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Flawed Shells are Still perfect

by Cheryl Wilson

As I am migrating my way through my health journey, I have learned so many things about my body; things that work and things that are challenging for me.  I also know that I have choices in my journey and I need to embrace these choices.  I am in control of these choices and what I put into my body.

I think how I believe I was made by my Lord and not only do I want to be healthy, but God put such care into my creation that how could I not want to take care of my body?  I included the entire chapter below as I felt every single verse was worthy of reading here. 

I have had this chapter as one of my favorites for years as I migrated through my teen age years, into my newly married years, into my years where I miscarriages many times into my challenging health years and now as I am going into my retirement years.  God had a plan when I was born, when I was a blooming young girl and I need to remember, He still his this perfect plan as I age.

Recently I was at the beach, a place I so much love.  I collected some beautiful shells each morning as I walked along the water.  I actually loved the ones with the flaws as they reminded me that even with my flaws, I am beautiful.  Each shell has such a quiet story to tell about its path to the shore to me.  As I picked up each one, I thought about the story that shell could teach me.  Some were still perfect and unflawed.  But more had some wear on them reminded me that flaws are a rite of passage as we migrate from our youth into our aged years.

God says in Psalms 139 that He is familiar with ALL MY ways.  He knows even the deepest hurts I hold within my soul that I speak to no one.  He knows of the wounds I cannot completely heal. He knows of the fears I have even when I try hard to keep those fears under control.  He is there to help me control those midnight panic attacks that creep up on me out of nowhere.  If know if I did not have Him to look to, many of my fears could overtake me.  He promises in this chapter that there is NO WHERE I could go that He is NOT THERE WITH ME.  HOW powerful is that?!

I still have moments where I tip into anger too easily or I lose faith when I step on the scales to find I gained a pound instead of losing one. These things could tip me into self-doubt or a spiral of self-hate.  But is that what God wants for us?  As I look at my collection of shells in my pretty cup I placed them in, I again remind myself, I am flawed, but I am not damaged.  My flawed body is ok as God still holds the reins!!!

Psalm 139  “139 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.

This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. 11 If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. 12 For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. 15 You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! 16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!

17-18 How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

19 Surely you will slay the wicked, Lord! Away, bloodthirsty men! Begone! 20 They blaspheme your name and stand in arrogance against you—how silly can they be? 21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I be grieved with them? 22 Yes, I hate them, for your enemies are my enemies too.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. 24 Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

I hope God’s words can give you some peace today, some comfort.  Read them several times.  Trust that they are there for you.  Know you are NOT alone during ANY hurt, God promises “when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!”  Trust His words.

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God’s Perfect Timing…..

2015-12-18_16-47-16I am in such awe at the thought of how many times God’s timing has proved itself to be “perfect”. I would say that there are also MANY times I have not understood His path… at first. I am reminded of the saying I once heard….

“God does not say no, He says, not now.”

As mere humans, this can be such a hard thing to hear. We pray for a situation and in our hearts, wait for that answer and many times think the outcome will be one scenario or another, and then we wait ….

God might have a different plan from our desires and many times, He does. If we can only sit back and let God work His plan, we will see in the end His perfect love and answer. Is this easy? NO, it is not. In fact, at some times during our pain, we might get depressed.

I want to tell a sweet story about how God answered a prayer in His timing and how the end result was incredible, or in this case, perfect.

As many of you know, my sweet daughter in law lost her dear little dog, Holly. She loved Holly and she was her little furry companion. Holly was such a sweet part of her life when she was going through so many trials. In September, Holly became very ill and died in Addy’s arms. God has to have a plan in his vast master blueprint for pets in our world. They give us so much joy and comfort. Their requirement of food and shelter matches our need to give. When they are gone, we are left with heavy emptiness.

Holly was not just a pet; she was a confident, a girl friend, a soft pillow, a late night girlie movie best bud.

I remember my daughter in law asking me to pray for them to find another pet to fill that very lonely void. As we all know, a new pet cannot replace our lost friends, but they can fill a hole of loneliness. Tears turn into laughter.

So here is her story. My daughter in law found her little perfect fury friend. The cutest little white Pomeranian came available in Florida, but so far away! They lived in the Mid-west!!! But this sweet little boy was perfect. How could God have the perfect puppy so far away? But my daughter-in-law could not get this sweet white ball of fur out of her heart. She called about him even though the miles were far and the center informed her they just adopted him out. Addy would have found a way to get to him, but he was gone to someone else. Why did God allow this to happen? He was perfect.

So, let’s fast forward… a couple months.

Addy still prayed for a dog. She still longed for this little sweet pup called “Pumpkin.”

God was not saying NO, He was saying, NOT NOW. Wait Addy, wait for me to allow my plan to be perfect.

God knew Addy was going to be in Florida in December. The day before she arrived in Florida, (3 hours away from the site where this sweet pup was adopted), God plan was going into effect. The family that adopted Pumpkin, realized they were too old to handle an active little puppy. Sweet little “Pumpkin” was again up for adoption the day Addy was to arrive in Florida, 3 hours away. NOTE: Addy was initially 25 hours away!!!

Addy called the center and they told Addy, she could adopt “Pumpkin.”

SO, what is the message! Many times God puts a plan on hold for a reason. We might become impatient, or upset that we think God is saying NO, but what He is saying is…. not now and please wait for me to work thing out. We may hurt and desire to have an answer and even want to take the reins but God has a perfect plan.

It is not easy to wait. But God does have a plan and His plan is perfect.

PS… his name is now “Meiko”

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Self-Reflection, part one.

Photograph by Christina Toole  Photography(R)
Photograph by Christina Toole Photography(R)

There was another blog I wanted to write today, but I felt that I wanted to share with you a tool I use to help me reflect on who I am and who I feel God wants me to be. Psalm 139:14 says: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

In other words we are all unique, again God made no mistake when He made you. You are exactly who He wanted you to be, but it is up to us to take care of our bodies, our minds, our gifts…..

I started a while back my own unique statements that define me. Some were for a season, but they still seem to fit. I add to them often.

I hope you start a list like this and read it often.

  1. My life is like an unfinished painting. There is always something to tweak.
  2. Everything in life is about balance.
  3. What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? (Lord Byron)
  4. Our scars remind of us our incredible journey.
  5. Stop, close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax
  6. It is not the failure, it is how we turn that failure into our growth.
  7. Eventually all the pieces fall into place, until then, laugh at the confusion, live in the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.
  8. When you repeat a mistake, it Is not a mistake anymore, it is a decision
  9. God makes no mistakes
  10. A true friend is to is to see all of their magic, and to remind them how magical they are when they have forgotten it themselves.
  11. Love is that unselfish desire to meet the needs of the cherished object.
  12. Just when you think you have me all figured out, the seasons are already changing.
  13. We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
  14. I can be a blank canvas some days, but the goal is to end up with beautiful paint at the end of the day all over me!
  15. Music makes me change my mine from grumpy to happy.
  16. Be kind to yourself when you think you have failed.
  17. We cannot control the filters that others choose when they look at us. God made us who we are supposed to be.
  18. Life is like a piano; white keys are the happy moments, black keys are sad moments, but together, they play beautiful music.
  19. On days you do not want to do anything else, go to the piano shack and play music loud.
  20. A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on one another.
  21. Love can be just a word, but when you find someone it fits, it becomes a definition.

God lays on my heart what to say.

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Do you have Passion?

imagesPassion means to have a very strong feeling about something or someone. It is an intense emotion. Recently, I painted a canvas with little regard to style, form, or design, I just let passion direct my hand into this painting and I painted what I felt. I posted this painting and within minutes, my painting made its way to someone that absolutely loved it and bought it for their office.

I tried a couple days later to do the same painting but without the same passion and that paining will never see the light of day as it is now painted over with another coat of paint!! I let other things dampen my passion and I knew it.

I decided to sit back and understand what was the reason behind one painting being a treasured and looked at and a motivator to others and another one just a painting on the wall. I realized it was the passion I felt when I painted. Now it also goes that the one loving my painting has to also have this same passion for it.

So how do we get passion and how do we let passion give us the creativity, the drive, the desire to enjoy the day and allow ourselves to be used by God to actually make a difference in this world. Are we on this earth to just live each day to just breathe or are we here for a purpose?

I realized that I was not meant to be a great singer, or preacher, or composer, but I can be that person that can encourage the great singers, preachers, and composers of this world. I can be “their person” by being passionate in what I do and how I do it in hopes that others will be encouraged by my words or actions. Have you ever read a quotation by someone and it changed your way of thinking? Your entire day changed. The poem created passion in your life. The day actually went better and not much bothered you.

You can be that poet in someone’s life. You can give that inspiration with your smile, your patience, your willingness to listen to someone. See, we do not have to be someone great to make a difference, but we can be the wind that swoops in behind of them to push them to greatness.

Tomorrow I will talk about what we can do to get that passion …. It is not always easy, I think we have to work at it sometimes. We have to have a plan.

But for today…………… think about it, do you have passion?

Saturday, January 26, 2013. Why me?

I talked to a friend yesterday and found out she had breast cancer and told me she had never been sick a day in her life.  No one in her family had cancer and her biggest question was “why me?”  She was fine one day and after a routine mammogram, she was facing the big “C”.  I have never heard her talk about God in the past, but today she did.  She knows my walk with God, so felt comfortable to tell me she felt God wanted her to learn something, or as she indicated, this was what people were telling her right now.  She wanted to know what God wanted her to know.

I was not sure what to tell her, but here is what was in my heart that I shared.  I told her that sure, that could be the case, but perhaps she was also supposed to be strong for someone else that would be going through the same cancer treatments and her going down the path now was to show her friend the way someday in the future.  Or perhaps being strong (she felt she was not) was going to be the beacon of strength for someone else.

I am not sure God allows sorrow and pain in our life for us to learn something.  When I lost many babies due to miscarriage, I was able to talk to many other women in my path later on that needed someone to understand them.  God must love my friend right now to allow this to be in her life.  I look forward to walking with her through this to see how God will work through her.