There was nothing particularly special about this day except that … I had to take my daughter to a dental appointment, to a periodontist, for an evaluation of tissue grafting. Her braces have shifted her teeth, which is a good thing, but the gum line for one front tooth has dropped down … and it looks like the one next to it might end up with the same problem. For goodness sake—the problems.
We had to drive through the big city of Mesquite, Texas, and up to Richardson. I’m a small town girl, but glory hallelujah, we made it. By accident, of course. And by accident, we ended up walking into the back of the building, and the first door we came to was our needed door. Another accident and another glory hallelujah.
Sitting in that waiting room, all alone with my two girls, I looked up to the wall and saw this huge frame. I almost laughed out loud when I saw the display—a rug. A small rug. Not new or old … just a little bold. Bright green and fuchsia pink. A little frayed around the edges. Maybe there was something special about it … like maybe it belonged to his grandmother or his mother or someone the dentist loved.
I said to the lady behind the counter, “Ms. Kelly, what is the story behind that rug?” Did you really just ask that? Out loud? To someone you just met? Yes, I did.
“It’s a funny thing,” said Ms. Kelly. “There’s nothing special about that rug. You’d think it had belonged to his grandmother or something. You’d think it had sentimental value.”
“That’s what I thought,” I said, with my grandmother’s kitchen rug placed in my mind.
“But it doesn’t. The doctor and his wife, well, they like to antique shop. And well, they just found this rug, and they decided to frame it,” Ms. Kelly added.
“Well, you know, that’s really what makes it so special,” I said. “There’s nothing special about it at all. It’s just an ordinary rug. But someone found it. Someone loved it enough to frame it.”
And that’s why I love God so much. Because I’m just ordinary. I’m not young or old. I’m not even bold. I’m a little frayed. There is not one special, unique thing about me. Not to my eyes. But not to God’s eyes. He loved me enough to make me, to find me, to reach down to me …
It’s like He daily frames my face in His hands and says, “You are special to me. I love you. I want you. I love you, and I want you with all your problems. I know what you’ve done and what you haven’t done.”
He straightens the frame just a little and eyes me. “Look at me. Look at me. I’m the door you need.”
And just like that—our ordinary becomes extraordinary. How could it not? And just like that, we become guilty of being special. Of being wanted. Of being loved.
“He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me—God sends forth his love and his faithfulness“—Psalm 57:3. Call me crazy, but I like to think of God’s hands as “love and faithfulness” reaching down to save. Amen? Can you envision it? And because sometimes I just need to talk to you face to face … I love you …
If you hear that hammering in the background … that is our neighbor’s home being rebuilt. Glory! It burned to the ground last September.
Do ever feel ordinary? How has God shown you how extraordinary you are? Has He shown you in a unique way how special you are to Him? How much He loves you? I wish you’d share your stories with me.
I am so blessed by you, to know you, to hear from you.
Thank you for all of your selves that you weekly give to me. Every moment that I’ve thought to myself, Shelli, what are you doing? You answer my question by helping push me to keep going, dig deeper, and be better.
You are dear to my heart … don’t ever doubt it. I’m excited and hopeful to share 2016 with you.
And if you have about 4 minutes to spare, I’d like to talk to you from Texas … about what to scrape your life on … how not to scrape make-up on your shirt … how to properly remove a shirt … well, y’all know me. Silly things always happen to me. But I love laughter, joy, reasons to smile. Listen for my sheep in the background. And I’m sorry I’m not better at this video-recording vlog thing. And Jesus … the reason for every breath we take … glory to God on the highest.
From my home to yours …
Come inside …
This writing inspiration might look familiar to some of you.
Hello! I’ve had the sweetest blog interruption by the name of Jennifer Major. She’s my dear Canadian friend who came to Texas for a writer’s conference and stayed with me a few days in the name of research.
I met Jennifer two years ago and love every invitation to Skype with her. So spending time with her in real life was such a blessing. Why? She’s Jennifer. She’s real. She doesn’t try to be someone she isn’t … she’s the real deal. She makes me laugh. She tells it like it is. She loves to tease me about my accent (don’t tell her, but I love the attention). She loves God. She treated my girls like they were her very own. She’s been a huge encouragement to me on my writing journey. And I’m just so thankful to God for her. She even went to church with me … and I almost had to pinch myself … Jennifer sitting in church with me.
This video is just us being flat out silly. But I hope you enjoy it anyway. I can’t watch it without giggling.
Our expressions here are priceless.
On her first night at our home, she was braiding my daughters’ hair when we heard fire trucks pass by. We live out in the country, so we knew something was wrong. Our neighbor’s home burned completely to the ground. We were all in shock and can only imagine how that precious family is feeling. Please keep the Rogers family in your prayers. And pray for our family as we seek to approach them, serve them, and pray for them through this time.
Then, we went to Mexia, Texas, for Jennifer’s research at Fort Parker State Park …
We played Scrabble, and hands down, Jennifer is the queen of Scrabble …
We met our dear writer friend, Becky Wade, at a book-signing and had dinner with her. She is amazing, and I just finished reading her book, My Stubborn Heart … I read it and then re-read it … it was so good. So good! I can tell that she’ll be one of my favorite authors.
Lastly, the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference was everything I ever imagined. I have so many great photos, but here are pictures of two of my writer friends, who are sharing this journey with me. They encourage me every single day. Meeting them in person was the highlight of my year, no doubt.
So, I’ve had a busy last three weeks. And it’s been glorious. What did I learn? That God always shows up to meet you right where you are. You don’t have to be a best selling author for writers to love on you or help you. You just be you.