May 10, 2006

How Many Hats Do You Wear?

How many hats do you wear?! Metaphorically speaking, that is?! What all is on your plate that simply doesn't all fit into one day!? How many things do you juggle, trying to keep your priorities straight and your list of things to do continually being marked off?

I went through a season not too long ago that I loved hats! I loved all kinds and styles and colors and textures... I wore hats all the time... special occasion? I had a hat for that! Running to the grocery store or out to a game... got a hat for that too!!! I just loved hats! It quickly changed though from wearing my hats, to merely collecting them (so that I could maybe wear them later?!) As I am going through "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldridge, the Lord is speaking to me - to us all - about the Beauty He has poured out over us! Inner & outer Beauty... we all should and do possess both! The question is... do we 'wear' this Beauty He has placed within us?

I am comfortable in the knowledge of intimacy with God. I know and understand that He desires me and that I bring Him joy. However, due to my own history and the familiar ways the enemy attacks me personally, I am most comfortable in thinking He loves me because of the inner working of His Spirit. You see, I spent my childhood very aware of the 'outward appearance' of things... I spent much time working on the outside and it wasn't until I was a new Christian at the ripe old age of 21 that I even thought of what may be going on on the inside of me. When I ran across the verse In 1 Samuel that says that God doesn't look on the outward appearance as man does - but He looks on the heart... my first reaction was, "Oh NO!??!?" I had some serious work to do... and luckily, by His Grace, we did it together... and continue to do so! I spent much of my early years as a new Christian pouring things into my heart and paying attention to that inward part of me that God was looking at! As a new wife, and then a new Mom, I found the inner work to be rewarding - and my focus on my outward appearance lessened. This was good... but not necessarily balanced!

The other day, as I was in prayer, I felt the Lord's Presence over me very strong... I knew He was wooing me and I did feel nearly dizzy by His Presence. Then I heard Him say, "I LIKE you, Karri, because of all we have in common! I enjoy your company, because you make me laugh, and we love the same things - that is what makes us Friends..." (AAaahhhh = that is SO SWEET!) But - He wasn't done... He went on to say "...But I LOVE you because you are MINE... and because you are Beautiful! There are things about you that draw my attention and stir my heart for you... inside and out!" Wow! OK... that makes sense - except for what my own insecure flesh says is true - you see, I am familiar with focusing on what's inside when it comes to the Lord! I spent my whole life, before coming to Christ, focusing on what the outside looked like. As a Christian, I clung to the truth of 1 Samuel 16:7... and now, He reveals that not only is He looking at my outward beauty - but that He is well-pleased with it?! How can that be, I wonder? I may not wear all those hats anymore - but I do juggle a lot of responsibilities and titles through out any given day! ...and yet, He sees through my tired and worn out facade, and He finds Beauty. He desires for me to find it as well... to 'put on that hat' and wear it with Grace!

He finds it in you, too! When we look at ourselves - we see all our imperfections, and failures... but when we remember to look at our lives through the eyes of Love... we see that we do, in fact, resemble His Beauty! He IS Beauty - and we are made in His image, of course! Ask Him what He finds beautiful in you... what is it that draws Him closer to you!? Of course we can list those spiritual things that we know get His attention... worship, faith, prayer, speaking forth the Word of God, ...but we must also remember that our earthly relationships and marriage is a picture of the Romance He desires to have with us... Maybe it's your smile that causes Him to draw near, or the way your eyes sparkle when you are talking about Him... or maybe it is the way you tilt your head back when you laugh...

I know it is not something we even think of in physical terms with God... we like to keep Him Spiritual... not interested in our fleshly body. Which - I believe - is still ultimately true... however - how we treat ourselves (and each other - especially as women!) stems from our own opinions of what we think of ourselves... if we could see that He looks on us in Love and finds Beauty deep within - as well as in the way He created us to look on the outside - we just might give out a bit more grace - and keep a little for ourselves as well!

So - how many hats do you wear?! What are you juggling that is draining your energy and joy!? Ask Him which one of those things He loves about you.... what 'hat' He adores... and what things in your daily life are good - but maybe not so vital to shine forth in beauty! If you ask Him... He will tell you! He will help you to know what hats to keep - and what hats to give away... ...and I believe He will lavish His great Love on you and Overwhelm you with His passion!
May you know how He finds you Captivating, Intoxicating, Lovely... May you put on that Hat of Beauty and wear it proudly in honor of Him!


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