Thursday, June 23, 2011


The package lay on the table. It was wrapped in beautiful paper with a shiny bow. The tag said, Love, Daddy. I opened it and stared in dismay at what lay inside. It was a dress. But... the color was all wrong for me. And the fit - well, it did fit but it was so uncomfortable, not me at all. I shoved the gift back in its box and set it aside in an out of the way closet.

Later that day, Daddy came to find me. "Daughter," he said, "where is the gift I gave you? Why aren't you wearing it?"

I hesitated, looked at the ground and then the ceiling. "Um, well, I, well, that is, I put it away for now," I stammered.

"But, Daughter, I chose that for you because I knew it was just what you needed."

Finally, in frustration, I blurted, "But it's the wrong color and it's not comfortable and it, well, it just wasn't what I wanted. Not at all - how could you say it's good for me?"

"Don't you trust me to give you good things?" my Father asked gently.

"I do, but everyone makes mistakes," I said. "If you would just let me show you what I want, it would work so much better."

"No, that is what I chose for you," he said. "It is what you need, but it is your choice whether you will accept it and wear it."

That night, I couldn't get the look of sorrow my Daddy's face held. So, the next morning, I pulled the box out of the closet. I smoothed my hand over the rumpled fabric. Maybe the color wasn't so bad. I pulled it on and it still did not feel comfortable. Yet, I decided I would wear it. I would accept this gift my Father gave me and even though it wasn't what I would choose myself, I would be thankful my father gave it to me.

When my Father saw me the next day, his face lit up and his smile warmed my heart. "Daughter, you look beautiful."

Strangely, even though I originally thought the color was wrong and the fit was wrong, every time I wore the dress, people would comment on how radiant I looked; how it brought out things in me they never noticed before. I wore the dress for years, and it became a favorite - a visible reminder of my Father's love for me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


That phrase sounds so great when we hear it coming from the pastor - "walk by faith." It sounds inspiring when we hear other people share how "walking by faith" got them through a tough situation. It doesn't sound so marvelous when you are applying it to your own situation.

With God, there is always a reason for everything. Nothing is by chance, and He knows just what you need, when you need it. For the past few weeks, I have been very, very busy with my kids' activities. It's made me feel a bit crazy, truth be known. In addition to that, I have been plagued by "what if's" and "how will we..." with our finances.

Midweek, I found myself jealous and envious of a good friend because she was getting to do what I want to do - speak God's Truth to others. I know, that sounds so immature and selfish doesn't it? I cringe typing those words, but there it is.

Some days, I feel old, washed up - like it is getting close to being too late to realize my dreams. I feel stuck in what I have to do and what I feel called to do.

Because of these things converging all at the same time, I have been frantically running around, trying to fix it, trying to figure out what to do next. I've been exhausting myself, scrabbling for answers like someone running around in the dark, running into the furniture but without the good sense to stop and turn on the light.

This week, as I was praying about this, complaining really about how was I supposed to do what God called me to do and still fix all these things, I felt God tell me to be still. To just stop already.

This morning, in my quiet time I was reading Psalms 18 and verse 28 caught my eye. It says, "For You light my lamp; the Lord my God illumines my darkness." What hit me was the psalmist did not say THE darkness. He said MY darkness. In other words, God lights up OUR areas of darkness so we can see the path, sometimes only one foot fall in front of us, but that is all we need with God at our side.

Today, I also attended a Thelma Wells conference. I don't know if you know who Thelma Wells is, but you can find out more about her at What I can tell you is she is a 70-year- old woman with a great sense of humor, a realness, a "tell it like it is" forthrightness and a deep faith that make you want to curl up and listen to what she says. She talked about walking by faith.

The thing that she said that really hit me was that nobody can keep you from what God has for you but yourself, and also, that we are not in control. I have been trying to control things, trying to fix things, trying to arrange things neatly and in order. And guess what? That isn't my job. What a relief!! It was like a great big boulder rolled off my shoulders. "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

Through Mama T, as they call her, God shined His light on my darkness. "Be still and know that I am God." I think this summer that is what I am going to do - just be still.

~ Blessings, Bronte

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


My boys are big sports fanatics, so instead of relaxing this first week of summer vacation we are going back and forth to basketball camp and baseball practice/games. At least they aren't bored, right?

Yesterday, I was sitting in the bleachers waiting for my youngest, Brody, to finish up. From behind me I heard this woman talking to her son. She was complaining and criticizing the camp. I have no idea who the woman was, but I do know that she did not seem to be very happy.

The Bible tells us that man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. The thing is though that the only way people have to know we are Christians is by our actions and words. The fruit of our lives gives them a picture not only of our hearts but also of who God is.

My impression of the woman behind me wasn't a positive one, to be honest. My first thought was that she would be difficult to get along with. I have no idea if that is actually true - she could be the nicest person ever. But her complaining and criticism gave me a picture of who she was - right or wrong though that picture might be.

It hit me, as I sat there, that people watch us. They watch us when we are not aware we are being watched. How do I act? Am I negative, complaining or critical? Or do I radiate God's joy and love? How do I treat workers at stores that might not be so polite? How do I treat the waitress at the restaurant who has too many tables and seems a bit slow in service? What is my reaction to the man who cuts me off in traffic?

It was a bit sobering to realize that people, including my own kids, form a picture of me based on my behavior and words. It is true that we can't be perfect and that we do not earn our salvation or earn more of God's love based on our actions. But it is equally true that our fruits or behavior/words give others the only picture they can really have of who we are, what we believe and often who God is. I am praying that God makes my picture a true reflection of Him.
~ Blessings, Bronte