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A question has been stirring in my heart for about a week awakening a curiosity to search the answer out by bringing it before the heart of God. In all my selfishness I had not thought of asking it before. It’s not hard for us to come before God wondering by asking, “What is it Lord you think about me? What is on your heart for me?” It’s like His finger shifted the question to broaden it’s base and yet it’s answer would teach me so much more about myself … my heart inquired, “Lord, what is on your heart for your women …all your women? What was your heart and purpose from the beginning when you created us? My mind raced anticipating a great mystery revealed, yet the answer came in the simplicity of one word: beauty.

The word beauty alone resonates so deeply in my heart as if we both knew we were meant to be together from the beginning. In humility my heart wrapped itself around the word slowly saying it over and over. He created us women with beauty intricately woven into the DNA of our spirits. We are drawn to it, we create it, we desire it!  I don’t know a man that has ever desired to be called beautiful, but think just for a moment how a woman’s heart melts in the presence of this word … but why? Maybe because it was innately put in us as a gift from our Maker not just for foo-foo and frills, but also with a purpose … a purpose to bring beauty (His beauty) to all we encounter. Not the beauty of this world and its standard stick, not a beauty contrived or a beauty bought, nor the aesthetic trappings of walls painted with nothing inside. I’m talking about the essence of beauty a woman has the ability to bring to a room, a relationship, and a marriage … really everything she touches. So many examples come flying across my mind. Just think bachelor’s pad. I had the opportunity to see many of my husband’s friend’s apartments before their finance’s moved in. Simple, mere basics and necessities and then beautiful moved in when their bride moved in. What had been a place to sleep became a home: an atmosphere charged with nurturing, love, and beauty. We as women have that ability. We also have the ability to withhold beauty when we are hurt. I feel the Holy Spirit pausing on this. I can see all the times hurt was trying to steal “beautiful” from my heart and how sometimes it succeeded. How it left me feeling hollow, how withholding beauty from my relationships felt like the offenders just reward and yet it robbed me from who I was created to be. If you’ve been robbed or robbed yourself, this is your moment to let beautiful seep back into your heart, into relationships in your life that need your beauty again.

You were created to be beautiful to bring beautiful to your world! But the raw reality is that your “beautiful” was born into a fallen world where the so called ruler of this world is the king of darkness. He has been out to steal the word beautiful from our hearts since we were little girls. Twisting what beautiful means. Putting more emphasis on merely outer beauty forsaking the treasures of our ability to love, our giftings, and unique dispositions that were fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). He (our enemy) created a standard that is unachievable and yet it woos us with promises of acceptance, of confidence, and of influence over others. It is a brutal taskmaster that often asks us to betray the integrity of our hearts in hopes of being “loved” by others. It has turned the beauty of our hearts into sizes and numbers. It has tortured many into habitual acts of self-hatred. I know to some of you this sounds harsh, but now is the time, we have to tell the truth and shame the devil. He is the same devil that molests and rapes young women in hopes of forever stealing beautiful from their reality. He desires for them to live a life robbed of even the hope of beauty. But they don’t have to! I know the one who restores true beauty, a kind of beauty that resonates true to our very core and yet this world (the worldly system of life without God) knows nothing of it. For some he has twisted a desire to be loved and called beautiful into a vain pursuit in the arms of men. Men, women, Moms, Dads, pastors, counselors, the list goes on … people can not heal us, restore us, bring beautiful back to a woman’s heart, only Jesus can. And He wants too! I can remember the day I asked Him into my heart while I had the revelation; He had always been loving me … I just needed to decide to love Him back. You see if you’ve been robbed or if you have been mislead to serve a standard that has hurt you, His arms are open ready and willing to restore beautiful through His healing love. He comes to you, gently running His hands through your hair … sliding your hair from your face grooming you for your destiny. He is speaking these words softly and slowly over you, He says:

“(Your name), you are beautiful! You are highly treasured and desired by Me. When I made you, I didn’t hold back! I decked you out in delight! You are my highly favored and loved daughter in whom I take great delight! Nothing can separate you from my great love for you. My plans for freedom and healing in your life would blow your mind, how great are my plans for you! YOU, my beloved are beautiful!”

Ps. 5:11-12 (THE MESSAGE)

“But you’ll welcome us with open arms
when we run for cover to you. 
Let the party last all night!

Stand guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers,
 for decking us out in delight.”

So the next time the devil comes to steal the word beautiful from your heart simple tell him to “GET OFF! It doesn’t belong to him and it never did!” Choose to be the defender of all things beautiful in your life and heart.

I leave you with this benediction:

May the word beautiful become close and dear to your heart. May it grow as His love waters it. May you walk in greater revelation of what you have to impart into the lives of those around you through the beauty that is innately in you. May you discover greater levels of freedom as His truth nestles itself into your heart and shines through your life!

You are carried in my heart and with Great Love,

~ Ris

You can also see this post at: Destiny in Bloom

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This blog was inspired by a dialogue I had with God based on this scene from the 1998 movie, “You’ve Got Mail.” Please take a moment to watch this video before you continue reading and we can travel down this “Go to the Mattresses” road together.

You need to know this one thing about me: I LOVE the arts … ALL arts … film, theater, dance, photography, painting, any form of expression. They are all creative like THE MAKER himself. God is speaking to the world through the world … it’s a rumor, He has no box … he is so outside of our scope of understanding. He is always speaking and through this scene He spoke to my heart like the ultimate God and Father He IS, “Go to the mattresses! Fight … fight to the death!” was His advice to overcome the issues that were consuming my heart at the time.

When Jesus died on the cross and sent the Holy Spirit, power became available to us to change, to overcome the many pains that we accumulated in growing up and in adulthood. And let me tell you, I had them! And with the help of the Holy Spirit I was empowered to take hold of truth and find healing. Jesus did what I could not do but I had to make some choices too. My favorite quote of all time is:

“It doesn’t take years, it takes choices!”

Imagine if the route you took on your way home had a huge hole in the ground and if no matter how hard you tried you fell in it every time and you continued to hurt yourself. Wisdom would say there is a practical thing you can do about this … pick a different route home. It’s a simple choice with dramatic results, which is NOT falling and continuing to hurt yourself.  Your choices are powerful to produce change. For those that love their plan and think their route is the best, this lesson can take a little longer (And I’ve been there too).

So well here are some of the bloody battles I’ve been in: (I say bloody because in some of the battles I’ve had to die so I could truly live … death to self was actually the victory)

Fear of Rejection and abandonment: My parents were divorced at a young age and did they mean for me to feel rejected … NO. But it didn’t stop the devil from lying to me when I was too young to understand the truth. Rejection active in my life caused me to destroy relationships in my life before they had a chance to be successful. I was able to recognize and deal with this one early on in my Christian walk.

Pride: Ouch! Looking at my pride was no fun! It was a death at it’s very core. There was the snotting kind of crying and some dry heaving. I CAN be dramatic, but in this instance I’m so NOT being dramatic. This lesson had a lot to do with keeping my mouth shut.  The grace found in humility is so worth it.

Anger: There have been different kinds of anger I’ve taken to the mattresses but my latest victory was just a mere three months ago. I blog about it at my personal blog page with a blog titled, “Ris and Jesus take on afternoon anger,” you can read more about that journey there.

I wanted to give these examples so that you would know that what ever your going through … whatever pain, concern, or anger there is victory to be had! The devil wants you to feel like it’s hopeless, IT’LL never change, YOU WILLnever change, THEY WILL never change, sound familiar? The devil is so NOTcreative! His lies are the same to everyone wanting to paralyze us with fear so we WON’T change. Whatever that thing is that has power over you and your emotions that is not God, I say: “You’ve got to go the Mattresses … Fight …Fight to the death of it!” (That’s the Ris version)

Some of you are thinking … well how do I fight?

DRAW YOUR SWORD! (Find your truth)

Hebrews 4:12
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”

(Example: when I was dealing with anger my truth was in 1 Corinthians 13when I choose to love by always believing the best of my husband and Phil. 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right … think on these things” That was my sword.)

GET POWER! (Involve the Holy Spirit)

Jesus said in John 14:26
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance to words Jesus spoke as wisdom and encouragement)

Romans 15:13
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (The Holy Spirit gives us the power to hope against great odds in a God that is greater than ALL odds!)

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 (New King James Version)
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (When we pray and submit to the Holy Spirit what we are going through He speaks to us giving us wisdom and empowering us with strength to make right decisions)

PUNCH TO KNOCK OUT! (Get practical!)

Choose to think differently based on wisdom from the Holy Spirit. Go a different way home. Throw your scale out, don’t call people who discourage you, avoid situations that have repeatedly caused you to be angry, believe the best in people, choose truth and kill lies!  Fighting is a verb … to the death … is an outcome! Getting practical is applying your sword and power in real time. You’ll find victory is imminent.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days that fighting is brutal and days you are able to rest in your gained ground. A friend once gave me this analogy when I was overcoming some bad habits associated with the fear of rejection.

“It’s like one day you were walking down the road and walked into freshly poured wet cement (what ever painful experience that caused the root of rejection) and instead of breaking the cement off right away you began to walk with the block of cement on your foot. You made accommodations for the block by changing the way you walked to the point you didn’t remember how it felt to walk without it. One leg became stronger and the leg muscle that had the block attached became weaker before you realized your need to be free from the block. You break the block off your foot only to have to learn to walk again.”

You see there is an uncomfortable process of choosing to be free everyday of the battle. And in doing so you choose to fight … you’re choosing victory!

So I admonish you if the Holy Spirit brushed His gentle hand over your heart showing you an area that could be more free (like He has so often done to me), follow the advice of the ultimate God and Father (my inspired interpretation from one of the best romantic comedies of the 90’s) and go to the mattresses, fight … fight to the death!

You can also see this post at: Destiny in Bloom

Heart of a Princess


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This is a Article I wrote for Studio G for their Summer 2009 issue. Please enjoy … writing this was so much fun! ~Ris