I’m transitioning from one month to the next… preparing my heart to L.E.A.P. again.
I’m L.E.A.P.ing from being attentive to being beautiful. What a natural step! It’s as if the previous month trained me to really see and hear so I could appreciate beauty.
Yesterday, the LORD began to reveal to me how I NEED BEAUTY.
Mostly out of habit from taking pictures this past month, I took a few minutes to step outside to “just breathe”. I didn’t think I had time, but I’m so glad I did.
Have you heard that song yet? “Just Breathe ” – Jonny Diaz
I heard it for the first time last night, or parts of it I should say, while winding in and out of radio signal, between hills pink with buds ready to burst. I was pondering the phrase, “all scripture is God breathed” (or, as the ESV puts is, “… breathed out by God”, 2 Timothy 3:16). I took a deep breath, let it go, and prayed…
“LORD, You are as essential as the air I breathe. Your Word, Your inspired breath, sustains my life. I want to breathe it in and speak it out, breathe it in and speak it out, breathe it in and speak it out, until I am completely filled with You from the top of my head to the tips of my toes; every artery, vein, and capillary. Breathe Your life into me.”
…when the static suddenly cleared and the chorus rang clear.
“Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be…”
Oh, the beauty of fellowship with the LORD! What timing! It’s as if He said “Amen” to my prayer.
Just L.E.A.P. by faith, into His presence, into Beauty.
LIVE, ENJOY, ADD, PRAY
In and out.
Like the cold morning air filling my lungs… wakes me up and brings me to my senses. I feel alive!
His Word, in and out.
Conversations, Meditations, all in His presence
Where is all this coming from? Ramblings of breathing and beauty.
A few days ago an acquaintance shared with me a challenge she heard, to take 3 deep breaths a day: intentionally inhaling fully and then slowly letting it all out. She mentioned some of the benefits of using our full lung capacity and how few people do. — The lecturer she heard recommended even posting a reminder if necessary to encourage the daily habit.
- Seeking and abiding in His presence, breathing in the Word, how few people do it! Oh the benefits! I highly recommend posting a reminder if necessary.
Job 33:4 -6 says, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life… Behold, I belong to God… I too have been formed out of the clay.” God is my life. This Word, His breath. I will take His words in fully and speak them out, meditating on them, letting them change me as I slow down the racing pace of my busy heart.
As I take this next L.E.A.P., I’m taking a deep breath
To all the pressures, demands, disappointments, and manipulations that leave me divided, I sense the LORD saying,
- “This is not your yoke to bear. ‘My burden is light.’ (Mt. 11:30) and ‘My grace is sufficient’ (2 Cor. 12:9) for what I call you to do. The yoke you carry is heavy because it is something I never asked you to lift.
- “In fact, if you want My best, My grace, My blessing, My peace, then you must choose to throw off this ugly burden you carry and step under my yoke and into the beauty of my Presence. Experience My deep reviving beauty, that is only known through fellowship that comes with obedience.”
To know the beauty of the LORD is to return to the Garden of Eden, like stepping into a green house, full of life regardless of the season of year.
Often it is a teeny tiny step from encouraged to discouraged and vice versa, and both ways, it usually involves people. Yesterday, it was as if I was teetering on the brink and someone could have either coaxed me away from the edge or pushed me right over.
But today, I sense the Holy Spirit warning me with this question,
“Why live so close to that fatal line?”
Why give anyone but God that power over my thoughts, my joy, my peace? I’m not wrestling with flesh and blood. This power-struggle is warfare for my soul, my effectiveness, my vision, my life, my attitude. I am a servant of God and am under His authority and protection. My merciful, kind, and faithful Master has generously given me everything I need for life and godliness, and His gifts are beautiful!
I would be a fool to settle for ugly when His beautiful blessings are so abundant and free.
Oh, how I am to be pitied when I miserably become weighed down by circumstances rather than remember and take advantage of (or simply notice and appreciate) the many benefits He offers.
When I feel myself pulled in two directions, I have a choice.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30)
And with every truly beautiful choice, I find my burden growing lighter and lighter until it is no burden at all; it actually becomes my delight.
So, I’m choosing to fill my life with BEAUTY!!!!
- the most beautiful WORD of GOD
- beautiful Music (especially songs of faith from my childhood) This morning it was an old instrumental CD, violin played by Bill Murk. It started with a medley “He Has Made Me Glad / I Will Sing of the Mercies / What a Might God / Blessed Assurance” mixed with Aaron Copland’s famous “Hoedown” rodeo song.
- the beauty of Nature (especially the early morning and twilight hours) — Today it was the sunrise with a frost.
- the beauty of a Home at peace, in order, well tended
- beautiful Friendships, prioritized and nurtured, but with space and room to grow
- the beauty of Spirit-led Balance (waking, sleeping; time alone, time with others; eating just enough healthy and special treats; work-outs and rest days; ministry and private devotion; healthy lived-in comfort and company-clean; … “He has made everything beautiful its time.” (Eccl. 3:11)
He has given us every thing we need for life and godliness and to live beautifully today.
One Final (“beautiful”) Thought and Challenge
I sense and underlying theme for this month, a phrase from a song,…
"beholding Your beauty is all that I long for"
Is all that I long for
To worship You Jesus
Is my sole desire
For this very heart
You have shaped for Your pleasure
Purposed to lift Your Name higher
In pure adoration
I enter Your courts
With an offering of praise
I am Your servant
Come to bring You glory
As is fit for the work of Your hands…
This is my prayer and challenge for you today:
May every “ugly” thing cause you to seek and appreciate the grace of Jesus, our Beautiful Savior, and may every beautiful thing cause you to respond in worship and inspire you to do something beautiful for Him. (see Mark 14:6 and Matthew 26:10)