Just a quick note to let you know I've moved my blog to the following address:

Please visit me at REDEEMED...RESTORED...RELEASED: One Woman's Story of Living Free to read more about what God is doing in my life and how He is working those things to set me free. Thanks so much for following, visiting, reading all about it and supporting me as you have done so many times these last few years. If you follow my other blogs, the posts from all three of my blogs are going to be transferred to the new digs for one big blog about our journey to restoration and freedom in Christ.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bridal Bliss and God's Gift

I had the honor of attending a bridal shower for Bob and Jackee Hamp's daughter, Jenna, yesterday. I saw women I had met during those first few months of my journey at Gateway Church.

Women who were a part of the Reader's & Writer's Group I had attended in September 2007 when I was a rookie blogger. I enjoyed the company of pastors and staff members at Gateway as well as the wonderful Hamp gals, Jackee, Jenna and Jillian!

I'll have to remember to tell you how I became the queen of Quelf at Tracey's house on a Friday night with her girls and Jillian at the kitchen table.

I digress. Back to the shower. It was a delightful time. I watched as Jenna opened gift after gift of housewares and kitchen tools. Each item a delight to her. Suddenly, I had this awareness:  The Bridal Season in a woman's life is the only season when appliances, housewares and bath towels are appropriate gifts. Any other time -- Anniversary, Christmas, Birthday, Valentine's or Mother's Day -- that gift should be personal, meaningful and a reflection of how well you know the woman who receives the gift.

Here's a tip for the menfolk: Unless your wife has specifically requested a particular household item as a gift -- Don't give it for a special occasion.  In short, unless her name is Julie, Julia or Paula Deen, or maybe she longs to be one of those people... Don't give her any gift that helps her do housework, cook or work in any way. These necessities are better provided on non-special occasions.

I laugh as I consider the first Christmas I experienced with my ex-husband. He waited until 5:00 PM on Christmas Eve to do his shopping. He brought home several packages with my name on them between pizza deliveries.  When I opened the iron, popcorn popper and cookbook titled: "Cooking for Two."  I was not delighted. My response was something short of -- "Okay, so where is the real gift?"

To my dismay I was politely informed that these were the real gifts. He said, "We needed the iron. You cook enough food to feed a military platoon and well, I wanted the Popcorn Popper."

He never lived down that gifting occasion.

I guess Bridal Bliss changes our expectations as we begin to experience the desire to nest and domesticate with our Grooms-to-be. It makes us grateful for a wisk and set of dishes in a way that cannot be explained otherwise.

I have never been conventional, and quite frankly, I've only met Jenna and Jackee a handful of times while working in Pastoral Care where Bob is our Executive Pastor. So, a painting symbolizing my prayer for the wedding was a step outside the box. I was anxious to give the gift, and a little nervous that it would seem trivial.  I could not have been more wrong.

I had stopped by Wal-Mart yesterday morning looking for a gift bag that would hold the middle range acrylic on canvas Unity Tree. With no bag in the right size options, I elected to fill out a card, slip it in between the canvas and wood frame in the back and deliver it without cover. 

When I arrived I confessed I had not been able to find the appropriate size gift bag.  Jackee graciously slid the painting in behind some boxes next to the wall on a gift table in the front living area.

We all gathered  a while later to watch as Jenna unwrapped and thanked each person for the gifts provided.  After the gift table was cleared out, Jenna turned and saw the picture. Her mother asked that they bring it around. Jenna said she will hang it beside the table where they have adjustable lighting to demonstrate the irridescent qualities of the painting. 

This painting is a prayer for Unity in this young couple's marriage and life. Psalm 133 says that the anointing of unity is like precious oil that runs down over the priestly beard and garments of Aaron, a place where the Lord commands a blessing from the Throne Room: Life Forevermore.

Congratulations to Jenna and Brandon and the entire Hamp/Day families. I pray the Lord blesses them in every way as they begin this new journey not only as a couple, but a family as well.

In conclusion, I've given or presented paintings to several people in recent weeks to find the response overwhelmingly positive. Yesterday, I cried on the way home as I considered the response of those in the room who saw my gift.

It truly is God's gift. He just uses me to facilitate its expression.

I took art for one year in high school finding my skills somewhat average. I dabbled heavily in crafting in my early twenties. Still, I have viewed my drawing ability and artistic talent as largely hobby and juevenile expedition at best. I never considered it to be a blessing to anyone but me until this past year.

In my presbytery last fall one of the words given to me was that I am a "Decorator."  The presbyter went on to say, "I see you with this large basket and you are giving people beautiful things.  Pieces of pottery, beautiful things... The only thing is you are not giving them what you have, you are giving them what God has for them."

A few weeks later I decided to paint my husband's presbytery and then set out to redecorate our home in all the Scriptures and prophetic words that have been spoken to us in the last few years. I had no idea that this was what the woman at presbytery was admonishing me to do.

I thank God for the opportunity to bless others with the vision and talent He has given me.

To God be all glory and praise as He has chosen to give each one of us an expression of Himself in the lives we live.  He is my sight, my heart and my hope in all things. Amen.

1 comment:

Jillian Yvonne said...

Sweet Michelle! The painting was incredible. I can't even describe! I loved it, and look forward to the days I get to visit them and look at it! Thank you for coming, it was such a blessing to have you there!