Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dud

Remember the Fourth of July celebrations when you were a kid and you and your siblings ran out to the curb of the street with your bundle of fireworks that your parents brought home? Remember the snakes and how fascinating it was to watch them grow right there on the cement? (I can still smell them.)
 Remember the sparklers and how fun it was to whip them in circles as you raced around the yard at dusk?
Remember all the brightly colored ones that you lit up and then they either twirled around on the pavement or made a noise like a siren? Or both.

Or the ones that did that shooty thing straight up in the air? (that is obviously the technical name.)

Or the one that you lit in anticipation and they just sort of spark once or twice and then fizzled out?

That was called a "dud" and we would just shrug and move on to the next smoke bomb or twirly thingy.
Sometimes I feel like I'm a dud. Like I spark and then just fizzle out on the sidewalk.
 A dud.
A dud for Christ.
Great.
I know I'm feeling that way because I said no to a speaking engagement for next week.
Rod and I prayed about it and for a variety of reasons really felt I should say no at this time. But that doesn't stop the voices in my head saying I messed up. Again.

Like God will turn his back on me and never ever use me again.

Do you ever feel like that? Like you messed up so bad that God doesn't even want to look at you?

One of my favorite things in life...no, my favorite thing in this life is being able to share what God has done for me. How he took a girl who was living only for herself, harming herself and others in the process of being so selfish, and let her know that he loves her and has saved her from herself.

My story is not really about me. I am definitely  not the hero in my own story. God is and will always be. He saves. He loves. He chases me and finds me...a dud.

So when I get the chance (and I do very often) of sharing my story, I am terrified and thrilled all at the same time. Terrified because I feel very naked and vulnerable while I talk about what I have done. Then thrilled when I get to talk about what Jesus has done...anyway.
 I absolutely explode with joy and am just on fire to share how God loves us enough to overlook everything we have done and adopts us in to his family. I so do not deserve that no matter what I do.

 "Baby, you're a Firework" by Katy Perry is playing in my head because that is pretty much is how I feel when I have to chance to let broken people know that God loves them and forgives them. Not usually a song when we think of worshiping God.

 But it fits here.

The accusing voices in my head need to just shut it.
Zip it, for Pete's sake. Or for mine.

And I'll go on gladly and happily being a dud for Jesus.
 One who explodes with joy on a regular basis over the things he has done.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Identify



My good friend is throwing a wedding this weekend for her daughter because her daughter's fiance is getting deployed much sooner than expected. I am aching for them because I know they were anticipating throwing a fantastic wedding and reception that reflected all the love and joy they felt for this occasion.
Right now I wish I had a good eye for design. I wish I could decorate a wedding cake. I wish I could make beautiful centerpieces and help her make the best of a rushed wedding reception. Honestly, I am wishing I were someone else that could actually help them.
Right now I am feeling useless.

I am going to the place where the reception will be held the day before to assist in setting up tables and chairs,and anything else that needs to be done. But honestly?I am scared to death that someone will unwittingly  ask me to hang bunting or arrange flowers.
Oh, the HORROR!!

I am almost frozen into immobility while I focus on all my short comings.

This morning while I went on my walk with Coops and Lucy I was praying for my friends and this wedding and this marriage. My prayers turned to asking for wisdom for ways I could help and before I knew it, I was rehashing all the ways I couldn't help because I am not talented or skilled enough.

Nothing like some lovely ingrown eyeballs.
Sigh.

Society tells us our problem is that we have low self esteem and so we go looking and searching for that thing that shows that we are good at something, that we have worth, value and are successful. We need something to give us our identity and worth.
Growing up, I felt like everyone in my family had something they were extraordinarily gifted in, but I could never seem to fine my niche. I wasn't athletic, I couldn't sing beautifully (cough-cough) I wasn't an artist, I didn't do very well in school (cough-cough).Oh, I was skilled at being sneaky. Ask anyone. But I felt I had no identity, aside from being the stereotypical, troubled middle child.
I am truly not writing this to garner compliments and assurances of my skills and worth. But, if you feel led...
(Just to clarify:I am obviously not trying to say I have no worth or value what-so-ever.  I am a Jesus-loving, goat whispering, dog walking, duck chasing, stall cleaning,ferocious Mama Bear, fluffy Nana-bread and best friend to the best guy ever. It's just that those things don't help my friends out when they are trying to throw a wedding that means a great deal to them. So, I wish I could decorate a cake right now. That's all.)

It wasn't until I met Jesus that I found my true identity. What a huge sigh of relief!

God, who is all-powerful,compassionate, eternal, faithful, a consuming fire who became man chose and adopted me, the stereotypical, troubled middle child with no discernible skill or talent.
 And if you believe in Him, then He adopted you as well.
 Yeah, I'll take that identity. I'm good. (He does tend to use the weak and the foolish...just sayin'.)

This morning, while on my walk, I stopped in my tracks and reflected on Jesus Christ and who I am because of Him.
I'm forgiven.
I'm redeemed.
I'm a child of God.
I am a friend of God.
I've been set free.
I can love others because he loves me.
(fyi: imagine each of those points above written in  flaming, neon font, italicized and underlined and bold. Because that is how I am imagining them.)

When I start thinking like this I wonder how I can ever stop gushing the Good News to everyone I see. Seriously.

I need to quit looking for the good things that can make me feel worthy and look at the good things Christ has done for me.
Instead of finding my identity in my skills or talent or job or relationships I have to find my real identity in the cross.


Cake decorating, designing beautiful wedding venues, flower arranging, etc. are all excellent skills to have. Ones I really, really wish I had right now. But I need to constantly remind myself  that my value is not based on having ( or not having) those talents.
Because all those skills and talents will eventually let you down.You'll lose your ability or get older, or people will disappoint you. The applause and accolades will die down and fade away and then you will have to try more and try harder to get them again.
 True that.
Here is a song by Matthew West that helps remind all of us who we really are.
Enjoy your day! (and if you are helpful planning last minute weddings, hit me up.)








 
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