I was thinking tonight... thinking and wishing.
I was wishing that I had Condoleeza Rice's brains...
Jane Austen's writing abilities...
Cindy Crawford's figure...
...and the list could go on and on.
But then I had a thought ( maybe from God?)...
...if I had Condi's brains, Jane's literary gifting, and Cindy C's figure, I wouldn't be ME.
And if I wasn't me, I wouldn't be married to the honorable, loving, loyal, and hardworking man that chose ME nearly 16 years ago. And if I wasn't me, I wouldn't be the mother to the seven treasures I have...children that I dreamed of all my growing up life....children that are uniquely mine because they have their father and me as their parents.
Yes, there are many I can learn from....and not just famous folk. God has blessed me with so many in my life who have giftings that I can benefit from. And the women in my family alone offer a wealth of inspiration and wisdom---
My mom, cousin B. and sister-in-law D and their skills in organizing and cleaning.
My husband's mom and her ability to raise a son who is hardworking, intelligent, and the most honest person I know.
My husband's step-mother and her way of adding a bit of creative artistry in every corner of her life...something she's passed down to my husband's sister.
My dad's wife and her classy elegance plus her amazing sewing skills.
My Grandma Harvey and her deep, abiding, loyal, and adoring love of my Grandpa Harvey who was more than a little crusty around the edges.
My sister-in-law S's willingness to move far away from all she knew to start a new life with my brother in a land fraught with hurricanes and bugs.
My Mawmaw Dortch, a woman who outlived two husbands, worked hard, and kept her family together as she raised eight children in a very hard time in our nation's history yet she always emitted an attitude of thankfulness. Her home was always open to the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren until she just physically couldn't do it anymore and we had plumb outgrown her small 5 room house.
My Grandma McElhaney's ability to never forget birthdays and her special way of letting her descendants know she's thinking of us.
My husband's Aunt Cathi and how she reaches out to my children and works at keeping family bonds tied despite the miles and the fact that she's never even met most of my children.
The list could go on and on when I think of all the other women I am blessed to have as family. And though at times I get frustrated that I can't do something as well as one of them can and I get caught up in the comparison game, I have to remind myself that I am God's precious child. He has made me uniquely His to fit into His ordained plans. Yes, I should strive to grow and learn and become all that He has created me to be, but I must never forget that what is written in Psalms 139:14-15:
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
HE knit me together. HE designed and created me. He loves me just as I am...messy paper piles, forgetfulness, lack of self-discipline, and all.
I used to think that we as people had to deserve God's love. Oh, I didn't verbalize it, but deep down inside it was there. Then one day, through the Bible teaching ministry of Steve Brown, God showed me an amazing truth. God doesn't love me because I sing well, make good biscuits, and can organize people. BECAUSE God loves me, I can sing well, make good biscuits, and can organize people.
Every good thing comes down from the Father in Heaven, and every single good thing in me is evidence that He loves me. Its a gift. And to each of us he has given us special gifts.
Think how boring it would be at Christmas if as parents, we gave all of our children exactly the very same thing. Yes, it is tempting at times, especially when we see them argue over each other's toys. But still, how boring it would be for us as parents to not get to spend time picking out just the right gifts...the ones we know will bring a special smile to each child's face. And in the long run, our kids wouldn't have as much fun because they wouldn't get the benefit of getting to play with the DIFFERENT gifts that their siblings received.
So tonight instead of wishing to be like others and wishing that I had all the same gifts, I will pray that He will help me learn and benefit from those around me, but never forget that He loves and accepts me just as I am. For when I look at others and see some beauty and goodness, I'm seeing the Father's hand...because He also loves them and has "fearfully and wonderfully" created them, too.