Friday, October 17, 2008

Heavenly Collections Part 2

I am standing here looking at the sliding glass door which leads to our backyard. It is filled with fingerprints and smudges from all the children going in and out throughout the week. As I gaze at the mess, I see treasures. They are a precious reminders tracing to eternal collections- people. I could stress over the mess. That would be my natural way. However, I am admiring this unique collection knowing that one day I may no longer have darling fingerprints on my doors and windows.
As I ponder on these sweet impressions, I think about the fingerprints we as women leave upon others. This brings us to the importance of what we invest in-people. If you have ever had to be fingerprinted for any reason, you are told not to press too hard or you will leave a smudge. Then your identity is unrecognizable. You are instructed to press lightly so the fingerprint will be clean and identifiable.

Whether we realize it or not, we have a choice each day to leave a nice, gentle print on those we love. It is never too late to begin practicing new ways of investing in others. This should start within our own families. As we invest in our husband and children, we will be like a fountain splashing onto the lives of others outside of the home. We will leave recognizable prints for generations to come.

Soak in this prayer of Mother Teresa."Dearest Lord....Though you hide yourself in the unattractive disguise of the irritable, the exacting,the unreasonable, may I still recognize you and say, "Jesus, my patient,how sweet it is to serve You."

Mother Teresa had no husband and she did not birth any natural children. She cared for the lost and dying. She cleaned the wounds of people who slept in ditches with worms in their wounds. She fed them, cleaned them, and provided rest for them in their last days of life. She left beautiful fingerprints of grace and love on the hearts of others. She was an authentic mother. She saw every life as an investment for eternity.....a heavenly collection.

We may never go to the streets to save the dying.However, no deed is small in the sight of our Lord. Here are some simple ideas that can leave imprints forever in the lives of those we encounter each day.

1. Smile. It is free and it is powerful. A smile is like a drink of cold water to a discouraged heart. It is like a welcome sign to those who feel alone.

2.During your rest times, pray and ask God to show you one person you can encourage that week or day. Keep a box or basket of note cards by your chair. Write a note of encouragement. People still love to receive mail in this busy culture. It is a way to share a quiet moment of rest with a burdened or wearied heart. A small edifying word can make a profound difference in some one's life. Remember, it may be your own husband or child who would be lifted up by a card or note from you.

3.Give. Give . Give. You may not have the funds to buy gifts, but there are creative ways to give. Find things in your home that you think would bless someone. Choose one item out of your home each month to give away. Give your daughter your favorite earrings. Make your husband his favorite dessert. You will reap a blessing of joy.

4.Take a picnic lunch in a basket to a young mother who cannot get out often. Serve her and her children a simple lunch. Stay and watch the children so the mother can take a nap, have a bubble bath or read.

5.When guests come to your home, turn off the TV so that they will know you value them.

6. If your children are older, keep a basket or box of toys in an area of your house to welcome families with young children. Have a high chair on hand for meals. If a nursing mother is in your home, have a private area with a chair she can go to feed the baby.

7.Keep simple breads or cookies in the freezer to take to a new family in your neighborhood or your church.

These are just a few ideas. The list is endless. Pray and ask the Lord to show you creative ways to invest in others as the opportunities arise. Remember, people are not projects to complete, but are precious in God's eyes. As you pour into others you are pouring into our almighty and loving God.

Morning Bagel-Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Daily Hug- Father, Your love is amazing and incredible. In my own limited strength, I know I cannot love with the depth of your ability. But with You, I can do all things. The God of glory dwells in me. The Lord of love inhabits my being. Love through me Lord. Help me to love as You love. I ask that your beauty would be cultivated in me in my times of rest and refreshment with You. Speak to me and give me ideas of how I can bless others. You have placed me in my home, my neighborhood, my work place and my community for such a time as this. I depend on You to love through me even when I am down and feeling all alone. In the valley let me love. On the mountains let me love. Through my tears, my fears, my laughter and pain, let me love as if it were my last chance. In Jesus Name. Amen

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