This picture was taken at the Australia zoo. It’s my usual attire, minus the kangaroo. I am a simple gal. I wear no make up (because when I do I look just like me, except with makeup, and after all the fuss and bother of putting it on, I want more). My hair is going grey and I’m not stopping it. From time to time I think I would love to wear a little Breakfast At Tiffany’s black dress and some kicky high heels, but how would I chase goats and chickens in such a get up? I’m also not a small sized woman. I suffer from bone on bone arthritis in my knees and something in my shoulder that requires cortisone shots every so often so it will work. So comfortable, unrestrictive clothes fill my wardrobe. (I’m not making excuses here, just trying to set the stage. )
From time to time, I think I would love to dress up and wear pantyhose and shoes that could not hold my orthotic insoles. Those days are rare but when they come, I get a full on dose of the enemy’s taunts…’ fat, fifty and frumpy, that’s me.’ Today was one of those days. I wasn’t even doing much. Got up, read the Word and headed to our church’s kids camp where I help with preschoolers. Mostly I help with recreation, run kids to the bathroom, wipe noses and calm crying kiddos. I love it. I wouldn’t wear a tiny black dress and scrappy shoes today. But, for some reason, I thought it would’ve been nice. When things make zero sense like this, I chalk it up to the enemy’s taunts.
When I got home, it was raining full on, a windy side on rain but, there were goats and sheep to check on and chickens to feed. I slipped on my red rubber garden shoes and my jacket and headed out to check on the animals. Sloshing along in the mud and through the puddles, cleaning up chicken coop poop and taking the four legged livestock alfalfa, is no place for red-bottomed four inch heels and strapless dresses. My jeans and button up plaid shirt was the perfect outfit. Yet, still – ‘fat, fifty and frumpy me,’ played in my head.
There’s only one way to combat Satan’s taunts and that is with the Word of God. And this is what I read from Colossians 3 in the Message : “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, DRESS IN THE WARDROBE GOD PICKED OUT FOR YOU: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even tempered content with second place, quick to forgive. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Father forgave you. And, REGARDLESS OF WHAT ELSE YOU PUT ON, WEAR LOVE. It’s your basic, all purpose garment. Never be without it.”
I like to say the Bible has an answer for everything in life. It truly is our instruction manual! Here, I find the answer to the enemy’s accusations: it doesn’t matter the shoes, or dress, or jeans or shirt. My choice is to simply wear what He has already laid out for me – Compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline, and LOVE.
I reckon they go good with heels or orthotic, dresses or jeans.
Be Who You Is – If You Ain’t Who You Is – You Is Who You Ain’t. Or, Be yourself; everyone else is taken. There’s lots of cute ways to say it, but the message is…be yourself…the challenging part is to figure out who that is. Even at age 53 ¾ I drift on the uncertain sea of identity. How is that possible?
It’s a fact that I am a mother, a Nana, wife, relation of some sort to people and a friend. I’ve been all those things for a long time. But it’s the inner me that wafts along and can’t seem to tie down. And I can get in trouble, because I start being who I think others think I aughta be. But, really, I just need to be who Jesus made me to be and things would be better. It’s hearing His voice over all the others that gives me pause and then, makes me lose my footing.
When we moved to Australia I had an identity crisis because, well, we moved to Australia. Suddenly nothing was familiar and my somewhat disjointed personality took a beating. Then, we found an amazing group of friends in our church and I clicked with the women. My identity was back.
Now that we’re back home, it’s clear that I am a mom and a Nana, I am a writer, and a friend. I’m a relation of some sort to some people. But, settling in has been more challenging than I thought it would. Finding a new church has been difficult. (Why do I always compare the new church with previous churches anyways? I know that’s not the way to go). And, then I start down the walk of being who I think people think I should be or am, and the mess starts all over again. It’s only time in the WORD and prayer that brings me back to my true identity. Eventually my chaotic soul is at peace.
Here’s what I was reminded of – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done! (Philippians 4:6 NLT)
I am only here (On earth) temporarily, so all the stuff that makes me crazy, sad, depressed, anxious, those things won’t be in my real home. My real home is with Jesus. He’s blessed beyond anything I could ask or imagine here and I am thankful. Philippians 3:20, 1 Peter 2:11-12, John 17:14, John 15:19.
I can be sure that God works for my good in every single circumstance in my life. (Every means all, not just the easy or good circumstances). Romans 8:28
I am a creation of HIM. God himself made me unique. He gifted me as He saw fit and I can be sure He will complete His good work in me. In the Psalm 139 it says He himself knit be together. If you’re a knitter you know your hands, mind and thoughts are very busy when you’re knitting. Imagine the creator of the World making us in a similar, intimate fashion. Psalm 139 13-16, Philippians 1:6, Ephesians 2:10, Romans 12:6
Those things give me hope. They remind me that I am a child of the one true King and that as His kid, nothing is impossible. Including figuring out who I am.
But there’s more.
The simple list for me is this:
Because of Jesus I am salt, I am light. I am Born Again and saved by HIS grace. I am a new creation in HIM, old things have gone away, and all things are new. 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16, Matthew 5:14, Matthew 5:13. I find comfort in these words. Because it (life) is not about me, it’s about living for Him.
At times when my soul is adrift and tosses about in that sea of uncertainty He is the rock I hold to, and HIS word shows me the way, reminding me why I shouldn’t be anxious, or afraid, or bitter, but rather live in Him a hope filled, love overflowing , life.
Face it, life gets lifey. The sea gets choppy. Hope floats. Rain comes. Anxiety makes the heart race. But Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. No matter where God moves me geographically, or where I might head of myself or the world sends me emotionally, He remains my only hope and the voice most clear.
It’s been busy and exhausting. Now that we’re ‘homesteading’, I feel much closer to my heroine of my novel …Widows Redemption…Hannah…instead of goats, I have chickens and sheep..but…none the less..I’ll be gardening, hoeing, planting, sowing etc.
I have a new blog (I know how many do I need anyways?) called Baldwin Acres which will chronicle my ventures, if you’re interested!
Originally posted on Linda Mae Baldwin:
I am back in wet, gray, soggy, Washington state in America after a three-year stay in beautiful, sunny, warm, Queensland, Australia. Despite the dismal weather differences, I am blessed to be back exactly where God wants me and cuddling on the Grands, catching up with the kids, and setting up a new life-thing.
What new thing? A while ago I had my own website which turned to be a waste of space and time. So now I blog. Jury’s still out on the waste of this endeavor. On my website I wrote book reviews. I’ve been a reviewer for Romantic Times Magazine for the last seven years. If you know anything about me at all, you ‘ll know I love pink flamingos – those pink, elegant, misunderstand beauties and I are connected on a ‘I get you,’ level. I used my long-legged friends to rate the books I reviewed: 1…
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