I Almost Wore the Fake Rings

As I sat on a plane, slowly descending back into my home state, God nudged me. He’d been nudging me for a couple of months, actually. But, the glint of the overhead light, off the diamond in my wedding ring, was His final hip-check.

I had spent the previous few days listening and learning from some of the best Christian Speaking and Writing professionals. Filled to the fullest would be an understatement. Session after workshop after keynote speech, the same few words kept being repeated. It felt much like Morse Code, alerting me to a message meant for my heart alone.

I started to decode the message in my journal after that first day. But, distractions were everywhere and my eyes weren’t fixed.

And, I know that because the next day, I found myself copying those same few words again. Only, this time, I chose to just sit with them a bit. I knew they were meant for me to hear. I just couldn’t grasp why.

Days later, enjoying some pool time amongst precious friends, the conversation flitted around those same words.

Again!

And then, twenty-four hours later, sitting in seat 6B and enjoying the unexpected pleasure of a row to myself, guess what? As I listened to one of my favorite podcasts, it became clear that God wasn’t finished laying that message on my heart.

Clearly, I hadn’t received it the way I needed to.

Hearing and receiving isn’t always the same thing, is it?

I’m going to tell you something that I’ve told you about four hundred times, already.

I.

Need.

Grace.

As I confidently share with others, all the time, God declares we are enough. God declares that I am enough. Made so by Christ. The solid rock on which I stand.

Because, friends?  All other ground surely is sinking sand.

I’ve found myself descending in it a time or twenty.

But this particular message, the one where God fills my empty places, and declares that He is enough, just hadn’t sunk in.

In fact, prior to leaving for this particular trip, I was so hoping to impress the outside world with my worth that I was willing to wear my fake wedding rings. (If you’ve experienced pregnancy or weight gain… or better yet, pregnancy AND weight gain, then you know exactly why I even have the fake rings!)

I was willing to wear these rings to a conference of OTHER BELIEVING WOMEN!

Oh God, how I still need You!

I didn’t… wear the fake rings, I mean.

At the last-minute, I reread a piece I was going to submit for a Writing Critique session. The following Bible verse was central to my piece.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”   (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

This verse is central to my being.

1samuel16_7_missindeedy

Indeed. The entire five days, God filled me up, poured me out, and shined His light in dark places. In me. Through me. He showed me, much like he showed Samuel, that He has no need for me to impress anyone with anything other than the heart He’s given me.

And as that light glittered off the diamond, the real diamond, of my wedding ring, I realized all over again how very much grace I need.

Still.

And always.

Fur Real (Tree)?

There is much talk across Ye Old Blogosphere about Christmas Trees.  For those of my Sweet Friends that don’t celebrate Christmas, feel free to read on and snicker at the antics that us Christmas Tradition following folks will go through during this Happiest of Decorating Holiday Seasons.  Go ahead.  I give you free reign on the snickering.

 

The biggest question, of course, is whether to go with a real or a fake Christmas tree.  I have my own delusions of grandeur here; but, having a child with allergies dictates that you change all sorts of things that you never thought you would.  Or could.  (Nutella, how I loved you so…)

 

I may as well admit, up front, that I am a real tree kinda’ gal. All. The. Way. (Except for when the pine needles start dropping. Then, I’m wishing really hard that it will turn into a fake tree.  Miraculously.  Because, this is the season of miracles, is it not?)

 

Tree decorating should be an Olympic event, don’t you think?  Especially when you see trees that look spectacularly decked out.  (I’m left wondering where on earth the time is found to decorate to the nines???) Even better, when you see trees that are all white. (Whose homes do those stay white in???)

 

Or, GASP, Fur trees.  It’s true.  I am sad to report that I actually saw a fur tree in a catalog recently.  Fur.  On a Christmas tree.  Now, I’m all for fancy tinsel.  And I can even go for some of those brightly colored big bulb lights. The whole peacock themed thingy going on lately? I can actually get behind the bright beauty of that, too. But a fur tree?  Fur real?  Why?

 

Maybe one of y’all can explain the appeal to me?  Like, maybe it just goes in a bedroom because you want to create a sense of “warmth”?  I’m grasping at feathers here, folks.  Enlighten me.  Please.

 

It’s all good though, because, when all’s said and decorated, we’re pretty stinkin’ happy with the results at our house.

 

All is calm,

All is bright;

With nary a hot pink

Feather in sight.

Indeed.

 

If you're allergic to feathers, this tree will be just fine.

If you’re allergic to feathers, this tree will be just fine.