I had the neatest surprise waiting for me on the front porch as we left out the door on Tuesday. A dear friend from our old church sent me this:
A copy of The Velveteen Rabbit and Skin Horse, a character from this classic children’s book. She wrote the most beautiful letter to me in the front of the book that was so touching and very timely for me. She told me why I reminded her of “Skin Horse” and encouraged me to be like this unique character who encouraged others to be “real”. My friend, Liz, has taught me a lot in life. She has an amazing gift of words. Her ability to make words come alive is really quite divine. It’s one thing to be able to sit down and pre-think what you’re going to say. And it’s another thing to have the gift of words through spontaneity in addition to forethought. For Liz, her picturesque vocabulary seems to roll off her tongue at any given moment. She can write a card that will melt your heart. But it’s not to be confused with flattery or vain affirmation. I think it has everything to do with her her spiritual gift of exhortation. Her specific prayers on my behalf always make me want to keep going back for more. I once asked Liz to pray for me and my lack of words. For wisdom to be able to communicate what is truly in my heart. Many times I feel I really struggle with being able to communicate what I want to….more often verbally than with writing. You’d think it’s one and the same but it’s so not. My hubs understands this. He can wax eloquent in front of tens or hundreds but put him in front of a computer screen to write an article and the dude freezes. And that would be me with public speaking. I’m all “abadah abadah abadah …that’s all folks!” For real. Liz began praying for me in this area of “words” years ago and she’s been committed ever since. She and her husband are investing in me through prayer, encouragement and even in another cool way: they are sponsoring me for a writer’s conference next summer. I’ve tried to get a scholarship for it before but have never won the writing contest. If that doesn’t confirm you need help then what will, right? Ha! I’m so excited to be able to learn more about this topic of writing. I love it. I always have. And I know there’s so much for me to learn. But for now I’m just left being extremely encouraged by a mentor and friend. I hope to be the same to others. Through writing, through every day speaking and through the way I live my life. Such is the Body of Christ…..using our gifts for His glory and continually growing in them. Thanks Liz! You are a true blessing to me.
Oh, and can I just say that I am thrilled to have my very own stuffed animal? My kids think it’s crazy great that it’s MY book and stuffed animal. I haven’t had my very own stuffed animal in like….well, a long time. I’d say twenty years but that might tell you I’m pushing 30 or 40.
The kid in me is dying to ask you what character in a classic children’s book you most identify with. What character are you most like in say Winnie the Pooh, the Chronicles of Narnia, the Smurfs, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz or your very favorite fairy tale? I dare you to get in touch with the kid inside you for a few moments today and ponder these childish ideas. Would love to hear your thoughts!