Tuesday, June 12, 2007

All I Need

I was perusing the Sunday paper and checking out the weekly ad from one of my favorite craft stores. I confess, I'm at the craft store more than I need to be, so much so that I almost feel a bit like Norm from the show Cheers...remember, he would walk in and everyone would shout out "Norm" because, well, there everyone knows your name. (don't tell me you're not having that music go through your mind right now)

So I have just about every craft supply known to mankind; soap and paper, and candle wax and fabric and yarn and... what can I say, I'm a great starter and yet so easily distracted!

So here in my hand is the big colorful two page ad with the big 40% off coupon right there at the bottom of the first page, tempting me to think about what I could possibly get with it. I search the ad for what's on sale; there's silk flowers, stickers, paper, frames, wedding supplies etc. I read through it again just to see if I missed anything, nope, I saw them all and conclude that there's nothing on sale that would draw me there and I can't think of anything to use the coupon on. There is nothing that I need. This is an amazing thing to realize - there's always another tool to get, always something I wanted to do with the kids, always some event coming up that needs some kind of decor or party favor, but nope, there's nothing at all that I need.

I have it all. I have all I need. There's no need to look for anything.

It's a strange feeling. I've been as conditioned as the next person to go through the ads every week to see what's on sale, or what is available that I don't have and absolutely have to have. Isn't it surprising how you're pretty content with your life and belongings and then you open a random catalog and suddenly have a half dozen things you don't know how you've been living without?

I was pondering this foreign realization of not needing anything crafty while I finished picking up the scattered paper. It actually felt good to realize I have all I need, feeling complete.

Christian author Max Lucado has said "If God is enough for you,then you’ll always have enough, because you’ll always have God." Or as David put it in Psalms "The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need."

If I have everything I need there is no need for me to be looking for anything else.

If I belong to God and He is mine, then there is no reason to look anywhere else for anything than to Him. In Psalms 104:28 it says, " Every one of these depends on you...when you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them and they are satisfied." In Philippians 4: 19 Paul relates that " And this same God that takes care of me will supply all your needs according to his glorious riches."

It's a good feeling, a good thing to roll around in my mind.
I have all I need in Him;whatever that might be for the day, a refuge, a shield, my joy, protection, my hope and on and on the descriptions go.

I'd heard that when God revealed himself to Moses in Genesis by saying "I AM" it was as if He was saying "I AM _________" whatever it is that you need, fill in the blank for God is that. That's an interesting concept. What I need varies on a more often than even daily basis, yet if I have God, I have enough.

If my house wasn't filled with craft supplies I may have missed this wonderful insight today about what it means to need nothing, so all that stuff served a least some purpose...maybe I should go make a wall hanging now that reminds me of this thought, or a scrapbook page, or a card or ....

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Affirming Words

"Never doubt in the dark what God has revealed to you in the light."

Good advice: not easy to follow but sound wisdom nevertheless.

I find that more often than not that I feel I am in the dark, in the twilight or shadows. Doubting, not so much what God has revealed, but how I feel about my own abilities or more precisely, my capability to do all that I am responsible to do.

It takes failing at just one endeavor for me to start disregarding everything I've accomplished.

I'm a firstborn and accustomed to things coming easily and being successful and when they don't and when I'm not, I have not developed ways of handling that.

But I've discovered that I do have a way that helps: it helps even when I'm being moderately successful and not only when I'm discouraged by failure.

I've begun to save affirming words - treasured words like the rare gems they are in dust of day to day living: cards, personal notes, and copies of emails make up this collection and most of these have found a place in the pages of my Bible, which just seems highly appropriate that the place I go for encouragement from my God is also a repository of affirmation from those around me whose opinions I value.

It is a good thing for me to gather these jewels that sparkle when days are dark. To know, in black and white, that how I'm feeling this day is not all that there is.

Also to remember that if I feel this way, chances are that I am not alone. If it is in my power to speak or write affirming words to someone else, I should, as often as possible. The Bible says that a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Honestly I've never understood the visual example there but I can recognize that these words are valuable and beautiful and treasures.

And this is one treasure that I can freely distribute because even though it costs me nothing it has the ability to enrich someone else for a very long time as demonstrated by those slips of paper falling out of my Bible...