A Thrift Store Heart

Sharing isn't something I had to consciously teach my four girls. They have dressed in hand-me-downs and joint property from the first possible day. As we shift clothes, accessories and shoes from one body to the next, my family is a living thrift store. 

It's no wonder we all like the song Thrift Shop. The lyrics (even the cleaned up ones) are too mature for any of us but some of the one-liners get sung frequently as we go about town. At the top of our playlist is, "I look incredible."

I heard my younger ones singing this line in the backseat recently. One started, "I look

To which the other, named Carynne, answered, "I look Carynne-able."

To my youngest this is the highest compliment. She wants to be exactly who and what God created her to be. She is sure of herself. 

Every person encounters opportunity accompanied by insecurity. If we give voice to our insecurity, we will hear - 

"I can't."

"I'm not equipped."

"I'm not enough."

This is thrift store thinking. Instead, God wants to fill my thrift store heart with the depths of His boutique truth. 

"He can."

"He equips."

"He is enough for me."

What is insecurity whispering into your heart today? Could you dare to take your thrift store thinking and make a free exchange up to boutique God-sized love? 

Did you know that Shannon is currently booking her speaking calendar for summer and fall? Contact her today to speak at your event. 

I Have God on Speed Dial

Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys his servant?
If you are walking in darkness,
    without a ray of light,
trust in the Lord
    and rely on your God.
But watch out, you who live in your own light
    and warm yourselves by your own fires.

Isaiah 50:10-11 NLT

A few quick errands became hours spent away from home punctuated by feedings, diaper changes and spit up. I was just pulling into the garage on a scorching Texas day when I realized my newborn was blissfully asleep in the back seat. Wanting her to sleep as long as possible, I kept the garage door up and the engine running while I shuttled my purchases inside. 

I saved the best bundle for last. My plan was to stealthily dislodge her car seat from the base and place the whole thing inside the crib. If I made sloth-like movements, she just might finish out her nap and give me a few minutes to locate the sanity I'd lost somewhere between  the dry cleaners and Costco.

I gently slid up her door handle. It didn't move.
I opened the door with a bit more persistence. It didn't move.
I gave it an all out yank. It didn't move.

Alarm raced up my spine as I realized my baby was locked inside my car. 

My gut dialed 9-1-1. I wasn't sure if they'd bring handcuffs with them or just a copy of the Bad Mom Award but the fire department arrived in mere moments. A quick survey of my situation brought out the slim jim and some judgmental glances.

"Um, Mam, do you perchance have Onstar?"

I mumbled a tentative, "Yes."

"Did you call them already?"

"Uh, no."

Judgement evaporated by the cloud cover of humored, yet straight faces.

The fire fighters showed me the number for OnStar posted, for my convenience, on the outside of my window and suggested I try them first. Seconds later my doors clicked, their engine roared and my baby slept through it all.

Sometimes I try to find my own way out of a situation. I plot a conversation or ponder a problem. I walk by the light of my own fire. OnStar should have been my first call, not my last. God shouldn't be my last call either.

When you light a candle, there's a moment between the spark and when the object actually takes the fire. I need to invite Him into my struggle at the first spark. In the pause between the spark and the blaze is the opportunity to overcome my circumstances instead of allowing them to overcome me.

Do you ever walk by the light of your own fire? How could God's light change your situation?

I was privileged this week to guest post at Patheos for my friend, Bill Blankshaen. Do you ever wonder what your pastor's wife would say if you overheard her true confession? Well I am a pastor's wife and this is mine... http://bit.ly/Z4sDgc

Rub Me the Right Way

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory 
that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:17

I scraped and scuffed... 

I grazed and grinded... 
I rubbed and rotated...

but I could not get the pebble off the bottom of my shoe.

It's amazing how a small object can affect great pain. It reminded me of Scott and my honeymooning days Italy. Rome is perfumed with romance, intrigue and wonder but you have to traverse ancient cobblestone roads to find it. Every day filled with discovery and passion ended with two pair of aching feet.

A few hours after my new found rock friend made a home in my foot, I realized no amount of stomping was going to dislodge him. He'd taken up permanent residence. Ready for a foot rub, I finally turned my shoe upside down. The funny thing is there was no rock in my shoe. The source of my discomfort turned out to be a jewel.

Sometimes life is like that.

The speaking opportunity passes to other lips.
My child doesn't make the team.
The healing doesn't come.
The battle I thought I'd won wages war with me again.

No matter how I scrape, scruff or grind, I can't change my circumstances but I can change my perspective. In God's hands all the little rocks that irritate my life are shined into jewels. As I inch my heart closer to His, He rubs me the right way.