Thursday, October 13, 2016

Be Your Own Tree

Part of the wonder of autumn is the spectacular changes year after year. Even poison ivy changes color! If we look closely, we can see the beauty in every plant, tree, and even grass.

It's too bad we don't view ourselves in the same manner. We're so busy comparing our tree to the ones next to us or down the street that we don't see our own unique beauty. We think we have nothing to offer, nothing to add, nothing to give. 

Comparison is rooted in insecurity. 

When we attempt to find our worth in the acceptance and approval of others, our true value becomes skewed. Because the people we seek to emulate are often dealing with similar issues, we are essentially comparing ourselves to insecure women who are comparing themselves to other insecure women. No wonder we're all a mess! No one has it all figured out. We just all pretend that we do. 

That's why I love trees.



A magnolia can't be compared to a maple, but each tree is uniquely stunning in its own season. No matter how hard a maple tries, it will never have the breathtaking blossoms of the magnolia in spring. 



Similarly, the maple's robust red leaves in autumn cause the magnolia to take a back seat. They both have charm all their own. 

So do you.

A tree does nothing to either diminish or enhance its beauty. It is content to grow and become what God designed it to be. Its roots burrow deep, seeking the nourishment of water and minerals of the soil, while its branches and leaves reach high to capture and store energy from light and oxygen. It doesn't compete with or compare itself to the other trees nearby.

With the exception of a weeping willow, have you ever heard a tree whine about not being good enough, strong enough, or smart enough? Has a tree ever suggested to a bird that its branches were not worthy of housing a nest? Other than the wicked ones in the Wizard of Oz, trees don't complain.

How would your perspective change if you accepted yourself as God designed you? If you made the radical decision to (gasp) LIKE yourself?

What if you reached deep into the soil and water of God's Word for your nourishment instead of the shallow ground of the approval of others? If you reached heavenward to capture the oxygen of the Holy Spirit and the light that emanates from God Himself?

What if you made up your mind to allow yourself to be who you want to be? 

What if you stopped trying to be who or what you think everyone expects you to be and embraced your desires, dreams, and--yes--even your quirks?



What kind of tree are you? Where do you shine? What are your redeeming qualities?

If you don't know, ask God to reveal it to you. Ask people who know and care about you, "What do you like about me?" Then watch your tree blossom, your leaves turn the most beautiful shade of yourself. Stop focusing on what the other trees are doing and turn your face toward the Son--the Tree of Life.

Ephesians 2:10


Blessings Along the Path,

Mare

PS: Congratulations to Jerri Miller who was the winner of Jennifer Rothschild's 66 WAYS GOD LOVES YOU.

Sharing this blog with some of these lovelies 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Kinked Hose, 66 Ways to Fix It, and a Giveaway!

Have you ever felt like you failed?

Sure you have. Who hasn't?

Did you ever feel like you failed God? That you're not deserving of His favor because you messed up?

If you're like the majority of people, even Christians, my guess is that you may believe that you're not always worthy of God's love because of a past sin, a current struggle, or even a lost temper.

Jennifer Rothschild's latest book, 66 WAYS GOD LOVES YOU addresses that issue in a fascinating way--through the discovery of God's love in every book of the Bible. 

She expertly explores each book to find a biblical nugget of love, then gently weaves that gem into a personal way the reader can experience that love. She does this 66 times, and it never gets stale. 

In Deuteronomy, God keeps His covenant of love to me and to a thousand generations.
Jennifer Rothschild, 66 Ways God Loves You

This didn't resonate with me...until after the kinked hose incident.

After a long day at work, I was tired and cranky. I felt overwhelmed by all the things still to do at home. 

I went outside to water the flowers, but the hose was kinked. Water trickled out as I attempted to unravel it. The hose didn't cooperate, and I became more frustrated.

Then, I lost it. 

The water may have been blocked, but a torrent of words rushed from my mouth--and they weren't streams of living water.

My futile attempt to fix the hose continued as I tried to now hang it back up. In the process, the water began to flow freely--all over my head. It would have been funny if I weren't so tired and frustrated.

Instead, I felt worse. Unworthy. Unlovable.

Then I read this:

He will never reject you even when you blow it. He will find you worthy of His affection even when you fail.
Jennifer Rothschild, 66 Ways God Loves You.

Not "if" but "when" you fail. Because we all will. We all do.

Even when I don't keep my promise to God, He still keeps His. I am always worthy of his affection.

This is just one of 66 marvelous revelations I discovered in this little book. Rich illustrations and concise teachings make this a lovely book for gift-giving or keeping for yourself to use as a devotional. Or just a quiet reminder of God's love at the end of the day.

And...

I have a extra copy AND a stylish tote to give away! All you have to do is comment below, on Facebook (where this will be posted), or with an email response. I'll pick a winner at random.

If you can't wait to find out if you're a winner, you can purchase Jennifer's book at any bookstore or through amazon.com.

Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

Sharing this blog with some of these lovelies