Gift of faithfulness

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartWow, 2015 is here! What a difference a year makes. There is always something to be grateful for and as I wrote out my spiritual and physical goals for this New Year, one of my top goals I’m determined to resolve with Him on and in is to develop an attitude of gratitude, to find things to be thankful for, even in the darkest of times, while climbing the highest mountain. This time last year, I was in the hospital …. Just thinking about it makes my heart thankful. It’s so awe-inspiring to look back and see His faithfulness. Hey, speaking of faithfulness, Coffee Hour Friend, let’s continue our shopping spree for these gifts that have been purchased for us but maybe not by us!

I have to share a story with you that sort of ties into this gift of faithfulness that we are opening. The other day, my husband and I braved the cold stormy weather for a forty-five minute drive so I could exchange something he had gotten me for Christmas for a few “somethings.” I know; that’s not a word, but … I don’t want to sound presumptuous or as though I’m bragging, so let me just say, my guy never goes to the “sale” rack when he’s shopping for me. In fact, he’s faithful to go to the best store(s) and unbeknownst to him, he always winds up with some designer brand of something – complete opposite of me!  And it’s not to be showy, or ostentatious; he just wants the best for me and even writing this, it just does something to my heart, like gushes forth reminders of reasons why God chose him for me.

Well, this particular gift I needed to exchange was a casual sweater. Now, it didn’t look like it was spun with gold thread or anything, but apparently, the designer’s name is written in gold … that’s just a joke! After opening this gift, I later saw the receipt on the counter for it and about choked!

Here he is, so proud of this gift, so happy to freely give it, faithful to buy what he believes is the best for his wife, and suddenly, all I can see is how much he paid for the darned thing! I didn’t say anything in the moment because I would never, ever want to hurt my honey’s feelings. I tucked it away for later, asking for wisdom on what to do because I need to remain faithful to who I am as well; I am not a label girl. Don’t get me wrong; I like nice things, but I tend to err on the side of practical, and even if my books were on the New York Best Seller’s List, and I could afford such extravagance, I would never indulge and pay what he paid for that sweater, let alone for any “one” piece of clothing!

You may think I’m horrible for what I’m about to tell you, and as an author, I know, I leave myself wide open for criticism and I realize that we may not agree on what I’m about to share with you, but that’s okay. All I know is my heart was and continues to be in the right place when it comes to this principle: To whom much is given, much is required! Luke 12:48

So getting back to this sweater, the day after Christmas, I was showing a close friend my gifts from my honey. She lay the sweater down on the bead, and pointed to something. “What’s this?”

My mouth dropped.“No way!” I exclaimed. It was a snag, and not just one, but two! Now I was convinced I wasn’t keeping it!

I took it downstairs to him and showed him and asked if he would mind if we exchanged it showing him the snags. “I don’t see them, but yeah, we can do that,” he said in his easygoing tone. I followed up with, “Maybe I can exchange it for a few tops?” I was careful to be gentle, appreciating him for his kindness, and definitely not wanting to step on his emotional toes! He balked at first, saying he liked that sweater.

I pleaded with my eyes for him to understand and then just spoke truth to him, letting him know I really needed some tops and it would be great to get a few for the price of that one.

“We’ll see what we can find.”

I know in my soul that my guy truly desires to make me happy, to do what makes me smile and I would never, ever want to change that about him and make things complicated. I breathed a sigh of relief as we agreed to go a couple nights later. We actually made a date night out of it, despite the stormy weather!

We walked into Nordstrom’s and one of the things I love about that store is their service, whether you spend $25 or $2500! We were greeted by a wonderful lady named Pat who asked how she could help. I handed her my box, told her I wanted to exchange the sweater and explained there was a snag in it. I actually added, I’d like to get a few tops in exchange.

She took the box over to her register. “Let me see what you have here.” Silence. “That’s not a snag; that’s the darts!”

Color me ignorant!
She began to show George and he began to side with her and she then looked up at me and caught my eyes. I mouthed loud and clear without a sound: “I don’t want to keep it!”

She caught on immediately, bless her heart. “That’s no problem.”

I asked if she could help me find some other fun and less expensive tops, to which she replied, “Well, he got you a so and so.”

I looked up at her and as gently as I could said, I don’t have to have so and so; I’m so not a label girl. I like nice things but …sale

She smiled

“I’d actually like to get a few things.”
We shopped around together while George went off to look too. And what do you think he came back with? The same so and so designer, but I’ll admit, it was half the price! He does so good picking things out, truly, and has a very good sense of style. His desire to buy me nice things squeezed at my heart again. The color was one I’d never wore before and as we held it up to me, we all three agreed it worked. I didn’t dare resist!

In the meantime, I had found a sweater whose color was close to the original one, and I squealed with delight as I saw it was on sale, and about one-twelfth of the price! Pat helped me find two more tops, and within minutes, I was trading in my one for four!

As we laughed and talked, our faith came into the conversation, and we discovered she was a Harvest girl. I shared the ministry with her, told her about a couple of my books and gave her our website. As she came around to hand me our bag, she hugged each of us and wished us a Happy New Year.

We began to make our way to the escalator, George stopping by another mannequin wearing a simple black dress, and all of a sudden we heard her say: “That’s $425! Walk away!”

We laughed all the way to the escalator, our hearts full and my hands carrying what I wouldn’t cringe to wear. God had been faithful to show up even in my shopping spree.  We had such a great time and went to dinner afterwards and just enjoyed being together. While my honey was faithful in his kindness, I was faithful to be gentle while remaining true to who I am and who He is creating me to be, accountable for all I’m given.

But is this the kind of faithfulness we’re talking about on our shopping spree? Well, I guess all that’s to say that when we are faithful in the small stuff, He’s faithful in all the stuff, faithful about all that concerns us. But let’s go unwrap this gift and get a bit deeper into its gift, now that you’ve heard about my recent shopping spree!

I’m going to share an Evinda-ism for a verb form of faith/faithfulness: I call it “faithing,” aka, bathing in faith; and as an adjective, it means trusting, believing and/or relying.

Oh, we could stop there for a detour, but let’s keep going.

Another word for faithfulness is “fidelity.” Doesn’t it make you think of the marriage relationship where fidelity, faithfulness is not optional? At least according to His standards, it’s not.

Faithfulness requires integrity!

Why are we so quick to jump ship when someone doesn’t behave in a way that we think they ought to … instead of abiding in Him who can keep us faithful? Why is it we start off most things with a determination to be faithful, maybe a relationship, a resolution, letting go of an unhealthy habit, a promise to not gossip, or compulsively shop – we can keep adding, but you get the picture – and we lose sight of the destination withered by the journey?  Could it be that what we are faithful to is the consistency of trying to do it all in our own strength? Why is it we just don’t show up and get plugged into the Source of Faithfulness?

You know, it’s the beginning of another New Year, and I can’t help but confess that all of His works in my life show His faithfulness, even when I was so far from faithful. What about you? Can you look back in the last year and see where what you thought was a struggle was His faithfulness all along?

Oh, if I could wish one thing for you this New Year, my Coffee Hour Friend: that you would know that you know that He desires relationship with you and with me and He has proven it by purchasing all these gifts for us through His ultimate surrendering of His only son. He has proven His trustworthiness and fidelity to you and to me over and over again. Has that truth made the twelve-inch leap from our heads to our hearts?

Join me tomorrow for an amazing example of faithfulness He showed me; in the meantime, journal about a time in the recent past He proved trustworthy to you, proving His fidelity to you over and over again!

Gripped by His faithfulness,

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