My Coat of Many Colors

It’s Finally looking like fall, so it’s a good time to put up my favorite post again……

 

I have a coat of many colors. Not a Joseph kind of coat, but more like a Dolly Parton-patch-work-quilt kind of coat. This coat has been stitched together through many years of experience adding patch by patch of various styles, patterns, and textures.

I didn’t make my coat of many colors……it made me. Through years and years, as each patch has been added, it formed me and shaped me and my life would be impacted by each little part.

My coat – this glorious, rich mish-mash of vibrant colors, is my church history, or rather, my spiritual formation…….my interdenominationalism, if you please.

Throughout my life, I have been a part of several different denominations. I have known the expressive excitement of a charismatic service and the intense spiritual warfare of a Pentecostal service. I have understood grace from the Southern Baptist church.  And I have learned the deep respect for the elements of communion in the Episcopal Church, just to name a few.

There’s been one common thread through this patchwork journey. I didn’t really see it as it was happening. But, I can look back and realize that God has been faithfully knitting my coat of many colors to form me into His image, to teach me and grow me into the person He desires me to be.

Coat of Many Colors

Coat of Many Colors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, sometimes I wish my coat was made of one complete fabric, uniform in texture, style and color. A fashion statement. I wish I could have a long-standing history at one place, one congregation. It would be easier, and so much more comfortable, to slide into a well-worn, familiar coat. Instead, the patches of my coat have been pieced together in an unpredictable way. And, I’ve never gotten used to my heart breaking over one patch ending and the uncertainty of another patch beginning.

Oh, but I wouldn’t trade a thing for the lessons or the journey of how this coat has shaped me…and continues still even now.

And the people…. oh, the people! For each church in which I have worshipped, there have been pastors, mentors, and kindred spirits who have blessed and enriched my life. They are like threads of gold and silver woven into the fabric of my being. So many precious friends have been like beautiful buttons or beads carefully sewn into the patches to adorn my coat to make it not just valuable but priceless. I can’t imagine my life without all these brothers and sisters I have met along the way.

My coat of many colors isn’t finished. I don’t if it ever will be. I don’t know what the final product will look like. But I do know that I can trust the Master Weaver to knit and weave with wisdom and beauty until I am complete. Just like Dolly’s coat was made with maternal love, my coat is made with Eternal Love.

I cherish my coat of many colors my Father made for me.

~Amy

Posted in Daily Life, Interdenominational | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The God-box

We draw for ourselves these neat, little boxes in which to organize our lives. Work goes here, family goes there, church goes over here and so on. Our lives are sorted and labeled like a beautiful closet from The Container Store (I wish!). Among all those compartments, probably somewhere close to the “church” box, is our box for God.

For some, this box is well-worn and used often. For others, it is dusted off on special days. Still, for others, there are painful memories or hurts tying tight knots around the box. And, even still, for some people, the God-box is rediscovered after cleaning out that closet and finding it way back in the corner, rediscovering it from years long ago.

No matter the condition of our God-box, we still try to put God in a box. Because we are human flesh and bone, it is so difficult to understand with our finite minds God- who is All-Powerful, All-Seeing, and All-Knowing. We can’t wrap our minds around it. So, we form our ideas of who God is, how He relates to us or how He acts based on the boundaries of our box. This box in which we try to contain God is shaped by our spiritual formation (or lack thereof), good and bad church experiences, and even our preferences for worship.

The problem with this God-box is that it limits our thinking. It limits our belief. It limits our faith.

When we think according to the boundaries of our God-box, then we live out those boundaries with “God only works this way….God only moves here”. We get so used to  living and thinking this way that we fall prey to the idea that God only moves according to our own box and that any other way is not God. We get stuck in a rut….Prayer means only this. Church means only that. Worship means only this.  But, God cannot be confined to our thinking or our way of doing things.

I remember a time when my thinking and beliefs were being challenged. I felt very uncomfortable about it. It felt like the floor under me was tilting sideways and everything around me was sliding down, and we were going to slip right off into nothing-ness. But then, I grasped onto the fact that God is bigger than any of our interpretations, preferences, or human thinking. I took refuge in the fact that God is bigger than any of us, and He’s got it under control (even if that feels kinda scarey).

So, the good news is that God will lovingly work within our box to bring us to him and help us grow. And what’s even more wonderful is when we open the lid and allow God to be bigger than our boxed-in boundaries, then God will fill our hearts. And when God fills our hearts, there are no limits to what He can do in us!

I encourage you to examine your God-box. Do you limit God in your life or in your thinking? Do you allow God to work only in certain ways? How would if feel to let God out of your box to allow Him to move differently in your life…your church….or your family?

~Amy

Posted in Daily Life, Followers of Christ | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On the Outside of the Circle

She sat across the table from me. She didn’t say a word. We were a bunch of women who  attended a workshop together, so the hotel restaurant seated us at one table. Some ladies knew each other and chatted away about this and that. Most of us were strangers. I knew a couple of ladies on my left and spoke to them occasionally, but mostly, I watched the others around me.

I watched to see if any of the other ladies would strike up a conversation with the woman seated across from me.  I thought that maybe I should talk to her. But, I was stubborn. I was grumpy for being at this particular restaurant. I had wanted to go some place else, but for the sake of the group, I went with what they wanted. I selfishly thought “I always talk first, let somebody else talk, why doesn’t someone talk to me??” (Yes, there was a little pity party going in my head) So, I sat there, ate my chicken, and observed.

She waited for her food, ate her hamburger in silence, and left.

I was saddened that no one around that table said a word to this woman. She wasn’t included in any of their conversations. Then again, I was guilty too. I didn’t say a word to her either:/

Why is it we stay in our groups and keep to ourselves? Why is it so hard to widen our circles just a bit to include someone sitting just on the outside? Why is it we sit at the table and just talk to the people we know? At work? At a restaurant? At church??

Maybe some of you are better at it than I. Maybe you don’t let these opportunities walk away like I did. Maybe I’m a little sensitive to this subject. Oh I know…some of us are shyer than others, and some of us are more outgoing. I have to admit that its hard for me to open up with a new person until I feel comfortable with her. But, I’ve been on the other side too. I’ve sat on the outside waiting for someone to talk to me. I’ve been the newcomer awkwardly hoping to get in on the conversation. It’s not enjoyable. So, maybe that’s why I notice it.

So, I’m trying to be better. I am trying to include the newbie, notice the one off to herself, and reach out to make that connection. I’m not going to let a woman walk away without saying something to her anymore. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’m trying. I’m trying to be better because relationships, friendships and connections are the silver and gold, the real stuff that matters. Eternal.

What has been your experience? Is it easy for your to strike a conversation with anyone?Have you ever been on the outside of the circle?

~Amy

 

Posted in Daily Life, Women | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Silver and Gold

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.  A circle’s round it has no end, that’s how long I want to be your friend.”

Life is not about the stuff you accumulate or how much money you make. It’s not about your achievements or the letters behind your name.  It’s not about what you drive or your net worth.

Life is about Silver and Gold. It’s about friends, old and new. Those precious relationships mined out of life’s ins and outs. The people we meet that make our lives richer.

I’ve been keenly aware of the silver and gold in my own life this summer: A day at the pool,  sending that selfie from a dressing room ‘does this dress work?’, catching up on the phone, stopping by the office for a quick hug, planning a meet-up on Facebook, attending a difficult life changing event, inviting some over for a party, staying over for dinner, sharing revelations, and studying Truth. All of it precious. All of them Silver and Gold.

We can’t make it without friends. We need that wide circle of friends to cheer for us and have fun. We need that tight circle of confidants to tell us, “Girl, you’d better put that down!” We need that one kindred spirit to whisper those secrets of the heart. We need to nourish these relationships because we draw so much nourishment from them.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17

I love it that I get sharpened by my Silver and Gold. Keeps me humble. Gets me loved. Lets me grow. Makes me More than I am.

Who are your Silver and Gold? Don’t let them tarnish. Polish them as often as possible. In turn, they will polish you, sharpen you. And, you will never be left empty.

~Amy

Posted in Women | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

All of You…Together

womenofthewaytn:

The Summer Series is off to a great start! This is a reminder of why we are gathering……

Originally posted on Women of the Way:

1 Corinthians 3:16-23

16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in[a] you?17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise.19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,“He traps the wise    in the snare of their own cleverness.”[b20 And again,“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;    he knows they are worthless.”[c]

21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you—22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter,[d] or…

View original 202 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Modern Psalm

Praise the Lord for a new day full of restored strength and fresh mercy- His Love endures forever!

Give thanks to Him for hugs and kisses and cuddles- His Love endures forever!

For His hand of protection and answered prayer- His Love endures forever!

When family never fails and friends keep you going- His Love endures forever!

He causes spring to bring the flowers, summer to bring the tomatoes, and fall to bring the crisp air- His Love endures forever!

When my soul is dry and my mind is weary- His refreshing Love endures forever!

Even though the appliances die and the truck needs new tires- His providing Love endures forever!

For the longings of my heart that cannot be uttered out loud- His overwhelming Love endures forever!

When I run out of best intentions and they holler “momma!” for the 1000th time- His patient Love endures forever!

His Spirit fills again and His Word speaks again- His incredible Love endures forever!

When I’m soaring high or sinking way down low, His faithful Love endures forever!

No matter how I feel or what may come my way, His complete Love will never let me down and will never, ever end!!!

All glory, honor, and praise be to the King of kings and Lord of lords!

His bountiful, satisfying, perfect Love. Endures. Forever!!!!!!!!

~Amy

(My words don’t seem to be enough, but this song seems to get a little closer)

Posted in Daily Life, Followers of Christ | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fall in Love

I don’t blog about marriage. Although I have learned a lot about marriage and about being a wife, I don’t share much about it at WoW.

I don’t write about parenting. Oh boy….I have learned SO MUCH about myself through parenting and trying to be a better mom. Sure, I could share some tips and ideas and what I’ve had to do to survive being a mother of triplets. But, I don’t do that here.

I love baking and recipes. I am a total Foodie. I read other bloggers who do such a fine job blending the everyday with the sacred, but I don’t really feel called to bring that to this page.

Decorating? DYI projects? Photography? I’m just not the typical ‘mommy-blogger’, I guess

What then?

One of my deepest desires through Women of the Way is to bring hope, encouragement and guidance to you, my sister. To tell you, and hopefully, inspire you in becoming a more passionate, devoted follower of Christ. Why?

Because when you know that Jesus loves you, and you allow His love to sink down deep into your heart, and your relationship with Him is your primary source for all that you need, then everything else falls into place. Everything.

As women, when our relationship with Him is our sole security and the foundation of our lives, then we’ll be better women. As a result, we’ll have stronger families. Then, stronger families will lead to stronger churches. And, stronger churches will lead to the Kingdom of God being advanced!

We have that kind of influence.

We are that significant.

He longs to know us that deeply and use us in that way!

Do you long to know Him that deeply?

I truly believe if we begin to grasp how deep, how long, and how high the Father’s Love for us really is….I don’t mean ‘oh, church was nice’ or ‘I enjoy the music’ or ‘I find community there’….I mean ‘I feel so loved by God that I don’t need to look for a man or eat or have lots of friends to feel loved’, then His love can bring completewholeness in the deepest, most needful places of our hearts.

If you fall more in love with Him, just watch and see how it affects all the other ares of your life.  This song by Jars of Clay inspires me to fall more in love with Him.

~Amy

 

Posted in Daily Life, Followers of Christ | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment