Perfectly Me. True Story.

My son made me a little plaster dish once. It was perfect. It was a perfect rusty brown color. It had the most perfect dimpled texture. It had the most perfectly crooked handle, which served absolutely no purpose, but apparently he thought it needed a handle in order to be complete. It had a perfectly rough scratchy bottom that allowed it the ability to rock unsteadily on my table, while simultaneously etching the wood that it rested on. I loved it. And I especially loved it because I loved him and because he loved me enough to make it for me.

Imagine if when presented with said gift I had said, "Oh thank you. It's so pretty. I just wish it wasn't this ugly rusty brown color. I wish it was green. I always wanted a green dish." And then imagine if I followed up with "I don't know why you put a handle on it though. The dish is way too big for this tiny little handle. If I even tried to hold it by the handle, the handle would probably fall off. I would have made the dish smaller or the handle bigger." And what if I added, "Why didn't you make it have a smoother surface like the one that Johnny's mom got? Her's is really smooth and I'll bet it doesn't scratch her furniture either."

And then what if at the end of all that, I finished with, "You know what? I'll bet if we take it to the pottery repair store, they can make it perfect!"

I am pretty sure he would have been crushed. All that time he spent in creating something because of his love for me would have been wasted and his heart would have been smashed.

I think that must be how God feels when we talk about all the things we wished we had instead of what He gave us. I am never going to be 6 feet tall. He made me this height for a reason. I'm never going to have a perfectly flawless olive complexion. I am always going to be pale and freckled, because He made me this way. I might someday be a rock star, but I doubt it, because He gave me a different set of gifts.

I wonder if I lived my life in love with the creation that He made, what would my life be like? I wouldn't be jealous of other people's looks or personalities or gifts. I would know that I was created with incredible love by a Creator who made me perfectly me.

All that to say, just love yourself for who you are. Don't spend your life wishing you were someone else, with someone else's talents and gifts and looks and personalities. You have it all! And you are perfect. So am I. True story.

Why Don't People Get This

I work in a Children's Ministry. In many people's eyes, my job is to provide really incredible babysitting that kids will look forward to being a part of. Of course, what I do is so much more than that! But that's another blog!

Some people actually understand that we cannot simply hire paid childcare workers to provide care for hundreds of children at a time, and therefore "get" that we are going to need volunteers. When that little nugget sinks in, they begin to see me as the head recruiter. This realization leads to some odd behaviors. People stop smiling at me or making eye contact, for fear that I might ask THEM to be one of those volunteers who sits in a classroom trying to teach big abstract God-Sized concepts to people who are still concrete thinkers! They will cross to the other side of the hallway or pretend they don't know me in the grocery store.

But here's the thing. I don't want people to serve in Children's Ministry because we need a warm body in the room. Warm bodies start to stink pretty quickly. I want people to serve because it will change their lives forever. FOREVER. We were created to invest in others. We were created to serve and love one another. So when I ask you to serve, it isn't because I need YOU, it is because YOU need me (well, maybe not me and maybe not even my ministry) but YOU need to serve someone, somewhere.

All that to say, why don't people get that concept? Serving makes you a better person. It makes you a happier person. It makes you a more generous person. It makes you a better spouse, parent, friend, and co-worker. It increases the depth of your worship. Try it today. Give yourself away.

Am I a Crazy Driver or Just Crazy?

I have a really bizarre thing that I do while I am driving. Well, I probably have many things that I do that are bizarre while driving, but one in particular is really weird. I don't even know why I do it. I have conversations with the people who are driving around me, you know, the ones in the other vehicles. I typically do this when said drivers have annoyed me for some reason, which sadly happens often. (I have got to get this road rage under control! Darn that Atlanta traffic!)

Usually the conversations go something like this: Let's say I see someone weaving while driving, or veering suddenly to one side of the road or the other. I might say to them (out loud mind you) "Hey Billy Bob, your beer bottle roll under the seat or something? You might want to just grab another one out of the cooler and let that one go before you kill us all."

Or say I see someone who doesn't seem to understand that the numbers on the black and white sign are telling you how fast you should be driving! I might say something like, "Yo, Soccer Mama, you trying to get your lipstick straight or you working on next week's playdate schedule? I'd like to get there today, so if you don't mind, could you press the pedal on the right and try DRIVING!!"

Sometimes, I am so funny that I make myself laugh out loud. Today I made myself laugh so hard that I sprayed tea out of my nose! I don't even remember what I said but I got tickled about it, and pretty soon I was giggling, and then I was just outright laughing.

All that to say, does it make me crazy that I talk to these people as if they can hear me? Please tell me you do weird things like that when you are driving!

The Drought Is Over

What a crazy couple of weeks. I spent nine days in Irapuato, Mexico, on a mission trip with some friends from Crossroads Baptist Church. It felt a little like old home week, like slipping on a comfortable pair of slippers. The highlights of the week were many, including an "impromptu" night of childcare for 30 kids in a 10 by 10room for TWELVE Hourse, and getting stuck in a broken, dark elevator for 37 minutes with four Mexican nationals who spoke no English, and one of whom was SEVERELY claustrophobic! (Traci, all I could think of was how glad I was that you were not there with me!) Did I mention there was a baby in there with us too? But God also did some pretty incredible things while we were there. I saw a man get saved while learning the Star-Spangled Banner. True Story.

The next week was followed by a trip to GA to move out all of our personal belongings because we FINALLY leased our house after being on the market for two years. On Monday morning, I wanted to call the moving company to ask what time they would be there, but I didn't have their phone number. But never fear, I had my iphone with me, so I simply looked up their number on the internet. Much to my surprise, I could not find their phone number, but I did find 127 complaints against said moving company, so I fired them before they ever showed up!

Luckily, I was able to secure another moving company who said they could be there on Tuesday! On Tuesday they called to say it would be Wednesday. So I called the airlines and changed my flight (and of course paid the ridiculous change fee to do so!) On Wednesday, they let me know of ALL the things they could not ship or store and that I would have to move myself. So I cancelled my flight (and of course paid another RIDICULOUS change fee) and rented a uhaul. I was supposed to leave GA around 1-2 on Thursday with my uhaul full of goods, but unfortunately the moving company did not show up until 1 o'clock. I finally left at 10 p.m., drove until my sleepy eyes would not let me drive any further, and then slept at a Sleep Inn (it wasn't too bad actually!) That was followed by a 13 hour drive in a Uhaul with no cd player, a pretty horrendous AM/FM radio, crank up windows, and shocks from hell.

All in all, it has been a pretty decent two weeks though. I got to see God work in ways that shock me and remind how BIG my God is, and I got to finally move forward with the continued saga of our house in GA.

All that to say, the drought is over. I am back home, blogging and painting. Stay tuned.

Note to Self

This morning, as I was driving to work, I saw a very funny sight, which shall delight me possibly the entire day. I saw a somewhat attractive (ok, totally hot) guy, probably 35-40 something, driving a royal blue PT Cruiser. That in itself is pretty funny, and a little sad, but the funny part is that he was tailgating an old guy in a sportscar. Stay with me here.

Not only was he tailgating the old guy in the sportscar but he had the most horrific case of road rage I have seen in a long time (excluding of course the time I saw a guy get out of his car and bash in someone's window with a baseball bat because they missed the "green arrow"). Anyway, so here is this hot guy in a ROYAL BLUE PT Cruiser, tailgating a sportscar and waving his hands and beating the steering wheel of his PT CRUISER and shaking his fist and obviously DISTRESSED because the old guy is not going fast enough.

We were on a feeder, ALL going about 5 miles an hour, so I'm not exactly sure where PT Cruiser man thought he was going to go, but he saw me notice his rage, then he flashed his beautiful teeth at me, raked his hand through his hair, and waved a very flirtatious wave.

Seriously dude, you are driving a PT Cruiser, and I just saw you have a meltdown because you can't drive faster? And your response is to flirt? Oh my.

All that to say, I am sure this does not translate nearly as funny as it was. But it made me smile. And I am smiling now. And I will probably smile again later. And I bet when I have road rage next time, I'm gonna remember that guy and how dumb he looked, and I'm gonna feel pretty dumb myself. Note to self, avoid road rage.