Over the holidays I heard from friends that were touched or inspired by the message in our Thanksgiving greeting card. I am committed to posting more introspection to my personal blog with the new year and thought I might start with a repost of this message. Perhaps it will move someone else in a way it seems to have touched others. That is my hope and prayer.


Unique. 2011 is no exception. It has been a year as unique as they will ever be. Unique. That was the message laid on my heart in the fall of 2010 as I sat in this same spot to write our annual greeting card message. I never imagined the year would play out as it did. We never do. I’ve learned to enjoy the message God puts on my heart and to embrace the opportunities He uses to illustrate His message throughout the year.

You are unique. There is no one exactly like you. You could be an identical twin and would still be unique. Imagine that… of all the gazillion people in the world, no one else has your combination of talents, desires, emotions and appearance.

I spent the better part of my life trying to be like everyone else. I was far from it. I felt alone. My quirks and interests even made me feel bizarre. The more I tried to fit in, the more tangled my world became. Have you had moments like that? You just want to blend in with the other gazillion people and you’re like the puzzle piece that was in the wrong box.

I am grateful for the day I learned to look at myself through God’s eyes. He knew what He was getting when He asked me to come aboard His ship. Even now, when I botch up, He has a way for me to redeem the day into something fresh and new. Something I can use to either redirect my path in the future or to help others.

If we step away from the world’s microscope of comparison to our peers, we see the unique, beautiful person God desires us to be. All of the gifts and talents he bestows on us are designed to work TOGETHER in His kingdom. God’s world isn’t limited to the walls of a church, to a specific mission, to the afterlife of heaven. Our every day life is part of His masterful plan. I pray this year that we can discover more than ever before, the things that make us unique and special. Each day before our feet hit the floor, ask God to use you any way He sees fit. You will be amazed and delighted on your journey.

“Each of us is God’s special work of art.”                 ― Joni Eareckson Tada

This is the stamp selected for the card you received this year. The quote goes on to say, “Through us, He teaches and inspires, delights and encourages, informs and uplifts all those who view our lives.”

The later part of the quote is inhibiting to me– I loath being in a spotlight. If I envision myself standing in an arena of people, I see at least one complete section of people ready to expose the person I appear to be. As I tried to gather my thoughts for this message I was feeling less than spiritual, less than worthy to compose any message much less something inspirational. I had to get beyond those feelings, as my heart knows there is at least one person needing this particular testimony at this particular time.

Not only did Steve Jobs pass away this year, my sweet momma went home to heaven this spring. What makes a person a legacy? Mom always said, “God has put me here for a reason.” She lived that out every day. Even though a stroke slowed her down last year and took away the personality we knew, there was something in her perseverance that spoke to those around her. I saw mom comfort a resident with advanced Alzheimer’s one day. Although the Rose Marie we knew seemed so distant, she still had her compassionate, nurturing soul. She found her purpose in each day all the way to the end of her earthly life. She indeed has left a legacy for us.

The passing of someone we love or someone of influence from our world usually puts us in a contemplative state. Morose as it might seem, many of us wonder what have we done, what part of us will be left when we pass on. Sifted through a colander, what is left behind? I hope we begin to realize the influence each of us can have in our world. I pray we do less to glorify ourselves and more to make a difference each day. Whether by random acts of kindness or grand fetes, each affirmative movement makes this a better place. Even failure isn’t defeat if the experience is used to make a change for oneself or someone else.

 “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
–Thomas Edison

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”     ― Dr. Robert Schuller

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