<![CDATA[Ashes into beauty - Blog]]>Fri, 18 Dec 2015 16:10:51 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Guilt and Shame]]>Mon, 08 Jun 2015 14:58:08 GMThttp://www.ashesintobeauty.com/blog/guilt-and-shame"The moment you asked for forgiveness, God forgave you. Now do your part and leave the guilt behind."

We confess our sin and ask God for forgiveness. We know, because Scripture is clear, that the moment we ask, He forgives. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Just like that. No strings attached. No jumping through hoops. He forgives us.

So why do we have such a hard time letting go? Why do we hold on to so many things when God doesn't even remember them? "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12

Yet, we still feel shame and guilt. But shame and guilt is not from God. God is a merciful and compassionate God. Shame and guilt are from the enemy. The enemy wants to create a stronghold in you. A stronghold is something that has a grip on you, stops you from growing and keeps you bound up.  These feelings of shame and guilt can do that very thing. This is why the enemy uses them.

We have to fight back with the truth! Don't let the enemy deceive you into thinking that you are marked. That you will never leave behind those feelings of guilt and shame and your sin will follow you around forever. This is not true. It's a lie. A scheme of the devil. Believing that lie will only cause you to live your life in a defeated way. Exactly what the enemy wants. 

Instead, put on your full armor of God,  "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 
Ephesians 6:10-18

Pray in the spirit. A great reminder that the battle is not ours. 

Live in victory! The battle has already been won. The enemy just wants to drag down anyone he can with him. 

You are victorious because of who your God is! A loving, forgiving and merciful God. Live that way!

Walking in His truth,
Mich :-)

<![CDATA[brokenness]]>Wed, 20 May 2015 20:35:19 GMThttp://www.ashesintobeauty.com/blog/brokenness
Recently, I came across broken asphalt.  I was pretty amazed at how little flower blooms have started to grow through the cracks. So, it got me thinking...
When God wants something to grow, it'll grow. Even in the most unlikely places. Broken, shattered asphalt is hardly a fertile place to grow anything. But, isn't that how we feel sometimes when life is messy and chaotic?
You feel lost, sad, confused and well...broken. You start to stumble in your walk. The pain has you starting to worry and fear. Your prayer changes to, "God I don't understand!" We hardly feel like we're in a position to be useful and productive.
You see, in the very moment of impact of pain, you stop growing spiritually and emotionally. You're stuck. And until you bring it before God and deal with it, and pray believing that He will see you through the pain, you'll remain stuck.
I'm a visual person, so I picture crumbled up pieces of sidewalk. A broken up vase lying on the floor in pieces. A broken and shattered mirror. None of these things can be used when they're all broken into pieces. They become something that is useless. And that's how it can be when you feel broken. You feel useless. Stuck. You're just not moving forward or growing emotionally and spiritually.
But, when God wants something to grow, it'll grow. In the most unlikely places too. Even in your brokenness, confusion and pain, you can grow and flourish. He can breathe life back into you. There is something so beautiful when you realize that God is so much bigger than your pain and brokenness.
His word says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
There is beauty to be found in your brokenness and weakness. That's when God is most powerful in your life. As a matter of fact, it's usually during those unlikely, difficult times when He's drawing you closer to Him that He'll use you the most. It's in the valley's that we learn and grow so much, so that we can get back up to the peak.
As long as you look to Him and leave it in His hands, know that there is no better place for your pain. Keep rowing. He'll use this pain for good. Trust that He will see you through and make you whole again. And remember, sometimes your circumstance doesn't change, but you do. You'll have peace and joy.
Rest knowing that there is no place beauty can't grow when God's mighty hand is on it.

Growing in His beauty,
Mich :-)
<![CDATA[Sadness]]>Sat, 16 May 2015 20:47:40 GMThttp://www.ashesintobeauty.com/blog/sadnessEveryone has felt it in their lives. Sometimes it seems to linger. Sometimes it can feel so overwhelming that we can feel a little lost in our sadness. It can be a lonely place because we tend to isolate ourself when we feel this emotion. It's too hard trying to be "up" so we just give in to the emotion and hide away. The pain of a loss, a death, a hurtful comment, rejection and so on, can keep us so stuck that we may even beat ourself up for allowing it to affect us so deeply.

Know this, it will get better. The sadness won't last forever. But you're sad because it mattered. And that's ok. It's even harder to be sad when you're berating yourself for being sad. Just be sad. It's a real feeling. Give yourself the space and time to feel it.

BUT!! Set boundaries. Know that you can't live there for long and eventually start to push yourself along. Sitting in your own row boat, you have to start rowing. It doesn't have to be a permanent stop. It wasn't meant for that.  

Sadness is actually a longing for God. You'll never find sadness in heaven, only joy. Therefore, when you're feeling sad, it's you craving more heavenly things. Draw closer to God and watch how your sadness starts to disappear. Even if you're situation hasn't changed, you don't have to be stuck. Try surrounding yourself with great people. Pray.  Do something nice for yourself. Choose your thoughts and don't let them run wild. Hold them captive.

Remember, you're in your own row boat. Make sure there aren't people in your row boat drilling holes in it. And then start rowing! Just keep rowing until...

Rowing along side of you,
Mich :-) ]]>
<![CDATA[Choosing your thoughts]]>Thu, 14 May 2015 16:02:14 GMThttp://www.ashesintobeauty.com/blog/choosing-your-thoughtsEvery morning, we wake up and carefully choose our clothes, choose the right shoes to match, choose the right hairstyle for the day, choose our breakfast, and so on...

In the same way, we need to carefully choose our thoughts. Our thoughts are what we tell ourselves all day long, and our thoughts eventually come out as words. eek!
Hold them captive. Don't run with thoughts that aren't necessary or adding to your life in a positive Godly way.
It's not only holding them captive, but actually directing our thoughts with purpose. A mind without purposed thinking is a mind vulnerable to being deceived. It is also vulnerable to depression, anxiety and a chaotic life. That's not a happy, joyful life, is it? 
You see, the primary cause of our unhappiness is never the situation but our thoughts about it.  What you give power to, has power over you. It all begins and ends in your mind.
1 Corinthians 14:33 says, "God is not a God of confusion, but of peace". So we need to apply that to our thought life also. Direct our thoughts with purpose, choose our thoughts, organize the brain, get it in order, focus on the right things. When that happens, you'll find the peace that you so desperately need.

Resting in His peace,
Mich ]]>
<![CDATA[Fear]]>Thu, 14 May 2015 15:24:17 GMThttp://www.ashesintobeauty.com/blog/fear"There is something comforting about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He's doing." 
There's a reason why God tells us not to fear 365 times in the bible. There are 365 days in a year. That covers every day of the year.
The planet circles around the sun in perfect motion, and a billion stars are steady, all because of God's hand. And yet we fear.
We doubt that He can handle the details of our life and make things all come together for our good. How can we wake up in the morning and believe that a billion stars won't come crashing down on us, yet we fear over smaller things? All of our issues are small when compared to the stars and planet all lining up in perfect harmony.
Think about it...
if the earth was just a bit closer to the sun, we'd burn. If it was any further, we'd freeze. His hand works all things for our good. We see His hand in our life every day. 
God says, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God..." Isaiah 41:10.
Look up...look around...God's got this! Find comfort in His steady hand in your life.

<![CDATA[believe]]>Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:42:36 GMThttp://www.ashesintobeauty.com/blog/believeI heard this saying before and just loved it: "We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don't believe in miracles?"
Definition of miracle: a direct intervention of God in the world.
So I thought...
God intervenes. In His perfect timing. And sometimes it's not our situation that changes, but we do. We change. In the middle of our difficult situation, the miracle could be a peace in you that can't be explained any other way but God. 

Our job is to pray...pray believing! Prayer is the most untapped resource we have. Tap into it.

Don't talk about it, cry about it, whine about it anymore...take it to God. And wait for the miracle..whatever it may be, however it may happen..rest in knowing it will happen. 

Resting in His promises along with you,
Michele :-)