up some chicken.

All I could think about was how badly I wished I was wearing my black tank top right now.

When the Cowboy sat down across from me I said it quietly and to myself, but of course he heard me... "I think I must look kinda silly. Why is everyone looking our way?"

They could have been staring because we're a family of six, fully decked out in our Cowboy attire, all six in cowboy hats? And  really, who could possibly help themselves from looking at four of the cutest little treasures who have ever lived? I mean seriously!

But the Cowboy can read my heart like no other man on this planet and with the kids being kid-loud in the booth behind us, and the eyes of strangers looking our way, he leans right in, finds my eyes with his, he doesn't look away for even a second, and he says it straight into me,

"They're looking at you... because you're beautiful."

Then he leans back in his chair and takes a bite of his chicken sandwich as if the world didn't just stop for a brief moment, as if a woman isn't immediately changed by a comment like that. 

I've struggled lately to believe.

I've ceased so many times to pray because I've doubted the power of prayer.

I've read The Word lately and have known no dry season like this dry season.

And this is what I'm thinking...

That even when I can't feel Him, He's still the same amazing God today that He was yesterday when I did feel Him. His Word says the same things it has always said, has the same promises it has always had. 

And in His grace He brings these women, these events, these moments with the Cowboy, where He reminds me that what He says has always been true, and will always be true. 

"Believe me when I tell you you're beautiful."

Isn't that a brilliant way that I could honor Him, even when I don't feel Him, even when doubt creeps in? I could simply believe Him. When I can't feel Him, I can chose to believe anyways. When I'm stuck in the thick of my sin and I can hardly even stand to be around myself, I can believe that He's at work in my life.

He says He's transforming me into His likeness.

He says it's a process.

He calls me to be willing to walk through that process no matter my circumstance nor the feelings of my heart.

He says that nothing can separate us (Him and I)... not even my lack of understanding can pull me away from Him.

He made me in His image. He calls me beautiful, and when he created me, he said that I was "very good." 

He's faithful to complete in me what He started.

This life, this learning, this pattern of trail & triumph, trial and triumph, it's all part of His plan. 

It's not in His plans for me to wake up tomorrow perfected.

Nope, there's a process. 

And I'm willing to walk through it whether I have understanding or not. 

His grace is sufficient for me. 

What does that mean? 

To me it means that I will mess things up a minimum of a dozen times today, but those mess-ups will be accompanied by a million opportunities to try again. And in each do-over, I am somehow becoming more and more like Him

It means that all hope is never lost. 

It means that I would do well to stop fighting the process I'm in and instead not only embrace it, but find joy in it. 

It means choosing contentment in who He's made me to be, and stop competing to become someone I'm not.

It means never loosing sight of the fact that He's changing me in ways that I could never change  in myself. 

It means I must cooperate with whatever process He sees fit to take me through.

It means believing despite what I'm seeing. 

It means having faith. 

And if that wee bit of faith is all that I have, then my life can move mountains and little-old-sin-filled me, can become throughout the process of a life-time, a testimony of His kindness and mercy on those who simply wanna be like Him. 

Over the years I've learned a few things living with this Cowboy of mine. 

He means what he says.

He's not any where near being emotional, or falsely kind, like a woman can sometimes be.

If he says it, he means it.

How much more trustworthy are the words of the One who made me?

 Teach me Lord to believe You when you say that you are making all things beautiful in  Your time.  
In this Mama,
In all her  messy days,
through all her mistakes and imperfections,