When I was about three years old, my parents threw me the biggest birthday party of all time. Though the only part I actually remember from my party was a large, bearded magician standing in front of me as his “magic” dove pooped on our living room floor! The pictures of this birthday bash revealed dozens of friends and family, party hats, festive decorations, and loads of food. I’m sure it was every toddler’s dream, but it was definitely the last party my parents attempted on such a large scale!
“Christin, you are pretty, but it’s too bad that you’re black.”
Her words pierced my soul like a razor-sharp dagger. I was in Central America, thousands of miles from my home on a college study abroad program. The beauty of the tropical trees, vibrant flowers and sights of the city were so inviting. But at that moment I felt unwelcome. Unwanted. Utterly despised and rejected.
It was a bleak fall day, just weeks before Thanksgiving. I was in the first trimester of my fourth pregnancy, when I realized I was bleeding.
“Oh God, please.” I whispered.
A subsequent call to my OB landed me in the office that very afternoon. Hoping for the best and praying against the worst, I swallowed the huge lump in my throat and waited.
I have discovered that doing laundry can be a powerful opportunity to meet with God. He is with us in the washing, and present in the piles. The other day as I put in load of whites, I thought of the amazing description of Jesus’ clothing in the Gospel of Mark–a description that involves bleach. (I never realized bleach was actually in the Bible!) Imagine yourself as one of the privileged disciples–Peter, James or John. They were chosen by Jesus to accompany him on high mountain, and they would never forget the incredible sight they encountered.
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Prov 31:10
The other day I was perusing the children’s picture book section of our local library, searching for fun books to read with my kids. A woman walked by on the other side of the shelf near me, and I suddenly heard her snicker to herself.
On April 7, 2015, the beauty company Dove launched an advertising campaign called “Choose Beautiful” . Representatives from the organization set up campaigns in several countries across the globe. At each conference location, two signs were placed at the entrance of each door; one labeled “Average” and the other “Beautiful”.
Do you remember those Valentine’s parties you had in elementary school? I remember each student receiving a decorated paper bag, and we walked around the classroom dropping cards and candies into each other’s bags with great excitement. Most of the cards had funny cartoon characters, with silly messages like, “You’re sweet!” or the famous, “Be mine, Valentine!”
Several years ago I traveled with my family to see one of the most powerful flowing water sources in the world–Niagara Falls. As we approached the falls, you could hear the roar of the water crashing into the river below. The rapid-moving water from the falls created a magnificent white cloud of floating mist, a sight of exquisite beauty and greatness. To behold something so amazing reminded me of the sheer power of our great God–a place of holy ground.
What do you own that has the most material value? You might say your house, property you own, or your vehicle. Isn’t it interesting that material possessions with the highest monetary value often fluctuate and depreciate over time? The moment we drive a new car off the lot, it’s value is diminished. A house may increase in value, but in a constantly shifting economic market, the value of our homes is about as stable as a bird’s nest in a wind storm.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Have you ever watched TLC’s reality show Toddlers and Tiaras? Perhaps you have flipped through the channels and stumbled upon a group of highly overworked, cranky young girls (some as young as age five!) dolled up in fancy do’s and makeup, paraded on stage with frilly dresses in vicious competition to be crowned winner of the latest pageant.