Top 3 Beauty Tips

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Are any of you addicted to reading about beauty tips and secrets? Do you regularly scan through websites and blog posts, looking for ways to become skinnier and more beautiful?

If you do, don’t worry; I used to be just like you. I have always wanted to be skinnier. Every time I saw an article about weight loss or dieting, I pored through it, trying to figure out the new tips and suggestions. I tried most of the workout routines I found. It was a terrible feeling to discover that the newest fad, tip, or secret wasn’t working.

After doing this for years, I realized that most programs were more about making money than actually helping people meet their goals.

The rest of what I discovered I made into my top 3 beauty tips.

3. Our bodies are the temple of Christ.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)

Our bodies are temples of Christ. We need to respect this by respecting ourselves and our bodies. This means we need to take care of our bodies. We need to learn self-control so we can regulate our eating and exercise habits. We also need to respect ourselves so we don’t abuse our bodies in any way. Take care of the body God knit together for you. 

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13 NIV)


2. Inner beauty vs. outward beauty

Your inner beauty has more importance than you may realize. Scripture has this to say about inner beauty:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV)

I suggest that you live each day trying to make the inner you more beautiful! Start by making sure you show the fruits of the Spirit in all you do.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

Use these to guide your ways, and your inner beauty will shine the light of Jesus in the darkest of places!

 
This leads me to the most important beauty tip:

1. God looks at the heart.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

When God is looking down on us, He does not see us the way the people of the world see each other. He sees each one of His creations as beautiful!

 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14 NIV)


I pray that each of you realizes how special and beautiful you are. I pray that you discover and live the way God views you. I pray that you share your joy with others as you discover all the wonderful works of Jesus!

Thank you so much to all of you who have been reading my blogs!


Emotions — 3 Practical Steps to Change

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CHANGE is COMING!

Today, we are going to look at the Word, God’s word. It is sharp; it will penetrate your heart and change you!

The Bible gives us truths and tools to train our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) to agree with the Spirit of God.

Read one or all of these passages:
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
2 Corinthians 10:5
Matthew 6:33
1 Samuel 16:1
1 Samuel 30:6
1 Samuel 31:13 
Galatians 5:24-26
Colossians 3 
Isaiah 26:3
Isaiah 54:17
1 Peter 1:8
Proverbs 23:7
Deuteronomy 30:19
Romans 8:6
Romans 10:17
Zechariah 4:6

1. From these verses, make a list of practical things the Bible teaches that you can do to make your emotions submit to the Spirit.

2. Take time to write down any emotions and thoughts that spiral you down into places that are set against God’s truth. For example:

  • “I’m insecure”
  • “I’m unlovable”
  • “I’m alone”

3. Take these lies captive and make them obedient to God’s truth. Write down the truth next to your negative thoughts. For example:

  • “I’m secure!”
  • “I’m loved!”
  • “I’m in Christ, and Christ is in me!”

Work on your list all week. What lies did you identify? What truths did you replace them with? What questions do you have?

The Invisible Mom

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Wake up, wipe noses, wipe bottoms, feed kids, draw out Cheerios, dry eyes, discipline, teach, love, snuggle, hug, laugh, cry, wash and fold the laundry, cook, help with homework, run the bathwater, comb wet hair, snuggle in the PJs, fall over into bed.

I spend my day caring for everyone in my house—sometimes even for a neighbor, a friend, or a stranger. At the end of the day, I’m just invisible and exhausted. There is no time for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. I love caring for others. It makes me feel valued and wanted. Even on a bad day, I still feel special and important. It’s worth it to put myself on the back burner for a while. It’s okay to take care of everyone else but me. It’s just a season—a season when I am invisible. There isn’t much credit in my job, but there is the satisfaction of knowing that I am doing it.

But I slowly become too tired to get up early for my quiet time and too tired to get in that ten minutes of exercise I promised myself.

The kids were so hungry today that I scraped my own plate onto theirs so they would have plenty to eat. So I missed lunch. But that’s okay because when we were out running errands, I picked up a Snickers and a Coke. That was good. It kept me full enough that I wouldn’t hurt anyone. It’s worth it to me to skip a meal so my kids can have plenty to eat. I never loved anything more than I love them. I would give everything that I have for them.

Oh, these jeans—they are a little bit too snug. Maybe I’ll go up one size. The pounds have crept on over the years—just a pound here and a pound there. Before I knew it, I didn’t recognize myself in pictures. I would ask people, “Do I really look like that?” and they would always say, “No. Oh, no. That’s not what you look like. You’re much thinner, much smaller.”

Soon enough, I had traded my size 2 figure for a 10. How did that happen? Why did the waist of my jeans look so large? Surely, I was not any bigger than my teenager. Was the scale really telling the truth? That would be the heaviest I had ever been without being pregnant. I probably wasn’t that big. But then I asked the littlest voice in the house, and her voice rang in my ear: “When I used to hug you, Mommy, I could wrap my arms all the way around you, but now I can’t touch my fingers!”

Had I taken care of everyone else so well that I forgot about myself? What kind of example had I set for my children—take care of everyone else and never take care of yourself? For fifteen years, I never came up on the list of priorities. Sure, now and then I would go for a run or do an exercise video, P90X, or hit an exercise class. Yet the way I took care of myself, I never completely turned everything I put in my mouth over to God. I just continued to take care of others.

In my own pride and arrogance, I allowed myself to be invisible. I was the one who has no needs, no wants, and no desires. I was holier than thou. I was the perfect mother, set apart, who needed no care—who only needed to be pampered periodically with more rest.

At first I couldn’t figure out why my husband wasn’t pursuing me the way I wanted him to. It didn’t take long, however, to figure out that I wasn’t pursuable any longer. When you don’t take care of yourself, you don’t look your best on the outside, but you don’t feel good on the inside, either.

I found myself becoming more and more exhausted every day. I didn’t have the energy to do anything fun. I would take a nap on a date night. I lacked energy and strength to keep up with the man  God created my husband to be. I lacked the ability even to go race-car driving—fun stuff he wanted to do, that would engage him. Instead, I made him enjoy more womanly activities.

You can spend your life by laying it down to take care of others, but eventually, if you don’t take care of yourself, someone else will have to lay down his or her life to take care of yours. Refuse to be invisible. Live your life by example.

After I decided to come out from behind my works and into the light, my oldest child said to me, “Mom, you have always taught us how to live and how to eat. You have taught us that we should exercise and eat healthy and take care of ourselves. But you never actually lived it for yourself. It’s impossible for us to live what you don’t show us by example.”

Come out from behind all of those things you do to puff yourself up and make yourself feel good about yourself—including serving others constantly and sacrificing yourself. Your body is valuable, and it houses the temple of God within you, so you need to take care of it. You need to treasure what you have, the life that you have been given, and value it enough to take care of it.

When will you choose to stop being invisible?

Love

I was twenty-four years old before I heard of agape. It was a time of trial in my life. I was driving in the car with a coworker when he started explaining to me the differences among three types of love: erosphilia, and agape.

 

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I had been in church, on and off, for most of my nearly twenty-five years, yet I had never heard of agape. My coworker described agape as unconditional love. It is always there for you no matter how righteous or wicked you are. You cannot do anything to lessen it or increase it; it is the same, steady love day in and day out. This type of love does not keep track of your sins. It does not stifle you or imprison you. It is the kind of love that fills you and frees you. It is the kind of love that changes you.

 

I had spent the last fourteen years deprived of love. I had sought love in every corner. I had pursued passionate love, romantic love, and friendship. I had searched high and low for a love that would make me feel valuable. I yearned for love. I simply wanted to be worthy of someone’s love.

 

You can only be rejected so many times before you start to believe you deserve it. At that time of my life, I felt alone and unlovable. Then my coworker guided me to the truth of unconditional love. I did not fully comprehend the significance of this concept at the time, but I have since come to understand that I am loved. When I felt rejected and worthless, those feelings were not my true identity. In truth, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God Himself “created my inmost being”; He “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV). God set me apart before I was born as one who was and is and always will be loved—by Him.

 

The church needs to wake up and stop constantly fixating on everyone’s flaws. We cannot afford to forget who God is and what He did out of His abundant love for every single one of us. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV). We did not and cannot deserve His sacrifice and love for us, yet they are ours to receive. How dare the church allow another child to endure a life of desperately searching for love because no one shared with her the blessing of God’s free gift!

 

Jesus Christ issued His disciples this command: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35 NIV). Will you rise to the challenge and share agape with someone every day this year? In one year, 365 days, I challenge you to convey this message of unconditional love to the people God brings into your life. Tell someone, “You are loved. It is part of your identity. It is etched into your being, and it can never be removed. It is in your very fingerprints—every indelible line testifies that you are loved.”

The Key to Overcoming Offense

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I used to be easily offended. Everything hurt me. Over the years, I have slowly allowed God to heal those painful places where I could be easily gotten. However, I still get hurt. I can still be offended, especially by the people I love the most, the ones closest to me. It is a full-on fight to throw down the offense and stand up in truth and love! How about you?


Knowing who we are in Christ makes all the difference in the world because once you know who you are, you suddenly begin to see others as who they are in Christ. It makes it easier to forgive and get over your stupid offense! 

What belongs to us when we are made a new creation through Christ? Do you know?
 
Stop. Do you really know? Maybe you know in your mind, but do you know in your heart, deep down in your soul?
 
Are you bothered when others challenge you or call you out on your behavior? Are you defensive? Are you easily hurt or offended?
 
We spend most of our lives being told by our parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and friends what they think of us. They might say good things, like “You are so smart” or ” You are so much fun to be around,” or they might say bad things, like “You are stupid” or “I wish you were never born.”
 
These comments shape us. Somewhere along the journey, because of a certain behavior or trait or something you did once, you might have been given a nickname. I was Motor Mouth (my softball team put it on my shirt!). I was also short stuff and hollow leg (because I could eat anything and not gain a pound—wish that were still true!). My stepdad called me stupid.
 
Faith comes from hearing, and I heard all of these bad and silly things about myself for so long that they truly began to shape my identity.
 
When I became a Christ follower, I still lived out of my old identity. Quite frankly, I had a really hard time believing that I could be completely new in Christ. I still felt stupid and insignificant and insecure. I had a serious case of identity confusion!
 
Discovering our identity in Christ is a journey of tearing down the false ID and rebuilding our true identity. It takes a lot of time and trust in the Lord. As you grow near to Him and steep yourself in the things He says about you, you will be transformed into your true identity and be more confident than you have ever known! 

Do you want this? 

Are you hungry for the truth? 

Because if you are not, this journey will not be very fruitful. You have to want it! You have to want it like you want air to breathe! It can be so hard to accept the wonderful person that you are in Christ, and if you don’t want it, you will be likely to waste your time. It is a lifelong journey. 

So decide now: Will you spend your life seeking to know your true identity, your true self, in Christ Himself?
 
Who’s in? Raise your hand!

Dreaded Teenage Rebellion

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Teens. Teens. Teens.
With all girls, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I feel sorry for you. Just you wait until the dreaded teenage years.”

I always respond under my breath, “I rebuke that in Jesus’ name.”

I seriously never believed I would go through some of this teenage junk. 
I know. I know what you are thinking. 
 
Are you stupid? 
Hello, naive mother, every teen talks back and rebels. 
Thanks for that. 🙂
No, I am not stupid. I just refuse to believe that every teen has to go through it. I believe there is a better way, and I am trying to learn it.
 
Key word: TRYING! 
This is how it went in one instance (and most every other day in the sweet year of 2014).
Me: 

“Did you go through the blah blah blah [you know that’s what she heard] like I asked you to?”

She: 

“No.”

She continues doing the same thing. 
No movement toward the thing she was asked to do. 
Music volume increases.



My head voice:

Really?

Big eyes.
Foot tapping.

Hello! Wake up! See the body language?

Me:

“Ahem.”

 Crickets.

 
Mom’s plotting thoughts:

Hmmm … what’s the consequence for this delayed obedience?
No more iPod for the next 10 years! 
I guess that’s not a natural consequence. Get real. 
You can do this, mom!
Well, that’s it. I’m going to have to swat her.

Okay, deep breath …

Wait, I know! I will pray.
I have not because I ask not, right?

Father, whhyyyy [whiny voice]? What is wrong with her? 
How do I get back to her heart?

Sigh. This isn’t helping. The music is too loud to pray. 
Why is she ignoring me and my request?
 


Don’t forget to breathe out, Sheri. 
 
Okay … 

 just walk away. 
 


Oh nelly, the music stopped. 


 
What does this mean?


 
Oh, wait … wait! 

Hallelujah! She’s back. 

Whew. 
 
She:
“Oh hey, 

Mom, I was just taking a short break because I completed three math lessons. That was exhausting.”
 

 

 

Humiliated Mom:
Really?
“Oh, great! Good job. I knew you were a wise time manager.”
What is wrong with me? Shut it.
Help! I am an idiot.
Have you ever been an idiot like me?
Maybe the dreaded teen years aren’t all the teenager’s fault. Maybe it’s partially our fault (along with uncontrollable hormones, appetites, and growing pains) 
for not transitioning our role from commander to coach.
Parents need to transition gradually from controlling our children (“You’d better or else!”) and requiring immediate obedience to waiting on the teen’s will to catch up to our request. We have to let go a little at a time, or we will find ourselves quickly losing ground and all of the influence we have with them. That’s when it’s just too late. 
I am in the influence stage.
All I have now is influence.

Every day that I choose to voice my frustrated words or body language is a day that reduces my influence.
  





Oh Father, teach me to remain silent. 
Help me to understand that I am not her army commander any longer. I have the privilege of coaching, mentoring, and influencing. Help me to embrace this incredible new season.
In love,
Sheri
P.S. I wrote this in the middle of this battle yesterday.
P.P.S. I am still growing and learning. You too?

One Thing a Wife Must Know

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To Wives from a Husband

Sometimes I love to paint or build my own elaborate form of art with metal wire. Inspiration happens in a moment, and my mind races through the layers and twists and turns of my hands before I ever touch a brush. I imagine shapes and moves, and more than anything else, I see meaning. Without a deep meaning or purpose larger than life for my creation, I might as well be painting a fence. With a storm of emotion inside, in a matter of minutes I can produce with my hands what my mind prophesied months, days, or minutes before.

Wives, you are your husband’s prophesy—his future.
God puts it this way: “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:11–12 ESV).
His heart is the source of his demise or gain. God has given you, actually entrusted you, with a funnel into your husband’s heart. The kind of fruit you expect from him can only be harvested from the seeds you sow into the rich soil of his soul. With your encouragement, his hands will live with deep meaning and purpose as if his life and yours depend on it.
 
Wives …

It’s Sheri. When I read this, I sometimes want to 
condemn myself.
I could do such a better job of building up my husband. Could you? 
 
Let’s look at application and strengthen our husbands with our actions.

Examine the fruit your husband has produced. 

Answer these questions:

•    What fruit has he produced that you have enjoyed with deep satisfaction?
•    What great fruit has he produced that you have not enjoyed with him?
•    What rotten fruit has he produced that you would rather not see in your home again?
•    Lastly, who first planted the seeds in his heart from which the harvest came?
 
Would you begin today to pray, ask for forgiveness, encourage, 
believe in, and trust God with your Hubby?
 

Desire Me, Please


I was only four years old. 

I cried myself to sleep so many times. Other times my mom would bust into my room and say, “You should be thankful he’s not here. He’s not a good man, and he certainly wouldn’t be a good dad.

My four-year-old mind couldn’t conceive what she was saying. Of course he would be a good daddy—because he was mine! Isn’t every girl supposed to have a daddy? My young mind was tormented with thoughts. I was in agony. I can still remember how deeply it hurt. I sat in my room alone in the late-night hours, crying out for my daddy.   



And so the father wound entered into my life. It was that wound that leaves girls needy and searching for love in all the wrong places. I became nuts searching for my missing piece: love. 

I actively sought love. I pursued passionate love, romantic love, and friendship. I searched high and low for a love that would make me feel valuable. I yearned for love. I simply wanted to be worthy of someones love.


You can only be rejected so many times before you start to believe you deserve it. At that time of my life, I felt alone and unlovable.

The world defines love as: profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend; a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

I tried out this love many times, but it is not true love. This love is empty. It fails. Its not patient or kind because human beings are the ones dishing out this kind of love.


It wasn’t until I was twenty-four years old that I heard of agape. It was in the darkest and most lost time of my life, a time of utter brokenness. I was driving with a coworker when, in his efforts to console and counsel me, he explained to me the differences among three types of love: eros, philia, and agape.

I had been in and out of church for most of my nearly twenty-four years, yet I had never heard of agape. My coworker described agape as unconditional love. Unconditional means not subject to any conditions.
·      It is always there for you, no matter how bad or good you are.
·      You cannot mess it up!
·      You cannot do anything to lessen it or increase it; it is the same, steady love day in and day out.
·      This type of love does not keep track of all the things you do wrong.
·      It does not stifle you or imprison you.
·      It is the kind of love that fills you and frees you.
·      It changes you because its so radical!

How is this possible? How in the world did I grow up in church and never know this? What?!

I had spun out of control the previous fourteen years, deprived of love, when love was available all along. God is love:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8 NIV)


Love is not a feeling; it’s a person! It’s Jesus Christ!


Read through 1 Corinthians 13 and make a list of “Love Is….” You will see that God defines His kind of love (agape) in this chapter.

My coworker guided me to this truth, and I found unconditional love. I did not fully comprehend the significance of this concept at the time, but I have since come to understand that I am completely loved. I felt rejected and worthless, but those feelings were not my true identity.

The truth is that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God Himself “created my inmost being,” and He “knit me together in my mothers womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV). He set me apart before I was born as one who was and is and always will be loved—by Him.

We are the Church, and we need to wake up and stop constantly fixating on everyones flaws. We cannot afford to forget who God is and what He did out of His abundant love for every single one of us:

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)


We did not and cannot deserve His sacrifice and love for us, yet they are ours to receive. How dare the church allow another child to endure a life of desperately searching for love because no one shared with him or her the blessing of Gods free gift!

Jesus Christ gave His disciples this command: 

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34–35 NIV)


This is your commission, your calling, and your equipping! You are already ready!

The only logical reason we would not be sharing this almost-too-good-to-be-true love is because we have yet to fully comprehend it for ourselves. To know love compels you to share love!

Will you rise to the challenge and share agape with someone every day this year? In one year, 365 days, I challenge you to convey this message of unconditional love to the people God brings into your life.

Tell someone, “You are loved. It is part of your identity. It is etched into your being, and it can never be removed. It is in your very fingerprints—every indelible line testifies that you are loved.”

Will you accept this challenge?

Love,

Sheri Yates

Love


Love bears all things, endures all things, carries all things.
When all is gone, these remain: love, joy, peace. 
If I have a silver tongue, convince a crowd, but don’t love, I am nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I can prophesy and reveal all mysteries but don’t love, I am nothing.
So no matter what I say, no matter what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
So we love others as we are loved.
We cherish others as we are cherished. 
Even if I go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but don’t love, I’m no one.
He loved us first, so we love others as He does us. 
The greatest act of love ever done was this: while we were sinners, Christ died for us. For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son. Whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
And so even God loves.
He loves us with a powerful love that will seize us, carry us, cover us.
His love is deeper than anything we will ever know.
It is so deep, I could drown in it.
It is a life-giving water come to all who are thirsty.


As a deer pants for water, I long for You.
In a dry and weary land, anyone who drinks the world’s water shall grow thirsty again, but Jesus offers life-giving water. If you drink it, it will form a well in you.
I have tasted and seen: You are good.



• Authored by Josh Pugh •

2 Steps to Restoring Broken Relationships

Let’s talk. 


The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
(Luke 6:45 NIV)
Yes, I know, we’ve talked about words before. 

Don’t roll your eyes or turn this off. Let’s talk. 

Our words are powerful. Do you agree with that? 

We can use words to build others up or tear them down. For a long time, I didn’t know how to control my tongue. I barked every feeling of disappointment or anger that I had. You know what I ended up with? Nothing but broken relationships. 

I spoke those awful things because I desperately longed to be justified. My sense of self-worth simply couldn’t handle another rejection or another time when I was wrong or a bad person. I was broken from my past experiences and my past mistakes. You see, I knew that I was a bad person because I didn’t have wonderful or kind thoughts in my head. 
My little heart was always offended, wounded, hurt, disappointed. It was a weepy heart always looking for people to treat me “right.” When they didn’t (according to my definition), I would take my ball and go home—but not before I blurted out toxic words.

If I didn’t say what I was thinking straight to their faces, I would say it in my heart. I am sure my actions represented my true heart even if my words didn’t. 

I was the girl with relationships always on a thread. I was a needy, desperate girl. I fought, bickered, complained, and gossiped because it made me feel better about myself. 

Ugh.
At that time, I didn’t know this: 
“Show me a struggling relationship and I will show you toxic words. Every single time, you will see toxic words. Speak words of Life and watch God bless that relationship.” ~ Craig Groeschel, Soul Detox
I actually thought I had RIGHTS. I thought my actions and arguments were justified because of other people’s behavior. 

That’s a LIE. Trash!  

I was the problem all along. 

Ugh! How many dreadful years did I spend wrestling with this lie?
Too many!

If you are like me, there is HOPE! 
Look at your relationships. Are they constantly falling apart? 
Look at your words. Are the words you speak full of life or death? 
Are you constantly complaining or constantly grateful? 
First 
You have to fill your heart with the love of Jesus. Oh, how He loves you! He wants you to come to Him—just as you are. You don’t have to change anything about yourself first. Simply come and receive His life. He lived the life you should have lived and died the death you deserved to die.
Know Jesus today.
Second  
Now that you have the love of Jesus in you, you need to know your new identity in Him. Sure, you may understand it partly, but you never fully arrive. It is a daily renewal of your mind. Every time you are outside of your comfort zone, you must go back to your identity so you remember that you are safe in Christ. When you are persecuted, you must return to knowing God and His love for you so you can hold fast and stand firm in the battles (Ephesians 6:10–18).
Don’t know your new identity? Check it out HERE.
Your relationships will prosper. 
How have your relationships been strained because of your words? How will you restore those relationships?