Monday, May 25, 2015

Broken is Beautiful

On Mother's Day morning just as I was waking up, I had a vision. I saw a single white flower in a vase on our dining room table. Later that morning they handed out roses at church. There were different colors available, but the rose handed to me was white. After we got home I put the rose in a vase, and put it on the table. I didn't make the connection until a few days later. 

Sometimes when I'm feeling lost, God gives me markers to let me know I'm where I'm supposed to be. I just made a major ministry change, and we're going to a new church now. I was constantly second-guessing myself whether I made the right choices. Now I know I'm right where God wants me. Have you ever received markers concerning your destiny?

Printed with permission.  Debby lives in Wisconsin with her husband.  Her inspiring book, The Inside Scoop on God, by Deborah Ann Erdmann, is a most enjoyable read.

Have you received markers concerning your destiny?

A few days after reading Debby’s post, I suddenly realized my own response to her question while washing my dishes.  A memory flashed before me of Mother’s Day last year.  At the end of the church service, moms were asked to stand as school age children with bouquets of carnations offered us a flower.  I, too, chose a white one from the bunch but when I pulled it out, I immediately noticed the stem was bent.  My observant husband, an usher, went to the supply and got me another white carnation with a sturdy spine!  I kept both and when I got home, I put them in a bud vase.  I got the bent-stemmed one to stand up straight only when I leaned it against the sturdy flower.

Last fall I attended a six-week healing seminar at church called “Cleansing Stream” with a promised outcome of deep inner healing.  The last session, being one of intense prayer and worship at a Phoenix church, reminded me of a motivational teaching with the high intensity of Tony Robbins! 

I became unplugged.  I cannot deny the subtle changes appearing in my everyday life.  Writing helps me understand things, but I needed confidence so I can be bold in the way I think God is leading me.    

I needed a marker.

I have always had a heart for the broken.  But I never knew the extent of how much God loves His broken children. 

Brokenness no longer scares me, even in myself.  I want to be that person that God can use to help support the bent ones just like the two carnations in my bud vase.

Because if someone accepts you and loves you, you don’t look so bent anymore.

God knew long before that healing seminar last fall that He would touch me and send me.  He was gracious to confirm a marker to me through a flower just like my friend, Debby.

Have you received markers concerning your destiny? 

Monday, May 18, 2015

In My Father’s Eyes

"I am not called to be successful.
I am called to be faithful."
Mother Teresa

I got my face cartooned at the fair this spring.  The experience made me wonder if I need counseling.

As John sketched, he asked me about myself.  “Name one thing you like about being retired.”  I replied: “Having time to write, especially short stories, about my life experiences.” 

John put his marker down and leaned forward.  “Well, you’re not a spring chicken so I’m sure you have many stories and you won’t have to make up stuff.”

I asked John to repeat that.  Yes, that’s what I thought I heard him say the first time. 

He asked me if my writings are published and I told him no.  Does that make me not a writer?”  He responds:  It means you’re a ‘Wannabe Writer.’”

I’m glad that I live in a different kingdom than John.  When Jesus called us, He said:  “Follow Me; I’ll make you fishers of men.”  Not “Someday, when your achievements measure up, you can be my disciples.” 

I’m blessed to be on my friend, Nikki’s prayer team.  When her first book received two awards, God opened doors for her to speak to  women in prison to testify to the hope Jesus gives after being abused.  But Nikki has always been a great writer, even before her books published!

When my pastor held up a six month old baby girl and dedicated her to the Lord, a word of prophecy fell on him.  She will grow into a woman who loves God and in the quiet He will give her words to write that will touch people and influence them for His kingdom.

I don’t recall Pastor saying that this word only holds true if she achieves success and fame.  No, she will be a contemplative girl and anointed words will flow out of her onto the paper.  Make room Christian writers; this little Kingdom changer will be joining us one day.

It is Obedience that God looks for whether He tells us to go for that PHD or volunteer in the nursery. 

When I was a young mom, I told the editor of our little town’s newspaper what I would like to read--- that being a society page, sort of, with stories about the residents with recipes to feature as a benefit.  He liked that and hired me on his staff of writers for a mid-week column.  It was a hit.  The request for “that special recipe” got me into many a home, but it was writing their stories that motivated me and made the people feel special.  I trusted my editor’s critiques; I liked seeing the final outcome reproduced and liked seeing my name in print.  I liked earning a paycheck while still being able to be a stay-at-home mom.

I liked my dad’s approval.  He loved my writing and ordered the paper to be delivered to his mailbox.  He clipped every column and neatly kept a binder of them in plastic protector pages.  My folk’s friends treated me like a celebrity when I went home.   My dad was proud of his girl and told them stories I had written about my town.  He even tried some recipes!   It was the cutest thing and embarrassing, too, because in truth I was a nobody, but in my father’s eyes, I was somebody.

In Father God’s eyes, we’re all somebody’s.  There are no Wanna-bees, only somebody’s.

At the fair, I ask my girlfriend, Janet, about my cartoon portrait.  “Does it look anything like me?” I pleaded with eyes begging for compassion.  “Ah, let’s see.” She steps back and evaluates.  “He captured your smile and that’s what we all love about you.”

“I guess so,” I reply.  “Not too bad…for a wanna-be cartoonist!”