Sunday, January 10, 2010

body. soul. spirit.

This is going to be a long blog post...I can just feel it.

First of all - I just love this girl. And I'm so glad she could come visit! We played Phase 10...watched 500 Days of Summer (favorite.) new haircuts...went to was fantastic. Lot's of favorite Emma and Grace things. :)

Secondly...I had to document my recent attempt of learning how to make frosting roses. I've always wanted to...and Emma loves I set to mixing and baking...looked up some instructions online...and tah dah! Fudge chocolate cupcakes with Tiffany-blue icing and roses. It was a lot of fun!

Okay, and now...Third item on agenda. What's been on my mind and heart.

Body, soul, and spirit. These are three things I have been learning more about. How they should look separately, and how they should look when they are intertwined. Because we have Christ living in us we have a "spiritual self"...this is a new dimension. Our soul, is comprised of our will, our emotions, and our mind. Our soul (our will in particular) must submit to the Holy Spirit for our spiritual self to be active and growing in God. Our body, is no less important than our soul and spirit (contrary to what some Christians may think). If we take care of our body, our body will take care of us - it is our physical expression and vessel for our spirit and soul. Regarding all three things - too much emphasis on any one of them with neglect to another would be detrimental.

This is such a powerful quote from the book Sacred Romance - "Being unable to defeat God through raw power, Satan's legions decide to wound God as deeply as possible by stealing the love of his beloved through seduction, and having seduced them to his party, to ravage them body and soul, and having ravaged them to mock them, even as they are hurled to the depths of hell with God himself unable to save them because of their rejection of him. This is Satan's motivation for every man, woman, and child into who God ever breathed the breath of life. Like a roaring lion, he hungers for us."

I think it's really important to remember that Satan hates us. Because when we feel like we're fighting ourselves, and are on our own struggling...realizing we're actually caught in the middle of battle gives us a lot more hope. Realizing the power we have as children of God that comes through practicing and repeating's so strengthening. (As I discussed in length in my last post).

I feel like lately God has been making a lot of changes in me. I know I've said that a lot lately...and honestly it sounds rather prideful. But, I don't say it to get a "wow" effect...I say it because it leaves me feeling really amazed by God...and encouraged to see Him there. Each season I have a new lesson and new adventure. Coming back from Ireland I felt so full of life and joy only to feel a heaviness sink in as I returned to everything familiar. Ireland was a rare treat, a place of so much beauty my soul seemed to relax and breathe easier. There were days upon days where everything was constantly new and I had new things to learn. I felt stronger leaving, and really content. It was a big adjustment coming back and I found myself questioning the changes I thought had taken place. All of a sudden I was once again in a place of feeling weak, insecure, fearful,lonely...and apathetic. But God didn't leave me when I came home. The adventures are no longer in another country, but just over break He's brought some great ones along. I had no idea I would get to see New York City and Washington D.C...and the special gift of getting to see Emma...and getting to know my cousin better as he visits from Australia...having encouraging times with my sisters...they all evidence how much God loves me and wants to give me good things. I've spent the break taking better care of my body, reading some really thought-provoking books, and having some heart-to-heart conversations with people. I feel really refreshed. Is it okay to say that after twenty-one years of hating myself...I think I'm finally really happy with who I am? It's not really because I've made any significant changes, in fact I know there's a lot of things that are far from perfect. But, as Emma said while we were painting...sometimes it's the imperfections that make things really beautiful. I like to think of myself as a little wooden doll in the wood carver's shop. It's the quirks...the unique attributes that are seemingly fingerprints of our Creator's work. I am happy with who I am because I know I am so loved by Him who made me. Only in Him am I enough. The grace, and strength of who He is, is most visible in the very weakest places of who I am. I've still got days when I'm attacked with hatred for myself, and hopelessness...but those days have become so few and farther between...and it is only because of His furious pursuit of my heart. Instead of finding my identity and security in another human being, or trying to build it up myself...His heart is the place I've found to be safe. It's the place I can live and it's okay that I'm not enough. It's okay that I'm imperfect. It's okay that I cannot keep things together and maintain control. I like to think of all the beautiful places I have seen as small glimpses of God. And when I think of living in Him I know it's a place of hope that doesn't end, a place where beauty comes alive, a reservoir of deep forgiveness, and the calling of a joy where all other pleasures originated. It's life beyond the wardrobe. (To complete my post with yet another Lewis reference).

I feel really happy...and really hopeful.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." {Galations 5:1}


Kate said...

goodness. I missed you! We should talk very soon.

Gabrielle said...

tears were welling up in my eyes as i read this... i love you so much. i am so proud of you.

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