Being the “Favorite”

How does one capture what it feels like to be “the favorite”?

I have been, and am, “the favorite” but I am having trouble putting my thoughts and emotions down on cyber-paper.  I’m going to do my best, because its important to me…not to glory in the fact that I am a favorite, but to remind myself that I did nothing at all to earn such a standing…absolutely nothing.

the color red

hearts

icy snow that clings to every single branch

daisies

These are a few of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews).  Why?  I have no idea…they just are.  That is how I look at how I became the favorite…I just did.  I was not the first-born grandchild…or niece.  I was not overly cute, with dimples and sparkling eyes.  I’ve never had an animated personality, in fact, I’m very shy and reserved…I like being in the background.

But, despite all that, I was the favorite of my Grandpa and my Uncle Kenny, and my Aunt Jean still introduces me as “my favorite niece”.  I’ve gotta tell you, there is nothing like being someone’s “favorite”!  Just thinking about it makes me happy.  Seriously, I am grinning from ear to ear 🙂

What an amazing thought that I am Jesus’ favorite as well.  When others make me feel unloved, worthless, and lacking, I know that in Him I am whole, complete, totally and perfectly loved…no matter what.  And that, my friend, is truth!

My heart is full and happy, and the grin just won’t go away ❤

Words will never express what this feels like.

 

 

“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

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There’s a Little Red Devil on One Shoulder

Sometimes I feel like there is a little red devil sitting on my shoulder…you know, like in cartoons from the 1960’s and 70’s…and he isn’t whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

His whispers are death and destruction…

“you are worthless”

“you are unlovable”

“you are pathetic”

Who is sitting on my other shoulder?  It’s Jesus.

His whispers are sweet.

And although I may feel worthless, unlovable, pathetic…He loves me and tells me that what I feel and what I am are two completely different things.  I just need to see myself as He does.  Loved.  Adored.  Cherished.  Precious.  His.

I’ve let others define me.  I’ve cared too much about what others think of me.  I’ve even made myself responsible for the happiness of others…good grief, that’s exhausting…and impossible!

I have gotten things all turned around.

Jesus defines me.  I am who He says I am.

I wish I could say others are responsible for my happiness, ha ha, but the truth is, serving Jesus and others is what makes me happiest…always has and always will.

I will flick that little red devil off my shoulder every time he tries to climb back on by remembering who I am in Christ.

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On My Way Back To Work

On My Way Back To Work.

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On My Way Back To Work

I was praying on my way back to work from the bank.  When I am alone in my car I either pray or sing…both out loud.

I pray for my family and friends, and my kids especially.

But this time, I was praying for myself, my destiny, my longings.  Asking God what my future holds.  I have so many questions.  You see, it seems that I somehow got sidetracked from my real life.

I was not meant to be a widow at 49…was I?

Two years later, my father-in-law came for a visit.  Within ten minutes he says he needs to talk to me about something important.  Of course, I think something awful, like he’s sick, or possibly something worse.

He sees the fear in my eyes, sits me down, gently takes my hand in his and tells me that I am young (I chuckle) and I need to put some serious thought into finding someone new.  And all that comes into my head is “it’s too soon!”  Seriously, its two years to the day!  I laugh it off with words like “who would be interested in me?”…”I’m messed up”…”I may never be un-messed up”.

Fear, that’s what it really is.  I have lived with fear on various levels for over two years now.

Fear of losing…something…everything…being alone…starting over…the list goes on and on if I choose to let it.

That day in the car I talked with God about mistakes and wrong decisions I had made in my life.  I talked about what I thought His plan was for me, the plan I screwed up because I thought I knew better, the plan I chose not to follow.  But a plan that I hope He still has in mind for me.  It can’t be too late, can it?  For THAT plan?  Then it hit me!  I am holding on, with all the strength I can muster, to something God wants me to let go of.  Can I let go?  Do I want to let go?  If I’m honest, no, I don’t…but I must!

I let go that day.  I gave it back to Him.  I literally opened my hands and let go…tears streaming the entire time.  It wasn’t easy, I am human after all.

God asked me to give it all to Him.  I did.  I trust He’s going to do something amazing!

 

 

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Words

Why do words cut so deep?  Hurt so bad?  Suck the life right out of me?  Make me cry?

Why do I let them is a better question.  Especially when I know they aren’t true.

I am stuck, and I hate that.  At least that is how I am feeling this minute.  I’m sure that will change when I have the opportunity to get alone with God and talk things over with Him.  He is my calm, my anchor, the lover of my soul.  The One who feels my pain and saves each tear I cry.

He is the One who tells me who I really am.  The One who loves me unconditionally…always…no matter what…no matter that I let others define me for a second.

He is the One who will help me forgive.

“the God of the mount of transfiguration cannot cease His work of transfiguring moments…making all that is dark, evil, empty…into that which is all light, grace, full.”   (Ann Voskamp)

I trust that all things work for the refining of “me”; and I praise Him in this pain.

 

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A Window in Heaven

windowI would like to think that God allows those we love to look down on us from time to time.

I know my mom would pick today to look at her three daughters.

She would see three women who miss her…some days, so much it hurts. Women who love their families and do their best to be good mothers. Women who most importantly love the Lord.

Mom, your commitment to us and the Lord is something I pray I do as well as you did.

mom

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Jesus, Superman, and John Wayne

I just watched the trailer for the new Man of Steel.  How things have changed since I was a little girl watching reruns of the series starring George Reeves.  Geroge Reeves

When I look back at my childhood, I always remember feeling safe.  You see, my Superman called himself Bud.  He was my dad.  I know that he would give his life to protect me, my mom, and my sisters.

He was mild-mannered, just like superman.  His strength came from his relationship with Jesus.  He was a man of integrity and character, whose faith in God directed his steps.

John Wayne

As I got older, I thought he was really more like John Wayne.  He even looked like John Wayne, in my opinion anyway.  I wish I had a picture of my dad to post, I will have to look for one so you can compare the two.

His love for God and country made me proud.  After the World Trade Center attacks and we declared war on terrorism, my son, maybe 12 at the time, asked his grandpa if he would go to war.  “I would enlist today, if the Army would take me back” was his response.

During WWII, he enlisted in the Army (when he was 17) and was soon on a ship headed toward Japan.  After a few years he was asked to be private detail to General Douglas MacArthur but he missed his family.  So he came home, went back to high school, and graduated with my Aunt Lenore.

He told me once, “don’t sell yourself short, work hard, you are smarter than you think.”   Like many in Akron, Ohio, he worked in the tire industry.  On the side, he installed pumps and water softener systems.  Eventually he stepped out in faith, quit his job at Seiberling Rubber Company, and started his own business.

He worked hard, many nights coming in after dark.  Many times, he brought home what he’d accepted as payment for a job well done…home-grown tomatoes, a gun, even a snake encased in plastic (it was a pen and pencil holder).

He showed us what service to Jesus was all about.  He helped those in need, he drove a church bus, taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, sang in a family trio, and a quartet.  He was wise and always gave the right advice, but you had to ask for it.  His patience was endless, I rarely saw him angry.

If I had the opportunity to ask him who he would most want to be like…Superman, John Wayne, or Jesus…his answer would be Jesus….always Jesus.

This is my longing as well…to be like Jesus.

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