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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The beauty from within


Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her as his daughter, came to go in to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the women, advised. And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her.                                                             Esther 2:15
Esther chose to take nothing but what the king's servant advised. Others were grabbing for pretty jewelry and the finest cloth.  And she found favor.

It seems she relied on the beauty inside, or else she was so completely convinced that God was in control that she didn't have to do more than the servant recommended.

Today the kids are home from school and I have a couple of extras.  They are antsy to go outside and have been outside.  I may let them out later, but it's stressful to have some many with nothing to do.  TV - I'm not doing that except as a last resort.   It brings out the worst in me. 

I would rather they weren't bouncing off the walls, but they are.  It snowed last night.  The first snow of the year.  They want to be out in it and all I can think of is the mess that will be waiting.  But it already is.  The back porch is strewn with hats and gloves soaking in the mud that was brought in by the boots.  I guess I might as well cave and let them go out, but maybe we'll wait till it's a bit warmer. 

In the meantime, I need to figure out a way to make the beauty from within shine.  But what beauty?  When I think of that, I want to laugh.  It seems when I look at my heart, I see nothing but junk.  So how do I let the hidden beauty shine, the beauty that I can't even see? 

Jeremiah 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
  Somedays, when I think I'm doing great.  I see lots of beauty.  It tends to make me proud.  And other days when nothing is going my way, I see no beauty.  It tends to make me discouraged and in a sense it's pride too.  Things going my way or not cannot determine whether the beauty will shine or not. 
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.        1Peter 2:3-4
I know that the beauty is there.  So how do I let it shine?
Galatians 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
So when the beauty isn't shining, I'm not walking in the Spirit.  But still how do I do this?  How do I walk in the Spirit when my whole being just feels lazy and wants to give up and just let it go and be grumpy or nasty with the kids?

Ephesians 6:11-18  11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,  15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;  16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
We are in a battle.  A battle for our children and for us.   As we choose to walk in the Spirit and put on our armor, we do battle with the enemy and give our children and ourselves the blessing of living as the Lord would have.

So today, I decided not to be grumpy about the back porch, but instead I told the kids, "If you want to have the privilege of playing outside, you need to be responsible with your coat, hat, gloves and boots.  You need to take care of them.  Otherwise, you'll be playing inside."

Then we proceeded to clean the upstairs as we would do on a Saturday and worked our way downstairs.  Now that the upstairs is clean, I set the three little boys up with Legos and the girls are doing their own thing - one is reading and one decided to bless me with a clean back porch.  :)

I still am trying to do a bit of school with the older boys, so I did that after putting the Little Miss down for a nap.  It's still difficult and I still want to get upset with their antics, but it's better.  I'm afraid the battle will continue throughout the day. 

But you know what?  The more I fight the battle, the easier it gets.  But when I succumb to it, it gets easier to be angry. 

So, be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might (not your own).

Making the most of today
Steph





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