Not Pretty, But Beautiful

I can't believe my baby girl is 2! :)

I can’t believe my baby girl is 2! ūüôā

I was scampering around the internet, trying to find something super cool and fun to do in celebration of Maya’s 2nd birthday. ¬†She made it to 2! ¬†I thought to myself. ¬†This is a huge feat for not just her but for us! ¬†We’ve got to make it super exciting! ¬†Super COOL! ¬†Super FUN!!!

Just like you’d expect, ain’t nobody living up to pressure like THAT. ¬†Go figure it was pressure I was putting on myself. ¬†So after a couple hours of looking up ideas from here to New York City to Paramus to Riverdale, I cashed in my chips and decided it wouldn’t be a pinterest pretty party. ¬†No, no, no. ¬†Maybe one year; yes– definitely some year, but this would not be the year. ¬†Number two would not be the photogenic party… ¬†It would be the opposite actually! ¬†Just us, some cake, a few presents, and of course the beautiful birthday girl. ūüôā

And you know what?

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Super cool, super fun table setting ūüėČ

It wasn’t pretty. ¬†The “Happy Birthday” sign I bought at Target ended up not having the “A” in “happy”. ¬†We ate frozen potstickers on paper plates and put a candle in a store bought coffee cake. ¬†We wore two-dollar party hats and sang the birthday song somewhat off key. ¬†I didn’t edit a single one of these photos. ¬†I cherished the entire evening. ¬†It. Was.¬†BEAUTIFUL. ¬†I thought to myself, screw pretty. ¬†I’ll take beautiful today.

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Happy birthday sweet girl ūüôā

Mamahood has surprised me in so many ways. ¬†I am surprised I enjoy it this much, humbled by how much I don’t know, and encouraged to learn that what I do know most likely won’t really matter. ¬†I am so grateful God changed my dreams and that my husband supports my decision to stay home. ¬†I am ever in love with the little heart my girl has and it’s ability captivate mine. ¬†I had no idea I would like being a mother. ¬†I had no idea I would love her this much. ¬†Mamahood, while a crazy rodeo, has won me over.

To all of you out there in blog land, who look around at the messes and your middle piles (because come on, we all have a middle pile, yes? ¬†The dirty pile, the clean pile, the middle pile that’s somewhere in between but surely will be worn again!) it’s more than fine if it’s not pretty today. ¬†It’s okay you’re serving dinner out of that 9×13 pan and not that pretty serving platter. ¬†It’s really alright that your cupcakes were made from a box. ¬†They probably taste amazing, if it’s the same box mix I use! ūüėČ ¬†It’s beautiful what you’re able to give your family. ¬†Whatever it is. ¬†Easy mac or Five cheese macaroni, it’s all beautiful.

Even if it’s not pretty!

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You’re Right, You Are NOT Worthy

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It’s interesting how often times you can read a whole paragraph, or listen to a whole message, and only one word stands out.

In my case, after writing my¬†‘Misconceptions of a Godly Woman’ post, Rachel and I awoke one morning to find our emails FLOODED with comments! Lots and LOTS of words expressing a wide range of emotions and opinions! And yet, only one word stood out to me…

Judas.

One word flippantly used to compare me, to arguably one of the greatest traitor’s in the Bible. A man who betrayed Jesus with a kiss, and turned him over so that He could be beaten beyond recognition, and crucified on a cross for a mere 30 pieces of silver.

I was a Judas?¬†Why, because I cursed a crock pot and admitted my life wasn’t the perfection promised in Disney movies?

The emotions welled up inside of me, that one word etched in my mind for weeks!

There may have been tears, and there certainly were a few prodding questions to God asking, what on Earth He was up to, and whether I could find the courage to be THAT authentic again. But above all else, I momentarily questioned whether God would still want to use me. Especially when it was obvious that I had so MANY shortcomings!

But this wasn’t the first time I had encountered a bout with the feeling of unworthiness‚Ķ I’ve basked in the grandeur of a towering cathedral before, which is always sure to make me feel small. That, and anything that requires an organ, memorized scripture, or pantyhose! ūüėČ

It’s like the night my husband and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. We tried with all our might to portray poise and sophistication while looking up with interest at pieces like the marble statue of Emperor Caracalla, and the Gilded Bronze Buddha. But in all actuality, we had a much more enjoyable time touching things with clearly placed ¬†‘Do Not Touch’ signs, and whispering¬†inappropriate comments that had us holding back giggles that would have otherwise, echoed to the ceiling.

It was obvious, we were so out of place. So unworthy!

But this last week, while searching my heart, the Lord did something that surprised me…. ¬†He didn’t even attempt to downplay or dismiss the insecurities that had been mounting over the last few weeks, He affirmed them!

You’re right, you are NOT worthy‚Ķ He would say to me.

He spoke those words as I was looking over a portrait and studying each of the disciples that sat beside Jesus the night of The Last Supper; the same 12 who were chosen by Him to carry on His ministry after His death.

I saw Matthew the tax collector, regarded by many as a criminal due to his dishonest past, and who was deeply hated by the Jews.

I saw Peter, who had once miraculously walked on water with Jesus only to be submerged by waves of doubt. A man, who in the end, would deny ever knowing Jesus (even cursing when he did it!)

Then there was Thomas, a man who continually struggled to believe God’s promises. Known especially, for asking to touch Jesus’s wounds because he needed proof that Jesus had risen from the dead.

And then there was Judas, the cold hearted traitor who Jesus knew would go on to betray Him that very night. Who even still, was welcomed to sit at the table.

Some disciples were loyal, devoted and faithful. While others were intense and violent, with explosive tempers and fiery personalities! Some were haunted by a dark past, while others were wary and frightened by the uncertainty of the future.

But one thing was certain, All were NOT worthy, but each were chosen!

Even Judas.

In Matthew 26:27, while Jesus was sitting at the table that night with His – so very ordinary – followers, it says,

Then He (Jesus) took the cup and gave thanks and offered it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you‚Ķ”

Too often we focus our attention on everything about ourselves that separate us from Christ – all the reasons why we couldn’t possibly be used by Him! And yet, we fail to see that The Lord is offering Himself to us even still, no matter how great our shortcomings!

I love how Mary Fairchild puts it when she says (speaking of the disciples),¬†“Not one was a scholar or Rabbi. They had no extraordinary skills. Neither religious, nor refined, they were ordinary people just like you and me.

The truth is, The Lord isn’t even just settling for us! He could have chosen anyone! He could have had the pick of the litter, and chosen religious warriors whose prayers were way more impressive (thanks in part to a handful of well-placed THOU’s and THINE’s), people¬†whose past was a lot less controversial, and whose story was much more “church appropriate” (and at the very least, someone who was grammatically sound…)

But He didn’t.

Our God knows exactly who we are, even down to what we’ve ashamedly done in the past, and everything we will do to let Him down in the future! And yet, He has hand selected our past, our temperament, and our story to be used by Him!

We are unworthy yes, but we are chosen!

 

Jesus is offering Himself to you…

the only question is, will you receive Him?

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