Keeping Things Real

by | Feb 3, 2012 | Uncategorized

Okay, it’s time for it to come out of the closet.

This little guy, the rock with the felt pieces glued on to make it look real.  It’s been sitting on a shelf in my closet staring at me for quite some time now. Among the socks and belts, that rock greets me with a worn out smile every morning.  To remind me of the truth.

I made that rock creature over thirty years ago.

Cut out eyes, legs and arms from felt, glued them on to make a rock seem real.

You may be asking why I would keep such a thing in my closet. After all, this doesn’t really go with rhinestone belts, black hosiery and high heels.

It sits there to remind me of the sanctity of words, the sacred meeting the ordinary that transforms life. Words that set the course of destiny like a freight train rolling firmly on its tracks.

My mother loved that little creature. Told me how much she loved it more times than I can remember. Her encouragement, like water to grow a seed, propelled dormant creativity. More creatures, more scribbles, and more drawings of my unique youthful version of people and life around me.

Most importantly, that rock represents the sanctity of words.

Every time I drew a silly little face with round eyes and slanted smiles, I got a smile, a hug, a giggle and words to feed my soul. Words like “you’re so good at drawing those little people” and “I love the little creatures you make from rocks.”

Those word seeds to grow the message of call: You have the ability to see things differently. A sacred echo I hear regularly now as an adult, why I am a writer.

And as I sit across from my girl, among the battle weary dinner dishes and dollops of food stuck to the bottom of serving bowls, we linger in conversation after the males push away from the table to finish their video game.  I listen to her recount sacred words spilled over her that day, still dripping sweetness.   Words like gifts dropped into the offering plate of her heart.

She pushes food around the plate with her fork under an umbrella of smile and repeats phrases, comments, and conversations like threading beads on a necklace. Wears the words of teachers, classmates, and youth workers like fine diamonds around her neck when our eyes meet.

And I suffer grief when I look into that glow of goodness. Realize I have often failed to be a bead purveyor in my daughter’s life. More like a bead smasher. And I want to find every shard, glue them back together and start over.

That smiling rock person in my closet, it reminds me of this. Language is a holy gift and there are no fences between vertical and horizontal language. Love redeems the hard and ugly; puts eyes, legs, and feet on destiny.

Language is a powerful gift. How have the words of others charted a course in your life?

Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach;
the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction. ~Proverbs 18:20

I couldn’t leave this post without recognizing how powerful your words on this blog have been to me. Words of affirmation, confirmation, conviction and encouragement, they carry me. That is the real truth. Thank You!  If you have been reading for a while it would make me smile if you would make it official and join the growing community here. Just slip your email address in the box under Follow Redemptions Beauty and follow the prompts.

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  1. Tara@pohlkottepress

    oh, let’s both does this. Make our beads to them shine with worth, shine with love, shine with compassion. {I write this thinking how I paused hard before speaking words of praise to my son because he had some improvement marks on his report card. He’s five. {sigh.} I’ve got a long road to shed perfectionism…}

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Amen Tara. I am working on this, more than anything else in my life. I see her shine in the glow of my encouragement and she continues to come back for more. All those mistakes I made earlier, I just hope He erases them from her memory or redeems them for her good. Redemption, its what I count on daily. Have a great weekend my friend!

  2. kd sullivan

    I’m glad your rock is one of your favorite things, it’s funny isn’t it? The things that remain significant in our lives? The places we find meaning?

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It is. I found that rock when I was moving the last time and kept it in a prominent place because it helps me to remember where I have come from, what I have walked through, how God redeemed my life.

  3. Celeste A.

    I have kept every coloring page, scribbled note paper and Valentine’s card my nieces & nephews gave me over the years. I felt in part that this was me recognizing that their work was important.
    Now I grew up in a home where the words, ” I love you” were rarely spoken.
    When I met my husband, a missionary kid and he first uttered those immortal words…my response was, “thank-you”. Sad and funny.
    I have learned and am still learning that words can hurt or heal. It is something that I know I need to be conscious of daily. Part of the work in process.
    Take yesterday while at my Bible study group. I co-lead and it was not my turn but at one point was trying to make a comment with regard to a passage when another lady jumped in, silencing me, almost correcting me. I had not reached my point but from that moment on, I clammed up.
    Years of this behavior came rushing back and for a moment I did not feel like the leader instead, I felt like that child all over again. Needless to say, I had to work hard against certain thoughts circling in my head. Yesterday, after reading from another blog like your own, I came to realize some very important lessons and move on. Putting things into perspective, For me it was (again) identifying where & who my self-worth came from.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Celeste, I have been there, in all the places you mentioned. The one saying thank you to my husband, a father who doesn’t show love, feeling alienated in a group. All lessons for me in remembering where my identity comes from. And maybe all those scenarios are really to help cement the truth of who He is, and who I am, deep inside. Thanks so much for sharing yourself here. It really touched me and I am deeply appreciate. Blessings!

  4. joy

    The sanctity of words – the purity, the beauty, the honesty . . they are both a window to your soul. . . . and a gift to others. I didn’t appreciate his words like I should have until they were no longer. But God has slowly led me to cards, notes, words written on scraps of paper . . . I now realize my husband wrote on everything. His words have so much meaning . . . so much depth. Two nights after David’s death, I couldn’t sleep and was sorting through pictures. In the midst of them I found a Christmas card that he had given me the year before – no idea how it got there in the midst of old photos. I opened it and the words both pierced my heart and brought me comfort. He had written, ‘Immanuel God with us. We never have to face life or death alone ever again.’ Those words are imprinted on my heart forever – I am not alone! You can change someones life with your words.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Joy, I just see how much God loves you in what you say. That in your sorrow, you found that card and He knew you needed those words in that moment, for this season, to carry you. Your message is a wake up call for anyone who takes life for granted (which is probably the majority of us).

  5. charinabrooks

    Shelly, what a beautiful and inspiring post. Language is a powerful gift, this is so true. It can have the power to make or break someone…..just like what I wrote in my post “the power of words”.

    I also would like to echo what you said about “recognizing the powerful words of our fellow bloggers and that includes you. So thank you! All good things!

    And thank you for visiting me in my little corner and leaving me your thoughts. It is appreciated more than you know 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Charina, It is a pleasure to link arms with you friend. Blessings!

  6. Denise J. Hughes

    “Language is a holy gift and there are no fences between vertical and horizontal language.” So true!

    Shelly, I’ve probably mentioned this before, but your blog is one of my favorite blogs to read. Language is, indeed, a holy gift, and you use this gift to minister in word to so many. Thank you for your faithfulness to write, for I know how writing can also be a labor of love.


    • Redemption's Beauty

      Denise, yes you have told me that and I am so honored and touched. And even the fact that you have said it more than once blesses me. Sometimes I hear the little voice that says, well maybe it was jut that one post, etc. Your encouragement blesses me more than you know.

  7. Sandra Heska King

    I love that rock! I’m glad you’ve kept it where you can see it.

    My mom still has (had) a couple of cross-stitched pieces (as in embroidery cross-stitch) hanging in her office. Yellowed now. About 50 years old. I didn’t realize she still had them.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It is good to have markers in our life, tangible things that remind where we have been, what He has done in our lives. To someone else that rock is just junk, but to me it carries a whole message.

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