I Feel So Ugly

Today, I woke up feeling ugly.  The mirror was harsh and my thoughts were harsher.

It’s awfully hard, sometimes, to keep moving forward with only a dim picture of what could be.

Here I go, grappling with that old question again! How long, Lord?

I want to see a glimpse, a clear glimpse, of the me You know I will be.

But, right now?


Well, right now, I only see this dim and very muddled reflection. It’s not pretty. It’s all smudged with “wish I never said that” thinking and “why couldn’t I finish that” questioning. It’s tainted by age that hasn’t been accompanied by wisdom near as much as I would like.

 “It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.”

-1 Corinthians 13:12 (NCV)

Age aside, (way way aside, please), it’s worth noting that most days, I’m quite happy to only see my reflection dimly. If at all. The problem I’m experiencing is that as grace abounds more and more, the dimmer the image staring back at me in the mirror.

Maybe that’s exactly the way it should be.

Each time I think I think I’ve got a hold of what I look like, God changes something in me.

And each time He makes adjustments to the old me, I find myself staring at a new and unfamiliar reflection.

Even as I type out these words, I realize that there’s really no need to know exactly how I look. To myself, or others.

It’s got to be enough, His grace has to be enough to cover my lack with His all.

My ugly with His beauty.

Whether dimly or clearly.

Why does it take me so long to figure these things out?

He knows what I will look like. He loves the me that I am now through Perfect Eyes that see past this here and now and into the gorgeous eternal.

Those flaws we see in ourselves, that I constantly see in myself, the ones that glare back at us in the mirror? They are the same ones He uses to draw others toward us.

I’ve watched Him use my ugly to speak into someone else’s ugly, time and time again. He does it with such beauty. It’s staggering.

But then, the times I wake up and immediately hate what I see, I so easily forget that there is no room for hatred in His eyes. The disgust and frustration and disappointment, seen so clearly by my own eyes, are all crowded out by the affection and joy and delight, in His.

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.”

BibleGateway Psalm 149:4 (NASB)

I am His people. I’m guessing that if you’re reading, you are too.

Or, you long to be.

The God who made us, sees beauty.

The One who sees me, sees beauty.

Oh God, how I need to cling to that! 

He promises that He will beautify.

Oh God, afflict us with salvation! 

I’m thanking Him for that promise, today.

Yes indeedy.

A Little Late, But…

Better later than never, right?  I mean, we can’t ALL have our act together, now can we? I feel it’s my job and duty to lead the Vacation Picture Slackers in their turtle march toward productivity.

Enjoy some of my favorite “scenes” from our vacation and a Word to go with it.  Happy Sunday, friends!



“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.”

Psalm 113:3

Five Minute Friday – Afraid


Usually, this, up there, is the kind of stuff that makes me afraid. And so, I resort to The Funny, just like the clever answerer did above. But that Funny? It’s masking my some serious fear.
I am, at my core, very afraid. I still choose the lies that the enemy slings at me more often than I choose the Truth that could pour over me; far more often than I’d like to admit. And when I make a mistake?  Or, fail?  Then, that fear can close in like a thick dark blanket, with every intention of snuffing me out.
But just as often as I make the wrong choices, my Savior reminds me of the one right choice He made.  For me.  And you.  The one choice to give His life for my life. The one choice that will trump that lousy fear every. single. time.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”

Psalm 56:3

Such simplicity in those nine words.  Placed on repeat, though, in the midst of my worst fears and darkest moments, they become just the boost of courage that I need. And a reassuring reminder that He is someone whom I safely can put my trust in. Time and time again. Oh, yes indeedy!

I’m linking arms with some of the most encouraging and inspiring writers every Friday over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog.  We follow a simple rule.  Write for five minutes and then stop.  We allow a one-word prompt to speak into our hearts and then we pour it out onto the page, so to speak. Intriguing, isn’t it?  If you’d like to join in, or just read along, click the button below.