How To Embrace Your Inner Lovely

2 Life Coaching Tips Help You Embrace Christ’s Love…

Your Inner Lovely

Thanks for being lovely

I have to admit these coaching tips are inspired by Moo. Not the cow. The online printing company. If God can use a talking donkey…he can use something called Moo! (See Numbers 22:21-35.)

This company included the card shown above in the box of business cards I ordered.

I think it is meant to be handed to someone along with a business card. But I’ll have to pass it on to you here instead. I liked the sentiment so much the card is now stuck to my bathroom mirror!

Now, whenever I pass by the mirror, my thoughts are immediately directed to the truth: ‘I am lovely.’

Words of Encouragement

God loves encouraging words…

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Phil. 4:8

This is what I get from the words of encouragement on this card.

a. You are lovely.

b. We appreciate your loveliness and thank you for being lovely.

c. Please share your lovely – pass it on!

Moo preached the gospel in just 7 words! Thanks for being lovely. Pass me on!

It’s a perfect reminder of the love of Jesus living inside of us. Jesus has made us lovely. This truth lives deeper than our reflection in the mirror. It is born of God’s grace, and gifted to you and me by the Holy Spirit.

How do we embrace our lovely? Here are two life coaching tips that may help.

Life Coaching Tips

#1: Take Time To Be Lavished In Love

Take a moment and think about the times you’ve used some really great soap or lotion and it feels thick and luxurious going on. This is what comes to mind when I linger on the word ‘lavish’…being drenched in richness.

In those times when you may feel inadequate or insignificant, take a stand against such lies and make time to intentionally reflect on the extravagant, lavish, drenching love of Christ.

Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children.

1John 3:1 (The Voice)

Schedule some luxury into your day. Stop and be lavished by God’s extravagant love.

#2: Ask As You Pray

Paul lifts a prayer on behalf of the Ephesians in the book of Ephesians 3:14-19. He asks God that they would:

  1. Gain inner strength
  2. Invite Christ to live in them
  3. Be firmly planted in love
  4. Reach out with Christ’s love
  5. Experience the length, depth, and heights of his love
  6. Live a full life in the fullness of God

What more could they – or we – possibly desire?

Why not make this beautiful prayer of Paul’s yours? It might go something like this.

My response is to get down on my knees before you Father, the magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask you to strengthen me by your Spirit – not brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in me as I open the door and invite him in.

And I ask you that with both feet planted firmly in love, I’ll be able to take in with all the followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.

Reach out and experience the breadth!

Test it’s length!

Plumb the depths!

Rise to the heights!

Live a full life, full in the fullness of God.

If you find yourself feeling unlovely, intentionally ask and pray this scripture. It may seem a little selfish at first, but this is not a love rooted in pride. It is a love centered on Christ.

Go ahead. Embrace your inner lovely.

Then do as Moo suggests…pass it on!

Purpose Steps

  1. Make the above personalized scripture your prayer each day this week. Journal about any changes you experience in your feelings or attitude about yourself or situation.
  2. Put a word of encouragement or this Moo card on your mirror. What a great reminder to start your day!
  3. Pass your lovely on!

Purpose Prayer

Speak out loud the personalized scripture prayer above. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

Listen to Your HeartSong! (Click the link below)

Isn’t She Lovely/Stevie Wonder

Live the song written on your heart

* The heart on the card is not original to the Moo card.
** This is not an endorsement of Moo printing nor do I receive any payment for bragging on them. It’s simply my way of applauding the encouragement they desire to pass along.

Confessions Of A Recovering Perfectionist

Confessions of Perfectionist Instead Seek Me

By: Gail Armatys

I confess. I am ~ a recovering perfectionist.

It’s not that I think I’m perfect. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But, I have been known to strive for it. Perfection, that is.

Prefectionist Found Out

Somehow, it wasn’t until earlier this year that I finally realized I have been a perfectionist much of my life. This revelation surprised me. I uncharacteristically mentioned this trait to friends recently and one of the women nodded saying something like, ‘I knew that.’

I was shocked!

First, I couldn’t believe it was so apparent. Second, her statement was like an arrow that had pierced the armor this perfectionist hid her imperfections behind.

If you know anything about perfectionists, we think we run a pretty tight ship and strive to be put together and cinched up. The fact that this characteristic was apparent hit me like a wild pitch in a baseball game.

I was totally unprepared, left slightly bruised…and ultimately appreciative.

Jesus Desires Perfection…Really?

When Jesus taught the ‘Beautitudes’ he said we were to ‘be perfect’ immediately after speaking specifically about loving our enemies.

Therefore, be perfect. Just as your Father in heaven is prefect.

Matthew 5:48

Most of us would probably agree, pulling off love for our enemies might take more perfect than we’ve got…it takes Jesus’ merciful perfection in us.

That being said, the Greek translation of ‘perfect’ here means completeness, growth. An appropriate definition offered might be this.

Be that which God has designed you to be.

Sweet words to a recovering perfectionist and career encourager ~ and to you who join me in your perfectionist armor!

Be who God designed you to be! Be perfectly you!

True Story

Just before I began writing this blog with ‘perfectionism’ as a possible topic, I thumbed through my journal.  The one I write scripture verses, prayers, and Holy Spirit inspiration in during my early morning time with God. This was what I found written on January, 2015:

“Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world,

pour your energy into seeking me.”

Clearly, God intended to peel back yet another perfectionist layer by leading me to I write this blog.

My prayer for you who wear your armored-up perfectionist wardrobe is that you would seek God in your moments, in your circumstances, and in your days so that you may be all God designed you to be.

Purpose Prayer

Merciful God, thank you for opening my eyes to your definition of perfection. Forgive me for armoring-up instead of seeking more of you to pour into me. Help me strive only to be that which you have designed me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Purpose Step

Write down one step you can take this week to reveal yourself ~ the true you to others. Be brave. Do it!

Listen to Your HeartSong!

Flawless/Mercy Me

Will You Choose To Surrender?

The Truly You Purpose Project

The Truly You Purpose Project God Knows and Loves You Anyway

Truth Tip #4

Surrender to Your Purpose

This is week 4, Truth Tip #4, of the Truly You Purpose Project. We’ve been learning how to live who we truly are by understanding our inherent and sacred worth, accepting God loves us anyway, and remembering God has a plan for each of our lives. This week we end our project with Surrender to Your Purpose.

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 1:5

Your Assignment…Should You Choose To Accept It

You have been appointed, ordained by God for a special work, called to a certain mission. And, you are in good company.

Jeremiah was appointed to be a prophet to the nations, Mary was pre-ordained to bear the Savior of the world, the woman at the well was intended to tell others what Jesus said and did for her, Philip was to teach the Ethiopian eunuch, Mother Theresa was assigned to serve the poor, sick, and dying. Jesus came to save the world.

Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random; we are not here, that we may go to bed at night, and get up in the morning, toil for our bread, eat and drink, laugh and joke, sin when we have a mind, and reform when we are tired of sinning, rear a family and die. God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, . . . for a purpose.

Cardinal John Henry Newman

Surrender to willing obedience

Like those whose names and stories fill the pages of your bible, you have been given an assignment. You may never be written about, sung about, or quoted but your willing surrender to your mission makes a difference in the lives of others where you are today and those who follow in years to come.  None of us have gone untouched by those who displayed willing obedience to God’s calling.

Exposed and Surrendered

In the New Testament Greek, the word purpose most often means intentional, to set forth, be exposed before God. In another word…surrendered. Yikes! Full exposure! Could this mean that we must willingly and intentionally expose ourselves, our sin, pride, and plans at the foot of the cross in order to live fully our purpose?

Jesus submitted himself to God’s will as a boy in the temple and as he walked out his ministry as an adult. It’s exactly what he did in the Garden of Gethsemane, too. He surrendered his human desire to take a pass on the degradation and pain of the cross in order to fully expose sin and accomplish the purpose for which God sent him…in exchange for the glory before him.

Surrender to Your Purpose

For us, there is another option…

When it comes down to it, we may not really want to know the purpose God has in mind for us. Or we may be afraid of what God’s purpose will require of us.

Dr. Katie Brazelton

My hope is that you choose to know God’s appointed purpose and joy for your life. Like Jesus, you must surrender your will…a moment by moment process for us.

And although God’s plan probably doesn’t require you to die physically ~ brutally ~ in order to know and fulfill your purpose, you surely must die to yourself. When you do, yes, you will be exposed. But you will also live as you were meant to…truly you.

Purpose Step

What will you surrender today to help expose yourself to God’s purpose for your life?

Purpose Prayer

Lord, thank you for appointing a unique purpose for my life. Help me to boldly and humbly desire and accept your will for my life surrendering myself completely to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Listen To Your HeartSong (Click the link below.)

Surrender/Lincoln Brewster

Set Apart To Fulfill God’s Plan

The Truly You Purpose Project

The Truly You Purpose Project God Knows and Loves You Anyway

Truth Tip #3

God Set You Apart  

 To Fulfill His Plan For Your Life.

It’s week three of The Truly You Purpose Project. So far, we’ve learned you are of sacred worth, and God’s love is unconditional…he loves you…no matter what. While you may have already known these things intellectually, I hope you have now enveloped them in your heart and invested them into your soul as they are foundational to moving forward and living truly you.

This week, we step into Truth Tip #3 of our life purpose project and realize God set you apart to accomplish his specific plan for your life.

Truth Tip #3 

God Set You Apart To Fulfill His Plan For Your Life.

…before you were born I set you apart;

Jeremiah 1:5

I’m married. For the second time. Divorce was not part of my plan.  Frankly, it wasn’t God’s plan for my life either. In hindsight, perhaps neither was my first marriage.

Back then…1981…I didn’t think much about God having a plan for me. I was much too focused on myself for that. I definitely had a vision for my life, my marriage, and future family. Unfortunately, I don’t recall that I included God in the picture except for maybe church-going on Sundays. I claimed Christ as my Savior, attended bible studies, prayed and read scripture, but my faith wasn’t deep enough to know I could trust God in and with everything…even my life partner…even my dreams. I didn’t know how to be brave and listen to God’s voice, to view circumstances as signposts on the path to my first marriage.  I didn’t know God set me apart and had a specific plan for my life.  A plan to accomplish his purposes and bring me joy along the way.

I know now…and it has made all the difference.

Your Role In God’s Plan Is Significant

…God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles…

Galatians 1:15

When we set something or someone apart, we do so to keep it or her separate for the right purpose, place, and time. We separate good china from the everyday dishes for use on special occasions. When we bake, we set apart the dry ingredients from the wet until the right time. We separate our music on play lists based on our moods and preferences.  We set apart people for different jobs at our offices to bring optimum results. Setting apart has purpose.

In this scripture from Galatians, the apostle Paul reconfirmed the calling God had on his life…this ‘setting apart’ that occurred from birth. Paul testified that God lovingly and specifically selected, separated, and meant for him to complete a plan. Not Paul’s plan, God’s plan.

Paul’s plan was to persecute Jews…and he was good at it! But God knew all along the winding roads Paul would choose to take and he used them to strengthen and empower Paul’s testimony of Christ’s love to the Gentiles…eternally life~changing to those of us who are not Jewish!

Paul’s role in God’s plan is significant. So is yours.

Your role is significant

If you are anything like Paul ~ or me ~ in setting out to follow your own plans, you need to know that you have been set apart from birth to make a way for the completion of God’s great plan and glory. His plan includes your roles, personality, relationships, giftedness, location, experiences, faith, and even the ashes resulting from wrong choices.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.

Romans 8:28

Through my first marriage, I was gifted an incredible son.  I gained a whole lot of wisdom, and my relationship with Christ grew deeply. God has used my past to create a desire in me to help other women draw close to him and know and accept his plan for their lives. In doing this, I live God’s plan for my life and bring glory to his name.

Step forward into God’s plan for your life.  Be truly you!

You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

Proverbs 9:21

Purpose Prayer

God, forgive me for making my days all about me and my plans. Please open my eyes, ears, and heart to know and accept your will for my life. Thank you for somehow using my mistakes and misdirection for my good and greater impact for your kingdom, greatness, and glory. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Purpose Step

Write down the plan you have for your life. After praying and reading scripture, do you sense God has something different in mind for you? Are the differences small tweaks or huge leaps? Perhaps you’re right on target! In any case, praise God for his plan and ask that he reveal specifically how he wants to use you for his glory.

Listen to Your HeartSong Here

Set Apart/Worship Central

-Written by: Gail Armatys

Accept God Knows You ~ And Loves You Anyway

The Truly You Purpose Project

The Truly You Purpose Project God Knows and Loves You Anyway

Truth Tip #2

Accept God Knows You ~ And Loves You Anyway

What if you lived believing no matter what mistake you make, where you’ve been or what you’ve done ~ you are loved? You might say you already know all about God’s love. Of course.  The question is, do you accept it deep down enough to live like you believe it?  To live as you are meant to live?  To be truly you?

God knows you inside and out. He knows me, too.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…

Jer. 1:5

God knows my anger. I’d never felt rage before, but this was it. I closed the door to a bedroom downstairs so no one ~ kids, neighbors, astronauts would hear me because I was ready to blow! I paced, ranted, and raved. I’d be stretching the truth to call this righteous anger. Prideful anger ~ more likely. God saw me. He knew why I was angry. Yet, he let me vent and continue to call me to his side…because he loves me anyway.

God knows my sin. I had a ‘habit’ I couldn’t shake…for years. More precisely, I wouldn’t let go of it. Finally, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t see me any more. Suddenly I realized…I was looking for consolation in my habit rather than God. He was not surprised by my epiphany. He knew all about me long ago. His love healed me…because he loves me anyway.

God knows my fear. I remember being so afraid of what might come I was paralyzed ~ unable to do the next thing or even know what it was. God saw my fear and confusion and used this time in my life to comfort and draw me near…not because I ran to him, but because in his love he reached out to me…because he loves me anyway.

God knows my pain. The hurt of my heart was excruciating and it doubled as I pled for another. There was nothing I could do. The situation was out of my hands. Where was God? Even in my doubt, God heard and answered my cry. He comforted and strengthened me…because he loves me anyway.

God knows all the not~so~pretty moments of mine. Yet, he loves me. This love has drawn me close and my acceptance of his no~holds~barred, love~me~anyway love has given me courage, peace, and the ability to be more forgiving of myself and others. Through it all, he has made a way for his purposes in my life to blossom so I may draw closer to him and who he made me to be. It’s the same for you.

Loved Each Day

God is faithful on The Truly You Purpose Project

Believing in God’s love is a continuous daily challenge, for sure. It requires intentional commitment to his loving Presence. We try to hide our mistakes, pain, and sin because we feel shame, hurt, distrust, and fear. Vulnerability and rejection loom large. But God is faithful as time and time again he calls us out from our darkest moments, thoughts, and experiences into the light. He knows that for us there is no greater source of humility, peace, freedom, strength, and purpose than to be fully known, and fully loved.

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”

Timothy Keller

Accept God’s all knowing, love~you~anyway love…and be truly you.

Purpose Prayer

Thank you, Father, for knowing me and loving me anyway. I praise you that as I believe and accept your love, your purposes for my life begin to blossom. I am desperate to be all that it means to be truly me! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Purpose Step

What fear can you lay in the lap of God’s love today?  Surrender it to him and find peace, encouragement, and courage to live out your purpose believing God knows you utterly and completely ~ and loves you anyway.

Listen to Your HeartSong!

You Love Me Anyway/Sidewalk Prophets

The Truly You Purpose Project

Truly You Purpose Project

By: Gail Armatys

There is a new book out entitled, The Better Man Project. The sub-title is Tips and Techniques That Will Flatten Your Belly, Sharpen Your Mind and Keep you Healthy and Happy for Life! I haven’t read it but I suppose there are many useful tips included…especially if you are a man…and if you actually applied it to your life.

More interesting to me than the tips is the implied message. It strongly suggests, ‘You might be okay, even good…but you aren’t quite good enough. You must be better!’ As if any of us; man, woman or child, needs a reminder.

Taking God’s Perspective

Rather than looking at our good enough~ness from the self-help, healthy, and mindful point of view, let’s look at it from God’s perspective. Then, let’s apply what we learn and live like we believe what God tells us ~ as much as ~ or hopefully more than, we believe other tips and tricks.

The title of our book now becomes, The Truly You Purpose Project. The sub-title reads, Truths That Reveal You are a Child of Sacred Worth, You are Loved, and God has a Plan and Purpose for Your Life! These truths come from one verse in the book of Jeremiah.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

Before you were born I set you apart,

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 1:5

In one, three-line verse we find four foundational truths. Let’s focus on one truth at a time over the next four weeks. They deserve that much attention, and so do you!

Truth Tip #1

Acknowledge Your Creator ~ Accept Your Sacred Worth

We’ve read the story of creation in Genesis. It is clear that God is Creator…of everything. Even you. He wanted you to exist. He gave you his very breath. Yet, when it comes to accepting that you are wanted and created by God, things suddenly become a bit muddled. You know in your head you are his creation, but do you think, speak, act and live like you believe it?

Before I formed you in the womb…

God claims ownership of Jeremiah as his creator when stating he ‘formed’ him. This tells us two things. Like Jeremiah,

  • we belong to God.
  • we are created to bring him pleasure.

Owners find value in their possessions. Artists, crafters, and creators find beauty and joy in their creations. If we, as humans, discover joy and value in our earthly possessions and creations, how much more must God find it in us?

Beauty Beyond Skin Deep

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Pr. 31:30

The Proverbs 31 woman…the one we admire and aspire to be…this noble and adored woman knows the secret to her worth.

News flash…it’s not her beauty.

Not much has changed over the lifespan of human existence. We realize beauty is fleeting yet when we think of self-worth the word ‘beauty’ is always the headline in our minds. We just can’t shake the thought that we don’t measure up.

Dove Corporation, the soap and beauty product Company, recently conducted a study called the ‘Real Truth About Beauty Revisited’ and found:

  • Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
  • Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as ‘beautiful’
  • 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
  • 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
  • More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic.

If we equate worth with beauty, and if the Dove research is true, we women believe we are of little value. I suspect if you ask yourself the questions above, you ~ like me ~ will find yourself in agreement with most or all of these responses.

I won’t lead you astray. I like to play with makeup, age-defying lotions, and fashion. It’s fun and can indeed boost my confidence…temporarily…on the surface, but not in my soul. Having experienced the place of ‘not god enough’ and having played the comparison games, I’ve learned I must lay my beauty god at Jesus’ feet and remember who wanted me and created me to be his possession. My worth ~ your worth is more than skin deep, it penetrates heart and soul.

Your Sacred Worth

But what about your sin?  The scars of sin cannot diminish the beauty of Christ within.  When you clothe ourself in the red robe of his love, you add sacred to your worth. You, Sister, are a child of sacred worth.

God’s truth is this: no matter your size, shape, age, or sin. No matter the lotion, lip-gloss, and mascara. No matter your laugh lines and angel kisses ~ you are his idea. His creation. By this fact alone, you are of great worth.  By the sacrifice of Jesus, your worth becomes sacred.

Acknowledge your creator. Accept your sacred worth.

Be truly you.

Purpose Prayer

Thank you, God, for coming up with the idea of me. Help me accept that I am wanted, beautiful, and worthy! Help me to be truly me. In Jesus’ name ~ Amen.

Purpose Step

You are of sacred worth. Apply this Truth Tip to your life like a luxurious cream each morning as you rise and each evening before your head hits the pillow.

Truth Tip #2 Next Week ~ Accept That God Knows You

Listen to Your Heartsong Here!

Beautiful/Bethany Dillon

Where Life Purpose Begins

Spirit of Love

Life Purpose Begins With Love

Reading the newspaper taught me to love. Not very romantic, I know.  I’ll explain.

I have friends who no longer read the paper, scan the Internet, or watch the news to learn of the daily atrocities and heartache of the world. It’s too much. They say they’ve been happier since they’ve stopped receiving all the negative information.

I totally get it. I’d be happier not knowing, too, I suppose. Still, as I learn the headlines I shake my head and more than once have been brought to tears. Today, rather than tears, this song popped into my head…

What the world needs now is love

Click the photo to listen to “What The World Needs Now Is Love”.

An oldie-goldie, and truer words were never sung. What the world needs now is love…your sweet love, to be exact.

Love ~ Essential To Life Purpose

Love. The word is often overused and its message seems worn. But if you want to know and live fully your God-inspired life purpose, love is the most essential and foundational piece to stepping forward. In fact, we are commanded to love.

I am giving a new commandment to you now – love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

John 13:34-35

The key to love is in verse thirty four of the scripture above: ‘love each other just as much as I love you.’ In order to love like Christ, your first step is to experience his love.

Seems easy enough. But experiencing Jesus’ love is more than a knowing in your head. It is an ongoing act of surrender. Sometimes we forget as our days overwhelm us that the greatest lover of them all loves us. God has infiltrated, poured out, covered, and smothered us with his love ~ heart, mind, and soul.

How then, will we respond?

Love Is Action

Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.

John 15: 13

Jesus acted on his love and laid down his life for his friends. Love is more than a word. Love is action. Love is a verb.

Matt Neely, a Youth Pastor in year’s gone by and now a Senior Pastor, wrote many songs. One was entitled, Yawns are Contagious. Funny…and accurate! It inspired the youth. It inspired me, too. No, not to yawn. What caught my attention was the repeated lyric: love is a verb.

God used Matt’s song as a catalyst to bring about change in my life. All those years ago, as I listened to Matt sing love is verb, my eyes were opened to the real meaning of love.

Learning To Love

If you’ve ever wondered if you make a difference or if your contributions matter, look for those who need your love.

Giving of yourself on behalf of the daily and eternal well being of another exemplifies love and draws you into your life purpose. Your heart may break for the hungry, homeless, sick, lonely, beaten, abandoned or enslaved. Go to them. For knowing and living your unique God-designed life purpose begins by intentionally seeking to love others and it is foundational to living a life of joy.

Follow Your Heart

As I continue to read and watch the news learning of the tragedy, the horror, the poor, lonely, and needy I see and hear God calling you and me to act.

I am moved to tears. My heart breaks. I pick up the phone. I serve. I love.

What breaks your heart?

Whatever it is…go, serve, love.

Purpose Steps

What breaks your heart? What brings you to tears? Find out how you can help and where God is calling you to love.

Purpose Prayer

Lord, I am sorry for all the times I was too proud, too afraid, and too stubborn to love where you needed me most. I pray to go and to love like you love me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.