Posts Tagged With: body image

Day 31: Purity Bath

So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments.”  Genesis 35:2

Christian and I were drawing near to the end of our 30 days, and I just had this feeling in my gut that we weren’t going to just “jump right back in the sack” on day 30.  The morning of day 30 actually came and I still felt like it wasn’t time yet; like I needed to DO something first.  All morning long I had the word “purify” running through my head.  I had just spent an entire month learning who I was, how God saw me, and how to be the best wife I could possibly be; and I felt like I needed to do something…ritualistic.  So I looked up scriptures for purification rituals.  In almost every one of them they mentioned blood, water, oil and perfume.  Well, Christ took care of all the blood we would ever need, so I wasn’t concerned at all with that.  But the water, oil and perfume made sense to me; I could take a bath.  I remembered how in 2 Samuel chapter 11 when David saw Bathsheba from his rooftop she was taking a bath and had purified herself from her uncleaness.  So.  Blood: provided by Christ, check.  Water: take a bath, check.  Oil and perfume: I had a bottle of olive oil and some vanilla in the kitchen, check!

So, here’s my general procedure for the purity bath that I take, the Holy Spirit usually leads me to change things here and there from time to time, add a few things, subtract a few, etc.  Pray about it and if God is leading you to change something, feel free to do so.  Our experiences with God are uniquely ours, so your purity bath may look completely different from mine.  This is just what I have done.

When my period is completely finished, 7 days from when it started, I take a purity bath to dedicate myself to God.  It is to help me feel pure, inside and outside.  Because through the blood of Christ we have been made pure and don’t HAVE to do any purification rituals anymore, but I feel like sometimes as humans we need to DO something to help us remember that fact.  Plus, I have learned that God really loves symbolism, so I know that this process pleases Him greatly.   (Note: This entire process generally takes an hour or more depending on how long I sit, soak and pray.  So I usually try to carve out plenty of time in my schedule for it.  I really don’t like skimping on this very intimate time with my LORD.)

Step 1) I have an old soy sauce bottle that I use to mix my anointing oil; it’s just the right size and pours nicely. I never actually measure anything, but I use a cup of oil and a bit of pure vanilla extract (not a whole lot maybe a teaspoon, a little bit of this stuff goes a LOOOONG way) into the bottle.  These are the ingredients that God has inspired me to use, however, this bath is intimately yours and God’s so I highly recommend asking Him what He would like for you to use for your oil and perfume.

Step 2) I clean my bathroom concentrating on the tub itself, even if I just did it the other day, I do it again.  (Do NOT skip scrubbing the tub!  I did this ONCE and I will NEVER do it again.  The rest of the bathroom is less important, but you can not take a sacred bath in a dirty tub!  Learn from my mistake, do NOT skip this part of cleaning.)  Cleaning is a symbolic act, one where I am cleaning the dirt and grime from my bathroom and asking God to continue cleaning the dirt and grime of sin from my heart.  It is time spent on my knees in fervent prayer.  I thank God for forgiving me and for cleaning up my life and my marriage.  God has changed ME so much already and He isn’t done with me yet.  Praise God!

Step 3) Once everything is clean and all the dirt and trash are outside the room, I start filling the tub with the HOTTEST water I can possibly stand; as full as it can go without running over when I get in.  To me, this is like God’s cleansing fire and the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes, if the room is cool enough you can actually see the steam rising off the hot water just like the Holy Spirit moving throughout the room, filling your lungs.  It’s incredible!

Step 4) I kneel before my full tub and come before God on this sacred day, naked, unashamed, grateful for the work He is doing in my life, and sincerely apologetic for the things that I have done against Him.  I shake the bottle and mix the oil and vanilla together asking God to make Christian and I one flesh (the two shall become one flesh).  Then I pour it into the water and ask God to be the third cord that binds our hearts together forever.  I ask God to use this water to make me a virgin again, and to give us back all the missing pieces of our hearts.  I beg for His forgiveness.

Step 5) Read Romans 6:11-14.

Step 6) I completely submerge each part of my body in the water as I dedicate it to God for His glory and ask Him to purify and cleanse me.  I start with my feet and finish with my ears, eyes, nose, mouth and mind including swallowing a bit of the water and praying that He fill me with His words and that my words be pleasing to Him.  No more shall sin rule over me!  I lay there and think about the changes that God has made in me over the last days and how He loves me.  I continue to pray (and listen) as I rest in the presence of the LORD, letting him surround me and fill me with His Holy Spirit.

Step 7) Once I’ve soaked long enough, I lay down as far into the tub as I can and pull the plug on the drain with my foot.  As the water drains away from me I pray that my sins will be in the water and that as they drain away from me God will throw them as far as the East is from the West!  It’s the coolest feeling as the water drains; it feels like the sins are being sucked out of your body!  It only feels like this when you’re laying in the water though.

Step 8 ) (CAUTION: the tub will be soaked in oil and will be SLIPPERY at first so be VERY CAREFUL!)  I carefully stand up and take a shower, totally pampering myself.  I shave, wash my hair, and take my time; doing all those things that I normally never take the time to do.  I groom things, buff things, scrub things, anything to make me feel gorgeous.

Step 9) I clothe myself in clean white garments of righteousness.  (This is where the white panties/bra or jammies come in; I hope you were able to get some new ones.)  Now, while this doesn’t mean that I’m perfect; it does mean that I’m trying to be.

From this point forward, I am like the lions from Daniel in the lion’s den.  I keep my mouth shut and my paws to myself.  I have my husband show me how much I mean to him by not rushing things.  We’re talking days here, not hour’s people.  We’ll talk a little more about this later.

Christian’s comments:

 

Husbands, you don’t have to do your purity bath like Tamar listed hers, but rather let God lead you. I don’t take baths, but shower instead. And I don’t shave my legs.  You don’t have to shave your legs either… unless that’s something you do. I know a couple of guys that do, but it’s your prerogative.

Tamar blessed me by anointing my head with oil the first time after our first fast. After that I started taking my own purity baths. I prepare myself like it is my wedding day. I clean the shower. I run really hot water for my shower, use some nice smelling body wash and scrub myself. I use oil to shave my head and face, so I ask God to bless the oil so that I may purify myself for my wife.

I wore the typical black tux at our wedding, so I bought some black, silky boxers to wear. You don’t have to do this, but if your wife got dressed up in a new night-gown, or new white underwear, you should do something nice too.

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , ,

Day 12: Proof

You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you, on the day that you were created they were prepared. Ezekiel 28:13

One morning God gave me the following vision of a jewelry store.  As I walked into the store the first thing I saw out on display was some costume jewelry.  Out.  Where anyone could look at it, touch it, or take it if, and whenever they wanted.  This jewelry was not special, it was not expensive and it was definitely not something you would hand down to your children.  This jewelry was not valuable.  It would be pretty at first, nice to look at, but it would tarnish quickly, and could easily be replaced or thrown away.

As I continued into the store I came to some nicer jewelry.  This kind of jewelry took up the majority of the store.  It was still on display where anyone could see it, however, it was locked in a glass case where you had to ask permission from the jeweler to open the case and take the jewelry out before you could touch it.  This jewelry was nicer and more expensive than the costume jewelry, however, pretty much anyone who walked into the store could ask to touch it and be granted permission.  ANYONE could come and look.  And stealing it would take a minimal amount of effort.

Finally I came to the priceless jewels; 4+ carat diamonds, huge and rare rubies and sapphires, and heirloom collector’s items.  THESE were NOT on display.  These priceless jewels were hidden, locked up in a safe with a combination that only the “high up” jewelers knew and only the special customers, that had enough money and intent, could see them let alone touch or buy them.  These items were SO special that they were NEVER advertised, they were never on display, they were a secret, because they were so precious.

Ladies, WE are that jewelry; our bodies.  The way that we see ourselves and treat ourselves are the different levels of jewelry and display.  How do you view yourself?  Do you see yourself as the costume jewelry, cheap and disposable?  Nice to look at but after a little while the niceness rubs off.  Or, do you see yourself as the nicer jewelry?  More expensive, the men have to ask permission to touch, but anyone can still look, because hey, you’re nice to look at?  Or are you the priceless jewelry?  Locked, hidden in a safe for the one and ONLY person who’s shown enough interest to have you and the ability to take good care of you.  *Sniff*  As I was just typing that, God said to me “I see them as the priceless jewelry, even if that’s not how they see themselves.”  *Sniff*  You.  Are.  So.  Beautiful to Him! You are priceless, covered in priceless jewels set with gold!  YOU!  He is talking to YOU!  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!  Start believing it for goodness sake!

For the longest time, as far back as I can remember anyway, I saw myself as the jewelry on display, not the costume jewelry, but not the priceless jewelry either.  I’ve always been petite and for the most part relatively skinny and not too bad to look at if I say so myself.  When my breasts started developing I, of course, wanted to show them off to the boys.  I wore revealing clothing, not too revealing my parents wouldn’t let me, but once I was out of the house… well that was a different story.  I was trying to attract the boys’ attention with my body, because honestly, it worked and I didn’t know any better way.  I enjoyed their looks, they made me feel good and worth looking at.  When I got married my necklines somehow dropped even lower than they were before!  And even if the necklines weren’t low, they were loose so if I bent over to care for one of my children I was showing the goods off to anyone with eyes!  Oh how God has opened my eyes to the folly of my ways.  My body belongs to my husband and my husband alone!  My breasts are for HIS eyes only.  Before, when they were on “display” for everyone to see – not all of them mind you, but the cleavage and fleshy parts – they weren’t specifically for Christian’s eyes only.  However, since God has led me to change my dressing habits and to cover things up more, my breasts are for my husband alone.  Making them more special and “entertaining” for him.  Think about it, when you know that your husband ONLY has eyes for you, how does that make you feel – pretty special and important right?  Now put the shoe on the other foot, when your husband knows that your body is ONLY for his eyes and enjoyment, how do you think that would make him feel?

Do you know what the verse BEFORE our opening verse says?  …You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. (Ezekiel 28:12b)  WOW!  In the Garden of Eden, they were naked.  And this verse is telling us that while in the garden and still naked they were PERFECT in beauty.  The next verse tells us that not only were they perfect in beauty; every precious stone covered their bodies.  In our natural state, naked, our bodies are perfect.  Period.

God created you just the way that you are.  I think Dawn McConnell said it best in “God’s Plan for Married Sex” when she said,

“He chose your legs, your thighs, your dress size, eye color, hair type.  You didn’t make you, God did.”6 We should be comfortable in what we look like and who we are as God created us, women.  Have you noticed that subdivisions these days don’t have straight roads anymore?  Do you know why that is?  Curves are more pleasing to the eye than straight lines.  One of the main characteristics of the woman’s body – is curves!

OK, I have a challenge for you today.  It is something that you will probably read this and say “No way am I doing that!”  But, that’s why I’m challenging you.  I’m double dog daring you to do this!  Write down on a note card: Psalm 139:14 Take it into your bathroom and stand in front of your mirror, full length if you’ve got one.  Then start at the top of your head with your hair, and work your way down to your toes.  Study your body and as you study it say to God “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Your works are wonderful and I know that full well.”  Then, I triple dog dare you to do the exact same thing naked!  The effect is amazing, believe me!  Through God’s amazing love and this exercise, (which I learned from Lorraine Pintus and her amazing book Intimate Issues) I am in love with my body just the way that it is.  I love the silver in my hair, because it’s proof of how I’m getting to grow older with my husband, who is already blissfully bald.  I love the lines on my face, because they’re proof of years full of laughter and smiles.  I love the way that my breasts sag, because it’s proof of all the time that I spent holding and nursing my infants, watching them grow and bonding with them.  And I love the fact that my husband still loves my breasts and is still obsessed with them, I’m sure you can relate!  I love the “pooch” of my belly and the gigantic scar under it, because they’re my Mommy badge of honor!  I was blessed beyond measure to carry not one, but TWO babies in that belly, and some women never get to do that.  My hands, oh my hands!  The things that they’ve done!  Both good and bad, but either way, it’s been my hands that have done it all from comforting my children, to writing this book, to pleasing my husband.  I love my legs and feet, and the fact that they have taken me everywhere I have ever gone.  My body is amazing and full of “proofs” of a life filled with happiness, hard times and mistakes that I’ve survived and God has turned into “glittering rainbows”.

Just like the leaves that God paints in the fall of their lives, full of new color and light, we too grow old beautifully (no matter what those pesky commercials tell us).  Our lives can be full of light and color, but we have to allow “THE light” to shine through us like the opals, the jewels, that we really are.

Christian’s comments:

Yup, God only made so many perfect heads, the rest he covered with hair. I was in college when I first started losing my hair. I would wear a hat all the time and try to hide it. When my forehead started getting further back, I started cutting my hair shorter and shorter. Then, on my thirtieth birthday, I shaved it with a razor for the first time. Tamar really liked it, and I never went back. I have embraced my baldness (my flaw) and it is now a part of me.

How many of you husbands were like me? In jr. high and high school, how many of you chased after the costume jewelry? Go ahead, raise your hands. No one is looking. When my hormones were raging, I went after a LOT of girls that fit into the costume jewelry category. Most of them would have “the goods” on display for anyone to see. I would chase after them because I was only after one thing and they seemed to be the easiest way to get it.

Luckily, God had other plans for me. Most of the girls wouldn’t even go out with me. I wasn’t enough of a “sure thing”. Whenever one would go out with me, we could never seem to hook up, no matter how hard I tried.
As I grew older, I started dating girls that fit in the nice jewelry category. And, surprise surprise, the relationships lasted longer and were more enjoyable. There was less pressure. I didn’t have to worry about the girls dumping me for more of a “sure thing”.

At last, halfway through my senior year, I found my priceless jewelry.  My Tamar.  Husbands don’t become distracted by the costume jewelry that you see day-to-day. Don’t even give it a second glance. Instead, concentrate on the priceless jewelry you already have.

On a side note: Husbands and wives please pay attention to what your daughters are wearing out in public. Seems like everywhere I go I see young girls wearing skimpy tank tops and short shorts. They are barely wearing more than bathing suits. And don’t get me started on those! Please teach them some modesty. They don’t seem to understand the attention they are getting from wearing the skimpy clothes is not the attention they want. They aren’t just attracting the attention of the boys their age, but from dangerous people who really want to do them harm. Please help your daughters to not become pieces of costume jewelry. Please teach them to respect themselves. Help them to see that they are priceless jewels.

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog at WordPress.com.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: