I see the Lord’s redemption

This is a picture of my dad with the kiddos on Father’s Day. To you, it might just seem like a happy pic of a Grandfather with some of his Grandchildren; however, I sense an incredible ending to a story started so many years ago.Family

In 1983, when the sadness entered our lives during my illness, my dad held my hand almost day and night while in the hospital. He sat by my bed, gently rubbed my hand, and said over and over again, “If I could trade places with you, I would.” We had all just plunged into the torrential world of barrenness.

When I look at this picture, this is what I see: an incredible sense of HOPE for the future, an opportunity to pass along life-lessons learned through the years, and in so many ways, I see closure.

I see the Lord’s redemption. I see His promises of love, hope, and a future. I see bloodline disappear, and love take over.

I see a Grandpa who is completely enamored by his Grandchildren.

I know that while the Lord planned my life to include my children, He wrote the script of my parents’ lives to include them as well.

What a happy ending to the sorrow that started so many years ago…
What a way, Lord, to show Yourself in our lives…
What an amazing vision You have given us for our future…

What an incredible sense that after my dad and my mom have gone on to You, these children…these precious souls…will carry a piece of them as they grow into their own place in this world…

If one ever doubts the majesty of a loving Heavenly Father, please take a look at this picture. A Dad who watched his daughter dance on the edge of death, steer her way into the world with barrenness on her shoulders, step into the world of foster care and adoption without knowing what the next step would look like, and approach the courts three times over to prove herself, is the same Grandfather who is enjoying three children whose own lives were majestically penned to be in his.

What a happy ending to the sorrow that started so many years ago…
What a way, Lord, to show Yourself in our lives…
What an amazing vision You have given us for our future…

What an incredible sense that after my dad and my mom have gone on to You, these children…these precious souls…will carry a piece of them as they grow into their own place in this world…

Dear Future Adoptive Parents

Dear Future Adoptive Parents,

Hello.  I’m not sure what to say except that I hope you want me as bad as I want you.  I need you to need me.  I know that sounds silly, coming from a kid and all, but if I were to be completely honest, I would tell you how desperately I long for a family, a mother, a father….anyone….anyone who will stick with me.

It’s hard, you know…growing up in foster care.  I’ve been through so many foster homes that I have lost count.  Honestly, I barely remember what my birth parents were like.  I remember their struggles, and I remember their ignorance of me, but I scour my mind over and over in an attempt to remember the parts of them that were loving, kind, and made me feel special.

Dear future Mamma, I wish that one day I will find myself twirling my fingers through your hair, laughing until our bellies hurt, shopping until we drop, and feeling the softness of your gentle hug when you tuck me into bed at night.  I need a mother who will teach me to respect my body, tell me I am beautiful, and grow me into a loving person.

Dear future Dad, I’ve never had a dad who stayed around for too long.  I hope that when you say you are going to be there for me, you really mean it.  I want, so badly, for you to protect me, stick up for me, compliment me, and show me what it means to be a father.  I need more than just someone who helps to pay the bills, and watches sports with me.  I need a father who will nurture my talents, admonish my poor choices, and make me feel like the most special person on Earth.

I desperately need to feel a love without condition.  I desperately need to know that I belong to someone…anyone…. 

Dear Future Adoptive Parents,

What is it about me that makes you want to stay?  Is it my smile, that look in my eyes, or that special talent I claim as my own?  Help me to understand it.  Help me to feel the very reason why you have chosen me.  I need to know that this is not a gimmick, a popular thing to do, and a persuasion from anything outside of your own heart.

Help me to see God through you.

The truth is, I have a list of things I want in parents.  You might be surprised to know that it is the simple things in life that I yearn for.  I need parents who do not do drugs, or put their habits ahead of me.  I want a family who can have fun, laugh…a lot…and enjoy life.

I like to watch movies, and dream of family movie nights with popcorn, late hours, and lasting memories.  I would love to travel.  I’ve never been anywhere, really, except the small towns and big cities I have been passed around in while in foster care.

I know this sounds odd coming from a young person, but I really hope for a home with food in it.  I don’t want to have to worry about when or if I’m going to eat.  I want to be able to enjoy junk food, but would love a mom or dad who can cook healthy meals, and one who truly cares about my health and nutrition.

I have been disappointed so often through the years that it is hard to believe that I still cling on to the hope of a being loved…by a family…by anyone….

I still love my birth parents.  You need to know that.  I still think about them, wonder if they are okay, hope that maybe, just maybe, they are thinking about me, and question if I will ever get to see them again.

I need for you to be okay with my thoughts about my birth family.  I want you to listen to my questions, my own often misguided answers, and my longings to understand why I am living separate from them.  You need to tell me truth in a way that nurtures my growth.

This is hard, you know.  I am just a child, and yet, I have gone through, witnessed, survived, and have been pulled from a life that you and your picture-perfect friends could not even imagine.

Dear Future Adoptive Parents,

I’m not perfect, but neither are you.  Can you hold me when I rage against all that has been?  Will you stick around when I skip school, question your authority, tell you that I want to move to another family, or completely reject you?

What will it feel like when I make you feel the pain I’ve been feeling through the years?

The truth is while I have desired for a family to call my own, I have also felt afraid of one.  The “what-if’s” seem so overwhelming at times that I can hardly stand it.

What if I am rejected?  What if I am never chosen?  Why do I have this life?  What if this is as good as it gets?

Promise me one thing.  Promise me that when you will not promise forever.  I know that sounds odd, but the truth is, I have been promised forever so often that I don’t believe it anymore.

What does forever mean?  Two weeks, two months, or two years….

Instead, tell me that you will do your very best to meet my needs.  Help me to understand that I need to tell you how I am feeling.  I need a LOT of patience.  Do you have that in you?  Can you help me learn patience as well?  Really?  I mean it when I say it.  It is make-or-break for me, you know.

I am nearing the end of my childhood, and I have nothing to stand upon as I enter adulthood….Do you understand that?

Dear Future Adoptive Parents,

In so many ways, I am just like other kids.  I want to be fashionable, hang out at the local hang-outs for kids my age, participate in sports, listen to the music I want to listen to, and learn to drive when the time comes.

In other words, I want….better yet….I need a life minus all of this foster care stuff.  

If I could tell you one thing it would be this, I don’t care if you are tall, small, rich, or poor.  I don’t care if you have a mansion, a small home, a sports car, or a car that barely makes it down the road.

It doesn’t bother me if you have a few bad habits (so do I), or if you are the perfect depiction of health.  I don’t care if you are married, single, what race you are, or if you fill my list of what I want in a family.

I just cling on to the hope that you are out there searching for me just like I am longing for you.  I hope and pray that you will find yourself needing me, as much as I need you.

I know that sounds silly, coming from a kid and all, but if I were to be completely honest, I would tell you how desperately I long for a family, a mother, a father….anyone….anyone who would stick with me.

I need to feel hope for the future. 

I need you to need me.  

Author’s Note:  This post was inspired by the years I spent listening to children in foster care (of all ages) describe what they desire in adoptive families.  Moreover, it was especially inspired by a hand-written list of wants that a teenager in foster care handed her social worker when asked what she wants in a family.  I hope this post inspires you to truly consider the needs of orphans in our world, and especially, the incredible opportunity to lead youth in foster care to a life “minus all of the foster care stuff”.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -James 1:27 

You are my lighthouse

God, I am swimming in this barren sea without a lighthouse in sight. Keep my head above water. Hold me while I tread in an ocean of pain so deep that I could never touch the bottom. My eyes are searching for land in sight, for a soft place to land, and…for answers that will anchor my soul.

I am drowning in this sea of despair, still yet, I see You. I feel You moving me through the water towards someone or something of significance. You are leading me towards land. Help me, dear Father, to be patient in the journey.

God, I am swimming in this barren sea with only You in sight. Lord, You are my lighthouse, my life-preserver, my anchor, soft place, and the soil to which I will continue my journey.

Father, You keep my head above the water. You relieve the pain that I feel. You lower the tide, soften the blow, and move me in waves of clarity.


Image courtesy of: http://freebies.about.com/od/free-wallpaper/tp/free-ocean-wallpapers.htm

God, I am swimming in this barren sea, and You are my lighthouse.

the greatest gift my mom gave me

“What are you doing?  Why aren’t you out there?” I asked my son as he sat down next to me during gymnastics practice.  My oldest son is a competitive gymnast, and he has newly discovered an emotion in regards to the sport that he has taken up…


“I just don’t want to do a back hand-spring.  I’m scared”  he said.  I went on to tell stories about my own fears, and how overcoming them have led to accomplishing fun things  – like the first time I tried clip-in cycling shoes and fell over and over again until I got it right.  He remembers watching me fall over and over again, and how I put my bike away for a few weeks, until I got it out, clipped in, and rode away determined to not let fear overcome me.

I also asked him, “Is this it?  Are you ready to quit?”  He shrugged his shoulders, and whispered the word “maybe”.  I said, “No.  Not like this.  Get out there, do your job.  You can do it.  Once you get it, you will love it.  There is nothing to be scared of.”

He finished practice and didn’t mention his fear again.  Later in the day, I told him the story of Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug who finished her last vault with a broken ankle, and in doing so, became an Olympic champion.  I talked about fear and how sometimes the hardest things we do in life are often not the easiest.

The truth is – this is NOT about gymnastics.  It is NOT about if my son will ever go on to be a champion in the sport.  No, this is not about these things at all.  Instead, it is about teaching my son that when the going gets tough, the tough keep going. In other words, it is about overcoming fears, and accepting challenges.  It’s about perseverance.

I’ve thought about this topic often, perhaps more now than I ever have before. Now that I am a mother, I admire the quality that instinctively knows how to teach children about perseverance.  It is not an easy task, and yet, it is probably one of the most important character-building values that a parent can teach a child.

This also got me to thinking about my own upbringing, and the lessons learned.  One of the greatest gifts my mother ever gave me was not a gift at all.  It was not expensive, tangible, collectible, or desired.

It was the gift of perseverance.

Some of my earliest memories of the words my mom spoke to me include the following:

“You can be whatever you want as long as you put your heart into it.”

My mom knows a lot about life not being fair.  The youngest of ten children born in the Ozarks (southern Missouri), she experienced a life without a lot of frills.  At the age of seven, her daddy suddenly died, leaving behind her mother with children still at home.

After his death, my grandma packed up the kids who were still at home, and moved to the city to find work.  Mom has told me of having one pair of shoes per year. She has shared with me about my grandma working three jobs to keep food on the table. Sometimes, mom would come home to an empty house and eat a can of green beans for dinner.  She recalls hiding “nice things” from the social worker who stopped by to make sure grandma was not taking advantage of the welfare checks.

As you might be able to imagine, my mom and her siblings did not have the best of things growing up.  However, maybe…just maybe, they learned the best characteristics of the human experience.  They learned that family is important, hard work is required, and sometimes, life is not fair, but that is not a good enough reason to stop carrying on.  They learned the value of perseverance.

After my illness and hysterectomy in 1983, as you can imagine, mom leaned a lot on perseverance.  She had to.  She had to show me that sometimes life isn’t fair, and you just have to get up and keep going.  She also had to abide by the notion that there is a reason behind everything that happens in life, and that God allows things that we do not understand at the time, but one day, these things once thought of as being a cruel twist in life, can turn out to be incredibly strengthening lessons.  These lessons, in turn, are amazing blessings.

I remember parts of my time in the hospital, and afterward.  I do not remember how it affected my mother, though.  I look back at some pictures and can tell she became awfully thin during that time, but otherwise, she was still the same mom as she was before that sadness entered her life, my dad’s, and mine.

She got right back up, day after day, and continued to raise a daughter who learned to believe in setting her heart to the things she wanted to accomplish in life. She taught strength, courage, and perseverance by simply modeling what it is to keep going on in life, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and to not allow set-backs be an excuse for giving up.

My first birthday following my hysterectomy - 1983.
My first birthday following my hysterectomy – 1983.

My mom has faced many giants in her life. The impact of my illness on her, honestly, has been lifelong. It doesn’t take much to provoke a tear out of her when talking about it. Still yet, there’s that resilience….that echo of perseverance that has resonated throughout the years.

As I reflect on my son’s own fear of accomplishing what seems to be a difficult task, I appreciate so much of the unspoken acts of intentional courage that my mother showed to me.  I appreciate more than ever the stronghold she displayed when faced with unwavering despair.

 Persevering through difficult times, hard choices, moments that take the wind out of you, seemingly simplistic fears, and times when it is hard to discern God’s reasoning, are the times when we, as parents, can make an incredible, life-altering impact on our children’s lives.

Fellow parents, and yet-to-be parents, keep on keeping on.  After all is said and done, your courage to persevere will make a lasting impression on your children, and in turn, on future generations.

Through him we have also obtained  access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the  glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that  suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character  produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been  poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to  us.  —Romans 5:2-5

YOU are relevant {encouragement for Momma}

Busy, busy, busy…these are the three words that come to mind when thinking of the day.  Up at 5:50 am (that’s actually sleeping in a bit), let dog out, let dog in, feed dog, feed cat, let dog out again, make coffee, quickly swig coffee, read a bit of news on the Internet, one kid up, then another, then another, feed them, jump in shower, check on kids, get husband out of bed, make lunch, comb daughter’s hair, get toddler dressed, put out fresh water for dog, say goodbye to husband and one child, double-check locks on doors, turn off coffee pot, load up two kids, drop off one, drop off the other, say daily prayer to the Lord, and then head to work.

Work stuff.  Reports, percentages, discussions, meetings…paperwork.

Get off work, pick up daughter, take to swim lessons, engage in conversation with other moms, smile  at daughter while she is showing off her swimming abilities, load her back up in the car, head home, greet husband, ask how oldest son’s day went, hug little one, fix dinner, do two loads of laundry, get daughter in bath, then get youngest in bath, clean bathroom, get oldest son in bath, fold a bit of laundry, straighten up toddler’s room, hold him while he rages against not wanting to go to bed, switch out with husband so that he can get little one to sleep, tuck oldest son in bed, tuck daughter in bed, tell her a story (she likes it when one is made up with her as the main character), sing a song to her, and sit down for the first time since being home from work.

THIS.  This is an average day in my life, and most likely, in many other’s lives.  And yet, despite how tiring it can be, how seemingly repetitive (like the movie Groundhog Day) it is, and how overwhelming it might be, I am reminded of the beauty of it all.

I am thankful for the blessing of not having to worry about where my children are sleeping tonight, if there is enough food on the table, whether we will be persecuted for believing what we believe, if I can access medicine for my family, or meet their basic needs.

In the same breath that I feel exhausted at the end of the day, I look around and hear the Lord saying,

“You are relevant.”

And then, I think about my friends who are mommies.  I think, “They, too, are relevant.”  Then, my heart turns to my friends who are not yet mom’s, ones who long to be but are still waiting, and one’s who are fostering the babes of other mom’s, and I think, “Yes, they are also relevant.”

Motherhood is challenging.  It is incredibly emotional.  It is glorious, frustrating, and disappointing at times.

At moments, it feels as raw as can be.  Other times, it feels as distant as the eye can see.

It can be monotonous.  It can be adventurous.  It can be exhausting.  Still yet, it is relevant.

When dragged down by the duties of the day, screaming of cranky babies, whining of little one’s, dishes that need to be washed, clothes hanging out in the laundry hamper, and reports that are nearing their deadlines, remember this, sweet Momma…

YOU are relevant.  

IMG_0255The love of a mother is the veil of a softer light between the heart and the heavenly Father. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you.  It is the weekend you dread, isn’t it?  “Happy Father’s Day!” you hear people say to the men around you, but you sit there silent, nodding, and agreeing that, indeed, it should be a happy Father’s day to the men you know. Or, it could be, that it doesn’t matter if it is Father’s Day weekend or not.

It could be that you still continue to count the days until you are  a daddy.  It could be that you have been to the doctor over and over again with your wife, only to walk out feeling empty.  It might just be that you have watched your wife sob the heaviest tears that you could not even carry, even though you have tried.

You are strong.  You are trying to carry the weight of this burden, and yet, you do not fully understand it.

You are a Father-in-Waiting.

It just might be that you have explored all of the avenues that would lead you to becoming a parent.  You and your wife have been to multiple doctors, invested more money than you want to mention, and have given more emotional energy than you ever thought you could extend. You barely mention it to your friends.

Your co-workers wonder why you are not a daddy yet, and as a defense mechanism, you laugh it off.  You make excuses for it. You joke about how you want to stay “Honeymooners forever”, or you speak about being perfectly happy without children.  The truth is, though, while you are happy, you still are lost in the confusion about parenthood. You wake-up each day with the desire to see your wife happy.  You think, “Maybe soon….maybe one day…”

Your wife comes home from work announcing another’s pregnancy.  You get the mail, open it, and see a birth announcement.  You attend family reunions and are bombarded with questions about when little ones will be bouncing their way into your life.

Still yet, there you are.  You are working so hard to heal your wife’s heart.  You get angry.  You hold it all in, but you would do anything…anything…to take away her pain.  Deep down, you are carrying your own pain, anger and sadness.  You long to be a daddy.

You are a Father-in-Waiting.

Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you.  These things are what you wife needs:

  • your attention to her words about the despair she is feeling,
  • your arms to comfort her when nothing else will,
  • your assurance that when you said “I do”, it truly was forever…through sickness, through health…through barrenness…through it all,
  • your compassion, understanding, and empathy,
  • your patience…your wife is exploring her own uncharted territory of infertility…just like you,
  • your affirmation that she is still the most beautiful person you have ever met, that her worth is so much more than bringing babies into this world, and that you will always be honored to be her husband,
  • and lastly, your hope.  Keep it up.  Keep speaking about your future with children in mind.  Even when she loses it, you keep it going.

Parenthood may not come like you want it to.  It may visit you through multiple treatments that finally succeed.  It may settle itself through the selflessness of your surrogate, or even, to the surprise of no type of intervention. Or, it may come to you through the incredible, unbelievable, awe-inspiring, life-affirming, and glorious blessing of adoption.

No matter how fatherhood comes to you, it is still the most incredible gift.  Celebrate it.  Cherish it.  Do not stay caught up in the facts of the struggle to be a daddy.  Instead, stay engaged in the miracle of fatherhood.

Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you.  Happy Father’s Day.  Happy moment when your wife walks out of the bathroom holding the test that finally comes true.  Happy time when the doctor explains that everything is looking good, and there is not anything to worry about .  Happy moment when you see the ultrasound, you hear the heartbeat, and you start to imagine yourself as a daddy.  Happy time when her water breaks, you rush to the hospital, and you hold a part of your heart for the first time.

Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you.  Happy moment when you receive the call that you have been selected by a birth mother.  Happy time when you first meet her, talk about your child’s future, and hug her for the first time.  Happy time when you watch your wife meet the birth mother of her future child.  Happy breath-taking time when you rush to the hospital, hold both your wife’s hand, and the hand of the birth mother.  Happy incredible instant when you lift up the gift of life that has been given to you.

Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you.  Happy time when you signed on the dotted line that confirms you are a foster daddy.  Happy, yet painful moment, when the little one arrives on your doorstep, you hear about the plight of the little one and birth parents that have entered your life, and you sway whatever way the “case” is swaying. Happy occasion when you enter in the courtroom, get acknowledged by the Judge, and learn of the future of the babe in your care.  Happy incredible, breath-taking, exhilarating, yet humbling day you learn that biological parent rights are terminated. Happy second that the gavel falls declaring you as a forever daddy.

Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you.  Stay true.  Stay strong.  Stay the husband you swore to be.  Hold your wife.  Listen to her, and allow yourself to speak about your own journey.

Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you.  

Happy day when you will no longer be a Father-in-Waiting.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

*Author’s Note:  Sunday, June 15th is Father’s Day in the United States.  I wrote this to be an encouragement for all of the Father’s-in-Waiting.


if His eye is on the sparrow

I’m going to be very transparent right now, so please, be patient with me.  During a training this week, I was asked to write down my adaption to stress.  I took that to mean where do I “go” when feeling under stress.  I sat there for a minute, picked up my pen, and jotted down these three words:

Cynicism, Anger, Anxiety

To my own shock, I stared at those words for a while, but quickly picked up my attention to the speaker.  From time to time, these three words kept coming back to me, but I continued to do my best to stay engaged in the training.

Later on that night, my oldest son was outside playing when my husband called him in to get ready for bed.  “Never”, my son said to my husband while in front of the other dads in the neighborhood.  My son continued to disobey and play while my husband calmly (which is true to his nature) coaxed him indoors to get ready for bed.

After my husband talked to him about being disobedient, I decided it was my turn.  I scolded my son for disobeying his father.  To be honest, I lectured him.  I spoke about how being disobedient to one’s father is a sign of disrespect, and we are to not disrespect our fathers.  My son apologized and stated he would try harder and not do it again.  We tucked him in to bed, kissed him goodnight, and went on with the evening.

As I lay in bed thinking about my day and the issue we had with our son, I began to think about those three words that came to mind earlier in the day.

 Cynicism, Anger, Anxiety

I prayed for cleansing of these things.  I asked the Lord to clean my heart of the resentment I have felt towards others in the past few months.  I asked Him to clear my spirit of the anger I sometimes pour out about others, and I prayed fervently for the purging of my anxiety about my future, my children, my spouse, our finances, and our careers.  And then, I drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up with my prayers still on my mind.  However, my thoughts turned to this:

In the same breath that I told my son how disrespectful he was to his father by being disobedient, I too have been disrespectful to my Heavenly Father by being cynical, angry, and full of anxiety.  In that moment, I was humbled.

Furthermore, I meditated on the fact that anger leads to cynicism, and anxiety comes from both.  I felt the Lord convicting me that if I continue holding on to these three things as a defense mechanism or adaption to stress, then I am convincing myself that the power of these emotions, and the decisions of others are more powerful than my faith in God.

As I progressed with the morning, I began to think about a song that stirred my heart many years ago.

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,

When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

After these words left my lips, I felt…I felt cleansed.  I felt the Lord moving in my spirit…

….and just like that, I let it all go.  

I let go of the cynicism I have carried for so many months now.  I exhaled the anger about decisions that I have struggled with, and I released the anxiety about my family’s and my own future.  There are hardly any words to describe the feeling of knowing that a prayer has been answered.  The only way to describe it is that I have felt “lighter” since then, and I have sensed an incredible envelope of love guarding my heart.

I was lead to this Scripture:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

-Matthew 6:25-34

I’ve written this post to encourage you – my fellow believers and non-believers.  I’ve shared this personal experience in hopes that you too may rest for a while.

If His eye is on the sparrow – a small, seemingly insignificant bird, then you can be assured that His eye is on the incredible, lovable, forgivable, unique, and very significant you.

Magnificent Treasure

Call it odd, call it mysterious, or call it incredible, but the times when I feel the least valued by others are the moments when I feel the most treasured by our Heavenly Father. May you feel His presence today, and feel that you are a magnificent treasure….because you are. 

I posted the above status on my Facebook page this morning.  I woke up with it on my heart and felt the need to share.  Funny thing is that it later came in handy when encouraging a person who is of great closeness to me. Or, maybe it is not funny at all.  Maybe it is the way that the Lord works; the confirmation of His presence in my life, and in the one I encouraged today.

I fear that we miss the boat when it comes to seeking and searching the strengths of each other.  Sometimes, we remain stuck in our own tunnel-vision lens of how we think things should be, or how others should be, that we miss incredible opportunities to build each other, challenge each other, and seek the potential that is there.

The awesome thing about faith in our Creator is that a believer can take the feeling of being devalued, and give it right to God.  We were not created to be measured up to the standards of others.  We were all designed with incredible strengths, weaknesses, insights, talents, and gifts.

A life lived in Christ is the only standard that we should seek to be measured by.

So, my friend, if someone has made you feel less than worthy, or devalued today, hold your head up.  It is not the vision of others that you should hang your worth on.  Your worth has already been determined by the One who sacrificed it all…for you.

YOU are a magnificent treasure.

 We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us.  We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up.  In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again.  We face death every day because of Jesus. Our bodies show what his death was like, so that his life can also be seen in us.  This means that death is working in us, but life is working in you.  -2 Corinthians 4:7-12