Wisdom from Pooh Corner

I was lonely this morning. It happens. So, instead of doing the pile of work that has mounted through the week, I got online to reach out…and I came across my favorite wise bear – Winnie. Have you ever taken the time to go through those books? They are some of my favorites! In fact, long before Dr. Seuss or Sandra Boynton, I introduced my kids to the wisdom of A.A. Milne, in the chronicles of a precious bear and his boy. I felt it was a good beginning. It was the best introduction to love and friendship.

The story of Christopher Robin and Winnie is one of timeless fascination and entertainment, and as the story goes we learn along the way. We learn that just because people don’t look the same or think the same doesn’t mean that they can’t be loved and appreciated for who they are. We learn that friendship is timeless and love is enduring. We learn that we can be “bothered” for a bit and come back to arms of grace and acceptance that say “It’s ok.” We learn that big or small we have a purpose, and most often it is the things that people see as our weakness that endears us to them. And we learn, that even in those times when we are forced to part, our hearts connect us forever.

Isn’t that a story of hope and assurance that every child needs, every adult needs, every human needs? I’m not sure that Mr. Milne was a Christian, but he certainly loved his son. He created strong life lessons and padded them with the bodies of stuffed animals, and related them beautifully to his precious young son. In the life of a “brainless bear” we experience loss and fear and heartache and imagination. We see depression and apathy, compassion and amazing love…all from a beautiful place called “The Hundred Acre Woods” – A timeless place of priceless lessons.

Advertisements

Woman. Whoa Man!

I have to admit, I chuckled as I typed up the title for this blog, and really, without the grace of God…what I have to say wouldn’t make me laugh.

Today is International Women’s Day, and I find that empowering. Not in a rip your bras off and picket your rights kind of way, but in a way that says I’m not ashamed. See, for me that is HUGE. For most of my life I have hated my sexuality. I have hated being a woman and being seen as a piece of meat, as breasts with eyes, as a body. I have hated it because before I really had the chance to enjoy my womanhood, I had already been maligned. When you look at your body and think, “Would they treat me differently without this?” there has been some injury in your past. I am sad to say, that was me.

It wasn’t until I began to see the contributions that I could make as a woman that I began to embrace my sexuality. As a woman, I could bear a child. As a woman, I could then feed that child. And those things were huge…until I found out that I couldn’t anymore. Then I was left again with the question, “What good am I as a woman?” It was in a time of depression after a surprise hysterectomy and a painful mistake that God said, “This is why.” You see, I realized that in my womanhood I had a ministry that was unique. Only in my womanhood could I see and reach out to and empathize with teen girls. And, because I had dealt with my own sexual injury, I could speak Truth from a heart that knows to those that struggle with injuries like mine. And, I could look them in the eye and passionately proclaim, “You are His.”

But ministry wasn’t something I was eager to jump into, and honestly, I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. So I began to write. I created characters through which I could tell my story, teen girls in the modern age that could go through hell and find hope the same way I did – through Christ. I wanted to be raw and I wanted to be real and I wanted to say it in a way that might make proper ladies blush…not out of disrespect, but as a jolting wake up call to reality! I wanted to change the adage, “Life sucks and then you die,” to say something hopeful. I wanted to say, “Yeah, life can give you some messed up stuff, but ultimately what you choose from there makes the difference between living and existing.” And, luckily, from what I hear…my books are doing just that.

I’m a woman. I like chocolate and bubble baths and the perfect pair of heels. But, more than that. I’m His woman, created in Christ to do good works which He prepared in advance for me to do…and in that knowledge and Truth…I am not ashamed.

Perfect Timing

I feel quite certain if I were living in any other time period I would be tried as a witch and sunk to the bottom of the lake. I’m also quite sure if I’d been born in any other country (say a Muslim one for instance, where women must remain quiet and hidden) I would most likely be stoned in the streets. I’m pretty outspoken. I say what I believe, I stand up for what I believe in and I hold tightly to my convictions. In that same vein, I’m not afraid to challenge the convictions of others.

I was thinking the other day, what if I had been one of the disciples? It’s an interesting question. The romantic side of me would have most likely fallen in love with Jesus. See, to me character far outweighs looks and to be there to watch Him serve and love and care and heal – well, I’d have been smitten! I might have wrestled Mary for her spot at his feet. I’d have hung on every word He said, probably slapped the men when they got side tracked by who would be greater and no doubt I would have wept at His crucifixion. Begging my heart to remember the Truth that He’d taught but silently fearing the unknown.

Then there is the leader in me. I almost laugh at that, me? A leader? And yet, more and more I’m realizing that’s what this passion in me is about. Reaching out, teaching, sharing, making a difference and expressing it with a voice of authority, a voice that He has given me. I wonder how I would have reacted to Peter! I no doubt might have been the woman that he warned the church against! “Tell that woman to stay silent! If she shares one more story about her long walks with Jesus and that time He danced with her, I’m gonna leave!” Okay, well, maybe not. But I wonder.

I might have been seen as a religious heretic. I would have found the woman that was cornered in the street, the one Jesus powerfully stated, “He who is without sin should cast the first stone.” I would have watched, waiting, knowing I sat beholding the only sinless one. I would have clapped and danced when the accusers walked away and I would have run to my savior in light of His beautiful goodness. I like to think He would have smiled, because He knew I was there, and then hugged me and whispered in my ear, “Now do as you do – love her for me.” And I would have. I would have told her all I know and all I’d seen and why I would never regret placing my trust in this Jesus that had saved her.

I wonder… Am I not doing all of that? Except, in the here and now? Where Daddy God placed me safely. Where I would not be killed or silenced or squashed or quenched. And I am reminded of Gods word that says, “He planned out each day of my life before one of them came to be.” He looked the world over and through the span of all time and He smiled and said, “Leslie goes here.” Isn’t that lovely? And I’m nothing special; He did the same for all of us! Adopted and seeking, saved and unsaved… All of us were placed where we are with a purpose, whether we realize it or not.