Sunday, January 20, 2008

More

There are many times I have so much MORE to say. Sometimes I sit down to fill this blank page with all its potential and want to say MORE. MORE about who I really am. MORE about who my God really is. MORE about the things that are heavy on my heart. MORE about the ugliness that can lie in that heart. MORE about the struggles that I face. MORE about the fact that I lack content. MORE about the fact that I lack faith. MORE about the fact that I lack self discipline. MORE about the fact that even though I know that my God is bigger than all of my weaknesses I often live my life as if I'M the one that's bigger.

I have many excuses for not sharing MORE. No time. No words. No quiet. No strength. No trust...

But today I will set aside those excuses for a brief time to share a refining moment in my life. In all honesty, it has been a refining day. Just as I was recovering from one moment with my feet on the fire another would come my way. The Lord had some direct hits to my heart today. I wish I had more time, words, quiet, strength, and trust to share them all with you. But for now I'll start with one.

I wish I could say that this morning as I was preparing for church that I was abiding in Him, joyful to have the opportunity to meet with Him. Instead, I was doing my usual Sunday morning self-loathing routine. I do it well. With each step of preparation I was becoming more and more unhappy with my hair, my face, my body, my clothes. The clothes did me in. I ended up in a heap on the bed. "I'm so fat!", "I have no clothes", "I must be a freak of nature because NOTHING looks good on me!". These are direct quotes. And then the tears. Poor Rich. What is a guy to do? He of course tells me that I am beautiful and am just having a particularly bad self image day. I will agree that this was the extreme in that those thoughts actually were voiced out loud instead of simply to myself. And the tears...those aren't every day, but the potential is always there.

Grasping for some perspective, I started to pray and a verse came to mind. I pulled the Bible off of my nightstand so that I could start this day with truth instead of lies. The verse that came to mind was this...

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4

And then as I was searching the concordance for the word beauty. I found some more truth to replace the lies. Here's one that sweet Bev has shared with me...

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11

And how about this one...

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

When the tears had stopped and the lies had been replaced with truth I stepped out of the bedroom to these words from my sweet six year old boy.

"Mommy, you are beautiful! You are the most beautiful Mommy ever!"

I immediately began to weep, hugged him tight and mumbled a "thanks, Buddy".

Of course I began to wonder if he had been prompted to say that by my husband. He hadn't.

Now, I'm no fool to to think that my children do not ever pick up on these moments even though I try hard not to keep it from them. I'm sure that is part of the reason Richie said this to me, but I'm also sure that he was prompted to do so by God in an effort to reinforce His truth to me this morning.

So there you have it. Not my usual light-hearted post. But just a little MORE today.


29 comments:

Xandra said...

I like MORE! I wish we could all be as honest with our struggles as you are. I know that I fall into the trap of imagining every one else as perfectly pulled together, and never having the same moments of self doubt that I do.

I am ashamed to admit that I have actually skipped church because I felt like nothing about me looked right that morning. I love the way you put it: "I pulled the Bible off of my nightstand so that I could start this day with truth instead of lies." Thank you for setting such a godly example for the rest of us in times of self doubt.

Love ya!
Xandra

Nise' said...

Your post touched my heart! I needed to do that this morning over the gray in my hair, it was all I could see....Maybe I should be thankful that it took the focus off the clothes, body, etc....

Darlene R. said...

Oh Alana, if you only knew how beautiful you really are. And I have never even met you...yet. I have gone through so many of those same exact days, I still do. Even though I have achieved so much in the area of weight, I still look at my post-baby body and say, "yuck". I have come to the conclusion that no amount of sit-ups are going to take care of those stretch marks! God love'em.
Believing that we are beautiful is a hard thing to accept. I wonder why that is?
I have had a bad day today, too. I got to church and two minutes later had my husband take me back home. It was just one of those days where you don't want to see or talk to anyone. I came home and had my own quiet time and it was so sweet and just what I needed. Some days the tears just flow out. Tomorrow will be better!
Much love,
Darlene
ps- God bless those kids, they always know what to say to make us feel better!

Shelley said...

I'm glad you posted More today. For some reason, Sunday's are often the hardest on me too. You are beautiful, inside and out! I hate it when those insecurities get to me, but I'm so glad you reached to God for support! He always knows what to lead us too, or who to lead to us!

Jennifer Partin said...

Alana,
What a BEAUTIFUL post! I was actually coming over to tell you that I had an award to give you! :)

This post was very candid----and a real problem that I too struggle with. Right now, I have NOTHING to wear too. I hate it and I complain. Then I think about the example I am setting for my pre teen daughter with what I say about my self image (I don't think these thoughts everyday) But still, I voice them. When in reality I am grumbling and complaining to Him when I say these things.

I hope you feel loved today! What a special blog friend you have become to me! (and I can't see what you're wearing either!)

mark&beth said...

Oh, Alana...I love you! Your spirit moves others to be drawn to God in pure humility. Bless you. And, I can cry right along with you these days. The weight of our self doubt seems too heavy at times. But, I think God uses those days for cleansing. We have to purge the lies that build up, so that there is more room for the truths! The truth is, you are one of the most beautiful people I know! I hope we get a chance for that coffee SOON!

Earen said...

I love your "more" posts! I love hearing your heart..thank you for sharing that. What a beautiful reminder to me today of God's thoughts towards me. Even in my weight loss journey I have days in which I feel I look great & then I think I have a long ways to go. I've never met you, I don't know really what you look like..but here's what I do know, you have a beautiful heart and ultimately that all that matters.

michelle said...

Alana you are so beautiful! We all have days of self doubt. I'm so glad to call you my friend. You have a tender spirit. Thanks for sharing from you heart!

JP's MOM said...

You're beautiful...You're beautiful...You're beautiful it's true.

Imagine little AJ singing that. It's one of her favorite songs and she always knows the right time to sing it :)

Beautiful post. I believe that is a struggle that every woman has had at some point in her life, thanks for sharing the scripture to go with it.

We should maybe all just put it on a post-it on the bathroom mirror.
It would be a great way to start the day out!

Janelle said...

If we could all share MORE about our real life and real struggles. What a great place this would be. I love hearing your truth. It makes you even more beautiful to me. I am thankful that I know the real you.

God had victory today in your bedroom. You could have lived all day with those lies brewing in your head. There was probably a time in your life when you did just that. Thank goodness that you turned the lies into TRUTH!

The truth will set you free.

Carissa said...

oh alana...i can so relate to this post. thank you so much for sharing it. and for the reminders of truth. how easily i slip into thinking the lies are the truth. they ARE NOT! and i needed to remember that today. thanks! and truly...you are so pretty. inside AND out! i'm so glad you are a part of my life...you make it more lovely...no two ways about that!!!

Pam said...

Alana, I'm so glad you were able to seek God and find His truth. And his truth is what I see about you too. I know He is entralled with your beauty, it took a lot to share your heart with us. Thank you.

Bev Brandon said...

Some of your beauty just poured out...more.

What words do you want to hear from Rich?
What words do you want to hear
from your friends?

BethAnne said...

It has to be satan. I spent yesterday morning getting ready for church and the whole time I was thinking "I am too fat! My hair looks terrible! My makeup looks like someone caked it on with a shovel!" Then when I finally got ready and went to the mirror for the "last and final check", I did not like what I saw (AT ALL)! I was so obsessed with my awful look yesterday that it hindered my worship time (I worried that people were looking at my and thinking 'she has really gained weight' or I thought they might be noticing my hair or face and thinking bad of me). Last night as I was getting ready for church I went to put on a pair of jeans and a sweater vest that I havent worn since last year and they were both to tight to wear----But you wanna know the funny thing? On Monday - Saturday, I rarely ever think that way. The only time I completely hate the way I look is when I am getting ready for church. That tells me it is all from satan. he is a liar and he wants us to feel bad about ourselves as we prepare for worship ---what would make him happier than for us to miss out on worshipping our God.
I thank you for telling us more today. I wish I could have called you up yesterday at about 8:30 so we could have both told the devil off together.
I have never seen you in person, but I have seen your pictures and you are beautiful on the outside, but I have read your heart in your posts and I know that you are beautiful on the inside too.

Fran said...

Why on Sundays do the thoughts, words, appearances seem to be "more?" Bc Satan knows that is the day to really get us. I just hate him for that.

You are beloved, beautiful, and the apple of His eye. He is enthralled by your beauty. He thinks you hung the moon! :)

You and your heart are just gorgeous to me and I'm so grateful to know you.

I appreciate your honesty. We all need that realness in life. So much of our everyday world doesn't give us that.

I hope today is a beautiful day for you.
Blessings friend~
Fran

Heather C said...

(((((((((((((((((((((Alana)))))))))))))))))))))))

Thank you for giving us MORE today. You are beautiful to me.

Heather

Teri said...

Lovin Alana today! MORE is good girl! MORE SPIRIT! MORE TRUTH! MORE PEACE!

You got it girl!
And you are beautiful...nobody who loves Anne as much as you do could be ugly!

<3

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I am so glad you stepped out and shared, MORE because I am sure each one of us can relate.

I am so thankful God filled your heart with HIS truth to conquer that lie. Oh, the lies the world feeds us.

On that topic...ever seen, "How to look good na.ked?" It might be a bit controversial, but I saw it on TL.C this weekend and it was pretty interesting. women struggling with self-image who were helped to accept and embrace their bodies. Sadly, they were not given the truth of God, but it was a start.

Anyway, I digress here on your blog :)

Hugs to you! I have been there myself...many times. I have that first verse printed on my mirror.

Abby said...

your heart is just beautiful!
i'm sure every woman deals with this stuff, but the day(s) that it is you it happens to, it's easy (at least for me) to feel like you're the only one. thanks for being vulnerable and sharing with us...you blessed me for one, as i have been having a rough week with the same issues..

and i love those verses. right when the Lord broke me of a lot of my insecurities last year, psalm 45:11 and psalm 139 (in it's entirety)

and how sweet of God to send His little messenger in for you...how precious is that..HE loves you so much!

Linda said...

Oh, Alan, we can all so relate! I was really rough on myself in my 30s, and even in my 40s (I'm 45) I am still somewhat, but it did get better. Thanks for being so vulnerable. And ... good news ... I need your mailing address! Please come to my site to see the video of the winning guess of my Girl Talk game.

Linda said...

I mean "Alana" not "Alan." I am a dork.

Abigail Munday said...

I cried when I read what you wrote. And as I thought more about it in the shower this morning, I realized it made me want MORE of my Papa. You know what? After driving hubby to work, Matthew picked out a rocky praise music compilation CD to listen to (he's a real music boy and would totally get along with you and Rich!), and as I picked him up and we danced around the room together, I was praying the words of the first song on the CD ("Audience of One"): "And now just to know you MORE has become my great reward." How apropros and non-coincidental is that!

Abigail Munday said...

Alana, have you or any of your blog readers read The Shack by William "Paul" Young? It's on Amazon and though published independently, has risen to one of the top (or the top) selling Christian books. I can't say too much about the plot because I don't want to give it away (it's in novel form) but I can say that it has definitely changed my life (and I never say that about books). I HIGHLY recommend it if you want more--more of Papa, more relationship with the Trinity, more forgiveness and peace than you've ever felt (and more ability to forgive), and more love for yourself, too.

Teresa said...

Laney- I totally had the same problem Sunday morning...in fact, I hate to admit this but I actually wore a maternity top (no I'm not preggo) to church because it was the only thing clean and warm that fit. I kept my sweater on the whole time because I didn't want anyone to see what I wore! Thank you for reminding me where true beauty comes from. :) Love you girl.

Keri Wyatt Kent said...

Alana,
Okay, this is my first visit to your blog. Wow.
I do have to tell you when you left a comment on my blog the other day, and I saw your photo by your post, the very first thought I had was "wow, what a beautiful girl. she's so pretty!"
honestly. Way to go, focusing on the truth, to bring your own perceptions back into line with reality. Looking forward to reading more of your honest and encouraging posts!

Sarah Markley said...

Amazingly sweet. And perfect. You made me weep. I feel like this all the time. Thank you.

Susan said...

I love your honesty and trust.
Hugs.
And Richie totally got it right. You are beautiful. Inside and out.

life with the wisners said...

how exactly did i miss this post? God. that's how i missed it. because i needed it TONIGHT. not the day you originally wrote it.

thank you, alana.

thank you, jesus.

His Girl said...

this is why, when i was about to just clear out my bloglines and start fresh, i just HAD to swing by your blog first.... beautiful, marvelous post :)