Paying it Forward

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Several years ago I really wrestled with having some friends who were able to offer me so much more than I could offer them. They were a young couple who had an abundance of gifts and abilities. The wife used to get me hugely discounted designer clothes, and sew up couture items for me. She’d do my waxing at cost price and buy my hair products from the wholesaler. When I moved out of home, she went through her kitchen and stocked me up with utensils, appliances and a fry pan. I was always welcome in their home, and the husband did electrical work for me, fixed my car, and installed my CD player.

I was overwhelmed by their friendship and generosity and I was discouraged as I looked at my own skills: Teaching. Writing. Reading. What could I possibly do for them? This never bothered them, they just appreciated my friendship, but it bothered me, until I spoke to dad.

He reflected on a couple who was able to help him when he was younger. He was never able to repay them, but, down the track, he was in a position to help others when they had need. Effectively, he paid it forward.

In recent years, I have had many opportunities to help others in various ways. When they say they ‘owe me,’ I remember the friends who did so much for me, and I tell them they owe me nothing; that one day they can pay it forward.

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Body Image: Self Focused or God Focused?

I’m sick of standing around with adult women having petty conversations about our appearance.

‘Your hair is so beautiful, mine is flat and gross!’

‘My hair? No it’s not, yours is awesome. And you have such a better figure!’

‘What? My figure is average! You’re so much more curvy!’

I’m even hearing it in the church! Ladies, can you hear yourselves? This is not high school anymore!

Fashion Girl Vector IllustrationMost women worry about their appearance; I’m certainly not immune. It’s okay for women to want to be beautiful, but it’s not okay to obsess.

We live in a world that pushes body image and self-love as though it’s all there is to life, but Christian woman, hear me! It’s not the main thing! It’s not even close!

While we’re talking about how that other girl’s toenails look so much better polished than ours, there are people starving, children being trafficked, or, even closer to home, that girl standing over there alone who needs a friend.

Dress beautifully girls, but be beautiful first; Love yourself, but love God more.

Body image is a huge issue in our world, and I don’t think it’s because we don’t love ourselves enough. It’s because we’re more inward focused than outward; more in love with ourselves than we are with God.

I truly believe, that as we turn our eyes upon Jesus, and look full into His wonderful face, that the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.