Peculiar People

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light… 1 Peter 2:9  (KJV)

Peter is speaking to an isolated group of believers suffering persecution in Northern Asia Minor. They weren’t sure what good they were doing themselves, or anyone else, with their faith.

Do you feel that way sometimes? Like sometimes it IS, in fact, easier to hide your light under a bushel?

That’s certainly how they felt.

But Peter tells them in the verse above…”Ye are a chosen generation…”

Chosen! God picked them! And if you are saved, He also picked you. At some point in our lives we all deal with not being selected. Whether it’s a work promotion, cheerleading tryouts, recess teams…we’ve all experienced the rejection that comes with not getting picked.

But God CHOSE us. He called our names. And in that way that only God can, we weren’t called last, or first, or before/after our friends. Because with God, there’s no comparison to others. Only to Him.

But I really like the part about being “a peculiar people” because this speaks to my heart.

Growing up, like most kids, I just wanted to fit in. To blend in with the crowd. I hated anything that made me different.

As a teenager, it was even worse. I hid my true self so I’d seem cool, like everyone else. Little did I know, everyone else was doing the same. We hid our eccentricities, those little things that made us unique.

The older we get, the more we appreciate our peculiarities. These are the things that make us stand out- to suitors, to employers, to friends. The things we once tried to hide, we now put on full display. We like being different.

1 Peter 2:9 shows us that it’s perfectly okay to be a peculiar people.

That’s good news for kooks like me!

Gear Up: Me Time, Take Two

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on ME TIME, TAKE TWO!

A few weeks ago we also focused on ME TIME.

I’ll admit: I wrote the devotion before I kept my toddler grandson for a week. I felt a little bad for telling moms they carve out me time if they really wanted to. Because, trust me, I really REALLY wanted some ME TIME when he was here. Maybe a bath.

Not a candlelit bubble bath with a book, just a plain bath where I had time to rinse the shampoo out of my hair before I had to get out.

So I realize ME TIME isn’t easy.

Still try.

But more so than finding time to be alone or treat yourself to an outing, this week we will focus on treating ourselves with kindness.

The fact is, we are way harsher on ourselves than we’d ever be with a friend or a co-worker. Use your ME TIME this week to be kind to yourself. Allow yourself that donut or forgive yourself for the words you spoke in anger. Don’t berate yourself for messing up a project and just do better next time with your kid. (We ALL have those parenting fails.)

Giving yourself me time is simply acknowledging that you are special and you deserve the grace you’d bestow upon someone else.

 

From Last Place to First on My Fave Holiday List

I’ll confess: I wasn’t that big on Thanksgiving as a kid.

There were two main reasons. One, I was pretty spoiled and there were no gifts, making it a boring holiday for me.

Two, I was a very picky eater and Thanksgivings were filled with decadent dishes that made my stomach turn. A small slice of white turkey meat and a spoonful of macaroni and cheese (as long as it was made partially by Kraft) and I was done.

I think I’ve just solved the mystery of how I stayed under 100 lbs for over 20 years and now can’t seem to get the needle to stop climbing. I thought the scale was defective. Now I’m sure I’m just making up for decades of lost Thanksgiving meals.

Who knew that sweet potato casserole had that perfect blend of sweet and savory? You know, when I said that in my head I heard Ryan Gosling’s voice from Crazy, Stupid, Love. You might have a problem when you apply a love line from your favorite rom-com to a food item!

Or green bean casserole! There’s a reason everyone shows up with that dish! “Who brought the green bean casserole?”

The list goes on and on…stuffing, cranberries, yeast rolls, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, pies…the food is amazing!

As an empty-nester, preparing a Thanksgiving meal fills that maternal need I’ve missed all year. Even if, as is the case this year, I’m serving adults who have nowhere else to go, I’m still taking care of people. I miss that sometimes. Being needed. I pour my heart and soul into Thanksgiving.

I started preparations extra-early this year. I’ve ordered invitations; I’ve bought all of my dry, non-perishables. I’m doing trial runs. In fact, tonight I’m making a homemade cranberry sauce for the first time. If it goes the way my new cookie recipes did yesterday, I’ll have one more thing to cross off the menu. At least we will still have turkey and dressing!

But the main reason Thanksgiving moved from last place to first on my favorite holiday list is that I now truly understand thankfulness. It took me many years but I see God’s hand in my entire world. From the home he allowed us to build to being married to my best friend. For healthy and happy kids and grandkids to still having my parents in my life. I talk to them every day! Talk about gratitude…He not only restored those relationships, He’s helped me nurture them to a place I’d never dreamed possible.

I find delight in the mundane. Where I once thrived in the chaos, He made me a new creature. One who is so at peace with life that I know it is only by His hand.

I absolutely love my life.  I’m so thankful for everyone and everything in it.

And I get an entire holiday to celebrate that!