Being Real

Being Real

How you were made.”

“For I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 [1]

It is the most beautiful thing you can ever become. Real. All of us want it. The real thing, to be purely authentic, to be honest, to be true to yourself. It is a natural instinct to want the very best and to feel good about it. The interesting part is this, all of us have a different perspective of what “real” may look like. One of the most genuine things we can come to grips with is to recognize that every single one of us is different. Our thumb print is evidence of that, every snowflake is proof that God made zero duplicates. Zero. I love that about humanity and how God precisely formed us individually. Therefore, keeping an open mind to true authenticity from each individual perspective is important.

In Psalm 139:16 it says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” [2]

This verse alone is proof that the Great Master of the universe is concerned and loves each of us individually. He loves us so much that His desire is for us to be exactly what He created us to be. The answer is evident but getting there can be a challenge. The answer is “be the real you”, not a cookie cutter of someone else. I want this book to be a tool for you to become more of who God meant for you to be and less of what everyone else may expect you to become.

The Velveteen Rabbit has always been my favorite childhood story book.  It tells you, in a real way, when you actually become real. There are so many quotes that could be chosen to explain real but here is one quoted from the Skin Horse in the story, that makes a great point:

Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “But, when you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

He said, “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen too often to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”[3]

“When you are real, you don’t mind being hurt.” [4]That’s a huge statement. Who likes to be hurt? Crushed. Left broken. Left bleeding. Left a mess. Who likes that? But what if you understood that it is what hurts you that makes you real? Authenticity takes on a whole new meaning and understanding. Real gives you worth. Real, may even save the soul you’re talking to but most importantly, save you. Real comes with a great price but the problem is that most of us don’t want to bother with becoming pure and authentic for that reason. We accept the mundane, the way of the gossip, the way of the coward, the crowd, we accept being cool instead of being real. We choose to follow in footprints that don’t belong to us and instead we take the beaten path, while we should be creating an original unbeaten path that God specifically designed for us.

A great depiction that has no comparison to anything or anyone, is Jesus Christ. He knew He would need to be real, to hurt, to bleed, to die, in order to save the world. He went all in. He came down to earth, robed Himself in flesh and dwelt among us, humanity. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. He is the greatest example of being real that we will ever find throughout history and the history to come but He did not let coming to earth be in vain, He gave us the choice as well:  to follow in His footsteps and become Christlike, to become pure in heart or not.  He left us the choice to leave everything else behind, follow Him and become real too, so we can change the world. But I feel that so few picks this up. That may be the reason He says in Mathew 7:14:“Because straight is the gate and narrow is the way but few there be that find it.”

The few that do find it, have the treasure of great price. All of us can have it. He made an all-inclusive invitation for everyone to receive and achieve. Let’s strive for real in everything we do and say, let’s be the honest, authentic people God wants us to be. Let’s change our world by being real.


 

 

 

 

Don’t Let it Go Missing

There is only one book that I ever remember my dad reading. I’d see it open on the kitchen table during his devotion or laying open on his lap as he was preparing for his next sermon. In pictures you’d see it proudly tucked under his arm. The Bible was his strength. It was priceless to him. His Bible is etched in my memory, and it’s left a profound impression on my life.

With Father’s Day approaching I began to think abut his Bible. I began the search to find out which one of my eleven brother’s and sister’s had inherited his brown, leather Bible, worn from many hours of reading, teaching and preaching from it. Most thought my oldest brother was the lucky recipient. It wasn’t him. We went down the line from the oldest to the youngest; all eleven of us were questioned, I was devastated to find out no one knew what had happened to his Bible nor did any of them have it in their possession. I was anxious to see how marked up it was and to look at the worn pages. I wanted to see if he had written along the margins, or left messages for his kids to reflect on. Unfortunately, his Bible is gone. Unless a miracle happens, we will never see it again, except for in pictures.

As we celebrate this Father’s Day, if you were asked, what is your favorite book, what would your answer be? With all the amazing books out there, let it always be said that your Bible is your most treasured asset. Don’t let it go missing. You will never regret it and hopefully your kids will treasure it when your life is ended and say, “my dad loved this book the most.” To my hero, my dad, thank you for leaving an example of loving the bible, and leaving memories that will last the rest of my life.

Authentic Reality

Her spirit spoke the moment our eyes connected, she was real. Her soul and heart were beautiful. And it was refreshing. Instant peace and soul spoken contentment. The kind of real you feel when your eyes tear up and from your heart and deepest emotion you feel it. You know what I’m talking about because all of us are given the chance to experience it; sometimes we have to search and stretch but we won’t settle until we find those priceless souls. I’m honestly tired of fake and the problem is, if I’m honest, “I can smell it a mile away” as the saying goes; my entire being resents and convulses at the thought of having to side-step around fake so I don’t have to face letting my facial expression show my disappointment. I hate it. Why? Because we don’t have to be fake. Its ridiculous. God created us, every single one of us, beautiful. What you have inside of you is priceless. Someone out there would give their arm and leg to have what you have and likewise you would give yours to have what they have. When will we settle into the reality of this amazing thought…we are all priceless, God gave each of us a gift or multiple gifts to light this world up. He gave His life for us to live life to the fullest, to have joy so you can know what it feels like to experience heaven on earth through His creation and all He has provided for you to live beyond your wildest dreams. Your life matters, every single day. Don’t ever forget it.

Just a Small Town Girl

The Old Button FactoryJust a small town girl wanting to encourage faith and hope in everyone I see.  With twelve brothers and sisters, I grew up number nine. Poor but so rich, I flew off for a college adventure in California and really never looked back…except to reminence once in a while of the fortune I had but truly never appreciated until I was much older. I think often of my small town and the friends I left there. Dayville was an East Coast town that didn’t seem to grow much more than a thousand. We lived in walking distance to a train track and old button factory that my brothers and sisters and I would frequently scour and dig around for rustic buttons that my mom would use to sew. The four seasons there were perfect. Spring time was beautiful, the budding trees were amazing, Connecticut was known for their tall full Oak trees. The summers were scorching hot, often I remember running bare feet across hot pavement to play kickball with all the neighborhood kids who had gathered to take on the Odum clan. At night we would use fans in open windows to give us a cool breeze. Fall left the hugest leaf piles a child could dream of, often we’d rake up a high pile and jump, burying ourselves in the rough brittle leaves, laughing and carrying on, and then creating the most human like scarecrows we could imagine. Winters left neatly piled wood on the front porch so we could keep our wood stoves burning, snow drifts would sometimes be waste high and the tobogganing down steep hills leaving us at the bottom of the hill in a huge human heap were a part of winter, as well as iceskating on the pond at Owen Bell Park. These are some of my fondest memories. But I flew off leaving those memories behind like a freight train headed on a mission to deliver cargo to a distant city. Life was sweet!