Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lace and Grace

Gratitude Year 4-Day 132: Today, I am grateful for a "touch of lace". 

I love a touch of lace. This image shows a great way to use doilies to create a hint of the this case...on a rustic wooden table.  I think the eclectic mix of doilies is what caught my eye.  The my far more interesting than if they had all been the same. 

Clothing is practical.  Lace is not. It is not necessary but it adds a little something to make us smile. It makes a girl... girls of all ages...  feel pretty. 

My Great-Grandma Hulda did some "tatting".  It is a ancient lace technique that was made with thread. Very delicate and ultra-feminine...but it is tougher than it looks.  It is found on the edge of handkerchiefs and can even be made into lace jewelry. 

Sometimes, the delicate can be beautiful and strong. Lace and grace do seem to make great mates. 

I am still hearing some of encouraging words of our Ladies Day gathering with Liz Curtis Higgs. She pulled some great examples from scriptures of God using women to carry out his plan. Of the traits God desired for his use, physical beauty was not how he chose those he would call to service. It still isn't. 

Perhaps...there is a wow factor in being "interesting" over traditional beauty standards. I think of Esther and Ruth. They had something that caught the eye of the King and of Boaz. No one ever stated it was great beauty. I am not saying they were not beautiful, because we don't really know.  We simply knew they caught the eye of the beholder. 

Beyond physical beauty...Ruth and Esther had character that stood out. It made them attractive. They had strength and character... and that made them beautiful.  They were lace in a tough world. 

When the Queen of Sheba showed up at King Solomon's palace...she was seeking answers. Her physical description isn't given. Her intelligence, wealth and determination to find answers about the God Solomon served was her agenda. where does it say she isn't beautiful, but her physical attributes are not really addressed. She walked like a queen, spoke like a queen and commanded her people like a queen. She knew who she was and her purpose. What a woman, right? She was seeking out Solomon to gain his wisdom and learn of his God. 

When we look in the mirror, we tend to see the flaws.  The dark circles of not enough rest. Signs of time and sun seeking days. We see the start of a wrinkle or too many to count. We must remember, that God is not looking at our physical beauty or evaluating us based on the world's Photo-shop beauty standards. He sees the heart. 

When Samuel was sent to anoint the next king...he didn't choose the older brother's with army experience. God told him that the outward appearance is not what the Lord sees. He sees the heart. The shepherd boy, the youngest son and the least likely was perfect in God's sight for the job. 

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7

Yes... and sometimes His choice was unlikely because he valued women and their gifts. Sometimes, a woman was the perfect "man" for the job. 

We can be lace and grace. He can use us...even if we are imperfect. Sometimes, our imperfections will be the thing that make us perfect for His purpose. 

Today, I am grateful for a "touch of lace" and the depth of His grace. 

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