“Hey, where is the restroom?”
“The kiosk to register to testify is around the corner.”
“Huh? I said where is the restroom?”
The two ladies laughed but the truth is, when God puts something on your heart to do, you hear it everywhere, even voiced over a request to go to the bathroom.
A few minutes later Charlotte made her way to the feared table, submitting her name to give testimony at a hearing in Austin, Texas on behalf of girls rescued from sex trafficking. Refuge of Light, a safe home for these girls, was requesting mercy from Texas lawmakers to be registered as a safe home to qualify for state funding. Charlotte and her friend were there to support this organization thinking their job was merely to fill a seat.
Little did she know God was about to knock on her heart to not just fill a seat but also share her testimony to those in attendance.
This testimony had been tightly locked away for years. Like a dog on a leash, Charlotte only let her story out to whom she wanted to and when she wanted to. She thought as long as she was living in the force field of control she wouldn’t be hurt again.
The trip to Austin proved to shatter Charlotte’s force field as the Lord said to her, “Charlotte, this story isn’t yours to hold onto. It’s really mine. Go. It’s time for you to tell your story.”
To finish Charlotte’s story, click over to Thread of Redemption: Hope When Life Unravels.
The Thread of Redemption exists to point out the fingerprints of God in the brokenness of life. Through people’s stories we highlight the thread of redemption weaved through-out the fabric of our lives.
Adam broke the silence of our family dinner with a bang, “So what is something you failed at today? And what did you learn from it?”
Gulp. And gulp again to swallow my food.
I studied his eyes to see if he was serious. He was.
Silence hung in the air as the four of us contemplated his words, not really appreciating having to think about the areas in which we failed today.
In our Facebook, perfectionist, everyone gets a trophy culture, we generally frown on sharing our failures because it is neither a trophy or worthy of shares. We feel ashamed when we fail, which evokes in us the need to cover the evidence, not display it.
For weeks my daughter has been on the hunt to find a costume that represents Queen Isabella from Castile for our Classical Conversations end-of-the-year party. Back in the 1400s, Queen Isabella signed off on Christopher Columbus’s quest to find the New World.
After searching unsuccessfully online for cheap costumes we decided to try Goodwill. Walking up and down the isles, Mackenzie sized up each dress, long skirt and hideous shirt, looking for something we could pass off for fifteenth century royalty. Finally she made her decision. With a couple of scarves to add some color and drape over her shoulders, and some stick on fingernails that were four for a dollar, the outfit was set.
When the cashier rang up our treasures she noticed the seams on the inside of the dress and said, “Hmmm, this dress looks like it was made just for someone.” She looked further and found a tag nestled inside with a name inscribed with black sharpie on it. Kim Peterson, UT Austin.
I smiled at purchasing something homemade, for I can appreciate all the work involved. I said to the cashier, “I bet the owner would be proud to know her custom made dress is now in the hands of a young lady dressing up as Queen Isabella.”
A few weekends ago my oldest son wanted to sleep outside. And when my oldest son wants to do something, he lets me know of his plans every chance he can. We could be talking about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and Caleb would insert a plug for his case to sleep outside.
Maybe it’s partly my fault. Being the mama that I am, I don’t tell him yes to everything, for if I did, we’d be fur trading in Alaska and eating bear soup for dinner. I make him work for his yeses. He must convince me as to why he needs to sleep outside in such a way that I understand his cause and want to say yes to him with joy.
So I had put him off for days but by Saturday night I had no more reasons to say no. He had convinced me and with a smile I said Yes.
“Oh Momma….come heerree,” my little man called from the back door in his sing-song voice. “I’ve got something to show yoouu.”
Sometimes these requests cause me to hold my breath, afraid there will be a finger dangling from its base or some disaster to clean up. But something in his voice this time sounded promising. So I stopped whatever I was doing and followed him to the back porch. You can imagine my surprise when I saw this:
A freshly blown off porch (blower provided by Daddy with a rent fee of $2), wiped down picnic table with a beautiful camellia blossom planted in a vase. All just for me! Just because he loves me!
I engulfed my little boy in my arms and said thank you with all the reciprocal love I could find. Then I sat down across from him on the bench seat and discussed the finer things in life according to a seven year old while soaking in the serene scene he created for us.
A few nights ago, I had this crazy dream…
It began on a Sunday morning at church, the final worship song had escorted the crowd of people out of the sanctuary. Like everyone else, I made my way into the lobby to go pick up my kids and chat with friends. I remember I stopping in the lobby, lost in my own world, thinking about my struggles and how to apply the sermon I just heard. But finally I looked up and saw a couple next to me staring off into space. Their shoulders were stooped almost like they were looking for a lost ring on the ground, except they weren’t searching the floor. They were just staring blankly at the ground, not saying a word.
I turned to them and said, “Excuse me. May I ask what’s on your mind?” And the man stumbled out in reply, “I don’t know…I feel like what was spoken in there just now was good, but it held no power…I’m struggling and bound up with many sins and the speaker’s words didn’t share with me anything liberating. I’m still bound. I feel like the setting was just a runway for their words, as a way to show off their beauty and talent. But it held no power to set me free from what binds me.”
And they both hung their head even lower and walked out of the building.
Then I woke up.
Last week I wrote about my journey driving to a Ladies Conference. I shared about the Lord putting it on my heart to turn around and go back to a particular gas station. Once I got there, there Lord emphasized how eager I was to get to the conference, but like a parent whose kid races through the parking lot to get to the water park, He was telling me to slow down, see the people around me and wait for Him.
Well, that wasn’t all of the story!
About 2 hours later in my drive, I needed to go to the bathroom. As I turned into the Collin Bakery parking lot, a psychic place off to the right with a neon OPEN sign, caught my eye. Oh no, Lord, I thought. Are you asking me to go in there?
I contemplated it while I did my business in the restroom. I didn’t feel compelled to walk in there as I had been to go to the gas station earlier. But God was bookmarking that place in my mind. I later realized why.
Fast forward several hours and my friend and I walk into the ladies conference, overwhelmed. We didn’t realize how big this event was. I grew up attending conferences of 50 at the most. This place sat 3,000! And the seats were sold out. The building was brand new and equipped with every kind of the latest, greatest technology for a 5 star production.
After my exhausting drive, I was looking forward to worshiping the Lord and seeing what He had for me at this weekend retreat.
Driving down the highway, suitcases in the back, a girl’s weekend awaited me. I queued up my podcast, punched in my destination and smiled at the 4 hours I would drive in the silence. No arguing children in the back, no questions to answer, no errands to run, no phone calls to make, no dinner to pick up ingredients for. Just me and the windshield, and well, a whole lotta cars on the road to navigate around.
I hadn’t been driving for 15 minutes before the Lord interrupted my journey. I was trying to listen to the sermon I missed from the Sunday before, but all of a sudden a flashback interrupted the pastor’s string of words.
I remembered the time I had driven through this same town and pulled into a gas station to fill up. It was a gas station on the edge of town, yes the one a little run down and scary. I went inside to pay for my fuel and there was a lady there, of Asian descent trying to buy lottery tickets. It sounded like she needed to win money from these lottery tickets to buy something important.
I remember listening to her broken English conversation with the clerk and my heart breaking. I wanted to give her whatever money she needed and tell her that there is a God who loves her, sees her and longs to provide for her. I wanted to tell her that she doesn’t have to spend money on lottery tickets…that they won’t yield what she’s looking for. But I didn’t. I walked out that door and just said a prayer for her instead.
I whisked into La Madeline, closing my umbrella and drying my shoes on the mat. Grabbing a menu, my friend and I thoughtfully made our lunch selection. But before we placed our order, my eyes wandered into the next room and caught a glance of something delightful hiding behind the enclosed glass of the bakery counter. Walking closer to see what was available, my eyes locked in on a delicate, curved glass cup filled with layers of chocolate mousse, cookie crumbs and whipped cream topping. That’s what I want, I declared to my friend.
We said goodbye to the desserts for now, placed our orders and sat down. A few minutes later my steaming hot entree was placed before me. I dug in excitedly and relished the conversation with my friend. As I scooped up the final bite of my Chicken Friand, I thought back to that delicious dessert awaiting me in the lobby. I tried to remember what it looked like. It had looked so good when I walked in, but now the rich flavor of chicken wrapped in a flaky pastry and drizzled with mushroom sauce hung juicy in my mouth. Honestly the urge for chocolate wasn’t there anymore. I don’t know that this has ever happened before… I was fully satisfied with my meal to the point that I didn’t want anything else to replace that lingering flavor.
To finish reading the story, head over to Thread of Redemption.
The Thread of Redemption exists to point out the fingerprints and footprints of God in the brokenness of life.
Through people’s stories we will highlight the thread of redemption weaved through-out the fabric of our lives. We may not be able to see Him with the naked eye, but with just the right tools we can say, Look, He’s right there! He has been here all this time. I just couldn’t see Him!
Well it’s time for me to eat some humble pie here on this website. So much has transpired in my mind since the last time I posted here. Let me catch you up a bit…
During the Christmas break and after Papa passed, I struggled again with this calling of homeschooling. I’ll save you the long boring details. Let’s just say that in the end the Lord showed me that this calling to homeschool is like a marriage. Sometimes we’re on the same page and sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we get along and sometimes we fight. But He’s called me to be committed to this relationship no matter what.
With that said, when I try to squirm out of this calling and imagine how wonderful it would be to NOT homeschool, I’m being unfaithful to this marriage. It’s like flirting with another man. GULP! That truth really broke me. God’s word is so sharp and so personal that it hurts when He convicts you.
It reminds me of my sweet, bouncy daughter. Her favorite thing right now is to kick her own butt with her heels as she walks. So literally, every other step she’s alternating her heels into her backside. I can handle the commotion for awhile, but by evening time when we’re in the kitchen together and she’s bouncing around I have to say, “Darling, STOP! Please just keep your feet on the ground!”