I have a sweet treat for you! My daughter-in-law Caroline is joining us for Java today. She’s talking about Valentine’s Day – the expectations and the reality. She’s a 20-something with a great perspective that will encourage and challenge you.
Valentine’s Day in elementary school rocked. Back then the only downside was creating the Valentine’s box. Every year I tried to make these outlandish boxes that inevitably failed, and then my dad would come to the rescue and do damage control on my box super-late the night before Valentine’s Day.
I was just in one of the sweetest places on the planet! And, I don’t say that just because of the 1000 women I met in Belleville, Illinois this past weekend. I also say this because Belleville is where, in 1869, a certain candy was born. Guess which one? Here is probably the only hint you need: President Ronald Reagan loved this itty-bitty burst of sweetness. Yep, you got it…Jelly Bellies! Jelly Belly jelly beans were invented in Belleville, Illinois by a young candy maker named Gustav Goelitz over one hundred years ago.
I lost my sight as a teenager in 1980. And, that was just before computers began to be everywhere and for everyone. But as I went off to college, even though there were computers available at my university, this blind young woman couldn’t access them. I couldn’t type yet and they couldn’t talk yet so computers just weren’t an option.
I sat on the front row in the church and listened to another speaker — my friend – and thought, Why can’t I get it together like she has it together? My best effort is like pond scum compared to her worst effort!
I had just presented a message before she did and I would present another message when she was finished. And, I didn’t want to stand on that stage and speak again; I wanted to shrink into the seat cushion because I felt totally incompetent and unnecessary at that moment. And then I felt shame for feeling that way at that moment!
But, here’s the thing. It wasn’t just at that moment I felt that way. That moment describes lots of moments for me!
My friend Alicia is joining us for Java today! No coffee for her, though — her mug is filled with steaming hot tea!
Dr. Alicia Britt Chole is a speaker and author. Whether spoken or written, her messages hit you in both head and heart and are like grace-filled surgeries. She and her husband, Dr. Barry J. Chole, direct a prayer retreat home called Rivendell and parent their three children in the Ozarks of Missouri where the stars shine brightly and their dogs bark loudly.
I asked her to share with you — us — about how to declutter our hearts so we can start off this new year with more of Jesus and less of our issues! Okay? Okay!
I had just unswaddled — is that a word?!?! — all the members of the nativity set. They were each wrapped in crinkled tissue paper… all crammed together in a box from the past year. As I unpacked, I found a wise man’s foot jammed into a shepherd’s nose; Mary’s veiled head shoved under Joseph’s arm pit; a camel’s hoof wedged into a lamb’s mouth!
It was funny to think that this motley crew coming out of my Rubbermaid tub was about to stand tall on my mantel!
Join 120,159 others. Receive my blog updates & special offers by email. Subscribe