Monday, September 27, 2010

Beauty & the Bible The Collection pt 4: "Ocean"

Moving on. If you're new to the blog, PLEASE go back and read the 3 previous entries. I know it'll be worth it. And thanks, I'm glad you're here!
As a recap, I'm imagining God as my personal stylist. I've tried on 3 looks so far during my style session. You've got to read all about it. "Salvation", "Active Wear", and "Fierce". All very different looks but equally essential parts of this collection.
As I look around for my next look I feel God going in a very different direction. A bit more serene. --I've been saved---I'm running here, there, and everywhere---I've even done some spriritual battle. But I can feel a draw that is pulling me to an outfit that's not so much for show but more for a comfortable, sweet, bonding time. I can't help but think of white, light, gauzy like material. So of course I imagine that God has planted me on the beach.
In the late afternoon I can feel the light warmth of the sun on my skin. The breeze that always seems to be present on the beach is flowing over me like an oh so soft touch from my Father above. How many times have you been on the beach around this time of day and felt that you didn't have a care in the world? "I could just stay here FOREVER!", I've said every time I've ever gone to the beach.
There were many, many times before I was married that when my life would get crazy, I would take off to the beach and sit alone with God just talking. One thing that always ran through my head was, "no matter what is going on in my life - this ocean is always doing the same thing. The waves rush in and flow back out. Even when a storm is hitting the ocean still does the same thing." I think I took comfort in knowing the consistent nature of this ginormous body of water. And it also brought into perspective how big God is. He controlled that ocean! He knew everything about it. And to think that He cares to know me too. While I can't take off to the beach anytime I want to now, I can bask in His presence. He IS what makes that ocean consistent. He is what can sustain me. He is what drives me and gives me hope.
Sometimes it takes these moments to recharge us. But much more than that they keep us close to our Creator. The Bible says, "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10 It's those times that bring me peace and satisfaction. We were made to worship Him. As we spend time worshiping and reading God's word, we build a more intimate relationship with Him. I don't want to just be an "aquaintence" of God. I want to know what He thinks about an issue without ever having to ask. I wish I knew the Word so well that His thoughts would be mine automatically. Have you ever had a friend like that? One that you knew what they'd say before they could say it? Or how they would react to certain situations? Man, I want to be like that with God. (I've got such a loooooong way to go.)
In this outfit I am at my most natural state. No flashy jewelry. No makeup. Just me and God. I can spend time with Him and pray. Now there is prayer and then there is PRAYER! I know most refer to the Lord's Prayer as our example of how to pray. And obviously Jesus showed us the proper way to pray. But there are lots of examples of us regular folk praying in the Bible too. David was not always a saint and yet the he is known for being after God's own heart. The psalms are full of praises to the King. He also questioned God, committed himself to God, cried to God in fear. He looked for assurance. Look at Job with all of his trials. He spent lots of time conversing with God. There are countless books on prayer. Victory. Worship. Guidance. Vision. Repentance. The list goes on and on. But it all comes down to this--
Spending time with God builds intimacy.
James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." . He wants our all. James also says in Ch 5 vs 13-18 lots of great stuff about prayer --if you're suffering-pray. If you're cheerful-sing psalms. These are the things that God desires. Again, Psalm 149:4 "The Lord takes pleasure in His people. He will beautify the humble with salvation." If you're spending time focused on God and His will and His desires then you've got to be on the humble path. And He takes PLEASURE in that!
I was talking with my middle son about what this "outfit" would be and I began with telling him the key words : prayer - intimacy - something to do with the ocean - and purity. To my amazement, he immediately asked if I would be talking about the gulf between us and God. He began to speak about how we are here on earth but that one day heaven would be here in the new Jerusalem and we would be with God forever. He reminded me of the story in Luke where Jesus was telling about Lazarus and the rich man. Luke 16:19-31 tells of two very different men. The rich man dies and is in Hades and can see Lazarus in "Abraham's bosom". The rich man asks for Lazarus to dip his finger in water and touch him to cool him from being tormented in flames. But Abraham briefly sums up their lives and goes on to say in vs. 26 "And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us." WOW- what a great perspective God had given him just from hearing those few key words!!! That is one thing I love about the Bible, God can reveal something today and tomorrow show you something in the same passage that you've never seen before.
While I viewed this as an intimate bonding between me and God, my son saw the possible separation between God and man. And I believe both can be found in it. To prove his point
Rev. 21:1 says, "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea." And shortly after in vs. 3 it says, "...God is with men, and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God."
Everybody sing: Oh when we all get to Heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be!!
Until then let's make sure we put on our "Ocean" outfit regularly and just be ourselves with the One who made us. This way we won't end up like the man who allowed a gulf to separate him from the Love that lasts throughout eternity.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beauty and the Bible The Collection pt. 3 "Fierce"

In my style session with God as Master Stylist, I'm coming across some incredible pieces. He's already dressed me in "Salvation" (Psalm 149:4) which I am loving! It's such a good fit I think I will let it double as my Spanx (something's got to pull in the flaws and help me be more pleasing to the eye. haha). So my Salvation stays on.

Then I hit the mini runway in "Active Wear". This was a fun look with lots of energy. It was a light, bright outfit that could take me everywhere (Eph 5:8,9). It had great shoes too. Once I put on my Gospel boots, I was good to go (Eph 6:15).

Ok, I am so excited to see what's next. This outfit is definitely different than the previous two. Tyra Banks comes to mind. Whether you've seen her TV show or not, I'm sure you've seen this super model's trademark look. She has very proudly made the word "fierce" synonymous with her identity. And if you don't mind, I'll snag her word and place it on this next look. You see, Tyra very appropriately uses this word to define a facial look, attitude and strength. On her reality show, America's Next Top Model, she is constantly instructing her contestants to be fierce. Demanding that their eyes not be "flat" but focused, drawing on their inner strength. And if they don't possess inner strength then fake it.

Now that is funny to me. As a child of God, I don't have to fake it because I can draw real strength from the Creator of the universe. Oh yea-- from the Man Himself!! The Bible says in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". And in this world we need it. Actually we need the whole "Fierce" thing. Let's face it, we struggle with practical real life things. We have financial troubles. We have uncertainty everywhere. Our families are breaking apart. We struggle to get along with people. We never have enough time. Life is crazy. People are crazy. WE are crazy, if we'll be honest. But the One who calmed the sea knows all this and wants us to keep focused on the real battle. Although our bodies are physically present on earth to deal with the troubles of this world, it's our spirit who should be fighting the battle.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.Eph 6:12. WOW--do you think God breaks it down who we wrestle with in so many ways for a reason? I definitely think so. I think He's trying to put it in a way that our minds can attempt to wrap around this concept of spiritual warfare. The issues that we face are so much deeper than they appear. We've got to be focused on God at all times. Praying constantly for ourselves and others.

We've got to use the Bible as our sword. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. That is a serious weapon! My mother in law has a sword that is displayed on her wall in her home that she got on a trip to Spain. In our family it was a rite of passage to be able to hold it. The rule was you had to be 4years old and sit on the couch with Grandmommy. They were taught right from the start to respect this weapon and be aware of the consequences of mishandling it. We should be the same way with God's word. We should respect it. We should want to learn all about it so that we can use it properly. We should be aware of it's POWER! To handle this weapon and use it to God's glory, we've got to be focused on the real battle. And the real battle is not here my friend. So whether you feel strong, confident, focused and "Fierce" or not, remember God's version of "Fierce" will not be cancelled or ever choose to explore new opportunities like the swayings of Tyra Banks. God is the real deal, who stand the test of time. He's able to equip you for any occasion at any time that you need to get your "Fierce" ON.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beauty and the Bible The Collection Pt 2 Active Wear

I've placed God as my Master Stylist. He's dressed me in Salvation for my first look (Psalm 149:4). I am lookin' good and on my way to enjoying this style session.

Now that I've got my Salvation on, what next? Or is this it? Well I'm not leaving til He's shown me the whole collection. I think God might choose Active Wear for my next look. Active Wear is what we are all looking for, right? After all, it's a practical choice for everyday life. Clothes that make us feel good and can take us from morning to night. That's kind of a tall order because who knows what our day will encounter. We just know that we want to be comfortable and look good doing it all.

I think to get this look started we've got to be prayed up. We've got to ask God to open our eyes for opportunities to shine His light wherever we go. Ephesians 5:8 says, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth). This is such a great verse for lots of reasons. One of the first things that jumps out at me is He tells us to walk as children. Children have lots of energy. And although I'm a fairly hyper person-I get tired. And that's just a nice way of saying grumpy! Like downright grumpy. I remember a run in my life where I would get so ill with drive- thru workers. I'm not sure that I should blame it on being tired or maybe I just was a little too self-righteous thinking, "I MUST be the one to stop bad customer service at drive-thru's for all!". Whatever my deal was I seemed to get the worker who cared the least about looking at me or getting my order right. Well, instead of spreading God's love and light I would question them in a not so nice way and make sure that the manager knew of their awful behaviour. Then one day God convicted me. He reminded me of a lesson I thought I'd learned long before this. -Love is kind_- 1Cor 13:4.
WOW. No matter what this worker did, I was not being kind. This worker needs to see the love of Jesus and I need to pray for their circumstances. Sometimes the obvious is so hard to see. The funny thing is, once I started showing God's kindness in those situations instead of my self-righteous hiny, those situations didn't seem to happen as often.

Another thing that stands out to me is that my outfit (what others see in me) should be from the Spirit. If what I'm wearing and showing is goodness, true righteousness and truth then I'm positive I will have a good effect on others for the kingdom. And the bonus is I'll feel good in that outfit! When we feel good in an outfit we smile more, we walk a little taller with a zing in our step. And that makes people want to know what we've got.

So let's put on one of the most important pieces for Active Wear - the shoes. God tells us to ...shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace... Remembering that we take God everywhere we go whether to work, school, our kids school, the store or the drive-thru.

We've got to be ready to see the opportunity that He's given us and make the most of it. After all, you can see your outfit much better if you're shining His light than if your covered in darkness.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beauty and the Bible

Psalm 149:4
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.
"He will beautify the humble with salvation"~~ If God were my Rachel Zoe, my own personal stylist, He would first choose to clothe me in salvation. "..Clothe me in salvation". Before He can do this He has to get me ready for my style session. This takes a bit of planning and thought. God must set the stage, so to speak. A good stylist plans, prepares, gathers needed material, and gets a full vision for the overall and complete look. In this case, I was so unattractive or plainly said, ugly as sin or maybe better to say "ugly with sin". This sin is so ugly that He cannot even look on me. If we started here God wouldn't even be able to take my measurements. God cannot be with sin. He sees this as a problem that must be fixed.
We've got to wash sin away. The sin must go before anything can be done. As you've seen on What Not To Wear so many times, they throw out all the clothes owned by the poor helpless soul who doesn't even know how lost and pitiful they are. The very sad part of this is that apparently everyone that has come in contact with this poor soul has recognized this fact but could never bring themselves to tell them of their pitiful state. God made the way. God made the perfect way to take my measurements. He sent His Son Jesus just for me and just for you, for the sole purpose of taking away our sin. And by repenting of our sin like in 1John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (and here's the good part) and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We can be cleansed--no longer dirty, no longer filthy, no longer ugly with sin. Hallelujah!!!
A new creature in Christ. Now I'm something the Master stylist can work with. I am now ready for my style session. All the plans that God has for me can now begin to take place. God has vision. In fact, God has big vision. Bigger than anything seen during fashion week in Paris, London or NY. And certainly God has bigger vision than anything seen on a red carpet in Hollywood. Jeremiah says He has plans to prosper you, not plans to harm you. My God and my stylist wants to clothe me in salvation for my first outfit. If you've ever seen a debut seasonal fashion show, the initial look that comes on the catwalk is the base signature piece. It sets the stage for the whole collection. I think it safe to say that if God chooses salvation as my initial look on which to build a collection around, then I'm super happy to oblige. God has been right so many times before that I just trust His eye for style.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Day - New Do - New Mood

From time to time we seem to just hit a funk. Have you ever noticed this? For a multitude of reasons we just sometimes seem to get in a slump where nothing seems to be going right or smooth. Take for instance, our family has just finished another extra-curricular filled season. You know how it goes - we hit the road right after school and juggle all the locations that we've got to get to on any given evening. Now my husband is in an unusual line of work and his schedule is always changing. And even though I've known this since the day I met him, I went ahead and scheduled the impossible for Thursday nights. "My husband can help me" I thought. We'll split duties and everything will work perfectly. Well, there was my first mistake, thinking that something would work out "perfectly". I mean if you know me to any degree then you know that the two words "perfect" and "Jenny Leigh" never belong in the same sentence!

So for 8 of the 10 weeks of the season my husband had to work leaving me to deal with the overloaded schedule that I had voluntarily put into action. We survived but I was one harried mess - driving by practically pushing kids out of the car as I slowed down yelling, "I'll be back to pick you up later!" while passing by our locations that seemed to be a blur. (Thank you Lord for such incredible friends who watch out for my kids and help in so many ways.) By the end, all of us moms were deliriously laughing our way through as we saw the close to another youth sporting extravaganza!

You see, I was not the only harried mom on the scene. I just was the one with the most noticeable tick and the one with the least ability to disguise my craziness. (I've really got to work on that in the future) So to try to feel a sense of calm and control, I treated myself to a haircut, color and hi-lites. Isn't that what we should do? Well, whether we "should" do it or not it certainly can change a mood for the better!

When things just need to change or we need a serious pick me up, a visit to the salon can be just the Bummer Breaker that we need. A slight change to our style can do wonders for our outlook. Sometimes we feel we have to make huge changes for it to be worth it. And honestly, the fear that can come along with a major change can be enough to keep us in a slump. It doesn't have to be that way. Consider restructuring your bangs. A simple side swoop can take a casual look to a more sophisticated feeling. Taking off an inch or two can add a perky, clean feeling to a dowdy haircut. Or what about adding some face framing layers. Flipping one side out can add some serious fun to a way too serious hairstyle. The little, simplest of changes can be huge in terms of giving us a new outlook and the deep breath we need to tackle the next set of challenges that are inevitably coming our way. So why not look great with a great new attitude to go along with it? I say, New Day, New Do, New Mood! Who's with me?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Purpose

The purpose of this blog will be a bit odd. It is something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I've got a few tidbits of "hair info" that might be of interest to a few. So this is for those few.

I love, love being behind the chair and making somebody feel really great when they look in the mirror. I get a big kick out of it. I love helping them learn things that get them excited. Because while what I do as a hairdresser is not brain surgery, it is something that can lift a person's mood from down and gloomy to confident and powerful. That is something that few professions get to experience. I feel very blessed to be able to do what I love and share it with so many dear people. I look forward to posting some things that I've taken note of over the years and hopefully it will be interesting and maybe even a little entertaining. So I will try to figure out exactly how to work this blogging site before the new Windows working system comes out and blogspot is obsolete. Check back with me soon for a real "post".