Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Entrance Day, Daddy!

Today marks one year that my daddy has been gone. He made his entrance into heaven on a day much like today - peaceful and beautiful as the world rushed by.

I told a story yesterday while I was teaching our Ladies' Bible Study, that always makes me think of my daddy. It was about my earliest recollection of a defining moment which occurred when I was nine. It's the moment I knew I was creative.

My daddy especially marveled at this special gift of mine. So naturally, who do you think was the first person I showed off my creations to whenever I crafted something from my own hands? My daddy, of course!

Daddy would go on and on, about the outfit I'd made or the t-shirts I was painting, or the wallpaper folders I was making to give to friends. It didn't matter how tired he was or how poorly crafted my creations were. He was always so impressed and that made me work harder to try new things and to become better at the things I did well.

Everyone should have someone in their lives that zeros in on their gifts and makes a big deal out of them even when they're not. 

Today, there's barely a moment that goes by when I don't have a creative thought. I wake up to the buzz of ideas churning in my brain and I go throughout my day just like that - brainstorming, thinking up big ideas, problem solving... There's always a party in my head!

I love this part of me. Others love it too, because I am frequently being called upon by family, friends, and coworkers to help find creative ideas and solutions for all sorts of things. 

I love this part of me because this is the part that brings me joy. Doing things with my hands, thinking up things no one else even thought of, or recreating ideas, makes me happy!

I love this part of me because when I'm being creative, I am being fully me.

My daddy could fix about anything. In fact, he would often ask me to help him fix things. I didn't always like that because usually those things were cars or plumbing projects. UGH! I hated those. I didn't mind making things with him that involved using a saw or a hammer. Those were more my speed because I always somehow found a way to use the scraps for a craft project. :-) 

Then of course, I'd show them to my dad and he'd be amazed at what I did with a few little scraps of wood or whatever was left from his project. Do you know what that does for you? It confirms the gift of God within you and that's a good thing.

So many of us owe a debt of gratitude to someone else because we are who they encouraged us to be. Thanks, Daddy, for always calling forth this gift of God within me. Oh, and Happy Entrance Day! If I could, I'd make you a t-shirt that said, "Honey, I'm home!" And I know you'd wear it quite proudly.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Take Your 15 Minutes.

I'm away on a BIG girl's trip this weekend, and by big I mean over 200 women who barely know each other, are traveling from all over the country to celebrate a journey we've shared together for five months - a book launch. But that's not my story. I'll share about that another time in a different post. I want to tell you about just a portion of this trip.

This weekend I'm staying in a house wit nine other ladies, quite a stretch for this single homebody who is not a morning person. But these women have become so dear to me that I consider it worth the risk. Right now there are only five of us here and I want to tell you about them.

As is typically the case for me when I travel with others, I was up before the house awoke this morning. I need my alone time and my coffee. So I went out into the living area and with coffee in hand, I had some time with Jesus.

Don't think me super spiritual nor anything. I just know me and how I can be when I miss my time with Jesus. It is for the sake of others, largely, that I do this!

I won't lie. It was sweet and having that time before anyone else woke up, was a true gift. Thanks, Lord! But it's what happened next that was the real gift.

As the house began to stir, one by one I saw my housemates sitting down with their bibles and journals in hand, to have time with Jesus. As one who encourages women in their spiritual journey, this blessed my heart to no end! I think this is why our hearts have been so easily knit together. They are the real deal Jesus loving girls!

Maybe taking 15-30 out of your morning to spend time with the Lord seems impossible and possibly, uncomfortable if it's not something you're used to doing. I want to encourage you to give it a try anyway. When I think about how much time I call on Him throughout my day, and how often I need His input, 15-30 each morning is by far the least I can give Jesus.

My housemates are wives, mothers and singles from all walks of life and we have laughed ourselves silly over some of the most ridiculous things, as girls will do when girls gather. They are NOT boring! They simply understand the importance of getting their 15 minutes.