Friday, October 24, 2014

Captivating Retreat Day 1 & 2-ish - Unveiling Beauty

So, one of the core desires is to unveil our beauty - True Beauty - and it is THE core desire. This Beauty is essential and is almost constantly under siege by our Enemy. Yes, the battle is real. We're not told to put on our armor because war may happen and we want to make sure everything fits (Eph. 6.10-18). No, we are in it whether we like it or not and by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are told that we will fight. Of course (just to calm our nerves), we do know that there is a happy ending - Thank you, Father God!

Anyway...back to Beauty...

What is True Beauty?

Now, don't think, "Oh, I'm screwed. None of that is in me. I must be the ugliest woman ever!"

Not true.

You do possess True Beauty because you were made in the image of God. We all were! This turns my thinking from hopelessness to hope! I am hopeful that all that I feel I'm not (merciful, vulnerable, compassionate, and tender) I can actually be and live out. I think I've always been good on the strength part. I know I can survive most anything and get through it, not unscathed, but through to the other end. As for the rest...yeah, a lot of work needs to be done in my heart, but a lot of work has been done in my heart since I accepted Christ.

When we accept Christ, we are not given an invitation to be a moral, good girl. When we accept Christ, we are given an invitation to have life, "and have it to the full" (John 10.10).

It is only in this abundant living that we can reveal, walk, and give a clear picture of the Beauty that God gave us as His beloved daughters. Everything else, without Him, just shreds it to pieces. Everything else tells us we're ugly. Everything else tells us we're weak. Everything else tells us we're worthless. Everything else tells us we're not enough. Everything else tells us we're too much. Everything else tells us that True Beauty, the feminine heart, is wrong.

"The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10.10).

This is putting my faith to the test, unveiling this God-given beauty. I have not been good in, again, any of those qualities with the exception of strength; however, I have an amazing, loving, strong man that God has placed me with and he needs me to let go of the control and let True Beauty shine! I cannot be his complete "ezer kenegdo" (I know, fun word, right?) aka "lifesaver". I want this, oh, how much do I want this! Pastor Husband needs this, my children need it, and I need it and Jesus gives me all that I need to be this - to unveil Beauty.

I'll end this with a quote from the book, Captivating:

"Jesus is extending his hand to you. He is inviting you to dance with him. He asks, "May I have this dance...every day of your life?" His gaze is fixed on you. He is captivated by your beauty. He is smiling. He cares nothing of the opinion of others. He is standing. He will lead. He waits for your response" (Eldredge, 218).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Captivating Retreat - Day 1 (some of it)

I've long denied the princess in me. I don't like the color pink and to think I needed a man was just a "weakness" I wasn't going to accept. To me, a princess, was a girl (not a woman) who was helpless, insecure, unable, useless, and just made a man work harder than needed.

I've realized that my princess perception is WRONG! So very, very wrong and my mindset was one of the many things causing dead space God and I.

If we're accepting the truth that we are God's beloved daughters then we have to accept that we are a princess...He is the King! What else would we be? I am a princess and that princess is built in us when God knits us all together. I see it in Baby Girl.

She saw the Disney princesses for the first time when she a little over two-years-old and you would think she found her long lost friend. It was as if this whole new part of her came alive that was lying dormant until the right secret code came along. That secret code came in a giant, twirling dress. Ever since then it's been princess dresses, fluffy skirts, princess stories, curtsy-s, dancing, singing - and I am truly delighting in her. She even calls Pastor Husband "My King" when he comes home or when Baby Dos Dragon is invading her castle.

I pray the princess in her grows with each passing day and that mine will begin to breathe again.

Back to what God's princess should be - Romanced, Irreplaceable, and Beautiful. This goes along with a woman's (not a man's at all) core desires:

  • to be romanced
  • to play an irreplaceable role
  • to unveil beauty
Our core desire is not to just be useful! I think I fall into this role a lot. I figure if I'm volunteering at church, getting all my chores done, doing activity after activity with the kids then I must be living out my purpose. So wrong! Useful has nothing to do with your heart. The core desires have everything to do with our hearts. Everything. 

Back in the day, on any given Tuesday, to be useful was all I knew. I showed I was useful by working as hard as possible in school and at work. I was going to be known for how hard I work and that I was dependable and that nothing shook me. Obviously, being this way did not fulfill any of my desires (I wasn't aware that they were my desires) because I was more than irreplaceable - students come and go, employees come and go - there is nothing romantic or beautiful about an "A" or a promotion.

So, how do I figure out the desires or allow those desires to come alive?

Well, God is pursing us with intensity, passion, and mercy. Jesus has the power to awaken those desires. There is still hope to have all the hurt that has smushed, battered, locked up our princess and broken our desires into shards. Jesus heals, gives life to the full, and He has overcome the world, which has only given us perverted definitions of our desires.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Captivating Retreat October 2014

I was so so so lucky to be able to go to The Captivating Retreat in Colorado this past weekend. I've tried for three years - always get through the lottery part, but then it's either finances or nursing issues. Kind of hard to sit through talks when you got a baby crying to eat. This year though...this year was THE year and I was there!

I learned, epiphany-ed, prayed, and loved so much while I was there. Pastor Husband and I have talked many times about the "camp high" and whether this is a good thing or not. Should we dump reality during the high so that we don't think the high is reality? We've decided that camp high is and should be our life. Not to the point where we push away all responsibility and expect four hours a free time, meals made and served by others, and scheduled games, but that what is free to come from our hearts during camp should be what is always coming from our hearts away from camp. I definitely had the camp high during this weekend and I will pray every day for that freedom.

I want to share all that I took in for a couple of reasons:

1) Whenever you read a good book, watch a great movie, eat an amazing meal you want to share...well, the retreat was all that and more! It was that feeling I get after reading a really good book - I feel like I just ate the best Thanksgiving meal ever! I must share and my heart will not let me do anything else, but share.

2) It's the best way for me to stay with what I learned. I did the same in college. I wrote out all my notes and then typed them. Tedious, but then I had many offer to pay for those typed notes. I did the loving thing and said "No" :)

So, that's what I'll be doing for the next couple (few, four, several) posts. I'll try to write them out so they make sense, but it might just be a lot of one sentence gifts of wisdom. I'll also share the actual prayers/thoughts that I wrote out. This is me being completely vulnerable to the point where I want to hide under my desk, but it's one of the first steps to I need to take to "unveil beauty" (oh, don't worry, there's a lot of stuff under this session).

I'll begin sharing my notes in my next post and for now I'll share my pictures. Mostly outdoor, tree, nature, and even snow! pictures, but then that's what is fascinating especially when you live where there are no trees, only cactus.