walking in a

winter wonderland.

I wanted to get right out in it this morning before it started melting.

And I’m thinking about the heart. As beautiful as nature is I want my heart to be. The outward beauty of a person is only skin deep. But a beautiful heart is where life starts. Real life. A nourishing and peaceful life worth feasting on.

The beauty industry makes billions off of us. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. I love new make up and nice shampoos and soaps and perfumes. These things have some value and help us take care of our bodies.

I would love to care for my heart’s beauty with as much attention to detail as I do my body and hair and skin. It’s a way of thinking that’s almost difficult because of the society we live in, but it’s not impossible. I have many friends who are down to earth, and lovely, and real. People who love me enough to tell me I’m wrong, people who protect what is good. People that make me feel safe enough to be authentic, too.

“God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”

If I truly believe this, won’t I do what I can to guard my heart? To a certain extent, I naturally do things (like music and books and art) that nurture my heart, but I am also to guard it.

Years ago, I got to know someone who told me (when we first met) that her favorite Bible verse was Proverbs 4:23. She did well in mentioning church and God, convincing me of her faith which caused me to trust her. But as I became close friends with her I noticed that she had no regard for her heart or even my heart; she said ugly things, enjoyed perverse and dark behaviors, didn’t speak kindly of her close family, and started to influence me in the same behaviors, all the whole treating our friendship with either distance or closeness depending on the day. Things I would have never said before, I found myself saying. Even my thoughts were changing and my emotions were off the charts. Crying. Fear. Frustration. These are all signs of soul-poisoning.

How slowly and carefully evil can penetrate a vulnerable soul. Using scripture and pretty words to gain trust just as the serpent did in the garden of Eden, and still does. But we are not without hope and we are already more than conquerors.

Be careful. Don’t learn the hard way like I did when I was younger. Don’t pay as much attention to words and appearance as you do to behavior and patterns—-and observe everything. Guard your heart. Don’t trust to closeness any one or any church until you’ve seen how they behave.

Again, please please please be careful with your priceless heart. Guard it. Keep it open to beauty, art, music, wholesome things, keep it open in love and trust but GUARD IT. Like the treasure it is.

“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” Proverbs 4:23

Evil is sneaky, confusing, dark, covert, hidden behind masks of light, demonic, dangerous, and causes deep pain in good people because eventually the mask comes off.

Pain that can and will be healed, yes. But I wish I had been more careful with my heart in several situations in my past. However, God forgives and redeems. “What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus!”

“Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.”

“Keep your eyes straight ahead: ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you.”

“Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.”

“God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”

Finally in the month of March I’m settling on the word HEART as my word of the year 2023. It’s going to be fun to think about and grow in.

Hugs!!! To all of my friends here. I’m so glad to have such truly beautiful people surrounding me every day. So many that the ugly ones are twice as shocking. Lol.

We are truly blessed.