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Life is Peachy by Hanna, “Hanna’s Happenings”

Have you ever looked at a piece of fruit and thought, “wow, this is beautiful.”?

I’m guessing probably not. I know I haven’t.

But then, it happened.

I was sitting at my kitchen table enjoying a peach that I had picked up earlier in the week from the grocery store. With it being winter, I knew this peach would have some imperfections but I chose to look past them and satisfy my craving. While eating the peach I looked at it closely and made the crazy comparison that perhaps this finite, sunset colored peach was like life. In all of its imperfections it was still sweet to the taste.

Life is like a piece of fruit. When I looked at it closely it was bruised, but when I chose to see it from a different perspective that small peach suddenly became perfect. It was as if in that moment my entire being was within that peach. I felt that God was looking at me, telling me that my walk with Him is perfect, despite the flaws I see in myself, and the burdens I carry. God never said that life would be easy. He knew there would be bumps along the way, but to God we are perfect.

In the summertime it’s easy to take that ripe peach for granted. Summertime fruit is always the ripest and most satisfying. The sweet taste of it on our lips can become ordinary and we can skip over the meaning it holds. However, whenever winter rolls around that peach starts to look a little more bruised. For some reason we always seem to notice the peach and its imperfections when life isn’t going the way we want it to. This life gives us so many reasons to only notice the bruises.

When life knocks us down we have two choices: either dwell on the imperfections of this sinful world, or to enjoy the little things that go unnoticed by most. If you really think about it, anything that exists in itself is extravagant! This is because everything was made by God! God is the definition of extravagance. “This is the day the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalms 118:24 NLT).

I have been working on finding joy in things I wouldn’t normally notice. When you have this mindset life can be pretty peachy! Each day there are so many beautiful things and as Christians we have the opportunity to see life the way God intended. No matter what happens to us, the sun will always rise the next day, and fruit will always grow on the trees He planted within the rich soil. How amazing is that? How precious are the infinite details that God has woven into each and every day!

This week I have really noticed how truly blessed I am by the little things. Sometimes a peach can really make Hanna's Happeningsyou listen. Taking the time to notice beautiful imperfections in moments of trial and misunderstanding show me how my life truly is; a little bruised and a little unripe, but perfect in the eyes of my God.

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Beautiful: My Story

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Thank you to “Photos by Heather”

By Taler Ray

Photo Credit: “Photos by Heather”

We all long to feel beautiful and somehow those 9 letters are the epitome of worth to most women around the world. Have you ever thought about how important in essence the word beautiful is? This word either empowers or destroys. How do I know this? Because I’ve been there, we probably all have and if we are honest we base our level beauty and worth by what culture says. Today we have social media, magazines, commercials etc. to thank for “idols” that clearly and visually, state clearly how little our hearts and passions matter.  Because to the world we are how we look the definition of who we are depends on it.  But friends….”beautiful” really isn’t an adjective that supports the noun. Being beautiful is a verb.

Beauty by social standard has destroyed and woman’s heart and I am a victim. 

Unknown-5Yes, I finally said it. I have been a victim of society and the media when it comes to feeling beautiful, but not until recently did I realize how deep these influences have affected my heart. For so many years I have tried to pretend I knew what it felt like to love myself, to feel completely confident and pretty-but I was so very wrong. My standards of beauty have been skewed by the world and the devil. He is always seeking to destroy. I have struggled with my weight and outer body image my whole life, but didn’t address it. Instead I allowed the devil to capitalize on my insecurities but worse was the denial that covered them.

I neglected the aching in my heart to feel beautiful and shoved my insecurity to the depths of my soul, hoping no one would ever find it

But, Jesus did. He found & revealed them. Jesus dug out my deepest insecurities and put them on display. Ultimately, he showed me that I failed to realize that my struggle with being beautiful was keeping me from being the truest version he created. I had been lying to myself for years, but lie I will no more.

Being pre-diabetic since high school, I have never really been healthy. Loosing weight was hard, no matter how healthy I ate. Returning from my first year of college heavier and more in denial than ever I was headed for type 2 diabetes which is hereditary. I knew that I had to make a change, but I just felt trapped in these chains of self-pity, guilt and frustration. I started baby steps and took the advice of my dear friend Claire and started approaching exercise totally different. As an act of worship. It was during one of my runs in early May that I finally surrendered my burden of self-image to Jesus. I surrendered the lies that Satan and culture. My chains were broken and set free through Jesus.

Being broken is not fun, and I am slowly beginning to be made “WHOLE” in the Lord. For so many years I had failed to understand that my body is a temple and when I neglect it, I neglect my relationship with Jesus. Following him means I must also honor my body; for it I do not I am dishonoring the Holy Spirit whom dwells within me. I’m learning that only when I surrender my flesh can I begin to be shaped into something new.  The new that is revealed through God’s glory and grace.

I love the message version of 1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20 which says

“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.”

As I close I can admit that for so long I let my insecurities and society define me as unworthy of being a beautiful creation. But through the convictions, trials and triumph I can hear the Creator whisper to me, saying:

Beloved, you are my masterpiece.”Unknown-3

Choose to live life as a beautiful verb because we are not called to let others define our worth. We are called to live as he has defined us: beloved. 

In Christ Jesus,

Taler Ray

To read more of Taler’s awesome posts you can go to a New Adventure Each Day.  God has his hand on this young lady and I look forward to having her back again to share her wisdom.

Thank you to “Photos by Heather”  or on Facebook

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This I believe

Beautiful words written by my daughter, Hanna. 

I believe that this world is full of beauty and opportunities. Beauty that is made for everyone who dares to reach out and grab a hold of it and opportunities that give people second chances at a new life and new hope. There will be times of pure joy and times of pure sadness that seem to never end but somehow time continues to pass and you learn that it doesn’t stop for anyone. And even though this world can be an unforgiving place it still amazes me each and every morning when the sun rises across the horizon and brings a new day. I believe that when night falls looking up at the stars shows us how small we are and how big our God is.

I believe that Gods creation of intense beauty outweighs the hurt in this world and if we cling to his promises he will make us beautiful and we will forever be changed.

IMG_9794I believe that times will be tough and giving up may be the easiest thing to do, but I promise that there are so many things to live for. There is hurt, heartache, poverty, brokenness, abuse and darkness but it is when we are at ourlowest points that we find our true strength and cling to the hope that we are never alone and this chaotic place has no grasp. There are so many opportunities to choose joy over sadness and to choose to push forward even when your feet are stuck in the mud. I believe that the mud comes with rain, and rain can wash away all your fears if you let it. Because no matter how much it rains you can always choose to dance in the puddles with polka dotted rain boots.

I believe that when flowers bloom it is not by accident, but rather to prove that God works in mysterious and intricate DSC_0014ways. Every day holds meaning and celebration that was made to enjoy and every time you take a breath of air know that you are blessed to be alive.

I believe that every child holds within them innocence in the most purest form that should never be taken away and when that child grows up it turns into a flame that is given to another person who completes what they have always dreamed of. I believe that when God created our inmost being and breathed life into our lungs he had a plan and a destiny so amazing that none can fathom.  And when he counted the hairs on your head and gave color to your cheeks he knew that nothing else could ever compare to your beauty.

I believe that every person of every skin color and every language should know what it’s like to belong and to understand what it is to be loved. I believe that the truest love a person can experience is the love of Christ who fought for you without a second of hesitation.

So whenever you feel alone, abandoned, hopeless and lost you can know that the scars on his hands are not there for looks. The scars are there because no matter our circumstance we can remember that someone took the pain and the punishment for mankind because we are valued more precious than the finest gold and purest jewels. That is what I believe.

By Hanna Mae  (My Daughter)

 

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