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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

Be Marvelously You Today!

Recently, I read Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Each chapter had a slightly different theme on the importance of being present in the lives of family and friends. Now this isn't a book review, but I want to mention that time after time, I found myself nodding and reaching for a tissue to mop up the tears rolling down my face. I've become the too-many-irons-in-the-fire, too-much-on-my-plate, too-many-spinning-plates girl.

Near the end of her book (in the last chapter "On Snow"), Niequist tells this story:

"God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding. 6He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’" (Job 37:5-6). I love the freedom and grace that floods through me when I read this passage from Job. God says to the snow fall to the Earth. That's it. Just do one thing. Just fall. And then He says to the rain shower be a mighty downpour. Essentially, He's say just do the thing I've actually created you to do. You're rain, so rain. You're snow, so snow. I love the simplicity of that. The tremendous weight that takes off my shoulders. God's asking me to be the thing He's already created me to be. And he's asking you to be the same...

No wonder I feel uncomfortable trying to fit into the molds others have cast for me; I wasn't created for them. No wonder I feel so uncomfortable trying to meet all of the expectations created for me that I did not create for myself; I wasn't made for those purposes. I was made by God for God's purposes, and I cannot be focusing on those things if I continue to allow myself to get sidetracked.

Lately, I've taken on too many obligations. Instead of throwing all of my energy into doing one thing well, I'm doing quite a few things probably not to the best of my ability. One of my friends and colleagues reminded me of the spinning plates. Have you ever seen those? I see them sometimes at fairs, but I the last time I remember seeing them was at the Renaissance festival. Several poles are standing, and a juggler puts the a plate on one pole and starts it spinning. The juggler repeats the move on another pole and keeps adding plates--returning to the plates that begin to slow from time to time and giving them a light touch of encouragement. After a while, the trickster has too many plates going, and they begin to fall. I don't know if I have dropped any plates yet, but keeping them spinning has become challenging--and some of the plates have begun to wobble pretty seriously. These plates are close friends.

Lewis Carroll had a furtive imagination, and his rabbit hole metaphor has apt relevance in so many situations. Today, I feel what I think Alice must have felt running too and fro in Wonderland, trying to figure out her purpose and how to get out of the chaotic mess she has fallen into (or at least organizing the chaos in some meaningful way). In her case, one adventure at a time. As I pause today and reflect on just being marvelous, I am also talking to God about my Wonderland, asking Him to help me organize the chaos to make clear the path God has laid for me. I want the freedom and grace of just being who God created me to be.

(...and just a little aside, I can't wait for the snow this winter! Nothing forces people to pause like a good blizzard.)


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