Finding Hope in the Woman in the Mirror


I’ve struggled most of my life with looking in the mirror.
The woman I see staring back at me has usually not been the same woman I am.
The one staring back often feels as though she’s just not good enough.

Three years ago, my journey took a new turn. With that turn, part of me was lost, but part of me was also found. I had decisions to make and a path to walk. None of it would be easy. The reflection wasn’t friendly, but what was reflected became bigger than my own reflection.


I wear make-up, and I like to wear make-up. My husband and boys tell me I don’t look much different without make-up as compared to what I look like when I do wear it. I disagree. The mirror seems to prefer mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.

The mirror tells me I’m a little “soft” and that I carry a few extra pounds;
the camera shows me that I’m squishy, and it’s more than just a few.

The mirror shows me that my skin is beginning to show its age;
my heart and my love of adventure don’t agree.

The mirror reveals the increase in my graying hair, my stray lip hair and the dark spots here and there from tanning way back when.

The mirror is like a friend who is brutally honest…you know…the one who tells you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.

The mirror shows me what is on the surface, but — if I stay to look long enough — it shows what is often hidden.

The mirror.


For Christmas this year, my husband surprised me with two wall decals. He got me the kind that press on, but are removable if one ever wants a change. One was small, and it went up right away, but the other one came in a big roll, and — since shortly after Christmas — it has laid on the floor in our library with a few soft stuffed animals pressing on it to make it flat. MANY times, he has asked me where I’d want it to be put on the wall, as he was VERY ready to stop stepping over it and get it up “for me.”

It was big. I just didn’t know where to put it. Most of the walls in our house are textured, so I just kept saying I didn’t want him to try to put it on a textured wall until I was sure I knew where I wanted it.

About a week ago, I told him I finally knew where I’d like it to be placed. When I told him the location, he questioned me multiple times. He was pleased that I had finally made up my mind, but he doubted the wisdom of my decision. Against his own preference, he decided to honor my wish, and he diligently pressed the letters onto the surface for me. We’re both in agreement now.

The photo you see above is where it now resides.


In our master bathroom, there’s a folding, three-way mirror I designed and made when we renovated the room a few years ago. These wall decals now hang on the middle section of that mirror. They were a perfect fit, and I think they truly were meant to be there.

You see, the words now stuck on that mirror are the fruit of the Spirit. When I look into that mirror, what reflects back at me is not just me, but what He is leading me to be as I submit to being in step with the Spirit who resides in me.

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control;”

excerpted from Galatians 5:22-23 of the NASB

In John, chapter 15 of the Bible, Jesus tells us He is the vine, and we are the branches. The branches grow from the vine and draw their life from the vine. The branches, then, have the ability to bear fruit. His fruit. Perhaps we’ll delve into this vine/branches/fruit topic more in the future, but for now, I want you to know something…

In Him, through Him, and because of my walk with Him, the woman I see staring back at me is becoming more like what He calls me to be.

I’m still a work in progress, but the seeds of His Spirit within me are sprouting and bearing His fruit.

I am struggling less with the mirror, as what is reflected is greater than just my own reflection.





Finding Patience in Fresh-picked Greens

Freshly-picked Greens - Copy

The garden has been bursting forth with fresh, leafy lettuce! Salads are a popular meal around our table, but especially when lettuce from our organic garden can be enjoyed.

I don’t have a greenhouse, so where I live, lettuce is ready in the spring long before the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. By the time those are ready, the lettuce is often going to seed in the heat of the summer. By the time the fall lettuce is ready to eat, the tomatoes and cukes are finished.

I wish all of the garden’s delights could be ready at the same time. To solve my challenge, I could spend more time planning the planting schedule, or I could invest in a home greenhouse to have more control over harvest dates. For now, though, it’s enough for me to grow everything organically and to grow everything from organic seeds I started and tended to maturity.

I wonder if God wonders the same about me?

I am sure He beams with pride at His daughter bursting forth with seasons of good deeds and faith-based decisions she’s made after prayerful consideration for her Father’s will and ways. After all, he’s tended to her hopes and her needs as he’s pulled weeds and obstacles out of her path. He’s tenderly shown her how He’s spent time weaving her life together for His good and her good through the tear-filled lessons she’s had to endure.

He’s also lovingly waited on her stubbornness and her selfish bouts of anger and depression to teach her — yet again — that her ways are not His ways. He’s amended the lives of her family and brought about a bountiful harvest despite her hurtful attitude and words that have, at times, wilted their self-esteem.

He knows she’ll come around (he has that ability to see well into her future, you know). He knows He’ll water her life with his Living Water. He knows His Light will shine on her, illuminate her path and be a source of her growth. He knows there will be a day when He’ll be able to tell her she’s been a good and faithful servant.

But…He still has to wait until That Day when all of His pieces, all of His work and all of His pruning will fall together as He planned, allowed and intended. And…while He’s waiting, He knows He won’t be able to enjoy all of His delights in her at the same time — she’s just not capable of that kind of bounty — yet.

Oh, what He must think?  Oh, how patient is He?

The lettuce is ready, and I am thankful to be able to enjoy it. I am also thankful for His patience with me.