My friends, in case you have forgotten or tried to block it from your awareness like some of us do, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
Yes, the day of overpriced greeting cards, waxy chocolates in heart-shaped boxes, overcrowded restaurants, and artificially red-dyed foods is nearly here.
While it is designed to be a day to honor and celebrate those we admire and love and cherish and couldn’t imagine our lives without, it can also be one of those days that makes us want to roll our eyes pretending we don’t care at all that those around us are being showered with extravagant flower arrangements, balloon bouquets, and all things sparkly.
I think we’ve all been there and done that; where we pretend that someone else’s very public and extensive Valentine gift is ridiculous and over the top while we really secretly envy such an embarrassingly excessive display of romance.
At the end of the day, no matter what the day is, we all crave someone doing something to show they are over-the-moon, head over heels, crazy in love with us.
And y’all, we all have that already.
We have a God that is unconditionally, inequitably in love with us. We just have to open our eyes to His love language He displays all around us.
At 36 weeks pregnant, I’m starting to get to the point in this journey where I’m feeling more or less gigantic. My stomach has dropped and seems to run into inanimate objects as well as innocent bystanders, and it truly has a mind of its own wiggling and squirming about as I were trying to reinact that infamous scene from Alien.
With a handful of week and pounds to go, I know the following realities:
I’m kinda getting to that point in the journey where if it fits over my stomach and stays over the stomach voluntarily, I’ll wear it.
And while I enjoy pregnancy and am utterly delighted about the arrival of my son, to say I have been feeling like my most beautiful, gorgeous version of my self would be a lie.
And that’s okay.
We all have those days when we don’t feel our most confident. Our hair just isn’t cooperating. Our skin seems dull. And everything we try on just looks like total and complete garbage on our body.
I’m having those days more and more often.
And it’s okay.
I have to quickly snap out of the dangerous mentality that my worth, my value to others and my Savior, is all encompassed in a number on a scale, the definition (or lack there of these days) of my stomach, or how lustrous my complexion appears.
At the end of the day, I confidently know I am so much more than that in the eyes of my Savior.
One of my absolute favorite verses is in the Bible comes from Psalm 139:14, which I’m quite sure resounds with everyone who reads it: I will praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
God has made me, hand-crafted my body to grow and morph to take on this budding life. My 5’2’’ frame is being pushed and stretched and expanded in whole new ways, yet I am comforted knowing I am fulfilling God’s purpose and design for my body.
After all, 1 Corinthians 6:20 reminds us that our bodies aren’t under our dominion and ownership; Eugene Peterson puts it, “Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”
Our bodies, whether we like em or not, are made by Him for Him, and we are to honor His handiwork in all we do with them.
When we look in the mirror and detest what we see allowing those hateful, hurtful voices to slander and judge and shame, we are equally shaming our Creator and the work He has done in us.
He doesn’t see what we see; He doesn’t see the muffin tops or crows feet or stretch marks or C-section scars. He sees us as our beautiful, radiant selves. Perfect in everyway, flaws and all.
In Song of Songs, God reminds us of all the beauty He sees within us. While it is an appropriate read for Valentine’s Day highlighting the gift of marital love, it is equally appropriate in reflecting the love of God and His church. When God looks at us, He sees perfection, clothed in righteousness, with only our true beauty shining through.
He says, “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you”.
This Valentine’s Day, remember and believe the words He speaks over you. While our culture often wants us to feel ashamed or embarrassed by flaws in our physical appearance, focus today and this week on how you are beyond your capability of understanding.
Before leaving you for today to let you take on your Monday, I want to leave you with one of my favorite MercyMe songs, called, appropriately for us today, “Beautiful”. It really captures much of what I’ve wanted to communicate to y’all today. If you don’t have the chance to listen to it right now, perhaps you could listen to it tomorrow morning in order to start your Valentine’s Day off right!
Today’s Challenge: Write and post Song of Songs 4:7 somewhere that you often find yourself having those hurtful, shameful thoughts about yourself. For me, it would be the full-length mirror, the one that reveals my hanging belly and stretch marks and cellulite. When you look at yourself, instead of getting absorbed by what you see, focus on the words God says about us, that we are all beautiful.
Todays’ Prayer: Father God, thanks you for your boundless, unending love. Because Your son endured and died on my behalf, I am made complete and whole and flawless in Your eyes. Help me not to place so much value on my physical appearance and to accept my imperfections as manifestations of Your creation and Your handiwork in me. Let me glorify and honor You with my body. I love You, Lord, and I am satisfied in You.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!