When I make someone a card, I add a little something extra. I embellish. The card will have an extra layer or some added texture … a jute bow or several snips of coordinating ribbon. There might be a sprinkle of glitter or an image stamped inside rather than just on the outside of the card. And my cards are always mailed in cellophane envelopes because they make the card a surprise as soon as you open the mailbox.
When I cook a meal, I love to garnish. Potato Soup has added broccoli or parsley so there is a splash of green within the creamy beige goodness. A dessert might be sprinkled with toffee bits. French Toast gets a dusting of powdered sugar. It’s all in the presentation. It’s more than just filling the belly … it’s feeding the spirit, as well. The extra touch says, “I made it special for you.”
As I do this for others,
I watch God do the same for me.
I am grateful.
I am moved.
Julie took a walk on Saturday at the ladies retreat in the mountains. She brought back two apples from an old orchard there on the property. I admired them, sitting there on the high chair. I snapped a shot and then picked them up to examine them more closely.
They were beautiful.
But, later in the afternoon, the sun poured in the window and door of that archaic kitchen
and washed fluid right over that gorgeous fresh pair.
I was struck strong as I saw them
so much more beautiful now …
only hours later.
I said, “Thank you, Lord. Yes, they are stunning.”
Yes, I believe He did that for me.
Those apples could have been placed on the table amongst salt and pepper, cutlery and crumbs
but God had Julie set them aside for me ….
in a place that they would be on exquisite display
for my heart that loves the drama of sunshine and shadow.
These are the ladies that fellowshipped, supped and shared this past weekend. My room-mate, Suzie, is seated beside me on the far right with her sweet, pretty face cupped in her palm.
Of the eight of us on the weekend trip, two of us are owners of kayaks.
You can’t see the sign well, but Jayne named each of the bedrooms and then assigned rooms for us. She put Susie and I in the same room, not aware that we were the only two in the house that owned boats. The sign pinned on the door-facing just outside our room said “Up a Creek Without a Paddle.” That made me laugh!! God had the two boaters placed in the same room and named that room “Up a Creek without a Paddle.”
Yes, Susie owns kayaks like me. She and her husband paddle and do all sorts of other adventurous things. As we talked of the things that we both want to do but haven’t (like hang gliding), I thought how neat it was that God put us together. He pays attention to the small details. He knows our hearts and He brings us gifts of friends that can encourage us and understand us … right where we are.
And there on the counter in this homestead kitchen was a flat-bottomed whisk.
“I knew you were coming! I wanted you to know I’m here in the kitchen with you,”
is the thought as I hear the whisper and feel the hug of God.
Through the weekend, among Julie and Jayne taking time to share their hearts, Jayne played movie clips and videos that reinforced the message the two were sharing. And I sat with tears welled up in my eyes as Natalie Grant’s song, The Real Me played.
You see the font on the screen of that television? Keep in mind that I am a word lover … a communicator … and very visual : the font used to convey the lyrics of the song in the video
is one of my two favorite fonts. ever.
My first favorite is called American Typewriter. It reminds me of the old typewriter that my grandfather used to use years ago. He once typed a letter to me on that dear typewriter. I still have that sweet letter.
My other favorite font is also one with an antique feel. It’s called Papyrus. Wiki says that it was released in 1982 by Letraset. It was hand-drawn over a period of six months by means of calligraphy pen and textured paper with the intent of having the feel of heiroglyphics. I.love.this.font. My teacher at school made fun of it like many people do Comic Sans. I don’t care. I still love it.
As the video began to play, I paid close attention to Natalie Grant’s words.
I HAD to. Not only were they singing a gorgeous song, but they were printed in my personal favorite language: Papyrus.
The chorus …. said to me … over and over ….
But you see the real me,
hiding in my skin,
broken from within.
Unveil me .. c.o.m.p.l.e.t.e.l.y
I’m loosening my grasp
There’s no need to mask … my frailty
’cause you see the real me.
I still can’t understand the later words …
“Wonderful … beautiful … is what you see
…. when you look at me.”
I mentioned here that I’m reading the book Captivating. I had the book and the accompanying journal stuffed into my backpack over the weekend. The topic of the book is where God continues to work in me. I’m dredging through it
because it is …so.much.work. It is difficult reading. It is just unbelievable to me. If this book is true … if I am beautiful, exquisite and stunning … then some of the men in my past have been liars. They have told me different … with their eyes, their words and their actions. I didn’t want to believe that they would lie to me, so tried to find a way to become beautiful to them with the right clothes, longer hair, a better fit body, by stifling my emotions or my analytical thinking. I …. just … never quite made it there ….. to that place of “beauty.”
But, God is telling me that I am. And he leaves me little love notes all around.
He bathes fruit in light and shadow for me to be stunned by the beauty … of dimpled, marred fruit.
He brings me alongside … and even makes me lie down (Psalm 23) beside friends who are like-minded. He says to me, “You are not alone.”
He makes sure that I know that I am welcome … with things that I adore like a flat-bottomed whisk.
And He speaks to me in a language that I can understand. He puts a song on a singer’s heart to convey His message and then literally has it written in my favorite language …
so I can hear it AND see it.
I hear Him loud and clear …
I’m still working on believing Him.
And I share these things
because I know
I’m not the only one.
He speaks to each of us … but we must listen.
In this tangible, hands-on, physical world,
we become desensitized to the working of the Holy Spirit.
Be still. Be quiet. Look. Watch. Listen.
He has surprises for you. He has gifts and presents and messages … just for you.
Be on the watch …
because He adores you …. the “real” you.