Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Friendships that Last

Every now and then we are blessed with special friendships that endure through the toughest times. These are the friends who see the person you really are and yet they still love you. These are the friends who are not bound by time and distance. These friends can point out your mistakes and still leave you feeling better about yourself. Even though they are careful to make you aware of your mistakes they don't sit around waiting for you to make them. These friends encourage you to reach for the stars and still help you stay grounded. These friends see the good in you when you can't see it yourself. These are not surface relationships, but these are relationships that go to the very core of your heart.

Along the path of life God has blessed me with some friends like these. They are not many in number but they have left lasting impressions on my heart. Those who are the closest to me know I don't form friendships like these easily. I tend to be on the cautious side about everything, especially realtionships. So, to those of you who have broken through the barriers, I say thank you. To those of you who are new friends, thank you for taking me in. To all of my friends, be patient with me, I am still a work in progress!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Doing What You Do Best


"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do." Helen Keller

There are times I wish there were more than one of me. Sometimes I feel the need to be in 10 places at once, and then I realize that there is only one of me and I can only do what is most pressing at the time. My goal is to make sure that I am diversified enough to fit into every area that I should. Setting priorities and being disciplined are absolute necessities to achieve this goal. However, when I am so caught up in being diversified it becomes very easy to forget that making a difference in life is what really matters.

We all have different gifts from God. Each of us has the opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life. God equipped us with the ability to find out what we do best. Maybe your gift is encouraging others. Maybe your gift is being a peacemaker. We should share our gifts with others and make this world a better place. Everyone has the ability to leave others feeling refreshed if we choose to. So, though you may be only one, and though you may not be able to do everything, you can do something. You can do what you do best!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Feeling like an Etch a Sketch


In July of 1960, the first Etch a Sketch was marketed. Arthur Granjean had created a toy where children could draw on a gray "magic" screen with a bright red frame. The toy had white knobs on each side to draw with. I remember many of my friends had one somewhere in the bottom of their toy boxes. Being the creative and aritistic individual that I am, I loved "drawing" little houses everywhere and connecting them. My houses would be slanted, uneven, and unsightly to say the least. But, my goal was to fill the Etch a Sketch screen as full as possible with my creation. Then, when my screen was too full or if I messed things up all I had to do was give the Etch a Sketch a good shake and I could start all over on a clean slate. That was the beauty of the toy.

There are times I wish my mind was like the Etch a Sketch! It seems like there are days when the screen gets so full of things I need to do or that I should do and it all starts running together. The drawing doesn't really turn out that great and you can 't really make sense of it. It would be nice just to have God give it a good shake and let the "drawing" start all over again. There are days we feel overwhelmed with all the tasks ahead, all the lives in need of love, all the ideas in need of production. Those are the times when we have to realize that we need to let go of the knobs and let Him create the picture.

I know I benefit when I give my heart and mind to Him first thing every day. Instead of being like a child who doesn't want to share her toy, I will learn that the drawing turns out better when He controls the knobs.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Redundant


"Mommy you are so redundant." Anna, my five year old, proceeded to tell me this several times this weekend. Then she would ask, "Mommy, what is redundant?" At first I kind of chuckled, because I knew she had no idea what she was saying. I must admit that she did use it in the right context, as I almost always have to repeat myself to her! I have to wonder if she wasn't applying the rest of the definition to me which means "using more words than necessary." After all a five year old really doesn't need all that lecturing, or does she?


Right now I get excited just listening to her. In Developmental Psychology, I have been studying children her age and their increase in vocabulary from 500 words at age 2 to more than 10,000 by age 6. About 80% of the vocabulary expansion for children in the play years comes from their immediate family. So I know that every word she hears is being filed away for use at a later time. This gives me a great incentive to watch my words. Because, who knows, maybe one day they will be used on me!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Servant's Heart


I have to admit the reason I haven't blogged in a while is that I have so many thoughts racing through my mind right now. It is hard to choose what I want to write about. But, this one thought keeps popping up more than the others.

It seems like in today's world we honor those with the greatest position, charm, money, or other such qualities. Jesus taught us by His very example that those qualities are not what He desires most in His children. He taught us to be workers, to be caring, to love, and most importantly to be a servant. Too many people are reaching for positions that make them look good. Instead what they don't realize is that how He sees us is what really matters. Does He see us as servants?

We just had a large celebration for the Fourth of July at our church. There were two people who stood out to me as having a "servant's heart." Ron and Traci Kidwell were visiting for the festivities. They were members here at the church a few years ago. Instead of coming in and watching everyone work they jumped in and did more than their share! Deeds such as these DO NOT go unnoticed by me. Their willingness to pitch in and get the job done was a great example. Too often we think someone else will do the work. We say, "I did it last time," or "It isn't my place." I was taught that if you see something that needs to be done, just do it. Don't wait for someone to ask. Too many times we wait for someone to ask for our help instead of just getting the job done. Having a servant's heart means not having to be asked, not feeling above the work at hand, not watching someone else do it. No job in the kingdom is too demeaning for those who have a servant's heart. Thank you Ron and Traci for having a servant's heart.

A great man I know always said that we should be here to serve others not to be served. Oh, that we would all cultivate a servant's heart!