If I Could Only Bottle That

Things We Love About Ms DawnHa-ha! God has just been surprising me all over the place lately. Generally I’m the one who is in charge of the surprises, secret little blessings, etc. and lately I’ve been on the receiving side of those things, and I have to admit it’s been shaking me up a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I like it! I’m just not used to it. And today I was blessed to finish up church to find a couple of little Christmas gift bags on my desk. It was a crazy, good day in the children’s department (I trust the big people had it so good!) and so I scooped up my packages and headed home to make a quiche and muffins for my hungry hair cut getting family.

gabys's giftWe finished lunch, started the dishes and settled down for some football. We were rounding what son #2, Trevor, calls “nap-thirty” when I remembered the packages in my car. I hustled out to get them and started with the smallest– a tiny, sparkly handmade package filled with a mini hand sanitizer and made by my super crafty, tea drinking friend, Gaby. I’m always in awe of not only her mad crafting skills, but the ginormous amount of love she puts into each and every one of her creations. Needless to say, I was blessed beyong measure.

Next I opened a “super cute” bag from my friend, Chris and her family. To say this gift was the perfect fit would be an understatement as Chris gifted me with something called “Total Cluster Fudge–cuz friends don’t let friends eat fruitcake!” The name alone is a great gift! Basically it is a jar of “rich, chewy blonde and chocolate caramel brownie with layers of chocolate sauce, white chips and m&ms!” Yikes! It came with it’s own spoon and all you have to do is dig in! However, after eating it, I believe nothing will be a perfect fit for a while. While I don’t see Chris as often as I used to, I love how she remembers the little things that make me smile. Chris's gift

I reached for the final bag and pulled out the rhinestone topped jar shown above labeled “Things We Love About Ms Dawn.” Well, who wouldn’t love that? A jar full of affirmation! It appears my friend Amy, and a couple other of my friend/volunteers, got HiSKidZ together and had them write on little slips on paper things they like about me. It was quite revealing. Apparantly I have much better hair than I realized, way cooler clothes than I realized and found out that my teaching and music times really are reaching kids hearts. As I thought about my 3 gifts today I realized that none were expensive but all three are priceless–because they are gifts of love. Today after coming off a week of the flu, this crazy, good day of teaching, and a feeling of being in a state of perpetual behindedness, God reached down and reminded me that He loves me, and He did that in the simplest of ways–through those around me. It reminded me of something my mom used to say, “Now, if you could only bottle that. . . .” and I realize that is exactly what we need to do. Acts of love, encouragement and kindness need to be multiplied, reproduced and shared at every opportunity!

I love how Gaby gave me a gift of bottled sanitizer which reminds me how God protects me from the dangers of this world. Chris gave me a bottled brownie which reminds me of how God is my comfort and the giver of all good things, and Amy and HiSKidZ gave me a jar of love which, according to Scripture, pretty much covers everything else! And it doesn’t get much better than this–“I like your dance moves and thank you for the pickles!” I love my job and those I am blessed to do it with! Now to share with someone else the, “if I could only bottle it,” gift of love God shared with me today!

How do you know God likes salad?

Because He put so much lettuce in the Bible!!! Bahahahaha. . . .oh well. . .

A few years back, the year our youngest son was graduating from high school, I was fortunate to have had the privilege of giving the graduate’s charge at our church’s service that Sunday. I remember bringing a head of lettuce and pealing back the leaves one at a time as we talked about the “lettuces” in the book of Hebrews.

Truth is there are enough leaves of lettuce in the Bible to make a salad of ginormous proportion. But today, I’ve been drawn back to the espcially tasty bites in Hebrews, especially chapter 10.

For example:

Hebrews 4:14 . . .let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 6:1 Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity. . .
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near to God with a sincere faith. . .
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we professed, for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:24 Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds
Hebrews 10:25a Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but. . .
Hebrews 10:25b let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching

And just like a salad is rarely complete with just lettuce, the writer of Hebrews adds a little something to the mix beginning in verse 35:

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”

And then here comes the kicker, I LOVE this part, L-O-V-E it.

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”

We won’t shrink back, we won’t give up, we won’t give in, we won’t turn away. We will follow, we will love, we will give and forgive and help and serve and share and tell until He who is promised returns. And until that time, “lettuce” do these things with the confidence, peace, joy, grace, strength, energy, passion and commitment that comes only from Him.

My Desire IS Your Will

This morning as I was jotting away in my “20 minutes with Jesus” journal, I wrote down a prayer request concering a struggle I was having and I wrote, ” My Desire vs Your Will.” And I prayed that my desire would be His will–always. I’m always thankful for journaling because I know that whenever I take time to sit down and look with my two little eyes at what I’m really thinking or feeling or struggling with, it becomes clear what the answer is and what I really want. And what I really want is to do what He wants. Nonetheless, there it was in print, “My Desire vs Your Will.”  Or was it?  Apparantly my lack of handwriting skills prevailed today because when I looked back down it surely looked like I had written. “My Desire is Your Will.”  And it was. Answer to prayer. Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun. I’m lovin it!