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There’s a line in “Pieces” by Amanda Cook that gets me every time. Every time I hear…
“It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed. Your love is proud to be seen with me.”
My mind is filled with an image of me at my worst. Then Jesus in white extends His hand to me to help me up. I’m muddy, scraped up, and bloody…but Jesus holds His arm to me, and escorts me through the crowd. He puffs His chest out like I’m the most gorgeous gal in town, and escorts me like a gentleman. Proud.
Not pride in a bad way. But in a way that says, “I know this woman. I love this woman. And I don’t give a damn what you think of her, because to me she’s worth everything. Even my life.”
Then my heart melts into a gooey blob…and I get teary. Leaving me all a fluttery and reminded that I am loved.
So thank you Amanda Cook for this amazing reminder of His love for me.
The link to lyric video is above…or you can read the powerful words here…
Point to ponder while you wander…You are loved. Right now. Right where you are. Period.
Saw this little bird at the bus stop this morning, and my first thought was gratitude. God is my provision. Not my paycheck. Not my intelligence or talent. God Himself.
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!” Luke 12:24
Point to ponder while you wander…Nature is created. It isn’t to be worshipped. But should invite you to worship The Creator. Like today with that little bird at the bus stop.
Music. I love it. It is one of the greatest gifts God gave us. And the people who make the music, they are gifts too.
I’ve always desired to be musical. I joined band in elementary school. Probably the worst flutist ever to pick up the flute. I begged for a keyboard and piano lessons. I got the keyboard, but that whole two hands doing two separate things at the same time thing. Yeah. I cannot do that. I was in elementary school choir. I was in junior high choir too. In eighth grade, I was directed to sing so softly that I couldn’t be heard at a concert.
I realized then that maybe music wasn’t in the cards for me. Didn’t stop me from singing, I sing all the time. I also dance (AKA flailing) and paint (AKA creative therapy). But those are stories for another day.
What’s the my point? There is only one Kim Walker Smith. There is only one Martina McBride. There’s only one Natalie Grant. There’s only one Loretta Lynn. There’s only one Aretha Franklin. There is only one Doris Day. And there’s only one Jill Nicholson.
Jill Nicholson? Who’s that?
That’s me. I am Jill. I have gifts and talents chosen by God and entrusted to me to cultivate and grow. But for years I felt that because I couldn’t sing like I wanted, that I wasn’t talented at all. That is a lie straight from the enemy. Unfortunately, I believed it for too long and wasted years I could have been tending to the natural abilities I WAS entrusted with.
I believed the lie. So I took my ball and went home.
The parable of the talents comes to mind here because I did bury what I had inside and hide the talents I did have. I didn’t take photography classes because I was afraid I’d be told I wasn’t good at it. Then I couldn’t take photos anymore. I didn’t want a repeat of the choir concert incident. I only wrote for class assignments. Research papers and essays essentially. When I did write other things, I didn’t let anyone read them. I still struggle with letting people read my creative stuff.
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24-25 MSG
I know the context of this verse is Jesus speaking about His upcoming death, burial, and resurrection. But this is what Jesus woke me up at 3:30 am to show me…If we take the gifts and talents that we have been entrusted with by God, both spiritual and natural, and we keep them to ourselves they are wasted. But if we take the time to develop them, and sow them into His kingdom, those gifts are multiplied beyond what we could ever imagine.
Nothing given to Jesus is ever wasted. It’s always multiplied in some way. I’m still chewing on this, because I know there’s more here, but this is initial revelation.
Point to ponder while you wander…Appreciate the gifts and talents in those around you, not be envious or jealous of them. Be grateful for the abilities YOU WERE given and be good stewards of them.
PS: Parable of the Talents is found in Matthew 25.
Let’s face it…some days just suck.
There are days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Days when the traffic is not just bad it’s ridiculous and stupid. Days when your head is pounding or you stub your toe, not once, not twice, but three stupid times. Yes the exact same toe. Days when you didn’t get enough sleep and they won’t let you nap at work. Days when you lock your house keys in your house or your car keys in your car. Days where your dreams were dashed, or you realized the thing you were hoping for just isn’t going to happen.
Those are the days when you need to stand strong. Play your favorite worship song and dance like a fool until you smile. Better yet, declare outloud who you are and your promises until you are fully convinced! Remind yourself that you are the beloved child of God & He is for you not against you. Declare that He works all things to the good of those who love Him and are called by His name. If it’s not good yet, then God’s not finished yet. The Lord is faithful TO ME. He LOVES ME.
His promises can lay dormant until you declare them in your life. DECLARE TRUTH!
Point to ponder while you wander… You’ve survived 100% of the hard days you’ve previously encountered. Don’t let a rough day steal your joy, your peace, or your promises.
Here’s a little tune by Sugarland to help you Stand Back Up.
After weeks and weeks of hiding out in my room, I finally remembered I have a lovely backyard.
So I am laying on a blanket under a huge maple tree listening to worship music. The sun is shining. A breeze is blowing. So lovely.
Point to ponder while you wander…
Trees by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
King David wrote a good chunk of Psalms. He wrote in the desperate times, the good times, the perilous times, and basically every other time in his life.
Being a writer…I appreciate David’s vulnerability and his willingness to express it.
David would seek God when he was at the mercy of someone else’s choices (King Saul trying to kill him) and when his own choices caught up to him.
He never blamed God. He had a legit relationship with God, and understood who God is. God is merciful. God is ever present. He is persistent and consistent.
God never left David. Their relationship was permanent. God’s love unconditional.
When I’m struggling…I curl right up and live in Psalms. They remind me that the answer is always pray, trust God, and worship no matter what.
Why is that the answer? Because God is listening and loves me unconditionally, just like King David.
Point to ponder while you wander…
God is listening to you and will answer you…
“I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.” Psalm 118:21 NKJV
“On the day I called, You answered me; And You made me bold and confident with [renewed] strength in my life.” Psalm 138:3 AMP