Thursday, July 26, 2012

colored in sparkle

July is a month showered fully in birthdays.  
Birthdays of close friends, kids playmates, loved family members, and
"yours truly."
With all of the birthday festivities, preparations, and celebrations we've had thus far, you could venture to say that we have 
"birthday on the brain." 
(or at least my 7 year old surely does).
While mine is still yet a few days ahead, my daughter Brooke has been putting together her own birthday plans for me. 
 Last night, she presented me with this:
A present scrounged out of her bedroom, wrapped in Christmas paper.
Lovely flower weeds she picked and brought inside, climbing up into the forbidden cupboard of glass and breakable, to pull out one of my favorite drinking glasses to showcase her pick.
And a homemade card she spent concentrated time making 
(and sealing into an envelope before the glue had yet dried).

This morning, she didn't want me to wait any longer and asked me to open her present.
But right before I did, she blushed a bit in apprehension and said, "It's kinda silly Mom."
And there folded and tucked behind holiday ornament wrap,
was an already used box of kleenex that has been sitting on her nightstand for the past few months.
 However, when I opened it...although I outwardly smiled, I did not see "silly," 
my heart saw beyond a used box of kleenex.  In fact, in my mind's eye, I had just unwrapped the beauty of my daughter's heart.   I saw a young girl with a tender heart that loves to give and lavish love on others.  A heart of compassion that loves to bring joy to those around her. I was given a glimpse of the Work of her Creator molding and shaping that heart of hers to be one like His.  
That is a gift that cannot be wrapped...
or opened in an instant.
But rather a gift that will be unfolded in those "Mary pondering" life moments, 
delivered when I least expect.  
Moments that can't be scheduled and planned on a calendar, or wrapped and unwrapped too quickly, or before their time...
for then the image and full intended beauty of them may not be revealed as it should.
No, these moments require allowing the glue to dry first.
 I've mentioned before that I've been doing the Nehemiah Bible study on my own this summer.  I started at the end of May...with a simple desire that God breaks my heart for the things that break His.  That He gives me eyes to see the needs of those around me and a responsive heart to meet those needs. That He leads me in my ways of service (inside and outside of my home).  He has been speaking to me daily through this study.  Answering, revealing, guiding, confirming.  And let me tell you, His voice certainly is the most beautiful sound.  I've been looking forward to my early morning quiet time with Him.  A friend recently asked me how I was, I responded, "Any day I wake up and I'm madly in love with Jesus is a great day!"  And that is the truth.  Still, I have some "BIG" prayers, questions and decisions that I keep asking Him for direction and confirmation with.  I'm amazed at the ways He responds.  It's a dialogue, a communication, that although hard to explain, fills and quenches those intimate places of my heart.  Those places where I know it's from Him, of Him, and all Him. It's forcing me to push aside fear, doubt, selfishness and insecurity and keep my gaze solely on Him.  

In this Nehemiah study, she (the author, Kelly Minter), talks about the value of people.  She says, "How easily I can put the ministry of people above the people themselves.  The subtle temptation to exalt the 'wall' of study, returning e-mails, planning events, and even putting together a meal for a Bible study over actual people is one of the most counterproductive traps we can slide into. I have often found myself entirely overwhelmed with the demands of ministry, but to what end?  If I've lost sight of the people for whom I spend myself, I have entirely missed the heart of what I do."  She then suggests that "besides being relevant to those in ministry, of course this pertains to motherhood, marriage, and friendship."
Before she even mentioned "motherhood," my thoughts were already there.  It's too easy to get lost in the demands and chores and "to-do" lists...the constant cleaning, cooking, laundry loading, grocery getting, errand running, serving part of our roles as mothers and wives, that we can lose sight of the "heart of why we do it."  I'm guilty.  
So, to me, opening my birthday gift from my daughter was so much more than a used box of kleenex and some weeds brought in from outdoors.  It unwrapped the layers of "ministry" (that sometimes threaten to hide and cover), and brought me into a centered moment in which the beauty of why I do what I do was revealed and made perfect sense.  
I saw a girl, fearfully and wonderfully made, with every day of her life recorded in His book, every moment laid out before a single day had passed, all prepared for her before she even lived one of them, birthed with gifts in her heart that reflect His image, waiting to be gradually molded and shaped and revealed in their due time, and to be used...yes, to be used, for the good work He has purposed for her to do, that He has assigned in advance, choosing to work through her and calling her to be a benefit to this world we live in.
(Colossians 4:17, Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 139)

Nevermind the crayon shavings all over my kitchen table and chairs...the fact that I will be forever clothed in "fanciness" (even while remaining in my pj's at noon on this given day) for Martha Stewart has provided glitter in the brilliant shades of "feldspar" and "amethyst" all over my wood floors, rugs, and countertops
(courtesy of my card-making 7 year old).
Making the floors of my heart shine too.

Finding gratitude today in the gift of motherhood.
A role I've longed to play for as long as I can remember.  
Not always a role that is painted in glitter...
but one I've been purposed for.

Thanking Him today for gifting me with my daughter.
For she has already benefited my little world.
And colored it in sparkle.
(a color even Martha Stewart can't define, 
for it comes from our undefinable Creator.)

What is your world colored in today?
Find a way to make it shine.
For Him.

1 comment:

  1. "making the floors of my heart shine too"...loved this line. i resonated deeply with your words, God teaching me so much of what you described.

    the peace of the place God has led you to spills over in your words, and it is beautiful.