• By Barb Shelton •
Inspired by Christina Motley
Christina and I are prayer partners for the current two-week span and she sent me this picture of the snowlady she and her daughters made in their front yard…
She wrote, “Fun in the snow! ❄️⛄️❄️ Isn’t she just adorable??? We named her Meridith!”
Recognizing that scarf as not only being Christina’s favorite flower, 🌻🌻🌻 but as having seen it ON her person in one of her porch chats…
…I said, “Meridith is just toooooo cute!!!!! ⛄️ Did she have permission to use that scarf?!?!?? 😆”
She responded, “Of course! She and I are already becoming good friends! 🌼💕❤️🍃😀😀”
Aware that the warming weather would soon have “diminishing” effects on Meridith, Christina added “I don’t think she will be here long, though…😳☃️🍃.”
So the next morning I asked her, “How is Meridith doing? Is the warming-up weather imposing rapid weight-loss mode onto her?!?! ⛄️😄
(Just so you know, we DO actually talk about spiritual things as well! Right after this I shared my prayer for her from Psalm 22!)
On our Thin Within coaching call (with Heidi and Christina) later than afternoon, Christine told the rest of the girls in our group about Meridith, and sadly added that the sunshine had been shrinking Meridith quite a bit. A few of us shared with delight: “She’s melting down to her God-given size!!”
Christina went on: “Okay! Here comes the good part, girls! All Meridith had to do to shrink down to her God-given size was just be in the light and warmth of the sun! Isn’t that COOL?!?!?”
I said “I feel a blog article coming on!” and asked Christina to send me a picture of Meridith in her current melting state. Christina then asked me to do “before and after” pictures of Meridith, and to “use my magic” to put a face on her since hers had fallen off… which I did using carrot and leaf emoticons, and the “draw” feature of my photo editor. Not the greatest, but better than a blank stare!
So how might this look in real life? I started pondering what “melting in the light of the sun” might entail, and remembered I had already written about this very thing in a blog article I wrote a couple years ago called “How Does God Redeem Stuff?”
In it, I share five “methods” (actions, ways) God has led me to – and used in me to – redeem many things in my life. Two of those items – “expose” and “soak” – are perfect for our snowlady analogy as they explain what it means to expose ourselves to – and soak in – God’s warm light!
I’m going to share those two sections of that article here! (Well… Assuming I can get permission from the author! I hear she’s quite a stickler!)
Let’s start by thinking of a rock on the ground. It’s been sitting in the sunshine, so it’s nice and dry and warm…
Turn the rock over, and what might you see on the underside of that rock? … Scampering bugs, wiggling worms, dirt, mud.
What’s the best way to get the underside of that rock as warm, dry, smooth, clean and bug-free as the top of it? Should we urge the rock to go to a rock spa and get a make-over and scrub itself off?
Nope! Just turn it over and expose it to the Sun! Given a little time, the wet-turned-dry dirt can just be brushed off, leaving that underside nice ‘n’ clean – with no effort whatsoever on the part of the rock! All it had to do was let itself be exposed tot he warm rays of the sun.
Need a human picture? This guy is perfectly emulating this concept:
Likewise, I have had many bug-infested “rocks” in my life. Rather than try to clean myself up, the Lord has many times led me to just allow Him to gently turn one of my [many] rocks over in His loving hand and expose it to His warming, penetrating, healing, freshening rays! – which do all of the healing, cleansing work! All I had to do was simply lay there with my wound, dirt, or ugliness exposed to Him!
My mother-in-love made the most amazing pickles! But they didn’t start out their pickley lives as winners. They began as dill – or, for the sake of our analogy, we’ll call them sour pickles.
To be transformed into the amazing sweet pickles they became, all they had to do was SOAK in the NEW brine that I put them in!
What does that brine consist of? 3 cups of sugar and 1 cup of vinegar. (See my “Grandma Shelton’s Rebrined Pickles” blog post for the recipe and directions.)
Two of the “sweetest” things we can soak in are:
- God’s Word, the Bible – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
- Worship – Whatever we look at, we become more like it. The more we focus on fashion, the more we want to be fashionable. (And thin!) The more we focus on food, the more we want it. But as we dwell on the Lord, the more we want Him, and the more we actually become like Him! And “As the Spirit of the Lord works in us, we become more and more like Him.”
(In the article I share a bitter, “vinegar-esque” thing we might soak in that actually aids in the transformation process, but we’ll just stay with the sugar aspect here.)
These pickles take a week to be completely transformed into the best pickles I have ever tasted! EVER!!! And they didn’t even have to go on a self-improvement kick! They just soaked in that transforming brine, getting sweeter as the days went by!
Likewise, if we soak in God’s Word, letting His “higher thoughts” soak into us, renewing our minds… If we get our eyes off of our sour selves and worship our mighty, loving God, we will become more and more like Him, and get sweeter as the days, months, and years go by!
So thank you, Christina and girls, for creating Meridith and sharing her with us, thereby inspiring any of us who are struggling to melt down to our natural God-given size to:
• lay down our striving to fix ourselves and…
• simply spend more time exposing ourselves to the Son, soaking in His healing warmth.
What a fun post, Barb! Thank you so much for sharing your gift with us and also for giving attention and recognition to Meredith! 🙂
This was wonderful! I am a visual learner, so all of this created such a beautiful picture in my mind. You can also see Christina melting down to her God-given size in the two pictures you posted.
Meredith actually looks better with a thin face, and look at that tiny waist. Soaking in the warmth of God’s light did her a world of good, I think.
This was inspired. I enjoyed it very much and it brought the message home in a great way.
Barb, I have been feeling frantic about lack of weight loss after a job change/rebound gain. Your last summary point to ‘lay down our striving to fix ourselves’ was an ahha for me. Plus the reflections of the workbooks show me that I need to go back to them and give up the frantic wishing/busyness that has actually kept me hung up and,well, dry!! Thank you for your blogs, they are providing good insight and inspiration for me!