My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Bedazzled Friends

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True confessions .. I’m a bling girl, yes that’s right, admiring shinny, glittery, sparkling things just like a pack rat. Drawn to them like a moth attracted to a flame. Oohing and aahing their sparkle and gleam. No need for the real McCoy, let the imitations shine on!  What joy would be mine if I were to be the proud owner of a  BeDazzler, the official rhinestone setter of all things glitzy. I could “Be Dazzle” almost anything… my  dear friend owned one of these marvels,  however,lamentably was  cut short by her unamused husband hiding this man made wonder machine. Woefully being charged guilty of excessive bedazzlement. How could you not?  The ad lures you with the promise… “it’s easy, It’s fun and it’s fabulous” !  A Win, Win, and can we all say a rousing Win!

Recently, the Bedazzler has been on my mind, triggered by my friend Jen’s roller skating event at Oaks Park amusement center. My husband and I had the joy of watching her perform, all of us hoping that she would earn a spot to compete at Nationals. Oaks Park holds a special place in my heart , brimming with family history.  In 1948 the Vanport flood which caused the roller rink to be  submerged under water for 30 days.  Afterwards, it prompted the owners to rebuild the rink on pontoons.  They design was created to have a detachable floating wooden skate rink floor in case of flooding, of which  my grandfather helped build.

While in the 1950’s my mom and her sister Donna performed elaborate skating shows. Their photos still line the wall above the skate rental shop.

Gazing at these nostalgic pictures rekindled sweet memories of my mother and years gone by. While waiting for Jeni to skate we seized a few Kodak moments. Jen’s next routine would be to the music “Stomp” an upbeat lively number using drumsticks as her prop. Wearing an adorable outfit she  designed in true Bedazzlement fashion; the outfit dotted liberally with rhinestones. What a perfect addition to make her shine on the rink’s wooden floor… as if her performance and smile were not enough.

I’m brought to deep thoughts on the magical bedazzler, just as it  can add sparkle and life to an otherwise ordinary piece fabric, so to, deep spirited friends add  the sparkle we need to the fabric of our lives.

The dictionary’s description of bedazzled is to “impress forcefully, especially so to make oblivious to faults or shortcomings”. Heartfelt friends applaud your positive attributes  while  graciously loving you regardless of your faults and  shortcomings. Thus, giving you a desire to rise higher, empowering you to assess some personal areas that  need attention and growth. Your spirit embellished with love and jewels of grace, visibly glowing treasures from your divine friendship.

Biblically, stones have been known to represent truth, used as boundaries marked off by stones.  Also used as witnesses to God’s loving faithfulness when Jacob set up a pillar in  Gen. 28:22; 35:14.  Aaron’s priestly ephod and breastplate were bedazzled with precious stones, holy truths glistening God’s love, set in stone for his people.

HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR LIFE FROM DULL TO DAZZLING?  Get to know the heart of God for  you.. reading His life giving words of love and through the lives of true, deep spirited friends. Captivating you with their ability to add sparkle and shine to your world.  If you don’t have friends like that yet, I pray that God will send you one as quickly as you can say… BeDazzle.

Lord, help me be a friend to others as I would like for myself. Thank you that friends are a gift from you and your word says: “when you give a gift you add no sorrow to it”.  We rejoice today in your love and the love of our friends whether from the past, present, or future.

“If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give”.

George MacDonald

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Happy Feet

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Typically my morning ritual includes checking Facebook scrolling for updates and recent posts. Sparked and awakened more fully by reading witty quotes and glibs, or perhaps deep provoking thoughts to ponder. Since I’m not a coffee drinker this invigorates my senses rather nicely, while also keeping me abreast of joys and possible challenges my family or friends might be encountering. Presented with opportunities to bless and receive blessings… sharing words of encouragement and offered prayers for one another.
 
However, on one particular morning I was not greeted with a warm inviting cup of Joe replacement, but instead quite shaken by a cruel stinging attack which was written with malicious intent.  Even though this relationship had broken down recently, how could this person, someone I’ve loved and supported for many years want to tag me in a photo calling me a “liar, a cheat and a scam”? Reality hit like a  jolt of ice-cold water dousing my tender heart.  From this new vantage point my hope for redeeming love and mending the forlorn fence between us looked like it was the last thing on their mind.

Thankfully, before this rude awaking I spent time in God’s word reading Psalms 35:23-26;  pondering this scripture I decided to call a friend to share these verses… they were simply to good to keep to myself! 

 ”Please get up—wake up! Tend to my case.
    My God, my Lord—my life is on the line.
Do what you think is right, God, my God,
    but don’t make me pay for their good time.
Don’t let them say to themselves,
    “Ha-ha, we got what we wanted.”
Don’t let them say,
    “We’ve chewed him up and spit him out.”
Let those who are being hilarious
    at my expense
Be made to look ridiculous.
    Make them wear donkey’s ears;
Pin them with the donkey’s tail,
    who made themselves so high and mighty!” 

Upon finishing,  we both chuckled at how the Message’s Bible  interpreted  what Kind David wrote. My mind immediately flashed back to the Disney classic Pinocchio with it’s Pleasure Island’s Amusement Park. A place promising fun to young lads, yet unbeknownst to them lay  hidden entrapment … a spell cast on all who dared to partake in this magical land.  This mischievous entertainment would  cost them their true identity, producing donkey ears and tails burgeoning up on naive boys.  Rather fitting for the wrong choices that Lampwick, Pinocchio and all the other boys made landing them in such a foolish predicament.   

David knew first hand what it felt like to be relentlessly pursued by his enemies,  King Saul being his chief nemesis. David wrote throughout the Psalms his laments for God’s justice and deliverance from Saul’s unmerciful attacks. In Psalms 27:12-14 he cries;

“Give me not up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me; they breathe out cruelty and violence.”
going on to make his bold declaration in verse  “I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

We serve a God that sees it all, the cruelty, injustice, false accusations and lies that have been waged against us. His truth will prevail and your character will one day be restored. You might not see it today or the day after, but you will see the goodness of the Lord on your behalf.

Our job in all this is to trust the Lord, ask forgiveness for any wrong doing we may have done and forgive those who have hurt us. I don’t know about you but taking the high road in an offense is never easy. My flesh wenches and craves to retaliate and seek justice…NOW.  Although Jesus tells us to  forgive someone 70X7 it is not a math equation I’m gleeful about. Yet if left unsolved produces far more heartache. The Sermon on the Mount that Jesus  taught His followers  encourages us  to be glad in our persecution, happy even when people revile you and say all kinds of false evil things against you. 

Confessing that as the day lingered I still did not find myself happily jumping up and down over this person’s mean-spirited maneuver. Determined to not let them rob anymore of my joy, choosing to take the high road in goofy merriment. Grabbing my high top purple canvas sneakers with plaid trim…my combat boots of joy. Confident they would surely put a smile on my face as I stepped into all God’s reliable and trustworthy promises.

Are you facing one of life’s zingers? May I encourage you in your movement forward with this hope,* “… shod your feet in preparation to face the enemy with firm footed stability the promptness, and the readiness, produced by the good news of the gospel of peace. Each new step bringing more freedom and victory.” Hey, you can even sport some goofy shoes while doing it… I say if the happy shoes fit… wear them!

*Ephesians 6…AMP version.