Monday, March 31, 2014

Wars and Truth

I think that it is all too easy to forget who you are. Whose you are. And what you have. Something that should be permanently ingrained on our hearts is something that we sometimes go days without even acknowledging. Why?? And why is it that it is so easy to remember the times we've failed, our life's valleys, our moments of greatest need, but when we are asked to make a list of our greatest accomplishments, we stare at a blank piece of paper like we have forgotten how to write. Who told us to think this way? Who taught us to be insecure?? Why, sometimes, are our greatest battles fought against ourselves?... 

We all have a crack in us. A small splinter in our beings. A tiny mouse, that if fed, can grow into an elephant of doubt. Don't feed your mouse. 

I heard a cool story once about a young boy and his wise old Cherokee grandfather. The grandfather told his grandson "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth. " The boy thought about it and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?" The old man quietly replied
"The one you feed." 

I think that every one of us, as believers, has an internal battle to face every day. It is a daily choice between falling into the trap of the lies of the world, or listening intently to God's words of peace in our lives. Constantly knocking ourselves down, or listening to His quiet Words of affirmation. 

Too often we think "Oh, but my gift isn't important." Or, "Oh, but his gift is so much more useful than mine." These are lies. Straight up. Lies that Satan puts into our heads to make us feel like we aren't worthy of love. Aren't welcomed as a part of the Kingdom of God. Aren't worth dying for. 1 Timothy 4:14 says "Do not neglect the gift that is in You..." Have you ever thought that when we insult ourselves, we are essentially insulting God? We are telling Him that the way He made us (and that way is absolutely PERFECT, I might add), isn't good enough for our standards. Our worldly standards. Next time you look in the mirror and tell yourself you aren't good enough, imagine looking into the eyes of our Creator, and telling Him you aren't good enough. Ouch. 

So start believing the truth. Choose to throw away the lies, and rejoice every day in the person God has made you to be. A person who has a capability to praise Him like no one else in this entire world can. Choose to trust Him, and choose to obey. Choose righteousness. 

Isaiah 32:17- 
"The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever." 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dancing: Life

Today at 9:19 PM

I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't dancing. Since I was 3 years old, I have been in a studio every week, learning and fighting and perfecting. Always reaching toward a higher goal. Trying to be the best dancer I could be.
Except I wasn't. I was trying to be the best dancer the girl next to me could be.

As dancers, we live a life of extreme comparison. We are taught to look the same, dress the same, and behave the same in class, in order to become our best selves. For years upon years, we stare into the studio mirror, in our next-to-nothing leotards, wondering why our feet don't point like the girl's next to ours, or wishing our turns looked as effortless as the older girls'. But the reality is, we don't see all of the behind the scenes effort that each and every girl puts in to get better. We don't see the hours upon hours of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) that each and every one of us fights through to become a better dancer. That constant comparison game is not how God meant it to be. That is not the purpose of dancing. That is not the purpose of life. In the book of Psalms, chapter 149, verse 3, David said "Let us praise His Name with dancing. Let us make music to Him with the tambourine and the lyre." Dance is supposed to be a real and raw outlet of praise to the Creator of the universe. He gave us these talents, and we are to use them for His glory. But regardless of all of the hard days, the long hours, the internal criticism, the truth is, none of us dancers would wish any of it away. We are in love with the pain, because we know it only makes us stronger.

I think dancing is an exceptional parallel to life. We spend too much time comparing our "behind the scenes" to everyone else's "highlight reel",and not enough time appreciating the unique talents given to us by the One who knows us better than even we know ourselves. We need to learn to fall in love with the pain, the hurt, the bad days, and be strengthened by the knowledge that His power is perfected in our weakness. We need to acknowledge that every aspect of our lives is but another outlet to praise our Creator. It is very easy in life to "look into that mirror" and compare our life to another believer's like we would compare two sets of dance steps. God designed each of us with unique talents and abilities that we could never know the full potential of without seeking His wisdom. Ask Him to show you how to see yourself through His eyes. Ask Him to reveal to You the parts of yourself that you didn't even know were there. Deep within your heart, look into the eyes of our Creator, and ask Him to speak life into you.

Life will be hard. There will be rain. There will be storms. There will be pain. Fall in love with it. Fall in love with Him.