Mar 3, 2008

A Good Place

Hey, gals. Well, what do you think of the new design? Do you not totally love this picture? And the name it was given by its capturer is perfect: Good Place. Can't you just imagine yourself coppin' a squat right there on that bench to simply take it all in? And don't you just feel the stillness and peace in your soul as you do so? Ah, yes, it is a good place to be. As I spent some time sifting through endless pictures, I chose this one because I think it captures in picture form the place we want to be. The place of tranquility, rest, and beauty.

If you'll take a closer look, you'll notice the view appears through a break in an ancient wall. This wall is a ruin from long ago in Israel. It used to be strong and high, and now it lies broken and conquered. And from behind the rubble: wide open spaces. But, ages ago, you could only catch glimpses of this view for the wall. Don't we feel like that much of the time? We long for intimacy with a family member but feel an unexplainable "wall" between us. We meet someone, strike up a conversation only to find they have their "walls up". We so desire a closer relationship with Christ, but there seems to be some sort of barrier there. We see glimpses of the fulfilling relationships that could be, but we can't seem to attain the fullness of them. What is going on?

This is the heart of this blog site, my heart for you and me. Addressing the walls, the barricades, that keep us from the full life with Christ and His people and then breaking through them. The one I'm most passionate about we've discussed before: being real. So much of our freedom comes in learning how to do this. Our society is feeding us the lie that we must be something that we are not. That we must fit into some pre-set, assembly line-type mold created by the pretty people. Who are these people anyway? The individuals who get to decide what is acceptable, beautiful, and good? I'd like to give them a swift kick to the...whoa. Calm down, Misti. Anyway, this incessant drive we have to try to fit into this cookie cutter image of a good wife, mom, employee, child, etc. is slowly (or quickly if you're me) driving us mad! It also leads to anxiety, depression, and self-condemnation. God created us to be exactly who we are. Listen as David speaks of God's heart:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139: 13-14

Have you ever knitted? It's not easy, nor is it quick. It's a lengthy process that takes commitment, concentration, and tenderness. One Christmas we were too poor to buy presents for our extended family, so I decided that I would learn to knit and create scarves for them all. Yes, even my brother-in-law received one (but he lived in the Windy City so I reasoned that a scarf would be a perfect gift). I expended extensive energies picking out just the right color and kind of yarn for each neckwarmer. By the way, have you been down the yarn aisle at your local Hobby Lobby lately? It's insane how many different textures, widths, and colors they have come up with. The feathery ones are my fave. Anyway, they all turned out beautifully if I do say so myself, but none of them were the same. My mom's was purple and sophisticated because purple is her favorite color and she would be wearing it to work. However, my grandmother's was pink and fluffy. She LOVES pink and comfort is paramount for her 90-year-old neck. Then there was my brother-in-law's. . .green, yet masculine (no feathers for him). The list could go on because I made quite a few, but the point is that each was hand-tailored to suit its owner. It was well thought out and special. This is the effort exerted by your Daddy when He created you! He thought about every detail of your being, whether physical, mental, or emotional. He then set out to knit you together and upon completion decided that you were very good. (Gen. 1:31) There is a reason you are the way you are. If you're anything like me, you have difficulty accepting certain qualities you posess. It's hard to realize that you are different and that sometimes people don't take too kindly to it. However, we are not here to be approved by the people. We are here to please God.

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Gal. 1:10

You see, as long as we are trying to conform to and appease the individuals around us, we are stuck in a pursuit going nowhere, much like a hamster in an exercise wheel. People are fickle. One day you're in; the next you're out. Your only constant is the Lord your God. We'll find that in accepting and walking in who we are and pursuing only His pleasure, we will become the most effective servant for Him. And we will find ourselves sitting on that bench, looking out past the rubble of our former wall of self-condemnation into our wide open spaces of tranquility. A good place.

Daddy, thank you for your intention, your care, and your tenderness in creating us. Thank you that we are all unique and special to you. Help us to embrace who you've made us to be and to learn to love ourselves completely. Knock down our walls so that we may be free to look upon the fullness of your beauty. We love you desperately, amen.


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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have quite a few comments...
1. I LOVE the new blog background! it IS tranquil, it IS a picture definition of your blog, it IS professional, and it IS where I want to be...with walls broken down, wind in my hair, and waves crashing before me. (so, I added the wind in my hair part!)
2. And I'm such a fan of this particular blog posting! It seems like I - and quite a few people around me - am consistantly overlooking the fact that I am God's creation...I am a flippin' masterpiece! :)
3. I LOVE your button next to your signature!
love you - A

Anonymous said...

Oh Misti your words open my eyes to so many of my own problems. I just might not be as bad as I think.

Thank you my dear niece.

Love ya

P.S. I truly love the new blog, very tranquil, I thought maybe this was at your house.

Jennifer Partin said...

Hi! I went to school with Paige H.

I love the photo----it reminds me of the book of Nehemiah. God could have easily rebuilt the wall Himself but He wanted us to have an active process in rebuilding it too.

Thank You God that you did not leave us with the rubble left in our lives but that you desire to restore it!

Enjoyed the visit. Grace to you!

Paige Head said...

You know I love the new look, but what I love more is the fact that you wrote a totally amazing blog around it. You are so awesome. Thanks for reminding me how special I am in God's eyes, no matter what the world says.

Hadassah said...

Hi Misti! I love the picture too! You have a beautiful blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Misti,
Thank you for your reply to me on Rachel Olsen's blog regarding the stillbirth. It is encouraging to know I am not the only one to experience this, and that it is possible to heal and move on. It is just so hard to ask God why and not get an answer. I have 3 children - 2 in Heaven and one here on earth. I would like to talk with you more, if you don't mind. Thanks again,
Lacey

Misti said...

Lacey...I would LOVE to talk to you, but I don't know how to get in touch with you. My e-mail address is wallsdown@yahoo.com. Please e-mail me and we'll hook up. I also have 2 in Heaven...let's talk.

Cheryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl said...

I LOVE your heart, Misty! A coworker sent me this latest posting and I was so encouraged to hear such truth from one so young.

Keep writing and sharing those tender nuggets the Lord has imparted to you. People need to hear simple truth lived out loud.

Blessing you!