Today we welcome to “the couch” my first ever guest blogger – Lori Hanson
I have the privilege of knowing Lori from church and recently got to hear her share her story at our women’s retreat. I know you will be as touched by Lori’s writing as I am. She is real, raw and transparent as she shares her journey with Jesus, from mud cakes to lavished grace.
The song playing is called “Beautiful Things” by Gungor – this was part of Lori’s inspiration for her writing.
The media player can be found at the bottom of this post.
Here is a brief introduction from Lori – ENJOY!
Being a stay-at-home mom meant living on a limited budget. I quickly learned the art of treasure hunting at Garage Sale and Thrift Stores.
Ok, the thrill of the hunt for a bargain, borders on addiction for me.
The other day I came across a beautiful edition of the story of Pinnochio. As I reread it, I was reminded of how much I connect with his character.
He too was formed by his Master who lovingly crafted every details of his being.
Pinnochio’s embarks on a journey to prove his significance and he runs into some shady characters along the way.
They boast that they’ve much better things to offer him then his father can provide. He chooses to believe them only to find out they were worthless lies. In the end he realizes that life begins and ends in the arms of a Beloved FATHER.
This got me to thinking and I wrote in my journal the following thoughts called:
OUT OF THE DUST
by Lori Hanson
Mud cakes, dirty confections – oxymoron statements, sweet and putrid lumped together. How does he take broken things, vile things and make them beautiful?
Is it my presentation of ragged perfection or His inner cleansing making me new? He uses base ingredients to bring forth life nourishing elements.
The enemy, father of lies, in fairy godmother clothes, says you are just a “little puppet made of pine. Wake unto me and the gift of life will be thine.”
So I open my mind and soul to the falsehood that life comes only to the brave, truthful and unselfish.
In my good little “Christianese” I listen to my limited conscience, which more times than not chirps a song of should and should not.
The constant worldly rhythm lulls me into thinking I have arrived because of my striving, good little Pinnochio that I am. I have to go through my donkeyland of pleasure performing feats that seem so satisfying, but eventually turn my beautiful hands into calloused hoofs and my songs of grace into pleading brays for approval.
The enemy’s whisper that I am a puppet “made of wood” is only a half-truth. I am not just a piece of kindling detached from the source of life, but a branch on a verdant vine.
God is my substance and righteousness. All my self-striving will only bring me to the belly of the whale of hopelessness, starving for someone to come save me.
And save He does and saved He has – by Jesus, not by Jimminy.
Not to belittle my importance, but the brave truth is that my significance and very being spring forth from a God who breathed life into a mud cake.
My approval came from His son’s performance. My worth echoes from the beginning of time when He said “It is very good” – In my weakness, while yet a sinner, before I loved Him.
Oh praise Him – for He makes beautiful things out of the dust
Grace & peace to you as you soak in the grace of God!