Simply Radiant

Sunny Sunflowers  Oil painting on canvas.

When I first met a precious woman named Ellen, I was struck by her radiant smile. At first I didn’t notice her cane, but as she gracefully made her way over to meet me I could see that she walked with a slight limp.  Ellen told me that she was diagnosed with Spinal Bifida at birth, yet she was able to walk, and she was still thriving at seventy years of age.  Ellen is literally a walking miracle, because most children with Spina Bifida were not expected to live into adulthood. Ellen was able to be the recipient of an experimental surgery at a young age which enabled her to walk. When I told Ellen that I wanted to write her story she said, “Well make it all about Jesus, not about me.”

Ellen’s focus is not on herself; it is on the God who loves and cares for her and continues to shine His light through her.  Ellen views her physical limitations from a positive perspective. She recognizes that her challenges offer her an opportunity to reach out and serve other women who have disabilities, and we all have disabilities of some sort. Ellen is a beauty consultant and uses the platform of make-up and outward beauty to talk about the importance of inner beauty which comes from knowing the Lord.  Here’s her mission statement:

Making a DIFFERENCE in women whose lives have been touched by disability, assisting with their choice for their eternal destiny, one lipstick at a time!

Ellen realizes that no one is perfect, and our imperfections lead us to a perfect God.  It is in Him that we experience strength and joy in life. Ellen’s understanding of who God is, makes a significant difference in her life. One more thing I must tell you about Ellen is that she loves to pray. She looks to the Lord as her strength day by day, moment by moment as she visits with Him through prayer. Several times as I was engaged in conversation with Ellen she stopped to say, “Let’s go to the Father in prayer about this.” Right then and there she prayed.  And what a beautiful prayer it was, filled with love and trust and joy in her Heavenly Father.  Ellen is an example of a woman who lives with a confident hope in the Lord.  She lives with a perspective of thankfulness for the opportunity to serve God with her disability.  She also lives with a Heavenly focus, knowing that this world is not her home and that one day her earthly body will be transformed into a glorious one.

Perspective is everything, and it is a choice.  We can view our frustrations and our disappointing circumstances with anger toward God, believing that this life is all we have.  Or we can view difficulties from the perspective of “Lord, my eyes are on you. Use me in these circumstances for your glory.  Help me and give me strength along the way.”  With an eternal perspective we can live with confidence knowing that this isn’t IT.  We can look forward with confident hope toward Heaven and place our confident hope in the God who will care for us here. Ellen is a radiant woman with an eternal perspective.  I want to view the world like Ellen!

This is an excerpt from A Woman’s Secret to Confident Living

He is Joyful

Happy family playing on the beach at the day time

 “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”  Luke 3:22 NLT

  Do you ever think of God as joyful?  I know we recognize Him as holy, majestic, loving and powerful, but joyful? Yet the Bible tells us that one of the fruits of His Spirit is joy.  We are reminded in Psalms that He delights in the details of our lives. Zephaniah prophesied that God would take delight in His people with gladness and rejoice over them with joyful songs.  Nehemiah encouraged God’s people by telling them, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Yes, God is a God of joy and He encourages us to be joyful too. His joy can be our strength.  Throughout scripture we are reminded to rejoice in the Lord.  As we turn our eyes toward our joyful Father and recognize His love, care and provision, we too can rejoice! We may not find our joy in circumstances or in people, but we can find our joy in the Lord. Rejoice in the God of joy as you walk through your week this week!

This is an excerpt from my devotional, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places. Click Here for more info on purchasing a signed copy.