The Going Rate…

I flatter myself in believing that I am a brilliant mind. I know a little bit about turning a phrase or two. There’s a line in the movie, “Blazing Saddles,” where Slim Pickens was talking to Harvey Korman. Pickens told Korman, “You use your mouth prettier than a twenty dollar whore.”

YES, I know…rude, crude and socially unacceptable.  But it is a great line from a great movie classic. Any time I feel sheepish about being complimented on my oratory shills or my writing ability, that’s the line that comes to mind.  Partly because of how much I love that movie; partly because I appreciate a really cool, back-handed compliment.

Words have been my lifelong friends. It’s because of my affinity and adoration of them that they come to me and ingratiate themselves to me.  I love words…they love me back. And as much as I want to keep an humble perspective on the product of that relationship, I take great pride in what comes of it.

So, when someone reads my work, or listens to me speak and responds by saying something like, “Yeah…that was alright. But, maybe you could be more honest.  I don’t think you’re being REAL enough.”

I might say, “Oh, okay. Well, thanks for your input.” But what I REALLY want to say is, “Are you freaking KIDDING ME??? That was some of my BEST WORK!!! Those words and I had a delightful exchange and I was honored to share them with you.  Guess I won’t be doing THAT again!” I then have to decide what is true: the criticism or the work borne of a beloved relationship.

The relationship I have with words is an internal one.  When I share the fruit of that relationship with you, it is considered, ‘Intellectual Property.’ Very much like the conceptualization of a painting or a sculpture or a musical composition.  There ‘appears’ to be no actual value to it until it is shared and produces a favorable response. This transaction is usually concluded by someone being willing to attach a monetary value to the product.

There are other internal relationships upon which, if we are not careful, we will let external forces place a dollar value. There is a significant worth to the characteristics of our personality; the things that determine how we love. What about our adoration and affection? Think about the loyalty and empathy that forge our friendships? How about our wit and sense of humor? Consider what we determine to be honorable and ethical.

The God who made us made those things into us, just like the makers of a luxury car built in those leather bucket seats and that ferocious, high quality sound system. There are details in that vehicle that mean nothing to the common driver.  They are designed to excite the car aficionado. To God, those traits and characteristics that were built into you were meant to add to your ‘face value.’

What happens when you let someone who is not an aficionado of, “YOU” tell you what your worth is? What does it look like when you expose yourself to people who place their general expectations on you and then determine that you don’t fit the bill. Yet you insist that they are right and adjust yourself tot fit their expectations of what you are designed to be.  You have just let God’s highest desire and most priceless treasure go at the equivalent price of a bargain bin DVD.

Can you imagine what that does to the heart of God?  He – the King and Creator of all thins INTERNAL and ETERNAL; the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE inside you.  He valued you enough to desire to dwell in you, and share the space with all of your intellectual property.  And yet, there you set…determined to be undersold.

I have heard it said, and I am just now coming to understand the immense value of this statement: Go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated. The way that you are designed is meant to excite the people who truly know your worth. When you allow the gift of “you” to be reduced to the worth of something that is common and disposable, that means you have accepted that you are who THEY say you are.

This is not to imply your perfection; only to infer that you are EXACTLY who God made you and that the only one that is capable telling you what needs to be perfected or corrected is THE CREATOR.  He alone knows the purpose for your design. He alone would be the one to send people along your path to sharpen your corners or smooth out the rough spots.  And when God sends someone to do the correction, He will send some kind of cues to your inner man to confirm that the work being done is from Him. That’s just the kind of God He is.

Friends, NEVER forget who you are.  It’s not just who God is making you into; not just who you are becoming that’s important.  YOU are a priceless treasure JUST AS YOU ARE.  Refuse to be undersold by those who do not understand your worth. Don’t be caught selling yourself for the going rate.

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While I Was Away…

Did you miss me?  I missed you!  I know, I know…it has been well over a month since my last post. This has been a most fruitful month, if I do say so myself.

I had pretty much gotten to the end of myself in this past year.  I have been settled into a fantastic career. Far beyond a paycheck, it has been the most rewarding year of my employment since I stopped being a home-maker in 2006.  I am fraught with purpose and destiny.  I am in love with all of my co-workers and all of the volunteers/interns that I have encountered at PASS network for life.

I have you all to thank for a most productive blog life.  I have seen so much love and support…it is almost too much to fathom.  There are lots of things in the works as a result of the conversations we have been having from a Kaleidoscope perspective.  I can’t wait to share with you about what is coming next.  But that may have to wait just another month or so.

A lot of things have happened as a result of my near-death experience in July.  For one, I have a greater gratitude for life. I recognize that time is short and I need to live a life of joy AND happiness; not just to fulfill my purpose, but to surround myself with those who mean me the MOST good, not just those who don’t want to hurt me.  Because of that, I have divorced the love of my youth, only to have the love of my life find me, pursue me and hold me close.  I am a phenomenally blessed human being. Things move pretty quickly when you get out of your own way (I’m just saying).

All of this brought me to a holiday season of very mixed emotions.  I had never been so happy! God is restoring the years that the locust has eaten, and He’s doing it in a QUICK WORK.  I have love in my life like I have never known. When God presents us with an opportunity to love and be loved, we should grab hold with both hands and treat it like the gift that it is!

This season has been a little intimidating as well.  My purpose and destiny are taking shape.  I see my sons walking into their purpose and destiny as well. To God belongs all the glory! I feel that this may be the last Christmas and New Year we have lived under the same roof together. Our living situation is about to change again, and this time, it will look very different. We have emerged from what may be our last year as “all we’ve got.”  We have had to depend on one another through some of the hardest times imaginable. That has forged a mighty bond between us that cannot be severed. But I raised my sons to leave me, as is only right to do, for they were never really mine to claim. I struggle with wondering if I did everything I knew how to do, to prepare them. I am trusting the God who made us all to make up the difference.

I have also never been so keenly aware of the fragility of life and that time should not be wasted. I found out about the passing of a very dear YOUNG woman…Barbara Ann Peeples has left this life and it has hurt my heart tremendously.  I have had other dear friends with loved ones who let go of this life in recent weeks and I have commiserated with many whose hearts feel lonely and low during these festive seasons.  I have watched people suffer around me in ways that only few of us can honestly relate. Top that off with my own personal confrontation with “Old Man Winter,” where I spun out, due to snow, on an overpass and ONLY blew out both of my front tires.  Scary stuff, but I made it out, yet again, alive.

I want to take a moment to just thank God.  It is difficult to understand, from the outset, what God is doing.  But I love to see Him work.  I am always surprised at how things work out in my favor, from such contradictory circumstances.  I have seen the Lord take the foolish things of this world (like my life) and confound the wise too many times to doubt the mightiness of His hand.

And so, my dear friends, I say welcome to a new year!  Welcome to the land of GREATER, where God is showing His magnificence and splendor in ALL of His people. I expect to see it God go BIG this year!


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