Jesus

Delight

 

As I stood in front of the mirror rolling my hair, the early morning sun shining through the window behind me,  I noticed that my blue eyes looked exceptionally blue.  Must be the blue dress I’m wearing.

My mind went to the sixth graders to whom I spoke last week.  They were telling me what they like about their appearance and what they like about their inner qualities.  One of the girls said, “I like how my eyes change color.”

“According to the time of day and what you’re wearing, you mean?,” I asked.

“Yes,” she nodded.

“Your eyes are lovely,” I affirmed.

I affirm each child as they tell me what they like about themselves.

And as I rolled the last section of hair it occurred to me that that is precisely why sixth graders love my talk.

I am God for them.

More precisely I am the part of God who delights in them.

Later in the lesson, as I point out the land mines that are lurking in adolescence, I am God’s voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

And they appreciate knowing what’s what.

Later this morning, the bearers of the cross, the giant gold Bible, and the lanterns processed midway down the aisle and stopped, just as they do every Sunday. The Bible was opened and the deacon read from the gospels. And I love it. I love that the procession into the aisle represents Jesus coming among us.  Jesus telling us His good news – not from afar, but from within our midst.

I jotted in my bulletin, “I want to bring an aspect of God whenever I speak – mercy, compassion, love, grace, guidance, delight.”

Wouldn’t that be something?

To bring God’s delight within a midst?

To leave each person with a sense that God finds him/her delightful?

Mr. Rogers was good at that.

I think I’ll make it my prayer.

For now, I’ll ask you what I always ask them:

What 3 things do you like most about your appearance?

What 3 things do you like most about your character/inner beauty?

 

 

 

 

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life

Award Hoard

Back in early May, Allie over at The Randomness of Life bestowed the Versatile Blogger Award upon me (thanks Allie).  Okay, I thought, I’m kinda’ versatile – talking food one day, God the next, then motherhood, then God again, then dogs, heroin, religion, a daily prompt or two…  So, yes, I will accept the award.  Oh, but wait, share seven things about myself?  That could get boring.  For all of us.

So I did what I usually do in these situations – I played Mensa games to warm up my brain… and then I kept playing.  Mensa games, Scrabble, 2048.  I’m a procrastinating genius.

It wasn’t long before I forgot all about the award, well, all but that unsightly loose end.

But I dare not make excuses because Allie doesn’t put up with slackers.  She’s a results person. It says so right on her blog:  “I don’t put up with slackers or excuses. I’m a results not a process person.”

Allie is also a clever writer, sharing whatever is on her mind – including what it’s like to live with mental illness and a brain injury. I like the way she writes.  Plus she wrote two really nice sentences about my blog in her nomination post, so I love her.

Check her out.

THEN wafflemethis (LOVE that blog name/username, can’t read it without smiling or chuckling) nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award.  What?  Don’t get me wrong, I was kind of flattered.  Really flattered. (Thanks Rich.) I’ve always wanted to be creative. But I’m really not.  Still, I felt like I ought to come up with 7 CREATIVE things about myself.

Dang it.

More Mensa games, more scrabble, get those CREATIVE juices flowing…

No, really, ONE OF THESE DAYS I’m going to think of a creative way to respond, and then I will.

Or the award will fade from my non-creative, lazy, lazy mind.

I must confess that I don’t really know wafflemethis yet, but I intend to.  His post says he’s a building maintenance engineer who actually loves his job, and he’s “one of the last of a dying breed, A gentleman and a hopeless romantic.”  I’m thinking there might be some good, lovey stories there, so let’s check him out together.

And then yesterday, Erika Kind (she married the perfect last name for her personality) was so kind as to nominate me for The Starlight Award.

Awww, thank you, Erika, how could I say no to you?  You are the ultimate good neighbor, spreading a vast blanket of love and goodwill with your posts and encouraging comments.

So, today is the day I tie up those loose ends, join the love-spreading party and become a better blogging neighbor.  A better bleighbor.

So, without further ado, let’s get to those awards!

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According to the VBA rules, I need to disclose seven tidbits about me and my life:

  1. hmm……
  2. ummm…..
  3. well there’s….
  4. or maybe…..
  5. wait, here’s one…..
  6. hmmmm…
  7. “Honey, …?

I don’t want to make a mockery of this award – or any award – but I’m just not that interesting.

Now for the nominations. Here are 15 (I cut and pasted this paragraph from Allie’s post, so you’ll know how to do it properly, but I’m going to read 15 as 1-5) blogs on various topics that I find fascinating, for one reason or another. For those that I’ve nominated, or anyone who wants to check it out, here’s the Versatile Blogger Award website.

Now for the nominees:

  1. The Gad About Town writes about a whole variety of things.  There are several good chuckles and clever lines and “hats off to you, sir”s in every post.  What I really admire and appreciate about him, though, is his persistence in making the plight of Raif Badawi known.
  2. I would nominate creakingbones for the award because he is a big, burly, harley-riding, retired police officer who recently posted about FASHION (how versatile is THAT?), but I don’t think he likes awards, so I won’t.
  3. Linda, of Just Writing!, participates in EVERY SINGLE daily prompt.  And I enjoy her efforts.  She deserves an award.
  4. Lew-Ellyn runs a B&B, bakes, writes, does stuff with wires and screwdrivers and hammers, loves on her grandkids and jumps her mower with her jeep.  And she writes versatilely about it all.  In Maine.  Mosey on over and meet her.  She’s one of my first blogging friends and she has Away With Words.
  5. Shazzameena, of AT MY TABLE fame, is blogging her way through an Italian cookbook as well as walking her way through Sydney, when she’s not ministering her way through Ireland.  She has and is a sweet, honest heart.  Go meet her if you’re not already acquainted.  Tell her Julie sent you.

On to the Creative Blogging Award, the one I fear I do not deserve, the one that has me thinking I have to be all CREATIVE.

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First, the rules:

Thank and link back to the person who nominated you (mention your nominator in your own award post with a link back to their original award post, which would be this one).

Share 7 things about yourself.

Nominate other bloggers and comment on their blogs (usually on their about page or contact directly if necessary) to let them know.

Now 7 things about me:

See Versatile Blogger Award above.  (See how I’m killing two birds with one stone?)  Hey!  That’s something about me:

  1. I like to kill two birds with one stone.

Now for the nominees:  (So glad this one doesn’t say how many.)

  1. K, Kat, Kathy, Kathleen of Walking After Midnight has a creative stream of consciousness, and she is, dare I say in this politically correct world, the most cheerful depressed person I have ever encountered.  I’ve probably just offended some people, but I sure didn’t mean to.  I say it with the utmost love, respect and affection.  Anyway, she is ENDEARING, even in her struggles.  Check her out, show her some LOVE.

I’m probably forgetting someone (lots of creative someones), but it’s not often that an award allows you to stop after just one nominee so I’m taking full advantage.

This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers.

This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers.

The Starlight Blogger Award is a bit different, rather than sharing 7 tidbits, I must answer 3 questions.  And I will.

Award Rules:

•Nominate your 6 favorite bloggers! In your nominees I would like for you to think at the light emanating from the stars the ones that truly touch your soul with their work, the ones that are the light for you a true STARLIGHT Blogger.

•Thank the giver and link their Blog to your post.

•Answer the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.

•Please Pass the award on to 6 or more other Bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.

Include the logo of the award in a post or on your Blog, please never alter the logo. Please don’t delete this note: the design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter is a Copyright image you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award. Copyright 2015 © YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo

Erika’s Questions:

1. Who made you discover the starlight within you?

Jesus, now HE’s interesting.

I was very attracted to Him when I was a young girl in catechism, but then my family stopped going to church when I was in first grade.  I remember laying in my trundle bed feeling so sad that we were booting Him out of our family so I said, “You can stay with me, Jesus, I’ll keep you alive  in this family”. I tried to hold on to Him, but by the time I was in Jr. High I had forgotten all about Him.

During my last year at Michigan State I worked with a young Christian woman named Karen.  She kept inviting me to play in her church’s softball games and I kept declining thinking they would be a bunch of nerds.  Just before I graduated, Karen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.

Meanwhile, while I was away at school, my dad became a Christian.  When I moved back home, his wife told me that he was praying for the salvation of my sisters and me every morning.  I smiled, figured it was only a matter of time.

I planned to spend Fourth of July 1983 in Lansing with Karen.  The night before our visit, I was laying on the sofa thinking about her.   She had told me that people from her church, whom she didn’t even know, were praying for her and that it meant a lot to her.  I thought about my dad praying for me and reasoned, “If I’m going to be a Christian someday, I might as well start now.”  So I prayed for Karen, too.  And as soon as I finished praying for her, God revealed Himself to me in a magnificent way.  I’ll likely tell you about that sometime.  Anyway, I exclaimed, “I remember you!”  It was a glorious reunion.  We’ve been getting reacquainted ever since.

2. What would you say is your starlight gift for others?

I listen to people’s stories.  I treat them with dignity.  I share what the Spirit points out to me, try to shine a little light in this world.

3. What is your biggest dream?

Publish my book, sell a few copies, use the proceeds to buy a lodge on a lake (okay, sell QUITE A FEW copies), invite those who need rest to come and rest, listen to their stories if they want to tell them, feed them nutritious, delicious, soul-comforting food, and let them sit, read, float or fish in the midst of God’s artistry and maybe even enjoy some really good talks with Him.

My questions to the new nominees:

  1. What is your best quality, talent and/or genius?
  2. What contribution would you like to make to society?
  3. What is your biggest dream? (I’m allowed to copy off Erika, aren’t I?)

Now for my six inspirational nominees:

  1. Wally Fry at Truth in Palmyra, I know you are crazy busy at work right now but…
  2. Elihu, what about you?
  3. James, at The Isaiah 53:5 Project, I know your sweet car is smashed and you’re frantically getting ready to go on vacation, so no hurry…
  4. Peggy, Gray Clouds, Clear Skies,  I would love to read your answers…
  5. Hmm, let’s hear from a fine young gentleman & scholar, that would be you, Chard, and your 101 Ways to Cook Rice and Beans, you’re up….
  6. Rebecca, at A Journey With You is bravely and generously sharing her life with schizophrenia in order to bring awareness and understanding to a scary disease (I think I might have just answered #2 for her, but maybe not).  She writes sweetly, honestly and well.  Go listen, learn and love.

Okay, now how do I get one of those Award Free Zone stickers, ‘cuz this was exhausting.  This introvert just might not have the energy to be a good neighbor.  A good bleighbor.

Lord I hope I got all the links right.

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