Friday, October 24, 2014

Chanel's Birthday Post.. Happy Birthday Chanel Bell

BEAUTY   I remember a little girl being born on this date on a Wednesday I believe. Chanel, you were beautiful. You had the prettiest little complexion. You still have such a pretty tone to your skin. 

BRAINS   When you were four you taught yourself to tie your own shoes and to whistle.  You were always the top of the class with Cassie and Ashley. 

RANDOM THOUGHTS  You were my longest labor time. 5 1/2 hours. It was the doctor's wife's birthday.  He was the one who suggested the little mark above the e in your name.  Oh yes, when they knew about 3 months in whether you were a boy or girl... I said no I don't want to know.  Dad was waiting in the car.  But half way down, doc's office was on the third floor, I changed my mind.  I rushed back up and smiling said "I can't wait... is it a boy or girl".. I wanted a girl.   I ran down when they told me and told dad and we were happy.   But we couldn't name you Paul and carry on the name.  Dad picked Paula but I loved Chanel.  It was after a state overseer's wife from our church organization that 
Dad was a pastor in.  Her name was spelled Shanell and her husband dedicated you at our little church Mars Hill Church of God.  She thought you were so sweet.  She gushed over you.  One time at a meeting she had her grown son come over and showed you to him.  

FAMILY  Dad was right there with me.  Mandi, who was 9, was watching Love Boat, I think when you were born. Carla, who was 2 1/2, was home with grandma.  It was in a room where they just took off the end of the bed and we delivered there.  I remember when Tricia came to visit.. she was a teen and she whispered in your ear "I'm your favorite cousin" haha.... 

GOD AND BLESSING Your name, because it is also the perfume name, makes me think of that verse that talks about the fragrance of God. May you bring the fragrance of his love wherever you go.

BIRTH ORDER  You will always be my baby.  I have that in common with you, being the baby of the family. But you seem to be more like Dad at times and he was the oldest.  A neat combination.  You are playful but strong.  The baby but a leader.  You always stir it up, don't you?  I love watching this combo play out in life.  

PRIDE  So proud of the momma you are and the homemaker you have become. I love how you can be tough on Bekki but laugh with her.  I enjoy seeing you grow in these areas.  It's a beautiful thing.  You always say you don't like kids.  But what if having kids was really the key to happiness?  What if this actually turns out to be the thing you are able to shine in?  Your destiny?  I know being your mom has been my destiny.  Know why?  God love me like that.  

LOVE   Love you so very much. John, Bekki and John Paul are blessed to have you.   Actually your whole family and your friends are blessed to have you, especially Dad and me.   

Whatever you do, wherever you go, whoever you are with I will always love you!!!   MOM

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When I was a child....

When I was a child, my Mom read to me from a big Bible Story book.  Well, it was big to a small girl.  The cover was rather plain, but inside, now that's where the wonderful things were.  It not only contained stories, which still thrill me, but it also had the most beautiful pictures.  I didn't realize until I grew up that it contained paintings from the Masters.  Gorgeous, lovely, inspiring paintings! They were truly magnificent.  As my Mom would read I would stare at the pictures and be taken to a different time and place.

I don't know where Mom got the book from.  I doubt she understood the profound impact that book had on me.  But I know she would like it.  If I tried I might be able to get her to understand.  But she's 91 and her mind doesn't always comprehend what I try to tell her.  But I do know she intended for me to know the awesome truths held there in that book.  She did want me to love God and serve him.

She did a good thing.

I think maybe parents now a days are way too busy to read many Bible stories to their children.  I hope and pray I'm wrong.  But I know life is terribly busy.  A thousand things are calling to them. There are wonderful stories on YouTube and Roku.  But there is just something about holding a child in your lap or right snug beside you and reading to them.  Close enough to steal a kiss or hug.  

Before I forget... the paintings.  They, I believe, were the seeds of my love of beauty and the arts. I'm a creative person.  Once years ago, we went to New York and I got to see the original paintings of the Masters. It was unbelievable!  My husband had to drag me away.  I was so moved.  They spoke to me just as they had as a child. I can't paint but I love crafts and creating.  But I do enjoy art and music. Those seeds planted so long ago have enriched my life and through me my children's and grand children's.  I think art and stories make a person realize they are part of something bigger than themselves.  That we have a creator.

Funny isn't it?  Something as simple as sitting in a chair reading with full attention to a small child could help influence their lives for eternity.  What a wonderful thing!  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Masterpiece or a Paint by Number?

We all must paint our own canvas....  a brother in the Lord wrote that to me the other night.  An intriguing thought.  Beautiful unless your friends or family members are making bad choices.  Then you mourn their painting.  But you shouldn't.

Have you ever done a paint by number?  If you are a real painter, sorry.  I thought more people could identify with a paint by number illustration.  Please bare with me.

As I was saying... Have you ever done a paint by number painting?   At first it doesn't really look like a beautiful picture.  It's sort of ugly.  If you stopped there and showed it to people they would think.. Why that's undone why are you showing me it now?

That's what our friends' and families' pictures are.  Unfinished.  If we have faith and are praying for them, believing our good God is hearing us.  Then we need to relax.  Yes, they are making bad choices and yes that's not good.  But our mighty God isn't finished with their "picture" yet.  When it's done it will not be a paint by number picture, though that is nice.  But it will be a beautiful, breath taking painting.  Done by the artist that created the stars and painted the night sky, the ocean so blue and horizon with  a red fiery sun setting.  Yes, that artist is painting their painting and it will be beautiful.

When we try to control their lives by butting in, giving unasked for advise, fussing at them, berating them.  When we do those types of things.  We are trying to be the artist of their lives and it's so sad.  It's like a paint by number painter instead of a museum quality artist doing the picture.  He is a master painter, you know. The original Master artist. Why do we even think we can be in his league?

So relax.  Walk out your path well with an eye on theirs.  Pray much for them.  Believe much in your God and wait for the beauty you will behold in the end.  The Masterpiece He will make of each of their lives.

Phil. 2:12b and out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Philippians 1:6

..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paper dolls, "Barbies" and Stories

My hubby, Paul and I were at a nice restaurant yesterday.  The kind with cloth napkins, wonderful smells and soft music.  When we first sat down I observed all the people sitting in my view of the room.  I noticed one young woman.  After a while I tried to describe her to Paul.  She was a "type" to me. I imagined she might be a pastor's wife, definitely a church go-er.  A bland type I had known back when Paul was a pastor and we had to go to meetings.  Most pastor's wives aren't that kind but some are.  They look like the life has been sucked right out of them.  Like they never had an idea of their own. Always did what others expected of them.  Back in my mother's day she might have been described as a milk-toast sort.  I think they used that term for women too.  I know they did for men. Anyway, she was vanilla to other people's mocha chocolate.  She lacked personality. Flat.   Kind of what Jackie O was first perceived as before she became Jackie O.  As I described her to Paul I realized I had lived in too many different places and met way too many people if I was beginning to see them as "characters" instead of people.

Do you ever do that?  Prejudge someone as a "type"?  You know you ask questions like: What do you do?  Do you have children? What church do you go to? How long have you lived here?  Sure you are trying to get to know them but are you pegging them?  putting them in a category? in a hole? In a neat little niche?  Instead of seeing them as the complex, surprising, interesting people that they most likely are?

It's like when I was a child.  I had Barbie dolls.  Well, my Mom didn't like "Barbie" dolls so I had off brand "Barbies".  Mom thought the real ones were ugly so I had off brand ones.  And back than they were made of the same sturdy stuff as a real "Barbie" not the cheap hollow plastic kinds like now a days.

As I was saying I had my little "Barbie" doll family.  There was Tressy, Tammy her somewhat chubbier sister, Pepper their younger sister with freckles and unruly hair that always ended up in a pony tail, and the real Ken's little brother Ricky with freckles and reddish brown hair.  He came in a swimsuit with a cover up with stripes.  He never had other clothes though the girls dolls had a variety.  My mom made evening gowns for Tressy that were a wee bit tight for Tammy.  They were so pretty.  I always thought it was a little ironic since we were church going people who never ever would have went to a night club. But my dolls were all decked out in elegant evening wear.  Back then people wore elegant evening wear to night clubs.  Or at least in the 1940's gangster movies with James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart that I watched that was what they wore.

I digress.  I had this wonderful "Barbie" family which I still remember well this some odd years later. They were real and alive to me with personalities and quirks.  Tressey had a button in her belly that you could press and her hair would grow and then you could press it and twist the hair and push it back in to look like you gave her a hair cut.  To me they were real. I spent hours acting out their lives. My friends would sometimes play with me and we would dress them and undress them and fix their hair this way and that.  They had lives!  Glamorous, exciting lives, people!!!! Places to go. People to meet.  I'm digressing again.....

Then I also had paper dolls.  Yes,  that is about all I remember about them.  I know I had them.  But for the life of me I can't remember them.  There is a shadow of memory but they just don't come to the surface where I can remember any details.  They were after all disposable. Unmemorable.  Long gone.  Unimportant in the scheme of things.  Apparently uninteresting.

As I thought of the young woman in the restaurant last night.  Did I see her as a paper doll type?  Not important? Unmemorable?  Did I peg her as uninteresting?  Since I was just passing in a restaurant I guess it's not really important.  Or is it?  Was I sensitive to the Holy Spirit?  What if I needed to send a quick prayer up for her?  She may have needed it.  I saw her more like a character in a book then a flesh and blood person.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  I will admit with some shame on my part, I have written off the "paper doll" types before. At church, at work, at Walmart. Yes, me.  My hand is raised.   But sometimes  to my amazement as I was around some of these types I found out they were not "paper doll" types at all!!!  They had depth and character.  They were like I heard someone say once.  Still waters run deep.  They were actually quite interesting.   They had a story.  They had full active lives filled with interesting thoughts, people, family....and real stories.  Stories of victory and defeat. Love and loss. Passion and joy.  Sorrow and excitement. Better than any on screen character I had ever seen.  And I had wrote them off in my mind.  Shame on me!  I dearly, dearly love a story.  And I almost missed theirs.  Because I prejudged them as a mere "paper doll", milk toast type.

If you have stuck with me this long you might be wondering... so what?   Well, I want to ask.  Have you ever done this?  And worse yet.  Have you ever done this to yourself?  I'm uninteresting.  I'm a nobody.  I'm a loser.  I'm unimportant.  What do I have to offer?

Well let me tell you sister or brother!  God loves you!!!  He doesn't see you as a paper doll type. Flat and uninteresting. He knows you are the real deal.  A real doll. With clothes and a house and Pink cases and friends and a car and a place you live and stories to tell.   No flat paper doll, throw away person.  He loves your story.  He was a part of it, even if you didn't know he was there.  He never ever, ever writes us off.  He sees us!!! He sees you!!!  He sees the people he brings across your path.  You never just melt into the crowd in his eyes.  You are never a wall flower to him.  And neither are they.

So friend, don't write off anyone.  Don't miss their story. Don't miss your story.  And remember the originator of all stories, God himself is interested in you.  If you don't already know him, I urge you to get to know him and his story.  It's awfully interesting...... and you are in it!