Friday, September 18, 2015

Wearing Imperfections Well

He came home from a week long trip to Hawaii. Business-related. Oh, the life. He came home the day I spoke in public for the first real time to a group of some 125 beautiful women. He eased into the church foyer on the last tidbit of my talk. I saw him. I smiled. 

I had been so nervous about him hearing me. About me seeing him. My husband knows me so well ... all my weaknesses, all my imperfections. He knows all ... all that I wish others didn't have to see. Would seeing him make me freeze? Would I forget everything I intended to say?

But I carried on. God was with me. He put the words in my heart and eased them out of my mouth. Just like He'd promised. I didn't have to be someone I'm not. I could be the broken, imperfect person that I am. I could be real.

After arriving home, he carried in his luggage and said he had something for us girls. Souvenirs. Souvenirs from Hawaii. The excitement in my heart bubbled over.


"What? Pearls. Really?" O Soul, did you hear that? Real pearls.

"They're imperfect. But they're real. I could afford them."

I opened the little delicate white bag held secure by the white satin ribbon and pulled out the string of pearls--a necklace and a bracelet. Real pearls.

They were beautiful. They weren't circular shaped like most I've seen. They were different. Thin. Long. Scarred. And they wore the name "pearl" perfectly with the pearly texture.

I put the necklace around my neck and tightened the clasp securely. The bracelet slid over my hand and onto my wrist. Perfectly imperfect.

Do you ever feel different? Imperfect?

Do you ever want to stay hidden in the drawer, in the closet, because of your imperfections?

O Soul, I know you do. You know you do.

It's okay to be imperfect because it's okay to be real. 

Put it on. Latch the clasp securely. Wear it proudly. Wear your imperfections perfectly. O Soul, you can't afford to be anything different. Because we live in a world of imperfection. And O Soul, people need to see real.


Have you ever been afraid to reveal your imperfections? Do you know that's what makes you beautiful? That's what makes you unique.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

We Choose What We See

This is the first home I remember well. I lived there throughout elementary school.

Photo taken 1999

I loved this home in Tyler, Texas. 1524 Milam Drive. I have some of the best memories there. My mother had flowers planted around the mailbox. Back then, curtains lined our windows, not blinds. 

Our best friend lived at the end of the streetRedessa. I remember sitting in her boat in the garage and us three girls (my sister included) singing "Rock the Boat" ... and her parents put on the best Halloween party, even great to a chicken like me. I practiced line dancing to "Le Freak" here because we were learning it and dancing to it for exercise in school. We had dune buggies that we rode down that street, and those were eventually replaced by our bikes. A gas station sat behind our house, and we'd walk, sometimes sneak, there to buy candy. Our neighbor to the left had emphysema, and we loved him. We had honeysuckle growing on our back yard fence.

But do you see that big picture window, to the left of the front door? 

Photo taken around 1976

That was our family room and that's where I stood and cried when my daddy left our family. I watched him leave, and I'll never forget that moment. I cried, "Daddy, Daddy ... I love you." Everything changed in that moment, my life spun out of control. And when I see pictures of this beloved house ... sadly, that is the memory that overtakes my mind.

But do you see the window just to the right of the front door? That was my bedroom, and that is where I prayed with my mother to receive Jesus into my life. I was welcomed into my forever home, the body of Christ. And that is the memory I'm going to choose to overtake my mind.

I do have a choice.

I went back to that house when my oldest daughter was little, 16 years ago.

O Soul, do you see yourself? What will you choose to see?

To see only the bad is an irresistible temptation. The one who just couldn't seem to get it right. The one who made so many mistakes. The one who couldn't have children. The one ...

But I'm going to choose to see the one who is blessed. The one blessed with life. The one blessed by adoption. The one given her mini-me of the heart. The one blessed with forgiveness. The one who doesn't have to get it right.

Father, Father ... I love you.


Have you had to choose to see the good over bad? Did good prevail?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Finding the Cactus Flower

Her little feet hit the narrow, windy trail. Her little hand went straight in mine. Hand in hand had become a habit for us due to her ankle weakness. The chemotherapy that had helped save her life had injured her ankles. Holding her hand kept her from falling. She'd trip and then she'd soar by my arm's strength till she landed firmly on her sweet feet again.

Smiles. Eyes widened. Another close one. 

But today, everyone had new walking sticks, and she had every right like every normal kid to be excited about hiking with her walking stick. Like a big girl.

Trailing behind her, my hands lined and traced the edges of my thighs. Empty.

These trails were lined with cacti. Those who rode bikes often bragged about how they could fall off their bike and roll just so ... to miss the cacti. But one trip from that baby girl could land her right in the spindly needles. She'd been through so much already.

"Look, baby girl. Do you see those needles? Those can hurt you so badly. You've got to walk very carefully." But you know more than any child should about needles. I know that. 

Her sweet knees lowered and capped the ground. "Mama, look. There's a flower."

Oh, she loved flowers. She'd kiss flowers. Flower child, if there ever was one. We'd give her continual reminders that you can't pick flowers in the state park. She was a sneaky picker or brave, in spite of the fear of getting caught. It's truly the quiet ones you always have to watch out for.

"There sure is a flower. Amidst all that prickly bad ... there's something good."


Amidst all that bad ... stumbling, falling, injury, pain, brokenness, all the hard ... 

O Soul, there is room for something good to grow. There really is.

Allow your knees to lower and cap the ground.

Look for it. 

Find it. 

Like a needle in a hay stack. 

Grasp hold of it without fear. 

And give it with abandon.

Have you found something good in the midst of bad?