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20 February 2013

Mud-Cookies and the Desire of My Heart

You are God's own handiwork, His workmanship.  Like an artists painting or a potters' vessel, you are  unique. One of a kind, crafted in the heart and hands of a loving Creator.  He knew you before He formed you in the womb.  He knit you together.  In so doing, He made you like Him.  You have your Fathers' eyes and you are the apple of His.  He created you in love, with love, so that you could be love.  He sees what He created and He approves of that creation - you.

When I was eight years old I was my daddy's girl.  I knew his love for me.  I could see it is his eyes that twinkled with delight when he saw me.  How many mornings I came down the stairs with tousled hair and sleep in my eyes, to the sound of his gentle voice saying, "Good morning beautiful." The safest place in the world was on my daddy's lap, head on his chest, and his strong arms around me. His  generous love for me enables me still today, to love generously.

One warm, sunny, afternoon, I was out in the driveway making mud cookies.  My friend and I had dragged out that old white, three shelved, metal cart on wheels, from the garage.  I suppose I have always been one to do things a little different.  Other kids made mud-pies.  For as far back as I can remember, I made mud-cookies.  In the midst of dirty hands, dirty clothes and no doubt mud in my stringy curls that never seemed to mind their manners, my dad came outside and asked if I wanted to go get a surprise. This little girl wouldn't miss a special moment with her daddy for all the mud cookies in the world!  Within minutes, a clean little princess emerged. Chattering with excitement in the passengers seat of our car, I pleaded to know the secret surprise.  Over and over he would say, "What do you want more than anything else in the world?"  My response would prompt a question, "More than that?"  Again and again I guessed, each time, with a twinkle in his eye and smile on his lips, he would say, "More than that?"  When we pulled up in front of the jewelry store, a squeal of delight erupted, "To get my ears pierced!"

My daddy was the one who took me for that special event and it has marked my life forever.  It seemed I had waited a lifetime to get my ears  pierced.  I couldn't tell you why I wanted that so badly.  I just did.  But like many things in life, there is an appropriate time, and daddy knows just the right time.  What I didn't know that day was that my dad (and my mom) were taking a risk that could have cost them dearly.  As I look back over those years, I realize they were risk takers, pioneers of a sort.  You see, my dad was a young pastor of a Pentecostal Holiness Church.  Legalism had it's place.  No make up, no jewelry, no pants, no hair cuts, no movies, no dancing, and on and on.  But this little church had voted my dad in as pastor even though my mom wore make up and jewelry. Pants were a normal thing for my mom and I, just not to church, but I was never told I couldn't wear pants to church, I was just encouraged to 'dress up' for Jesus.  My parents protected me and part of that protection came from giving me the desires of my heart, for no other reason than, it was the desire of my heart.


From an early age I was encouraged to be myself.  To be the original that God had created me to be.  So often the words of my mom still ring in my ears, "You can be anything you want to be."  or "You can do anything you want to do."  My outlandish dreams of becoming president or the first woman pro- baseball player were met with, "Well, I hope you do!"  Words and actions, knowingly or unknowingly, that sowed the truth of Ephesians 2:10 in my heart: You are God's own handiwork, His masterpiece, recreated in Christ Jesus to do the good works that God has been preparing for you to do since before the foundation of the world.

Your heavenly Father takes delight in you, simply because you are His.  He made you to be an original. He never intended for you to be a copy of another of His glorious creations.  He doesn't need a print of an oil painting and machine cast of a handmade piece of pottery.  When He made you, He broke the mold, just as He did for the one you would like to emulate.  Paul said, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ".  He didn't mean "cut your hair like mine and get a suit like mine".  He didn't mean "forsake your own personality and take on mine".  He meant "love as I love, like Christ loves".

God likes variety.  Just look around you.  He made each person different, with variants that please Him.  Just as He gives eye color and body shape, He provides personality, presentation and anointing. He will protect you, His masterpiece, by allowing you to do what is in your heart to do, and to be what is in your heart to be, and by giving you - the very desires of your heart.  Even at the risk of it costing Him dearly.  He will never be ashamed of who He created you to be, nor will He ever withhold that which you desire in order to prevent backlash from others.  It is His desire to do the same for them.

Inwardly we all know that we were created to stand out in the crowd.  The problem is, few us want to do it alone.  Such oxymoron's are a common part of life.  But if God has put in you, like my parents, a bit of a pioneer spirit, you may find yourself stepping out into risky places.  Not to be rebellious, but rather, like Jesus, for the purpose of empowering others in the freedom to be the unique person their daddy created them to be.

If you find yourself struggling against an invisible foe, feeling like you are wearing Saul's armour, remember, a fear of man brings a snare - but perfect love casts our fear, because fear has torment. Allow the perfect love of your daddy to remove the snare and walk on in the works He prepared for you.  You are one in the span of all time.  The personality, gifts and callings that He has placed on you are not meant to be a replication of another.  They are meant to mirror and compliment those around you.  If your hand looked like your elbow or your eyes functioned like your ears, the body would would be lacking.  You have been made in the image and likeness of God, with unique features necessary to the Body of Christ.

You are His Masterpiece, fashioned for His pleasure and He delights in you.  So, don't be afraid to make mud-cookies when the rest of the world is making mud-pies.  As you focus on the task at hand, it is likely that in the midst of your efforts, daddy will offer to take you on a special trip 

to fulfill the desire of your heart.