Photo Blogging Challenge: Express Yourself!

photo blog challenge

The first month of 2017 is almost on the books, and here we are again with PJ’s monthly photo challenge. This month’s theme is Express Yourself. And, I must say it was more than a head-scratcher for me.

In the end, I opted to combine two of my loves to express a little of who I am and some of the mindsets that have made me who I am today. Those two components are photography and quotations. No extra commentary will probably be necessary for this month’s five. All the photos except the first one are from a trip Entrepreneur and I took earlier this month to Meridia Beach, Florida. The amaryllis was a December gift and was suppose to bloom for Christmas. Obviously, it knew my muse would need it for January!

express-yourself-1-blog

express-yourself-2-blogBTW, that “star” by the crescent moon is Venus.

express-yourself-3-blog

express-yourself-4-blog

express-yourself-5-blog

Be sure to visit PJ’s A ‘lil Hoohaa on January 31st and see what others expressed this month.

 

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Reminds me there’s time to change

cuppa72Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair
Hey, hey, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s time to change
Hey, hey, hey, hey
~Drops of Jupiter by Train

 It’s been an interesting 30 days. The mug in the photo above has sat, untouched, in my cabinet for more than a month. A lovely gift from a kindred spirit who knows me well. It’s not that I don’t like it….I do…in fact, I love it.

But….I have not felt like an amazing woman lately. And every time I look at that mug, I cringed with the hypocrisy I’ve felt. The last 30 days have taken me down an unplanned archeological dig of self-reflection and discovery, and I wasn’t happy with what was unearthed.

While excavating my character, I tripped over more than a few boulders and fell flat on my face into some deep crevices. I call them Arrogance, Pride and Selfishness. And I’m not proud of any of those accomplishments.

It was an oh-so-easy slide down that slippery slope. Looking back, evidently, there was no resistance on my part. My brain did a masterful job fabricating justifications that glossed over reality and blinded me to the person I had come to be. The odd thing is, I hadn’t considered myself all that flawed. Guess that should have been the first red flag.

Sometimes, God has a funny way of getting our attention. His expectations are clear and his bar is set high…but he does realize he deals with fallen creatures that tend to turn a deaf ear to most of his instructions. Fortunately, he dealt with me on a personal level to not-so-subtly reveal these things to my heart. And to say it’s been a humbling experience is an understatement.

[Repentance] means unlearning all the self-conceit and self -will that we have been training ourselves into… It means killing part of yourself, under-going a kind of death. ~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

With those horrific realizations…and it was a horrible feeling when I finally owned up to them in my heart….my spirit broke. I felt very unworthy and ashamed at many of my actions, mindsets and decisions. I vowed to change, begged for mercy and  for divine help in reinventing my character.

And, although, this was a very painful experience and I’ve felt lower than an earthworm, I’m so very thankful it happened. I’m also thankful God, in his infinite mercy, decided to discipline me with grace. And that realization has not been lost on me. I deserved none of it.

The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us. ~C.S. Lewis

The mug is slowly coming front and center…not as an arrogant, narcissistic statement, but as a reminder that, with Christ’s mercy and grace, I can work towards becoming a godly woman; one that will be able to extend mercy and grace to others in the future. I also realized I can’t be a blessing to anyone while I’m beating myself up. So, as of today, I will try and put aside the personal and focus on others.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:3-4

More than anything, I want to possess authentic Christianity, and for it to be evident….with words, or without. I know I’m a work in progress, and I will fail many more times before I leave this world. But, because of this experience, a veil has been lifted and I believe in moving forward, I’ll succeed in reinventing myself….again.

Participating today with lovely people in Songography