Friday, January 4, 2013
Happy New Year, dear friend! How are you? How's your 2013 so far? I don't know why, but this week has DRAGGED. It's not like I'm not doing stuff, but oh, well. :D
If you're my friend on Facebook, you probably know all about what I've been up to. (If you're not, and you'd like to be, send me a request! LORI STILGER. :) ) But let me share a bit, anyway. I mean, that's why I started this blog, right? :D
I spent two weeks in College Station, Texas, taking care of my then-three-month-old niece. This is my baby sister's baby. You know there are VERY few people in the entire world I'd take two weeks out of my December to do something like that for. :D But it was an honor. And hard work! LOL! Fortunately, the baby is SO easy to care for, not fussy at all, and such a beautiful baby. Here, I'll put a picture of us from that visit here!Isn't she beautiful?
While I was there, Baby and I made some presents for the rest of the family; they were salt dough ornaments, and we used ONE hand and ONE foot to mark the dough, then let them dry.
Well, as you can see from my photo at the top of this post, mine is the imperfect one. When we first made this one, I thought, "Oh, no! It's ruined! Man, if only I'd gotten her hand straighter before we put pressure on the dough!"
But you know what? The more I watched it dry, the more I started to cherish this plaque in particular. the rest might have been more "perfect", but THIS one, I understood. THIS one, her delight in the texture and feel of the dough are made evident in the way she wanted to FEEL it - first with her hand, then with her big toe!
And it tied itself right into a lesson God's been developing in my heart over the last few months.
See, many times we come to a place in our lives where we have to fight despising the brokenness and imperfections in our past (or current) lives. The cracks and chips that happen when we choose to go our own ways, to live how WE think we want to. When we allow God to put us back together, those aren't glossed over. They're still there; we may be held together by His grace, but we can still see every crack, still feel where the chips are glued back together.
Dear friend, what He's been teaching me is that our brokenness and imperfections are SO useable by Him! Think about a candle holder (there's a really special one that I cannot find the info on, so I'll have to explain!!!) that's been cracked and broken. The owner puts it back together, and puts a candle into it. The light of the candle shines through the cracks, shedding light and warmth through where it couldn't shine through before.
God's the One Who puts us back together again. The candle is the Holy Spirit, shining the light of Jesus through us to the world. What a MIRACLE that is. So, I try not to despise those things in my life anymore, but turn them over to the Father, so He can use them to shed His light into others' lives. And to not give Satan something to hold over me. If it's out in the open, he can't torment me with feelings of guilt and condemnation!
I've been learning a lot. It takes a while to solidify into words, but I hope these words help you in some way. :) Be BLESSED, dear one. Know you are loved with an everlasting love, and that God does ALL things well! That includes creating YOU.