Monday, May 15, 2017

All the Talent I Never Had

My favourite time of year is coming up. It’s two months away, and in kid-time it may seem like an eternity but in adult-time, it’s only 7 weekends. That’s less than a school term, less than a Beth Moore bible study, less than a pregnancy trimester, and less than a season of my new favourite TV show, This is Us. I’m away most of May for a worship assignment (with my worship flags, from Catch the Fire Worship Flags – shameless plug), and June is busy with year-end activities and trying to schedule events before friends take off for the summer. other words, if I blink 3x fast, summer will be here.

Summer is the best time of the year. Summer means it’s my birthday, and my birthday means gifts, and celebrations and people saying all sorts of nice things to me on Facebook. Summer also means long evenings, late BBQ dinners, and friends – lots and lots of friends. In particular, I look forward to my yearly girl’s weekend getaway with my two longest and dearest friends. We’ve been friends since high school, and since we’re turning 43 this year, it means our friendship spans almost three decades. 

Last year, one of the girls pulled out our old high school yearbooks – what a hoot. We laughed and reminisced over the friends we loved and lost touch. Between the three of us (and Facebook), we had a pretty good idea about what many of our old schoolmates were up to. Some were doing exactly what said they would do, and for more than a few we expressed amazement, “They’re doing what now?!”

I’m one of those people who turned out completely different than I was in high school – well, not completely different...I’m still as bossy and determined (i.e. stubborn) as I was then, but the passion of my pursuit is as different as the east coast is from the west coast or the north is from the south.

This afternoon I was online and I read some quotes someone else had posted on a Facebook page. I was moved by the beauty and profoundness of the words and then I realized they were quoting words I had written a while ago. Of course it makes me feel proud, but not because I had anything to do with it – anything great, and I mean anything and everything great about me is because of what God has developed in me.

I hated English and did poorly in it. I was much more inclined towards maths, sciences and socials. I’m confident no one would have thought I would ever communicate in writing in a way that touches the lives of people. And yet, God saw differently. I respond to Him and the rest flows – it’s definitely not eloquent all the time (or even most of the time) but God gets the glory for it all. 

Dance is another expression where God gets the glory. I’m not trained, and I have no natural rhythm and yet God uses me through dance. I’m certain it’s one of those cases where God takes the foolish to confound the wise. I contemplate all that I’ve been invited to partner with God in my life and I’m astounded by His grace toward me. My favourite question to ask God is, “Who am I, that you are mindful of me?”

I relate to King Saul, when he was anointed to be king – he was hiding among the baggage and said, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?” (1 Samuel 9:21) I don’t understand it, but yeah, it makes me proud. It makes me proud of who God made me to be. I may not trust my own abilities, but I trust God to come through for me.

Even though I’ve been a witness to my own life, when I was reminiscing with my girlfriends I was as incredulous about what I’ve accomplished (because of Christ), as I was by other classmates who were vastly different than who they were in high school. By anyone’s best guess, I should have landed somewhere very different than where I am today. 

I’m not even sure if I have a point to my musings, except maybe this, God makes a way (or give a talent) where there wasn’t a way (or any talent), and He makes it glorious.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Psalms for Sunday, XCI

original painting by Danielle Schneider

Fear and trepidation clothe me.
“Send me,” I volunteered, but now I know the assignment is too great; too magnificent for a worm like me.

You know the future but I am unsure.
I believe, help my unbelief.

“Strenuous,” they say, and I am paralyzed with fear.

“Listen to my voice,” you say, and I step out, one foot and then the other.

“Turn back,” they say.

“Come,” you call me deeper still.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe

Eenie meenie miney moe... What feelings do those words invoke? Are you poised for action, ready to make a quick dash if the pointing finger lands on you? Does your mouth water, anticipating the sweet savour of a delectable dessert choice? Or do you experience dread, reliving high school gym class and never being picked, or picked last for a team?

I love choosing. Sometimes the stakes are high and it’s difficult to choose. Like when you’re at Costco, and there are 12 cashiers with lines of 15 people deep. You need to gauge the contents of the carts from shoppers in front of you and at the same time, discern the speed and agility of the cashier and bagger team. Or at the US/Canada border and the single lane you’ve been waiting in for an hour all of a sudden opens up and is spread over eight booths. Which one do you choose? It’s tough, but once you’re locked in, you’ve got to stay there because if you give up on your choice and make another one, your original lane starts to move but you’ve missed out.

Seriously though, I have a cousin (my age) who was adopted. I don’t remember how old I was when my parents told me but I was young, probably 4 or 5. They told me because I had asked why I had a new cousin, when my aunt hadn’t gotten fat. In my young mind, fat equaled new baby. The new cousin appeared and I was curious, so my mom and dad told cousin and her new brother were chosen. They didn’t say adopted, they said chosen.

Funny the things we remember, huh? Instantly I knew I wanted the option of choosing. Even as a little girl, I liked the things I liked and I was proactive about getting them. The idea of choosing a baby had merit. But more than choosing a baby (since that wasn’t an option because I was 5), I thought being chosen was better than the other option – accepting what you received without knowing there might be something better. What if you got fat, had a baby but didn’t want it? Now what? You’d be stuck with a baby you didn’t choose. But being chosen meant meant your parents went to the baby store (wherever it was), looked at babies, and made a choice. You were picked from among all the other babies. Being chosen means you’re special; someone wanted you.

I’m not a psychologist, so I’m not an expert, but I’m confident the need to be validated, the need for significance is a basic human need. We need to know we matter to someone. We need to know someone chooses us. And here’s the beautiful truth – God, the Creator of ALL things, chooses you.





God chooses you. He is always choosing you; again and again.

1 Peter 2:9, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Like my cousins, who were chosen to be adopted into their family, God adopts each one of us into His family. We are chosen. 

Eenie, meenie, miney, moe...God chooses you! 

Chosen Worship Flags, by Catch the Fire Worship Flags

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