Strength and Dignity

Not by the hair of my chiny, chin chin

As we grow older, or as I like to say…grow more mature, we change. Some changes that occur in the maturing process allow us to maintain a sense of control. Yet, some are just beyond our control. Despite our best efforts, we soon realize it’s a lost cause.

Not all that long ago I was in the company of a beautiful, more mature woman, and this thought occurred to me:

“I wonder when you quit caring about the hair on your chin.”

It appeared this more mature woman had given up the fight.

Was it due to the fact she sincerely didn’t care that a sparse beard had sprung itself lose upon her chin, or could her “more mature” eyesight not recognize its presence?

Facial hair. If you haven’t had the experience yet, you will. One day, you will glance in the mirror, and find yourself doing a double take; catching a glimpse of something that hadn’t been there before. Some of us would dare say it had not been present an hour ago! But, there it will be, literally staring you in the face. Suddenly, you have grown one wiry, coarse, dark hair to stand all on it’s own, upon your chin.

Believe me, I speak the truth when I say these hairs begin to sprout, gaining length and a strength unlike any other hair on your body. They become long and fully locked in. You may be surprised by the difficulty to uproot this newfound little treasure that’s anchored itself upon your chin.

Eventually, you will find success in your endeavor to pluck that unwanted hair. You will feel sweet relief that the horror of chin hair is behind you, but all too quickly you will once again be doing the chin hair dance. Because once it starts, it never ends, unless you surrender to it.

That brings me back to the question. (Finally, right)

When do you surrender? When do you just not care that you have chin hair? My thinking has been, that I will never, I mean NEVER allow these hairs to take up residence upon my face without a fight.

However, recently I was in the investigative process of my face with my 100x magnification bathroom mirror, I was struggling to see clearly. As I squinted and contorted my face to gain clarity, I was soon asking: Is that a hair on my chin? Am I missing some? Has anyone else seen this?

Maturing is not just bringing me unwanted hair growth; it is also affecting my vision. I glance at my face, and sometimes miss what is really there.

So even if I say,

I will not EVER have visible hair growing on my chin…NOT BY THE HAIR OF MY CHINY CHIN CHIN. Unless I continue to examine my countenance with intent I am going to miss one, or two, or Heaven help…THREE!

(Yes, I am going to bring chin hair back to Jesus, because somehow, it all eventually comes back to Jesus.)

Look at what James says:

James 1:22-25

22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. 23For anyone who hears the word but does not carry it out is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, 24and after observing himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so—not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer—he will be blessed in what he does.

We should all want to be beard free in our spiritual countenance. Get it?

The Holy Spirit is like a mirror to our spiritual soul. He’s the revealer of what needs to change in us to be more like Jesus. So often we take a glance into the Holy Spirit mirror by way of a message on Sunday, or a quick read of the Word, and move on. We forget what was revealed, or so often, don’t meditate on what was revealed to us in the presence of the REVEALER of all mysteries, God. Leaving us with unwanted chin hair.

Looking into the perfect law of freedom, which is God’s Word…studying, meditating, reveals what needs to look different about us. This allows for us to be molded more into the image of His Son, Jesus.

Are you pressing into the Word, entering into the presence of God? If not, you might have a pretty good beard going. That’s not attractive. Serious. We should be like magnets to others we encounter. Revealing a beautiful love of Jesus that is beyond any they have experienced.

Look at this passage from 2 Corinthians 2 to ponder:

14 But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display[d] in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life. And who is competent for this? 17 For we are not like the many who market God’s message for profit. On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God.

(This is also a prelude to next weeks post!)

My challenge to you… when His Word speaks, allow it to reveal, moving you to action, removing that chin hair revelation of the Spirit! Walking away from the mirror, looking more like Jesus, to a world that so desperately needs to encounter Him face to face!

Then we can go on living as Christ Followers who declare…not by the hair of our chiny, chin chins!

Becoming

My first recollection on the journey of becoming a woman takes me back to, Christmas Eve 1983. I was 11 years old and blessed to grow up as the only girl in both my immediate and extended family. My hubby may not agree this was a blessing, as it resulted in much feminine spoiling over those growing up years that he’s still trying to undo.

On this particular Christmas Eve, in 1983, I was “developing”, and needed to “harness” these developments with a new addition to my wardrobe. Yes, you guessed it, the infamous FIRST BRA. My mother, I’m sure not thinking things all the way through, thought it would be a wonderful idea to wrap up my FIRST BRA in a ginormous box. The box chosen had held an Atari console the previous Christmas. (For my readers who are unaware of Atari; it was the X-box 360 of the 80’s.) Moving on, this Atari box measured approximately 30″ x 20″, give or take.

Of course, being excited at the size and prospect of this gift, I saved it for last.

There I was, at the fragile age of 11, surrounded by: my brother, 4 boy cousins, uncle, aunt, grandparents and parents. I tore into that huge box! Lifting the box my anticipation grew, and I shook out the prize. Much to my horror, there on the floor laid my very tiny, very FIRST BRA!

Can you imagine this scene? Then, as if that evenings festivities of giggles and humiliation hadn’t been enough! Christmas Day arrived, only to find me ushered into my grandma’s house, whisked back to her bedroom to show my aunt and grandma the fit of my new article of clothing.

My mom and I have often laughed about this occasion, remarkably I have forgiven her. The truth is that, my mom, aunt, and grandma realized this was a marker moment in my becoming a woman, and warranted cause for celebration.

The celebration of my becoming a woman moment caught me by surprise. It didn’t come in a package that I would have chosen; yet it was still cause for celebration. It was part of my becoming who God had intended me to be.

Is there something in your world that has arrived in a package that you aren’t too thrilled about? Just as I needed the bra for whom I was becoming; we often need what is delivered. We may relish how it arrives, but yet it is necessary for whom we will become.

What is that thing for you today?

*loss of relationship?

*child leaving the nest?

*an illness/diagnosis

*rejection?

* hard friend/ marriage?

*difficult child?

The list is unending, but I challenge you to think about what you might add. Don’t focus on the delivery, let go of what your wants and expectations and hold on to what you will become as a result. This is what Jesus did and became for us … our Salvation… our Cornerstone!

 

Psalm 118:21-23(ESV)

21 I thank you that you have answered me

and have become my salvation.

 

22 The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.

 

23 This is the Lord’s doing;

    it is marvelous in our eyes.

 

Celebrate the becoming!

Photo on 8-17-16 at 1.10 PM