True love matures and gets better with time. February is a busy month for me, my birthday is in February, my wedding anniversary, oh and let’s not forget Valentines. When I first married my husband, 29 years ago today, I was really pushy about making sure I received three separate gifts. As the years went by I guess I grew up and we now just give each other meaningful cards.
Special gifts come at random times of the year, and this works for us. I love it when my hubby hints on the latest gadget he wants, he becomes like a little boy asking for permission. I am sure he feels the same when he sees me eyeing yet another purse to add to my growing collection. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying gifts are bad or anything, but for us this just makes more sense. I think it’s the predictability of an expected gift that kind of ruins it for me. I am one of those people that just loves surprises and some of the best gifts I have received were super practical and just what I needed at the time.
As women, so many of us base our self-worth on what we have or don’t have. On how others view us. We define ourselves by our looks. What’s worse we allow our past mistakes or accomplishments dictate who we are. We set ridiculous unrealistic standards for ourselves and when we miss the mark we self-loath. The problem with living this way is that if we are trying to make sure others love us, we basically give them permission to scrutinize us based on what we do or have. We hand over people the power to determine our self-worth. This is not a good place to be in.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. If only we could see ourselves as God sees us! You see, I believe that it is only when we find our identity in Christ that we are able to truly love ourselves. What’s more how can we follow the commandment to love our neighbors as yourselves, when we spend so much time beating ourselves up?
Great freedom comes when you love yourself simply because you know you are radically loved by an almighty God. Don’t misunderstand me I love my husband. Randy has been my one and only love and something I am proud to say, but as much as Randy loves me and tells me so, I don’t measure my worth by his words or the trinkets he gives me. Not that I don’t appreciate them but they could just never be enough. The same goes for my children. I simply adore them and I have loved being a mom to these two precious gifts, but if I put my value on how well I have done this job, well here again I would feel empty. Because let’s face it some days I come terribly short in the mom department too.
This February holds a lot of meaning for me, on the 17th of this month I turn fifty, a major milestone for me. You know what the beauty of that is? Today, I am more confident, feel more loved and even beautiful. Wow, I said it, me beautiful? But why can I say this? Because today when I look in the mirror I don’t see all the gray that needs touching up, or the smile lines developing around my eyes. I don’t try to compare myself with anyone else. Instead I aim to be the best version of myself.
But how did I arrive to this place of self-acceptance? Especially, when there were periods in my life that I was so hard on myself. Well, the key is that now when I see myself in the mirror I see a woman who is loved by her heavenly father and that very assurance, allows me to love others more deeply. I am passionate about life, grateful for every single day and I am mindful not to waste any of my time here focusing on what’s not perfect in my world. It is the best feeling and no amount of money or gifts can give me what I already have.
The best part is that this assurance is available to everyone. Can I encourage you to stop judging all your shortcomings and embrace the love that Christ offers? This February when everyone is comparing cards and trinkets. Don’t waste your time comparing what others may or may not have. Instead find the greatest gift, the confidence of being fully loved by the very God who made you.
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