Self-Preservation

Shrinking back

from people who disappoint

 

will only cause a tightening

of your soul

 

Loving and giving

without finding fault

 

will help keep

your heart open and free

 

Loving people unconditionally

reflects the Savior

 

Who didn’t shrink back

from us

 

in our undesirable state

 

Love and joy persevere

because of being accountable for ourselves

 

Walls of self-preservation

will only dim our Light

 

– Susie Stewart

 

* I am not speaking of abusive situations.  Self-protection in abusive situations is entirely warranted.

 

Love…does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

– 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 (NIV)

 

But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him.

– Romans 5:8 (MSG)

 

Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

– 1 Corinthians 13:7 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Inside

Outward

Shell

Exterior

Shallow

Skin-Deep

Temporary

 

Inward

Depth

Core

Heart

Soul-Deep

Forever

 

Watch what you look at,

for beautiful can be deceptive

 

What lies within

is profoundly significant

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

– 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)

 

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

– Proverbs 31:30 (NLT)

 

…but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God.

– 1 Peter 3:4 (AMP)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Arik

Matthew 7:7-12

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

How does God see His children?

Think about how you see your own.  Good parents love and nurture their children from the very first cry.  Our oldest, Arik, was born after I spent almost two weeks in the hospital with premature labor.  When he was born I felt a depth of emotion unique to everything else up to that point.  I looked into those little eyes, and cuddled that little one, whose premature little body could fit on a washcloth.  I have watched that handsome boy grown into a man, almost twenty now.  All along the way there have been moments when I’m connecting with him through conversation and I get lost in those beautiful blue eyes.  I tell him they are blue like the sea.  My mama heart skips a little beat thinking of the years looking into those eyes, and being filled up with so much love that I feel that I could burst.

Sounds so dramatic, right?

That’s how parental love is.  It is dramatic and it is fierce and it is so profound that you can hardly put it into words.  You just want to stare at your child because you are so taken aback with the depth of love you have in your heart for them.

God put it there.

That beautiful love is a reflection of our Heavenly Father’s heart for us.  But that’s just it.  It’s only a reflection.  The love He has for us is infinitely deeper and more profound because it originated from Him.  And, as you see in the verses above, our love for our own children is tainted by evil.  God’s love is pure and even so much more profound.

You are God’s child.  He is staring into your eyes as you talk to Him.  He thinks they are beautiful.  He remembers when you were small and how you’ve grown into adulthood.  He was there all along, your Father.

He wants us all to know this love of His.  To know it!  Not just to say “God loves me” but for us to know it!

The amazing thing is that the unique parental love you can have for one child can envelope many more, biological and not.  The love I have for Arik, I also have when I look into my girls’ dark brown lovely eyes.

“For God so loved the world…”  Parental love envelopes.

Someone once said that the eyes are the window to the soul…. Whether we want Him to or not, God sees down into our souls?  Why not surrender to that love and soak it up?  We need it.

I love you Arik, Nicole and Victoria.  I’m blessed to be your mom.

– Susie Stewart

 

Image

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart