May 12, 2015

Specialty Dish




Most people, even the worst of cooks like yours truly, have a specialty dish. It’s that one thing you make that every time you go to a party they ask you to bring. For me, mine is my Funfetti cake cookies.

Then there are those times where you go to a party where the signature chef wasn’t present for their particular dish and someone else tried to step in and make the dish. Let’s be real, it ain’t even close!

When I moved out of my parents house and attempted to cook, amidst serenades of fire alarms and overcooked meat, I began to try my own hand at making some of my mamas dishes. She gave me the recipe for some of my favorite meals she cooked and I would cook them. Even on the slim chance that I actually did everything right, it still just wasn’t as good as mama's.

Ain’t nobody do it like Mama do it!

I think the enemy of comparison is a lot like those dishes at the dinner party. We often show up to the party of life with our Funfetti cake cookies in hand. Then as we walk through the foyer and into the kitchen we begin looking around – homemade  cheese balls, German chocolate cake, bruschetta, apple pie, shrimp fondue, freshly churned strawberry ice cream – and we are self conscious of the simple Funfetti cake cookies we hold in our hands. We try to sneak them into the garbage before anyone notices.

We are overly aware of how amazing everything on the table is, everyone else’s “specialty dish”, that we forget just how “to die for” what we have in our own hands is. The dinner party doesn’t need someone else to bring the world’s best carrot cake, there is already one on the table. We need those Funfetti cake cookies because no one puts just the right amount of extra sprinkles like you do.

This post was inspired by a message I heard a pastor at my church speak on comparison. He had so many brilliant points that just led me to meditating on them this morning. One of the things he said is, “Why are we trying to be like someone else when we weren’t called to be like someone else. We were called to be like Jesus.” Maybe you are Super Spiritual Sally but that statement convicted me.

Too many times I look at the gifts I have, my Funfetti cake cookies in my hand, and think they aren’t good enough to bring to the table. Then in my insecurity I try to make bruschetta like my friend and just end up failing ridiculously because that just isn't my "specialty dish". The truth is if I don’t bring what is my uniquely given gift to the table of the Kingdom dinner party there will be lacking something.

Ain't nobody do it like you do it!

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May 10, 2015

A Praying Mama




One of the many beautiful things that has come from moving almost 10 thousand miles away from home is perspective. The perspective this journey has brought is vast, but possibly no greater perspective has come than that of how blessed I am two have been brought up by two incredible human beings.  These ten thousand miles have only solidified why I love and admire them so much.

I could write a post on both of them individually and probably five more on them as a beautiful example of marriage but in keeping with the festivities of Mother’s Day, this one is for you “mum”.

One of my mama’s greatest strengths is that she is a prayer warrior. She often wakes up in the middle of the night and spends hours in prayer.

I often wonder how many things I am walking out in my life because she first prayed it out.

Mothers have this uncanny way of praying for things that you need before you even need them. They also stand in the gap so many times, as my mother has, and pray for things that we forget to pray over ourselves.

I wonder how many of my blessings over here in Australia have come from a praying mama in West Virginia? I wonder how many friendships I am thriving in that are a result of a mama who prayed that her baby girl would find herself surrounded by beautiful friendships? I wonder how many opportunities and moments of favor I have experienced in my life because my mama prayed that goodness and mercy would follow me all the days of my life?

I only wish I could know, and my mama could know, how many of life’s sweetest blessings are because I have a mama who prays.

I don’t know this for sure, but I think heaven leans in a little closer when a mama kneels to pray.

As I was thinking about and preparing this post God dropped the story of Jesus’ first miracle into my spirit from John 2.

Jesus and his mother Mary are at a wedding and the wine has run out. Mary comes to Jesus to do something about the situation to which Jesus tells her it is not yet his time.  Well, Mary wins and Jesus preforms his first miracle of turning the water into wine.

Could the significance in this story be that when a mother speaks to Jesus situations and plans change - just as they did at the wedding? I believe the prayers of a mother not only matter, but change the atmosphere and cause things to happen that change the course of history for the ones they love.

Thank you, Mama, for showing me the power of a praying mother. I will never know the blessings I walk in because of the time you spent with Jesus on my behalf. I love you now more than ever.



Forever your baby girl,

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