How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news… Isaiah 52:7
I have a lot to thank God for every day! I’m thankful for a really great mom. She taught me more lessons than I can count. Sometimes her lessons were gentle and sweet other lessons were swift and to the point! I could always count on her to tell me what she thought and the important stuff was usually delivered without sugar on top! I was always so proud to be her daughter and I’d like to think I have some of her great “Barb-isms” within me. I loved the bond we shared and when she died, I missed that mother daughter relationship terribly. But, as usual, God showed how smart and loving he truly is and he gave me a daughter. Funny thing, after two sons, I was perfectly content with the thought of having another son, but along came a daughter and I haven’t stopped thanking him for her since the day she arrived. I love my sons, but my life suddenly felt complete again the first time I said, “I have a daughter”.
I love my Shannie B for so many reasons, but her faith, compassion and sweetness top the list. In this blog I often quote famous saints, saintly people or regular people trying their hardest to be saintly. I’m always looking for scripture and teachings to share so we can all examine our discipleship and grow closer to the Father. This week the inspiration came from a Facebook post and it’s the simple wisdom and raw truth of a young woman slugging her way through nursing school. In spite of the stress and struggle that come with trying to follow God’s plan to become a nurse, she invites him in and asks him to guide her path when she’d too overwhelmed to find her way. She sees her clinical work as her vocation, not her assignment. She sees it as a chance to grow in holiness not just a chance to get a grade. I’m so proud of my daughter the nursing student and her words in this simple post are good medicine for all of our souls! Compliments of an overwhelmed but very trusting young woman, I offer you her simple advice…
“Far better to simply "Be your message" Live it! Radiate it! Be an Inspiration! Nursing School has been anything but easy but when I realize that people all around me want goodness, whether that's people in the hospital marking their last days of life or those walking around Franciscan's campus, they don't want it from a cute quote on Instagram or a cliche comment saying it'll all be okay...they seek goodness from me and from YOU, a real live person who actually puts those quotes into action so "Be Your Message" today, you never know whose watching”
A Seed To Plant: What is your message? Ask God what message he wants you to deliver through your words and actions today.
Blessings on your day!
I have called you by your name, giving you a title, though you knew me not. Isaiah 45:4
I had an amazing mom! However, she did sometimes call my brothers and I by the wrong name; which was highly curious since I look nothing like a Jim or a Joe. This little habit was something I said I’d never do as a mom. Unfortunately, I did it too, more times than I could count. Thank goodness we are loved by a Father who created us and calls us by name; the right name.
There is power in our name and we take pride in our titles; they’re a big part of our earthly identity. If I speak to my class and say “hey you” the response is very different than if I call a student by name. The Father doesn’t just know our name, he knows us; every gift, talent, struggle, sin and quirk. The title he has given us declares boldly and mightily his love for us; our title is; HIS beloved child. We don’t have to take a test, write an essay or prove anything to claim the title. We simply have to recognize that we are his beloved and spend each day getting to know him more deeply and love him more adoringly.
Our Father is so amazing we should set aside some time each day to discover something new about the One who created us, inspires us and calls us by name. The Father doesn’t call us by name because we’re famous or popular, he is personally inviting us to go forth and share his good news and demonstrate his love and mercy to others.
A Seed To Plant: Thank the Lord for loving you enough to know you by your name. Lord, help me remember how precious I am to you and grant me the grace to proclaim your name to those around me. For bonus points; say hello to ten people today and use their name.
Blessings on your day!
Yet, oh Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of Your hands. Isaiah 64:7
I can close my eyes and see it sitting there on the top shelf of the cupboard above the plates and cereal bowls. I couldn’t reach it, so it was always someone else’s job to put it away after I had carefully dried it. It was a turquoise blue, glass casserole dish, the only one my mom had, and it was something she treasured. My dad gave it to her for Christmas, and if she pulled it out to use for supper, I knew she was going to be making something special. One day when I was about ten, I came home from school and Mom was on her way to a meeting. She asked me to put the casserole dish in the oven at 5 o’clock. I felt so important! I quickly raced to the kitchen and peeked under the glass lid to see what she had assembled inside the dish…it was beautiful; it looked like something you’d see in a cookbook picture. Well, the appointed time had come, I opened the oven door, and as I lifted the casserole dish up to slide it into the oven, it slipped right out of my hands, crashed to the floor, and shattered into pieces. I didn’t even consider the fact that I had just ruined supper. I just felt awful about breaking her casserole dish.
I managed to clean up the mess before Mom got home, and I even began to prepare a “plan B” supper. However, the hardest task of all was to hand Mom that collection of broken glass. She stared at it in silence for a moment, asked me if I was OK and then said, “Well, now it’s time to get creative. Your dad and brothers will be hungry, and it’s almost time to eat.” That was it…no scolding, no lecture, no disappointed glance, it was just time to get creative and move on. It was one of those events that just stuck with me.
A year ago, I was at a teachers meeting and the speaker said, “God loves broken vessels!” My mind immediately rushed back to our kitchen in Hoyt, Kansas, when I was ten staring down at that mangled mess of turquoise-colored glass and casserole. My mom’s words echoed in my mind, “It’s time to get creative.”
We are each lovingly and perfectly crafted vessels made precisely by the hands of a compassionate potter. When we sin, it’s as if our vessels become chipped or cracked or leaky. I don’t know about you, but I’ve managed to put some real “dings” in my vessel over the years. If you get a crack or a leak in your favorite mug or dish, it no longer functions the way it was intended to. When we sin, we drift a bit from the Father’s love and, just like that broken vessel, we don’t function quite the way we were intended to either. Luckily, we are more valuable than mugs without a handle or casserole dishes broken into dozens of pieces. The Father is never going to throw us out! Instead, he uses our weakness to demonstrate His strength. If we have a chip or a leak, He invites us to come to Him and give Him a chance to restore us; to make us strong and purposeful again. He is the potter that created us. We are the work of His hands. So, if we need to be restored and have our purpose renewed, all we have to do is ask Him, and He will create us anew…as many times as we need it! God loves broken vessels because they require His strength, and any time we give Him the opportunity to show His strength by admitting our weakness,
A seed to plant: Identify a chip or a leak in your vessel, and ask God to strengthen and restore that imperfection in your life. Pick a different one tomorrow and a new one after that but don’t forget to make a list of the blessings you receive as the potter lovingly restores your vessel.
Blessings on your day!
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