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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber


Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Day 3: I fell of the wagon. No - that's not quite right. What really happened is I saw the wagon was gaining speed, so I decided to lean over and see how far out I could lean out onto my own understanding, and I fell out of the wagon. Yes - this is a metaphor to illustrate my beauty journey and poor apparel choices on Saturday. (if you didn't read day 2, here is the link:

I woke up Saturday morning happy for Saturday! What a hectic week! ...but a good one, culminating in the harvest party with my closest friends! I stretched out the kinks after rolling out of bed and started the coffee. I said a quick prayer to God, "It's Saturday" (like He didn't know), " leggings, I guess, and a sweatshirt. I'm just grabbing blindly, right? That's how we have been doing things?"

That is not how we have been doing things.

About 3 weeks ago, I explained to Julie how I had purchased this revolutionary new undergarment termed shaperwear. The garment is like a tank top with elastimom qualities; it kind smooths out the parts that make my clothes look lumpy. *ahem* (Unpacking my lumps is a completely different beauty blog.) Anyway, I don't usually wear it during the weekend--even though the garment is completely comfortable when I wear it to work. I tugged it over my head and smoothed things into place; then, I added my tee shirt--blindly grabbed from a drawer--and my IUP sweatshirt. Since I had dissertation writing group in the morning, I thought I would be festive. Finally, I grabbed the first pair of leggings on the top pile of my drawer.

1 hour later: I hadn't realized these particular leggings pinched my calves.

2 hours later: My sides ache from sitting so long in shaperwear. How does elastimom hold it all in?

5 hours later: Did God sanction this? Or am I being punished? Feels like punishment.

6 hours later: Thread shred. Why didn't I do this sooner?

Today's journey was rough! I got really banged up in the fall. On reflection and through the messages of others, I figured out how things went incredibly wrong...or right...

First . . .

The devotional Bible verse I started with this morning was nothing. I forgot to do my first five minutes with God. When I don't give God my first five, the rest of my day shows it. I need God in my details. So, around 8 pm, I opened my Bible app (I know...please don't judge me...I went through the WHOLE day before doing devotions).

I like the You Version Bible app devotions because they include a Bible verse, a mini-ministry over the verse, a devotional reading, and a prayer. Sometimes there's a song with the message. Anyway, the verse to reflect on was Matthew 7:13-14: Jesus said,

"13Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

After reading this verse, I thought I must have gone through the wrong gate today. I didn't pause to consider my direction or bring God into my decisions. After pealing off my clothes and donning some comfortable pajamas (ones I spent a little more time talking to God about), my whole body seemed to sigh in relief. A few more items have been added to the donation pile, and now I was comfortable and ready to listen to and for God.

I was listening to Toni Collier's interpretation of this verse on the Bible app. One of the things Collier said was "God didn't promise us a life of perfection. He promised that He would be with us in the imperfection..." Praying over my wardrobe choices, giving even the smallest details of my life over to God have had the effect of relieving my burdens.

Yesterday, I must've decided to take my baggage back! That is, I didn't make good wardrobe choices because I didn't invite God into the small details of my wardrobe selection. Instead of a thoughtful prayer, I rushed. Still, I know God is with me--giving me these lessons to teach me how to be a faithful follower, to teach me how to give my decisions over to Him.

Second . . .

While doing my Bible study today (Barbara L. Roose's Beautiful Already), I had to look up

Matthew 6:33: "Seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given unto you."

I didn't seek His kingdom first; I sought my own comfort first. I just grabbed the first items of clothing available and ended up sitting uncomfortably in them until I couldn't take the squeeze anymore. They weren't comfortable going on, and what's worse: I didn't change clothes for SIX HOURS! Maybe I was aiming for some kind of sacrificial penance. Maybe I was lazy. For whatever reason I still can't quite understand, I stayed in those clothes until I put my pajama's on for Bible study and bed.

Day 3's study is also a reminder of what I learned in day 2: first, seek God. In all things, seek God. Trust God. Lean not on my own understanding. God wants to give me all of the wonderful things, but first, I need to turn my eyes toward Him.

Third . . .

Over a month ago, I signed up for the Love Life Women's Conference hosted by Joyce Meyer Ministries. During one of the sermons I was watching today, Christine Caine was talking about how people tend to look back instead of focusing on God's direction for their lives:

"...Stop looking back....and fix your eyes on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our fate."

Looking back on my epic fail quickly started a spiral into all of the ways I have failed. I began to dredge up the broken pieces of my life, the pains and heartaches, and the lost relationships. I began thinking about how I couldn't even persevere for a week. A WEEK! The spiral got ugly until I arrested those thoughts through the verses of my study:

Seek. God. First.

I couldn't believe how timely Caine's message was for my situation! Jesus--the author and finisher of our fate--loves me. Yet, here I was, fixed on the broken pieces Jesus died and rose again to save. Here I was, wasting my moments with God by dwelling on what I had lost instead of on His healing, loving, amazing grace and mercy!

  • Don't look back at today's missed opportunity to invite God into my decisions; invite God to guide all decisions now and in the future.

  • Don't look back at the hurts and pains; God promises healing.

  • Don't mourn the lost relationships; God promises beauty for ashes.

  • Don't look back at the broken things; God promises to make all things new through the return of Jesus--my savior, my redeemer.

Why am I looking back there? What do I expect to find? Nothing is going to change what has already happened, and God is right here, right now: the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God is working for my good.

Finally . . .

At the Love Life Women's conference, Joyce Meyer said, "I see so many beautiful women that God wants to use right where you are at." What a powerful statement! I have to unpack that:

Beautiful women.

God wants to use you.

Right now.

Where you are at.

In your current circumstance.

God wants to you use you.

You, beautiful woman.

There are so many beautiful women out there God wants to have a relationship with and use for His ministry. I am one of them. I have always seen myself as broken, not good enough to be a disciple. I was even told once that an unmarried women with children couldn't have a voice in Christian works. Until one day, a woman from another church told me Jesus was talking to her about me.

God wants a relationship with me. That took me a long time to acknowledge. I want a relationship with God. God is with me in my current situation--right here, right now. Instead of seeking Him first, even for a small decision, I lowered my eyes and went my own direction. If I can't lean on God for the little things, how will my faith ever endure the big things?

I am beautiful.

Sometimes, I am broken,

But God isn't finished with me yet.

What I want to leave you with, beautiful women, is that God doesn't force people to love Him; He gave people free will. God wants our love in the same way we crave love. God is interested. God invites you to fellowship with Him. God made you beautifully and wonderfully, imperfectly perfect, unfinished so that He could do good work through you. Yes, YOU! God LOVES you!

Grow in your faith by getting rooted into a good church. If you're in the Mitchell area, I suggest Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene. (Plus, some really cool stuff is happening with women's ministry! We invite you!)

Tomorrow, I will tell you about how I prayed in front of my closet today. I hope you are having a marvelous Sunday!

Stay beautiful!


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