whole

I hope one day you wake up and realize that you are whole on your own.

That you don’t need a thousand words from other people to affirm your worth.

I hope you see the light in your own eyes and the beauty you are capable of bringing to the world.

Some days I see it, and other’s it’s hard.Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with a9 preset

But I see it most days now, whereas before such days came so few and far in between.

I always thought it would be impossible to believe that who I am is enough. It isn’t easy for anyone. All of us seem to have a fascination with “enough.” We are constantly thinking we have to do something outside of ourselves to be seen as complete, enough, valued, or worthy of love.

But maybe even if we never “accomplished” anything else for the rest of our lives our presence here would still be enough. Our laughter and love and hearts. Who we are at the core of our being is not defined by success or failure or accomplishments.

We can get so caught up in running after trophies that the world awards us for busyness, beauty, and fame, that we forget about why we’re here. That we forget that it is not selfish to step back from something. That it isn’t bad to let go of seasons and move on. That it isn’t a mistake to leave something that might be pulling us farther and farther away from who we were created to be–even if everyone thinks we should stay.

Insecurity-Wholeness-worthiness-they are laying on my heart heavily lately. How we spend all of our lives thinking we have something to prove when in reality we are missing our life because we are trying to convince people who don’t really care or people who are broken themselves to take the place of God and tell us we have what it takes. We spend all of our time looking for approval from people who don’t even have the capacity to give our soul what it needs.

So many of us can feel whole because we’re pieced together with the glue of people’s affirmations and approval and likes and comments. But if we took everything that people ever said about us away, would we fall to pieces? Have we been made whole by the one who truly makes whole or are we just looking for fillers to piece us together? Cheap glue may be easy and convenient but it doesn’t last forever. We’re going to start falling apart if all their opinions are holding us up, because they could change their minds in an instant.

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I don’t have it all figured out. In fact, I’m starting to realize how I know less and less every day. I don’t know the way God wants me to view myself. I’m still learning that. I don’t always remember why I’m here. I don’t always have faith like I should. Some days I’m overwhelmed with so many doubts I wonder if I still belong to Him. There are a lot of areas of my heart that are so stubborn and don’t want to obey. But then I remember I am still His when I look back and see how He is working.

To be whole-without their opinions-that is one of the things I am still learning. But when I see how He has changed my heart in the past year I know that He can do it in you too. He is able to allow you to see the beauty, value, and inherit worth in yourself.

I’ve realized that I don’t need people to affirm who I am every moment of every day. I’m not walking on eggshells wondering if people still like me the way I used to. I’m not insecure about every word I say or every little thing I do. If someone doesn’t have the eyes to see the beauty and worth in you, it has nothing to do with who you are and everything to do with their vision. You cannot spend all of your time proving to everyone in this world that you are enough and worthy of love.

You have to start spending all of your time telling yourself what the One who made you says about you.

I hope one day you wake up and realize that you are whole on your own. It might not be today, but you are getting there.

Take it from me and know, that nothing compares to the freedom that comes when The Lord sets you free from what has held you back for so long.

Speak, laugh, dance, write, and simply be.

You are so beautiful in His eyes.

Let that be your place of radiant confidence that enables you to follow Him wherever He might take you,

you are whole.

 

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a prayer to surrender the “seen”

Lord Jesus,

We get so caught up in whether or not people see us. Whether we’re known by many, or whether they approve and even notice what we do.

& yet you paint a beautiful sunrise each morning and most of us aren’t up to see it or- or we say “what a beautiful sunset” instead of “what a glorious God.” And yet every morning the sunrise is beautiful. Because You paint it for your glory.

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And so I’m giving up on this whole “living to be seen” idea.

I want to leave beautifully because I know and believe with all of my heart that I am known and seen.

& this art I “do”: these weak little words put together and small little pictures of moments–these are for You, Lord, just as each sunrise is for You.

So take what little gifts I have to offer, it is not of You to ever reject one of your own, and so here are my small treasures. let them be for your glory.

Broken? Yes, I am broken. But I am surrendered, Lord.

Nothing? Yes, I am nothing. But in you I have everything.

Distracted? Yes, I am distracted. But be my sole focus and joy.

Let it be for your kingdom that I speak each word,

For your glory that I paint each picture,

For your exaltation that I pen the words you put in my heart,

For you alone.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetseen2Processed with VSCO with a8 presetIf no one else sees, I am perfectly content. Because from this day forward I am not doing it to be seen, or noticed, or applauded, or praised. I am doing it for you.

You’ve shown me the joy of creating something. & maybe it’s to show me the smallest glimpse of the joy You sang over me when you formed my most intricate parts.

You delight in me, and this dear Lord is more than I could ever ask for from the world. It fills all the places where man’s approval could never rest. It satisfies a soul longing to be known, it fills the hungry, it is enough.

This will be my beautiful offering, all my broken pieces laid at your feet,

all the hidden moments that no one sees,

because the moment I realize I am known, I know I no longer need to be seen.

insecurity and I broke up

Insecurity and I broke up last night.

April 13, 2016–

been there. over. done.

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I never thought of myself as being held captive by insecurity.

I never thought it was the source of so much hurt and hindrance.

I never thought it was the breeding ground of the fear and lack of confidence in my life.

I never thought it was the thief that was robbing me of my God-given joy.

But my eyes-oh were they opened.

It’s been keeping me back from who I was created to be.

and now I see my pride,

and now I see my self-obsession,

and now I see my desperate need to be free.

I didn’t realize I have been held captive by insecurity for so long because I didn’t realize what insecurity truly was. Little did I know it was the source of what has been pulling my heart apart.

It’s time it is long gone from this girl’s heart. This heart that’s ready to be set free to run wild with God-exalting dreams. This heart that’s ready to explode with a love so vibrant and leave all of herself behind in the pursuit of Her God.

& so we’ve broken up.

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It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1

Insecurity tends to be defined as a generalized, vague notion in our minds. We might say insecurity is “not being content with how we were made” or “wishing we looked different.”

But oh it is so much more than that.

I opened Beth Moore’s book, So Long Insecurity, and I’ll never be the same. Let me pause right here and say that if you haven’t read it–please pick it up. So much of what is on my heart to share with you has its roots in her words and reflections ( I owe that woman some serious gratitude).

Every insecure heart pulsates reverberations of one thing:

doubt.

doubt in self & the beautiful person you were created to be.

doubt in God & the unfathomable worth He has placed within you.

Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt–a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate. -Joseph Nowinski

The insecure heart places unrealistic expectations on other people to fill what only God was made to fill, and runs on to the next thing if those expectations aren’t met, breaking down friendships and relationships and asking broken people to be its god.

The insecure heart weeps at the very thought of rejection. It is overly sensitive to every little thing someone else says or does. It lives in constant fear that someone will disapprove.

The insecure heart breaks the moment someone else does better. It wants to be a “the” instead of an “a.”

The insecure heart is not content with being average, but wants to soar higher, just to be better than someone else. Everything is a competition. Everything is a fight to be best.

The insecure heart wants to be the highest priority to their friend, boyfriend, family, or boss. It wants constant affirmation from these people that

And yet in all of this mess of an insecure heart–the most insecure person will often appear some level of perfect. Because perfection is what a diseased heart will use to patch the pain of insecurity.

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As I read through the pages of Beth Moore’s book, every word pressed into my heart and echoed,

Madyson: this is you.

This is you because all of this insecurity that is weighing you down is rooted in pride, self-centeredness, and self-obsession.

This is you because insecurity has made you do some stupid things. Insecurity has made you sit quiet and not speak for fear of saying something stupid. Insecurity has made you tell people you’re “quiet” as a cover up-as a lame excuse that disguises the real you. Insecurity has made a fool out of you. It’s stolen your life, and it’s held you back.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve placed your security in the hands of other people. When you do that, when you give your security and purpose to another person or people or friends to hold–they drop it every time.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve doubted yourself so much it’s pathetic. Truly sad. You’ve doubted so much the beautiful person God has made you to be. You’ve doubted your potential. You’ve kept dreams hidden too far inside.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve felt yourself so inferior to everyone else. Because you’ve let yourself be held captive by a lie for way too long.

I’ve spent hours telling God I am done with this. Begging forgiveness. Seeking to understanding what it truly is. But I know that it will not be over in an instant. It takes time to heal a heart that has been bruised.

But when those thoughts of self-doubt, inferiority, and fear arise I am standing up and recognizing them for what they are. I’m calling my enemy out, he’s had enough time to mess with me. I’m claiming the truth and promises of God’s Word over my heart. I’m posting sticky notes in places I see them to remind me of this truth.

It may be a battle to overcome this,

I say bring it on. I have the power of Christ in me.

Slowly, little by little, God’s truth will begin to erase those lies I have believed for so long. As I feed my heart and soul with that truth, I pray it fills my spirit, until all of me knows the perfect fullness of resting secure in who I was made to be. Of reaching my fullest potential in Him.

I was made to do hard and holy things. Insecurity will no longer keep me back from living a full life of joy and peace in my Savior. I will listen to His voice, His opinion of me, and His words alone.

Since the night I decided I’d had enough-and the next morning after that spent with Jesus-I have never known so much freedom in my heart. 

It is a beautiful thing.

Next time insecurity calls- I’m not picking up.

I’ve moved on, I’ve had enough, and #IamSECURE

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p.s. this is just part one of me sharing my journey through insecurity. please follow along as I share more of my heart with you in the next few weeks and months, and ways through which I am seeking to overcome it.  Sisters, in the Lord #weareSECURE.

risen for relationship

 

she fell in love with Jesus

and everything else soon fell away

every other desire–

except the smile of His face upon hers

except His presence and grace and fullness

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rae

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she fell in love with Jesus-

and man’s approval fell to the side

she didn’t even care anymore what they thought

she wasn’t deterred by rejection

or concerned with meeting their standards.

 

she fell in love with Jesus-

Her Savior was resurrected

risen

He rose for a relationship with her

and she knew this within the depths of her being

this–His resurrection–it gave her life a whole new meaning

this love poured out through His blood captivated her

it stole her heart, and all that she was

it gave her freedom

freedom to be all He had made her to be.

and now there was one resolve in her soul,

to be wholly His

in thought

in word

in deed.mak

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Because that is truly why He rose. for His glory, for our greatest joy, for His deepest and most ardent love to be poured out over us through His agony. His blood brought beauty. His resurrection, relationship.

The truest Lover of our hearts laid down all His glory and magnificence so that He could know us eternally as His beloved.

So that He could rescue us from the clutches of ourselves. From self-obsession and eternal damnation. From the world, from the evil of our own hearts, from death. We are rescued from death forever.

& praise God we can know Him. We can walk with Him each day for all of eternity. We can know His fullness, the beauty of His presence and the joy of His face upon us.

because we have been labeled perfect.

blameless.

enough.

& it’s all because of Jesus.

 

 

what approval addicts need

our hearts are all aching for someone, or many people, to tell us we’re approved.

it’s a longing in all of us to be told we are enough and accepted. it can be a poison that infiltrates our bones and destroys who we were made to be.

if we let it go on long enough, we’ll soon find ourselves sick.

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consuming thoughts about gaining approval in the eyes of men are rooted in self-obsession. we’re looking and running after what only God can give us. we’re looking for love in all the wrong places, from all the wrong sources because it can only be found in Christ alone.

no matter how hard you try, the world’s approval will never be enough! but you will find yourself destroyed as you keep searching after what will never fill. man’s approval can never satisfy you because it’s not supposed to. we were not created to live to please man “in whose nostrils is breath” (Isaiah 2:22).

and we can’t serve two masters. we have a choice: serve the world, or serve Jesus Christ.

I think I’ve got an idea:

 

let’s long to be broken of our selfishness and pour our lives out for others.

let’s forget about ourselves and look only to Him.

let’s care less about whether someone approves and more about their soul.

let’s stop craving approval from a world that hates the God we serve.

let’s step out in faith and forget “I”

Just JESUS.

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John Piper’s words cut straight to my heart,

“So my counsel to every Christian who struggles with the fear of man’s disapproval and the craving of man’s approval, which is all Christians, more or less, is this: Realize that in Jesus Christ, in a solid, God-chosen relationship with Jesus, man’s disapproval cannot hurt you and man’s approval cannot satisfy you. Therefore, to fear the one and crave the other is shear folly. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32) — free from the fear of not getting other people’s approval and craving it as though you just got to have it.

And the truth that set you free from that is: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). You don’t need to fear anyone’s disapproval when God almighty is for you. Think about it. Let it sink in. And the other truth is that knowing Jesus, looking outside ourselves to the glory of the Son of God in the gospel in the triumph for us over evil, looking to him is all-satisfying. “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8).

So the itch is satisfied, not with successful self-regard, but with breathtaking Christ-regard.”

and so the solution to this obsession isn’t to love ourselves more and be more confident in our individuality, it’s to forget ourselves, to lose ourselves in His grace, to reach up and out to a hurting world. it’s to become consumed instead with pouring ourselves out and living to make others rejoice in our God. it’s to forget about our own agendas and reputations and dreams and concerns and lay them all down at His feet.

is this something you struggle with? me too, girl! leave me a comment or shoot me an email (beautiefullthings@gmail.com) to share what helps you fight this and live for an Audience of One!

check out John Piper’s whole article on this:  http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/gospel-wisdom-for-approval-junkies

why there is beauty in feeling forgotten

you know it.

it’s a distinct feeling that rests in your soul and has you on your knees desperate.

no one seems to help. friends seem distant. you’re reaching out your hand but don’t quite feel there is another hand to hold.

alone.

you feel alone.

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you wear a smile but it’s a cover.

isn’t that how all hurting hearts want to be–covered?

everyone seems to be doing something more exciting than you. so you turn it off and try to tune out the fact that everyone’s life seems perfect but yours.

and you think “if I just had one person who really gets me, I’d be happy.”

we want one person who actually wants to spend time with us and cares. we want one person who we “click” with and can spend all our free time with. 

when Jesus just says “I am that ‘One’ person.”

we want to fill the feelings of loneliness and pointlessness with applause from men and likes and comments and phonically and texts and people wanting us.

when Jesus says “these lonely moments are to point you to My Face.” 

we want answers,

when Jesus says “I am the Greatest Answer to the biggest problem you could think of.” 

we want to have our lives perfectly planned out and safe,

when Jesus says, “security is an illusion. life is messy. trust Me.”

there is beauty in feeling forgotten, lost, and alone. I don’t believe those feelings are accidental, your King, your Creator-He placed those inside each of us. I believe they are feelings that have their place. They point us to Him.

but we cannot let those feelings reign king in our hearts. you will feel forgotten by the world. you will feel alone. the world is a big place and we are small. but never forget this:

you are brave.

you are beautiful.

you have a purpose.

you are never too much.

you are worthy of love.

you are worth more than the stars in the galaxy.

you are made in the image of The King of Kings & Lord of Lords.

I know you don’t feel it. you feel like you’re drowning in your loneliness and your own problems. but whisper it to your heart:

I have a purpose.

you don’t have to cover it all up with a smile because you want to hide-you can smile because even in what you’re feeling, Your God will come through.

and in the pain He is making your heart more like His. so hold on & trust Him. He is the greatest friend you could have.

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gah it’s blurry

blurry. out of focus.

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ehh.

I thought I should delete it.

but wait. maybe not.

this picture is kinda accurate.

it’s messed up. it’s imperfect. it’s not like I think it should be. sounds familiar.

sounds like me, honestly. I want everything so clear and perfect. If I could just have a set of rules to follow, or my life all perfectly mapped out with a route to travel through–then day by day I wouldn’t have to obsess with what could go wrong.

I want clarity–Jesus says “just come.”

“come and embrace the blurry and trust ME.”

we don’t need clarity. but we do need to be FOCUSED.

we don’t need to know our tomorrow. but we do need to know our King.

Oh what a relief, we don’t have to do it all, be it all, or know it all. Because the One who knows ALL has our hearts firmly grasped in His hands. And this is the amazing thing:

He is never going to let go of your heart.

ever.

for eternity and ages on.

and there’s something even greater. He’s chasing you. He’s pursuing you in your mess. In your confusion He is running after your heart. He is yearning for you. He is jealous for you. His love for you is beyond anything you could ever have the strength to fathom.

whisper it again and again to your heart until you sing for joy. until it pours over your being and until His love consumes you.

His love is REAL. His grace is REAL. It’s powerful. It’s beautiful. It’s incomparable.

You know that blurry situation you’ve got? That uncertainty that’s trapping the air out of your lungs? He wants you to come tell Him.

Sit down. With no one around. Tell him your blurry mess. Ask Him to simply invade it with the calm clearness of his presence. You might not have a clear view of where you’re at, but He will give you a clear view of Himself.

And that is all you need.

That is all I need.

That in our blurry mess, His grace could never be clearer. It’s pouring down, it never runs out, and He is using our mess to bring us closer to Him. Because that fullness-that closeness to Jesus- that’s what we were made for.

xoxo,

Mady

 

•••••••••••••

Our prayer for more of you, Lord:

Just to know more of you Jesus! There is nothing greater. No higher privilege in all of the universe than to walk daily with You, King Jesus. Let our lives flow as beautiful rivers of praise to your Holy Name. You are so beautiful, Jesus. Might we reflect your beauty and wholeness and peace to a world so broken and void of light. You are the light. And in your light we find the life we need. We find the radiance of your countenance and it lifts ours. We are filled. We are satisfied in You because You are more than enough. More than all the world has to offer, greater than the cloudy containers of our mind and of uncertainty. We’re grasping, we’re yearning, we’re expecting more of You this day. Do your work in our blurry world. And Jesus we don’t want clarity, so much as we want more of You.