Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A TIMELY REMINDER

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made... Your eyes saw my
substance, being yet unformed,  And in
your book they all were written, The days
fashioned for me, When as yet there were
none of them." - (Psalm139:14a, 16)

This post is a reprint of something I wrote many years ago on my first blog, which is now defunct.  I came across it the other day, and wondered what it was I was reminding myself of.  Turns out it was something I still need to be reminded of today -- BEWARE OF FALLING INTO THE TRAP OF COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
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2/25/2011

There were several reasons I started blogging.  Some personal, but it was also my hope that in some way I could brighten at least one person's day, or perhaps offer encouragement to another.  Lately, though, there's this little voice in my head that keeps saying, "What's so special about you that makes you feel you have something to offer?  What do you have to say that hasn't already been said by someone else, and said better?"  At the same time, there's a warning light flashing off and on: BEWARE OF FALLING INTO THE TRAP OF COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.

To confirm the above warning, I came upon a very timely devotional during my quiet time this morning.  It happens to be a January devotion, which I would not have seen on this particular February day, except that it's in a book, Streams in the Desert, that I just purchased a few days ago and decided to start reading from the beginning.  No such thing as coincidence!

Anyway, this particular devotional tells the story of a king who goes into his garden one morning and finds everything withered and dying.  He starts asking the plants what the problem is. The oak says it doesn't want to live any more because it's not tall and beautiful like the pine tree, the pine tree is upset because it can't bear grapes like the grapevine, the grapevine bemoans the fact that that it doesn't produce fruit as large as the peaches on the peach tree, the geranium is disheartened because it's not tall and fragrant like the lilac, and so on it goes throughout the garden until the king gets to the little violet and and comments on how happy he is to see at least one flower bright and perky.  To which the violet responds, "I know I'm small, yet I thought if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach tree or even a lilac, you would have planted one.  Since I knew you wanted a violet, I'm determined to be the best little violet I can be."

What a great reminder that God loves me just as I am, and that I'm a Divine original (which you are too) created for a special purpose that no one else can fulfill.  Summed up so beautifully in the little poem at the end of the devotional:

                  Others may do a greater work,
                   But you have your part to do;
                 And no one in all God's family
                    Can do it as well as you.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son
of man that you care for him?"
(Psalm 8:3-4)


This collage doesn't really have anything to do with anything, except that it's one of my favorites. There is something about it that fills me with both awe and gratitude. Awe of the beauty of God's creation, and gratitude for the eyes that enable me to behold it, the digital camera that allows me to capture the moment, and the software on my computer that helps me process it.

 My first IT job--long before the term IT even existed to describe it--had me working, standing up, on a huge IBM 360/20 computer that took up almost a whole cubicle. I loved my job, and wished they made computers small enough so I could have one at home. Never did I dream that a day would come when computers the size of a tablet or smartphone would fit in your pocket. Who would have thought?

The pictures in this collage were taken from my balcony, which has an amazing view. It's the spot from which I have taken many pictures of the changing seasons, as well as the spot from which I watched a nestful of baby ravens living atop the local water tower learn how to fly. Observing them play and learn together inspired me to turn my pictures into a book, and thus, in my senior years, I embarked on a new career as a writer of nature related picture books for children. Who would have thought?

On this Thanksgiving day, as I reflect on my many blessings, a couple of other "who would have thoughts," for which I am truly grateful, come to mind. I remember how as a suddenly single mom of a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old, I was struck with fear that I might not live long enough to see them grow up. That fear never came to pass, and the Lord has blessed me with seven grandchildren and three great-grands. Who would have thought?

After the death of my husband, I dabbled in many things as I searched for roots and purpose. I  believed I had found them in the New Age and occult doctrines I embraced. But then came a day when my eyes were opened and I discovered I had been sincerely wrong.  Turning my life over to Jesus when I was on a path I was convinced was the right one, and at a time when I was no longer seeking answers, was the biggest "who would have thought" of them all.

If you are interested, you can read the short version of my improbable journey that is posted on this blog by clicking here, or you can download a free copy of my book, Sincerely Wrong, by double clicking on the cover of it on the sidebar.