Self-Care During Lent

I realise this is the season of Lent and whether or not you have jumped on board with the whole denying-self routine, here are a few things I’d like you to consider, as part of your journey as a victorious overcomer.

How about denying yourself the “luxury” of thinking about yourself in negative terms?

How about taking the time to meditate on those scriptures which build your confidence about who you are in Christ?

How about you making a quality decision to oust from your consciousness, the malignant lies of the Enemy?

Proverbs 23:7 tells us in no uncertain terms that as a person thinks (habitually) in their heart, so that is who they will eventually become.

Are your predominant thoughts and habitual thinking focused on what other people think about you?

If so, how is that serving you, particularly if most of the time those thoughts and opinions undermine, rather than raise your self-esteem?

Why not take this season of Lent to minister some spiritual self-care and love?

Begin with how you perceive yourself!

Have you ever been treated as if you are a person of no value?

How did you respond?

It is easy to take on board the negative opinions of others (e.g. ageist, racist, sexist) but I am here to tell you today that there are only two opinions in this world that counts – God’s and yours!

Now if God feels you are worthy enough for him to send his Son to this earth to die for you, then who are you, in fact, who is anyone else, to think or say otherwise?

My dear friend, you are of value!

Stop dwelling on the unkind behaviour or negative opinion of others, which are (or were) designed to undermine you.

The Bible is FULL of God’s positive thoughts and ideas, towards and about you.

Here are just a few thought seeds to sow in the garden of your heart:

I AM created by God with infinite care and love

(Psalm 139:13-18)

I AM loved by God with a love which never changes!

(Jeremiah 31:3)

I AM chosen by God and precious ­

(1 Peter 2:4)

I AM so loved by God that he has adopted me into his family

(1 John 3:1)

God has so many wonderful thoughts about me they cannot even be counted

(Psalm 40:5; Psalm 139:17-18)

God’s innumerable thoughts towards me are thoughts of peace, and they give me hope for my final outcome

(Jeremiah 29:11)

There is a banner of love over my life, which speaks of Christ’s undying love for, and commitment to me.

(Song of Solomon 2:4)

Consider this.

Just before Jesus was driven into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, he received God’s ringing endorsement:

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.

(Matthew 3:16-17)

Child of God, you are much loved.

Believe it. Accept it. Declare it.

You are loved and you are valued. End of!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

A God-Seeker in His Secret Place (Psalm 91:1)

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

SELF-SCRUTINY

  • On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest), how valuable do you feel in terms of God’s economy?
  • What steps will you take to raise that value (presuming you have not scored yourself a 10!)?

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You Are Priceless!

 

Do you know that you are God’s masterpiece?

What do you think this means for you as an individual?

Oscar Wilde, gives an appropriate response in the following quote ascribed to him:

Be yourself – everyone else is already taken!

This world is filled with people who do not appreciate their uniqueness. They do not believe they have anything worth offering to others. And there are those who are so besotted with the image of another that they seek to replicate him/her.

I am sure you’ve seen on stage or TV (if not in real life), those who earn money from being look- a-likes, or who pattern themselves on well-known celebrities, such as Marilyn Munro, Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley.

There are even people who will buy the same product used or worn by a celebrity they admire, because they somehow wish to emulate the lifestyle of whomever they deem to be cool, or successful, or hard, or whatever.

Women of Warfare followers, whom are you emulating?

A self-help book I’d read a while ago, mentioned a certain young man who’d started a new job and then began dressing and acting like his new work colleagues, even though the way they dressed and the cars they drove etc., was not a fit for his personality. In the end, he did not recognise himself!

And what about the marketing gurus, who sell idealised beauty, holidays, homes and lifestyles? Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with following the lead of somebody you admire, or seeking to improve yourself, but to do so to the extent that you become a fake copy of someone else, rather than enjoy and express your own authenticity, is too, too sad.

It’s sad for your poor self-esteem, which has been squeezed into the mould of that person you’d much prefer to be. It’s sad for the people around you, who do not get to benefit from the unique gift you are to the world around you. And it’s mega sad for our wonderful Father-God, who took great care in designing and creating you.

Are you guilty of thinking, or feeling, or even saying that you are not good enough?

What has motivated those thoughts or feelings?

Is it peer pressure, or insecurity?

Can I tell you that the worth of anything is determined by the price someone is willing to pay for it? Well, based on that premise, guess what? You are invaluable!

Jesus gave his life for you. Jesus shed his precious, incorruptible blood for you.

…you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold… but with the precious blood of Christ… (1 Peter 1:18-19)

 

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men (1 Corinthians 7:23)

 

So, don’t allow people (your peers, the media, even your enemies!), to dictate whom you should be, how you should behave, what you should buy etc., particularly if doing so cuts across the grain of your own authenticity.

Your uniqueness is God’s gift to you and how you express that uniqueness is your gift to those around you. [click to tweet]

Isn’t it about time you unwrapped yourself?

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

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A Glorious Perspective

 

 

Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one of us is born with creativity.

Maya Angelou

 

What a powerful statement and observation from Maya Angelou!

Well, here’s another, which I declare today with faith and in boldness.

I am God’s masterpiece!

This fact makes me special in his eyes.

Now who creates something of beauty, purpose or worth and then doesn’t feel proud of their achievement? Who utilises their gift, their creative ability and then doesn’t feel any satisfaction about what they’ve created?

No one!  Unless you are a mega-obsessive perfectionist. Which is certainly not me!  How about you?

 

The Eye of My Beholder

Well, God is no different. I have the book of Genesis to verify that. Whenever God created anything, he declared that it was good. Very good. He was pleased with his efforts. So I have a pretty good idea that since God is the one who created me, then he was (and still is) pleased with his creative masterpiece. And His pronouncement over me—that I am good, i.e. fit for purpose, beneficial and worthy—still stands.

Dear reader, aren’t we the same?

Don’t we feel a sense of pride and satisfaction whenever we have created something? I know I do. When I’ve written an article, short story or blog post, when I’ve made an outfit, or some item of home furnishing, when I’ve cooked a delicious meal or baked a moist, moreish cake – I’m usually pleased with the result. Mega-pleased! And this is particularly so when I create something using my God-given abilities.

 

Seeing Self from God’s Perspective

Let me reiterate.

I am God’s masterpiece!

The King James’ Bible puts it this way:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

(Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)

The Greek word for “workmanship” is poiema. We are therefore God’s poem or poetic masterpiece.

Isn’t that precious?

I wonder what difference it would make to our self-esteem, to the way we live our lives, if we were to truly embrace this concept and see ourselves as valuable works of art?

Now unlike the owners of priceless art collections, God doesn’t hide us away. He’s not afraid to show us off, to share us with others. In fact, as the above scripture clearly reveals, he has created us for good works, so we can be of benefit and a blessing to others.

So the question is: are we living up to his expectations?

I am his poem. In his sight, I am perfect. Beautiful. A wonderful creation. And I bring him pleasure. Furthermore, I have the capacity to bring him more pleasure when I glorify him.

 

A Glorious Perspective

To glorify God is to showcase his splendour, majesty and might. And I glorify him when I live up to his expectations. I glorify him when I create and when I share my creative ability with others. I glorify him when I recognise and act as the person whom he created and called me to be—a dynamic believer, an obedient child of God, a committed disciple of Christ, a purpose-driven achiever and a victorious overcomer.

Dear reader, cast your mind back and reflect on your experiences to date. Haven’t you enjoyed and taken pleasure in different aspects of God’s creation—the beauty of various landscapes, the abundance of this world’s marvellous fauna and flora, the magic and wonder of the universe and the awe-inspiring features of our creator’s glorious handiwork, such as volcanic mountains or magnificent waterfalls?

And haven’t you appreciated and taken similar pleasure in the creativity of others—such as a beautifully sung song, such as a gorgeously fashioned item of clothing, such as well-written books, created for pleasure, for education, for personal development?

I am God’s creative masterpiece.

As I reflect upon this wonderful truth, I realise that I’ve robbed people by failing to write in the past.

Just think! If I’d been diligent, discerning and disciplined enough in years gone by, if I’d written faithfully over the past decades or so, if I’d consistently written books and articles and teaching materials, many people could be benefitting from those works today.

But I didn’t.

And so, I robbed not only myself of the pleasure of creation and the satisfaction of serving others but I robbed God of opportunities to showcase his glory. And I robbed people of the pleasure and benefit they could have enjoyed and experienced had I developed my potential, had I indulged and explored my creativity, had I shared my gifting.

Wow! What an eye opener.

I am truly sorry God.

And my recent epiphany, this startling revelation, makes me even more determined to do better in the future—to acquire the necessary discipline and be diligent in seeking to maximise my potential. It makes me even more desirous to live my best life. To serve others. To glorify God.

 

Re-affirming Your Worth

I say it again with absolute conviction. With awe. With wonder. With a new sense of responsibility.

I am God’s poetic masterpiece.

I am valuable. I have the capacity to bring pleasure to others. To share of that which God has invested within me, in order to encourage, educate and equip. In order to make diminutive, ravaged or unfulfilled lives bigger, better, richer.

Dear reader, you too are God’s creative masterpiece. You too have been created to bring him glory. Is that your aim and desire in life? Are you seeking to be the best YOU, you can possibly be? Are you seeking to develop and grow, to avail yourself of God’s spiritual resources, so you can arise and shine and radiate the glory of God?

Have you determined in your heart to reign over your circumstances, to walk victoriously in life, to enjoy your status as God’s creative masterpiece?

All around us we see, experience and enjoy the fruit of our Father-God’s creative endeavours. Can we look at our own lives and say the same about ourselves?

Are we creating an atmosphere of joy, peace and harmony in our homes? Are we creating the beauty of unity in our relationships, work situations and church fellowships? Are we using our abilities, knowledge, skills and talent for the betterment of others? And if, or when we are, are we seeking self-glory or God’s glory?

 

Life’s daily challenge

My dear followers and visitors, today and every day, we are given a fresh opportunity to use the creative power of God’s Word to transform ourselves, our lives and the environment within our own sphere of influence… to call forth light, abundance and fruitfulness… to sow seeds of blessing… to minister to the pressing needs of our fellow-human beings.

The challenge is, are we seeing from God’s perspective? Do we care enough to act, to create, to exercise dominion, to reproduce, to showcase his glory?

There are only two people who know the answers to these searching questions—you dear reader, and God!

 

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CREDIT: The above CCO image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Ditch Oppressive Opinions!

 

Dear precious woman of God,

  • Don’t remain a victim of past failures or hurts.
  • Don’t let the negative lens through which others see you influence how you see yourself.
  • Don’t let the negative words that others speak over, or about you, be the words that you say over, or to yourself.

Listen to what one man of God advises:

Your self-esteem must be based on God’s opinion, not someone else’s opinion or even your opinion. Your self-esteem is to be based on what God thinks. And God thinks you are fantastic!

Dr Charles Stanley – In Touch (April 2001)

 

So let me ask you dear woman of God – whose opinion will you choose to believe?

Ditch those negative beliefs and oppressive opinions.

Choose to be a victor!

 

CREDIT: CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com