Monday, June 21, 2010

True Beauty

Last week marked the beginning of the summer reading program at our local library. It is something my kids look forward to all year, and it never fails to provide entertainment and fun. Usually the program is filled with visits from zoo animals, circus clowns, talking birds and amazing magicians. When we've had as much fun as we can stand, the program wraps up carnival games and waterslides in the park. Last summer's carnival comes to mind often because of a woman I saw while I was there. A beautiful woman. The kind of beauty you remember a whole year later. We had been at the park for an hour or two during midday in August, and the heat was stifling. My kids had been on the waterslide plenty of times, and I was really ready to go home when I saw her. I was absolutely riveted, and I couldn't tear my eyes away from this woman. I can only imagine what picture you are seeing in your head right now. Are you picturing a tall blonde with a supermodel figure and long thick hair? Maybe a brunette who is a perfect "10?" The woman whose image sticks with me a whole year later isn't any of those things. As a matter of fact, she is barely over 5 feet tall, and is a gray-headed grandma with thick glasses and a no-nonsense hairdo. He name is Ms. Gwen, and she is our head librarian. On that sticky August day a little girl with severe visual impairment stood at the bottom of the waterslide listening to the children squeal with delight as they slid into the pool at the bottom. She held her white cane close to her side and waited, resigned to missing the fun. Her mother wasn't physically able to help her climb the steps to the top, and she wouldn't be able to find her way on her own. Without a second of hesitation Ms. Gwen, fully clothed, took the little girl's hand and guided her up the steps of the slide. Seconds later they were both at the bottom soaking wet and laughing uncontrollably. They slid again and again, until the other children caught Ms. Gwen's lesson in kindness and they began taking turns with the little girl. I think the memory of that little woman, with soaking clothes and wet hair plastered to her head, will stay with me as one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Lord, let having that kind of beauty matter more to me than having a beautiful physical appearance.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

Last week I took a road trip to see my Memaw and spent the better part of two days driving across the state of Texas. While I was revisiting the long, empty stretches of Texas plains I had traveled often as a child, Hubby's PawPaw was making his journey out of his earthly body and into the very presence of God. Needless to say, there were lots of phone calls back and forth to discuss funeral arrangements, more travel plans, and the like. More than once I found myself in the absolute middle of nowhere holding my phone in strange positions and saying, "Can you hear me now?" I don't know why I thought switching hands, standing on one foot, or turning down the A/C would make a difference, but I tried them all. None of them really worked.
Over the past 6 months our family has faced Hubby's job loss, increased work load for me, a shift in household roles for all of us, and a God who has seemed strangely silent through it all. And just like on my long, dry trip across the plains, I have tried all kinds of ridiculous contortions to make Him communicate clearer. I've asked my girlfriends for advice, read books about what we should do, looked for hidden meanings behind everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING. I've gone to pre-dawn prayer meetings, hosted a small group at my house, and laid on my trampoline in the dark staring up at Heaven. And all the while I have asked, "Can you hear me now?" And just like my silly cell-phone, nothing seems to work. But it's not because He can't hear me. It's not because I have no service in this area, even though it sometimes feels that way. The truth is, He's been communicating with me all along, but I couldn't hear Him through the noise of the advice I've been seeking, books I've been reading, and the sound of my own voice praying. None of those things are wrong. In fact, they're all very the right time. After I've heard from Him. After I have hung up on every other voice, silenced every distraction, and shut out all interference. Then He says to me, "Can you hear me now?"

Thanks to all of you who have asked about my blog lately. Your encouragement, as well as the website I am linking to today have brought me back to bloggy-world. I have been receiving encouraging emails from Lysa TerKeurst's Proverbs31 blog, and would encourage all of you to sign up for them as well. What a blessing! You bloggers, speakers and writers will also be as excited as I was to hear about the 2010 She Speaks Conference in July. It's especially geared for women who feel called to speak, teach, write or minister to other women. Follow the link for more information! I love you and know you ARE becoming BetterChicks!
BetterChick would love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below each post. If you receive posts by email, simply click on the title of the post to go to the comment section. If you are not a Google or Blogger member, comment as an anonymous user! Thanks!