Southern Living. A staple of a southern girl's life. Every month I receive a sweet reminder of why I love living in NC--flowers, froo-froo decorating and food, food, food.
This month as I flipped through the pages, I decided that I wanted to try every recipe in the May issue. Maybe I'll even blog about it like Julie and Julia. There's only one problem. I do LOVE to eat, but I really, really don't like to cook. No...that's not quite true. I really, really don't like to go to the grocery store. I'd rather scrub a toilet. Honestly.
So it's a problem that I want to try all these recipes. My dream is to be as rich as Oprah. I want to give away big gifts and also to have a personal cook. Is that so wrong?
As I peruse the pages of SL, the tension always builds until I get to the last page. My favorite. They always put some author with a razor-sharp slice of southern life on the last page. This month after all the salivating over squash casserole, potato salad and pound cake recipes, I had to laugh that my soul mate wrote the article for the last page.
Amy Bickers says, " I'll say 'ya'll' all day long. I'll say 'git' instead of 'get' and turn 'nine' into a two-syllable word. But I will never, ever eat a soggy tomato sandwich."
(Note: We have not gotten to the soul mate part yet. A tomato sandwich is something my very southern husband introduced me to and it one of the delicious delights of summer. Amy B. must have never tried it with Duke's mayonnaise.)
"Before I get carted across the Mason-Dixon Line, I might as well confess a few more Southern food crimes. I don't have a clue what's in a mint julep. I don't make pimiento cheese (the pimientos weird me out). I've never made a pound cake, and I wouldn't even attempt pralines. I also don't have the urge to fry anything. I do love bacon, but I often cook it in the microwave."
Ahhh....a girl after my own heart. How could Southern Living embrace such a girl, though? Well, here's how she finishes: "What my mother taught me--and what I can teach my own children--is the delicious joy in sitting at the table and talking....Because the most important part of the meal is not the food that's being served but the stories being told. There's nothing more Southern than that."
Amen. I've got some stories. Anybody want to come over to my house and cook tonight?
Friday, April 30, 2010
Southern Living. A staple of a southern girl's life. Every month I receive a sweet reminder of why I love living in NC--flowers, froo-froo decorating and food, food, food.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
For those of you who are praying for a way to She Speaks, don't miss this post from Marybeth (it's her Tues. post). God is giving great ideas to women on ways to raise the funds. I got a Facebook message from another woman yesterday who is selling cookbooks!
This past weekend I got quite an unexpected treat. Barry and the boys decided to go camping on Friday night, and I got about 30 hours home alone.
What to do? What to do?
At first I thought about inviting friends over for a night of chick flicks, but then I selfishly decided on time alone. It's funny but a recent personality profile revealed that I'm not quite as extroverted as I thought. I fall right in the middle. It made perfect sense when I thought about it, because I love people but I also crave time alone.
And I haven't had any. In a long time.
As soon as the guys walked out on Friday afternoon, I started off the time with one of my favorite activities. A nap. Ahhhh...
I won't bore you with every moment of my 30 hours. I'm pretty much a nerd, so it wouldn't be riveting reading. (My "drug" of choice Friday night was a Chick Fil A milkshake!)
Saturday was my favorite part, though. I spent most of the day running around finding flowers and then planting them. I'm not artistic, but gardening is a creative outlet for me. I'm not a master gardner, but putting my hands in the dirt followed by standing back to admire splashes of color in my yard simply makes me happy.
I was looking over scriptures about delight this morning. Almost all the references are about finding our delight in the Lord with a few mixed in about the Lord's children being His delight.
This weekend, though, I felt God's presence so acutely as I did something which delighted me--gardening. It reminded me that we're all created not only for work but for play. For some, gardening might seem like work, but it's play for me. Something within our hard-wiring responds with delight when we participate in enjoyment, and it settles a piece of our soul in God's presence.
What would you do with 30 hours by yourself? What brings you delight?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Congratulations to our scholarship winner, Cindy Haux!!! Although you may be heavy-hearted with disappointment, I hope you'll pray that God will pour out all that He has in store for Cindy. You can even visit her blog to congratulate her.
As I'm writing this, I'm praying that God will continue to pour out His blessings and provision on all of you who entered. My heart was so full as I read your comments, and yet I grieved in knowing that only one woman would be randomly chosen.
So I am committed to praying that God will make another way. Here is a link to our She Speaks website with a letter that you can send to people who might sponsor you. Also, Marybeth Whalen is also posting tomorrow with an interview that tells the story of a friend who has been inventive about raising funds for a conference. I'll post the link tomorrow.
Sweet friends, don't despair. God is big enough. If His plan for you this year is She Speaks, He is big enough to provide. I'm joining my prayers with yours!
Friday, April 23, 2010
If you are here to enter the She Speaks scholarship contest, please comment at the end of Wednesday's post.
I guess the beginning of the end of this story is kind of obvious. After some encouragement from my speaker evaluator at She Speaks, Charlene Kidd, I prayed and applied for the team. I'm continually amazed to be part of such a supportive and loving group of women.
Here's some things that I'd love to pass on from my years on the P31 team:
- Gather a team around you. You may not be part of a formal ministry, but everybody needs support. In addition to our P31 family, I have a prayer team of friends who pray for all of my speaking events. They are as important (or more!) than my part standing in front. Ministry is a blessing but can be hard. You'll need people who love and understand you to have your back.
- Find a place of "holy confidence". One of the writers in The Reason We Speak used this phrase, and I've come to love it. There was some part of my that embraced my insecurities as a sign of humility. I agonized over those insecurities for years. I've recently realized that so much of that was actually a form of pride. I was so focused on myself that I didn't embrace what God intended to do through me. I am now embracing confidence IN HIM that is bringing a new joy to ministry.
- Walk through the open doors. I'm not at a place yet that I have to turn down ministry opportunities because I'm so busy. Although it's important to pray for each opportunity, I'm trusting God (and I pray this) that each door that's presented is provided by Him. That means that I take opportunities that may not always "suit" me. For example, a local band director asked me to teach a group of his students about leadership. That's not usually my thing, and a group of teenagers actually scares me to death! I said "yes", though, and received a huge blessing and learning experience from teaching that group.
- Learn everything you can from others. Really listen to the sermons at church. Download podcasts and listen while you clean or exercise. Attend conferences. Watch videos. Read books. The most helpful book I've read on structuring my messages is Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley. It has dramatically changed and improved the way I teach.
Our whole P31 team has been completely overwhelmed by the response to the She Speaks conference contest. Our hearts are joined with the longing that we hear in each comment. I'm praying this weekend that the right woman is randomly chosen but that God encourages each heart and provides supernaturally for many of you to come.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Today begins another contest for a Cecil Murphey scholarship to She Speaks. Here are the guidelines....This contest is for speakers who have never before attended She Speaks. We are also asking that you only enter if you don't have the funds for registration on your own. Please don't enter this one if you can afford your registration.
The winner will be chosen randomly from comments left on all the sites below. Your comment should briefly tell us what winning would mean to you in answering God’s call to speak.The more you comment, the more you increase your chances of winning! (Copy and paste away!!) You can comment until midnight on Friday. Here are the places that you can leave comments:
Wend B www.wendyblight.com
Wendy P www.wendypope.blogspot.com
She Seeks www.sheseeks.org
She Reads www.shereads.org
Yesterday's post started my She Speaks story which is continued today...
I was overwhelmingly excited about going to She Speaks, but as the days went by, I began struggling more and more. I was going by myself, so I was nervous about rooming with a stranger. More than that, though, I began listening and agreeing with a whisper in my head. "What in the world makes you think you're good enough?" the voice whispered. "You are going to get there and realize that everyone there is better than you and that you don't belong at all," it hissed.
I wish that I could tell you that I rebuked that voice in the name of Jesus and ran to put on my spiritual armour, but I'm afraid that wouldn't be the truth. I didn't realize that I was in the battle of my life, so I started sinking. By the time I got to She Speaks, I was literally sick and tired. I had hardly slept the week before, and I was physically sick from stress and worry.
It only took about five minutes at the conference to realize the terrible mistake I had made. This wasn't a place about letting someone else confirm my calling or competing with others. The P31 staff was warm and welcoming. From the moment I walked into the hotel, it was if I had been wrapped in a warm blanket. I felt loved and nutured and valued. During the course of the conference, I sat in awe of how each facilitator and speaker poured out all her experience, knowledge and wisdom. They weren't holding anything back. They were giving it all to me for Kingdom work and God's glory!
At that conference, God spoke two critical things to me. He showed me how I had been undervaluing the calling He had placed in my heart. Like an echo of Eore, my heart moaned, "It will probably be the last one" after each speaking event. He was calling me to the glorious vision of building a Kingdom, but I had laboring as if I was a slave carrying bricks. He also spoke to me to lay down fear. I saw my fear for the first time as a wrong focus on myself. My fear was grounded in knowing what I could do instead of focusing on what He could do.
These truths were the beginning of a journey that continues until today. I'll share my "After She Speaks" story on Friday. Right now I need to ask you... Has God placed a dream and a calling in your heart? Me too. Are you fighting fear and your own insecurities? Me too. Have you been shrinking back wondering if you'll ever be good enough? Me too.
I'm inviting you today to take a step in faith. Focus on God and His incredible greatness, power and redemption. He has called each one of us to ministry, and He is ABLE to do all that He has planned through us. Take the leap. Believe in faith. Reach out. HE IS ABLE.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
On Wednesday, Proverbs 31 is going to have a tour of blogs with another opportunity to win one of Cecil Murphey's scholarships to She Speaks. The winners will be chosen randomly from all the blogs. The more you comment, the greater your chances of winning. All the details will be here on Wednesday, so please come back!
I'm going to devote this week to telling you my She Speaks story. It was life-changing, and I have a passion for sharing this amazing conference with as many women as I can.
I had been our church's women's ministry director for several years when Barry changed careers, and it looked like we'd be moving. I have to confess that I prayer-journal sporadically, but I was journaling during that time. In my listening time, I believed that God was speaking to me about speaking ministry. I wrote down everything I believed I was hearing, but I still had thoughts like,"What if this is just my own desire?" and "How would this ever come about anyway?"
After our move, I was just sure I must have been mistaken. Not only were there no opportunities to speak, no one even knew me in my new area. I started to despair of ever being used by God again. I slipped into a "funk" that was very close to full-blown depression, and I felt alone and unseen.
One day I was at a true low-point. I had never asked God for a sign before, but that morning I prayed, "God I don't even know what to ask for, but today I need a sign. ANYTHING that shows me that You see me...that you haven't forgotten me." I was hoping for any little thing like someone inviting me to lunch!
That night I cried myself to sleep, because I hadn't received any kind of sign. Two days later, though, I came home, and my answering machine was blinking. I rushed over, happy just to have a human voice on my phone.
The message left me stunned. A woman who I had never met from a church that I had never heard of was asking me to lead their women's retreat. It was a good thing that I had not answered the phone in person, because I sobbed and sobbed. Not only had God not forgotten me, He was beginning to show me that He really was calling me into ministry.
The next year was full of surprises. God made it clear that my control-freak self would not be orchestrating this ministry. He would open door after door. None were related to another. None were by word-of-mouth. Because each opportunity to speak was clearing ordained by God, itwas amazing and affirming.
But at the end of the year, I realized that I needed help. I had gone as far as I could without someone teaching me. My heart's desire is to communicate God's character and His gospel with as much clarity and passion as possible, so I began to search.
She Speaks was where I landed. God divinely provided the finances to attend, and I joyfully registered. Little did I know the battle that was ahead.... (How's that for a cliff-hanger? Make sure to come back Wednesday!)
Friday, April 16, 2010
What is it about spring? Yesterday I found myself riding down the road with the windows wide open singing at the top of my lungs. I had no pity on people even at stoplights where someone might get seranaded by my warbling. I felt 20 again. I don't want to BE 20 again, but the feeling of lightness in my heart reminded me of the days before paying my own bills, having a driving 16-year-old and working for a living. It was wonderful.
It reminded me of a verse that always makes my heart beat a little faster: "He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (Psalm 18:19) I have this sense in my spirit that God is leading me into a new season---a season of wide open spaces---and I'm rejoicing.
God has been teaching me so much in the previous season. I've been learning that friendships can be hard, but they always need hard work. I hope I've become a better friend. He's been teaching me that important skills can be learned in a job that isn't your dream-job-I-want-to-do-this-forever. I hope I'm a better worker. He's been teaching me that a smaller house can bring you closer together. I hope I'm a better wife and mother. It's been a season of learning and character building, but it hasn't been an easy season. It's been a "choose joy" season instead of "stumble into joy" season.
I don't know exactly what this new season will hold. (I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to escape character building!) But I'm anticipating new doors to walk through that lead to open fields on which to run, trying to keep up with Jesus.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I'm a first child. I'm a first child with all the blessings and hangups that are usually associated with that position.
I'm blessed to have a driven nature, but I tend towards a perfectionism that can make me miserable.
I long to please others by following the rules and meeting expectations, but I sometimes lose my compass for True North in the process.
I have a perceptiveness for other's true feelings, but I drive myself crazy analyzing and re-analyzing situations and conversations.
I am concerned about details, but I agonize over details.
I'm completely human....and God knows it.
Psalm 103:13-14 says, "As a father has compassion on his children, sot he Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he know how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust."
Dust. Human. Frail. Sinful. Fallible. Flawed.
Yet it gives me comfort that He sees me, knows I'm dust and has compassion.
My Bible study this morning reminds me that the Bible is a book that has God--holy, infallible, perfect--as the Star. But His Word surrounds Him with people--scarred, silly and sinful. His Word so accurately points us to real life and slices of life of His children.
I love slice of life stories told in movies, history books and novels. The Bible is the greatest source of slice of life stories ever told. It's real and exciting and challenging.
This morning I read about Timothy. Paul says to him, "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (II Timothy 1:6-7)
I wonder, was Timothy struggling? Was Paul reminding him to keep his insecurity in check and to keep his eyes focused on the One who had called him? Was Timothy a first child with the blessings of encouraging family but hangups too?....just like me?
Blessings and hangups...we all have both. I'm thankful this morning that God loves me and has compassion on me just as I am all the while moving me toward what I can be. Comforting.
How about you? Do you have any blessings and/or hangups that you'd share?
Monday, April 12, 2010
First things first...thanks to all of you that prayed for Micca on Friday. She came through her surgery with flying colors, and she does not have cancer! Micca says that her doctors were surprised with this outcome and everybody believes that there is one simple truth. God did a miracle. There's nothing like a miracle to build your faith, and I'm embracing our miracle today.
My mind is bouncing around this morning, so I don't have anything cohesive or profound to write. Here are some of my Monday musings:
- As I go back to work this morning after 2 weeks off, I'm praying that Melanie's devotion helps to set my attitude right. I want to be a fragrance instead of a stink when I walk into school today.
- My Sunday school class looked at a progression of miracles yesterday from Mark 4 and 5. I'm thinking about the mystery of how our faith fuels miracles. I certainly can't manipulate God, but I want to be a huge cheerleader for Him. Faith does that somehow.
- There are small miracles all around us if we'll just pay attention. Even though I didn't do anything for them all winter, my perennials are coming up and beginning to bloom. Isn't God good?
- He's good even with simple gifts. I thought this as my little red dog snuggled with me during my quiet time this morning.
- The Prince and the Pauper is a really difficult read. How am I going to make it appeal to 2 sixth grade boys?
You can see I'm all over the place. I think I need a list to get focused! What's on your mind this Monday?
One last thing....Glynnis Whitwer is doing a She Speaks giveaway on her blog today. This scholarship is for writers who have never attended She Speaks before. If you've got a dream in your hear to write, this might be just for you!
Friday, April 9, 2010
I have just one thing on my mind this morning.
For those of you that have never met Micca Campbell, let me give you a little description. She's the funniest (like, make sure you wear your Depends funny), deepest, most southern-est girl you'll ever meet. Her gift in her speaking ministry is having you crying about God's grace when you could have sworn that just minutes ago you were picking yourself up off the floor laughing.
Micca was my coach when I first joined the Proverbs 31 team. I specifically requested for her to coach me, because I had so connected with her devotions. Micca answered my long lists of questions and reassured me that I'd be able to do it. She's been a supporter and encourager for me since the beginning. And I love her.
Today Micca is going in for some surgery to identify a mass that is on her ovary. I have a long to-do list today, but nothing is happening until I pray for my friend. I'm praying that Micca goes into surgery surrounded by the presence of God. I'm praying against cancer. I'm praying that this surgery will restore Micca's health and energy.
Would you pray for Micca today? It's the one thing on my mind.
Update: Micca is cancer free! The doctors were surprised but please to find 2 cysts that they removed. Thank you for praying. The Lord is to be praised!!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Last week my family took a trip during spring break. It wasn't to one of those glamorous spring break destinations--snow boarding in CO or a beach in FL. It wasn't a cruise or tour. It wasn't to a playground of the rich and famous. We went to Quinter, KS.
Where is Quinter, KS? Well, you fly into Kansas City and then drive west. Way west. For about 5 hours. Drive until there are hardly any trees and you can see flat fields for miles and miles and miles. When you get there, you're in Quinter, KS.
Barry Googled "Fun Things to Do in Quinter, KS" right before we left. Let's just say it was a very short list of results. There were reviews for the one hotel in town, The "Q" Inn. The nicest reviewer said, "It's better than it looks."
But I have to tell you that I love Quinter. It's a town of 953 people. We increased the population to 957 people for a week and were happy to be there. We went to Castle Rock, the DQ about 10 times, The "Q" every day for lunch and visited with family I hadn't seen in years. Where else could I go into a restaurant only to be identified by my family of origin by a cousin that I've never met before. It's a wonderful thing to fit in somewhere!
The best thing about being in Quinter was staying with one of its queens, my Grandma Dohm. She and her sister Jeannie are both "seasoned" women. (My grandma is 93!) They both live in their own homes, are doted on by everyone in town and live the life of reilly as far as I can see.
Grandma spends her mornings fixin' up (she's still such a beautiful woman) to go to lunch at The Q every day. Thursday is hair day, and it's a big day. The hair appointment is preceded by lunch and followed by a trip to Dollar General and a drink to sip on the way home. Jeannie and Grandma let my Aunt LeaAnna and I know that sometimes they also get treated to ice cream. Let the record show that LeaAnna and I bought them a drink AND a cookie.
I'm thinking that it's good to be one of the Queens of Quinter. It's a life I'd love to have when I'm 93.
One last note. Today Barry and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversery. There are so many things I love about being married to Barry. These are just a few (I wanted to write 20, but I'm just not that creative!):
- He makes me laugh every day. He's seriously not right, and I love that.
- He challenges me spiritually. Whenever I feel snotty about the fact that I've filled in more blanks in Bible study books than he has, he lives out his faith in ways that put me to shame.
- He's really, really cute. I don't want you all checking him out, but he has gorgeous blue eyes.
- He's a great dad. On hair day in Quinter, Barry and the boys opted out and had so much fun on their own.
- He's reverent about God, but everything else is fair game. My best friend in college told me that he'd keep me off my high horse (how could she say that about me!). She was right. It's a very good thing. It's also the thing that makes this rule-following girl break out in a cold sweat sometimes when we're in public. (I always just laugh hysterically in private!)
- He loves me unconditionally. This is witnessed by the fact that he still gave me the traditional M & Ms this morning even though I'm busting out of my pants. He loves me thin and fluffy.
I hope you all don't mind this list. I'm cheering for all of you that think you have the best husband, too. It's sad that you're so deceived, but I'm still cheering for you. :)
Monday, April 5, 2010
I'm back! We had a wonderful trip to Kansas to visit my grandmother, and now I'm happily settled back into home. I'm going to write some thoughts about our trip later, but today I want to share something I wrote a while back after studying the passages about Mary Magdalene. I hope you had a great Easter and that this will stretch out the celebration one more day for you.
She was finally free. After years of losing to the terrible torment of the demons within, she was free. Memories of acts that had fueled her overflowing reservoir of shame faded away as she looked back into those eyes. His eyes. They were filled with an unearthly intensity and a depth of love that washed away every stain, every hurt, every haunting memory and every vestige of self-loathing. The truth about her past life was dead and buried. All she knew now was how she loved the man who had saved her.
Jesus—what a name. Jeshua, the Lord saves. She had heard about His teaching. She had touched friends who He healed. She listened as others told her about His multiplication of bread and fish, but she was sure that she was far beyond her reach. He didn’t know what she was hiding. He didn’t see the dark places in her heart. He couldn’t hear the voices that taunted her and directed her. She was lost, and no one could save her.
That’s what she thought until she saw Him that day. He was indescribable. He was just average looking at first glance, but as she watched Him she realized that He contained in His face everything that she longed for—love, grace, strength, peace. She thought to herself that surely He was the embodiment of what every human was created to be. Then she corrected that thought. He was the very image of God.
People around her had whispered. “He claims to fulfill the prophecies. Could He be the Christ?” In one glance she knew the answer. He was the Christ and the fulfillment of every hope that her wounded and longing heart had ever had.
Suddenly, He came over to her. He placed His hand on her head, called her by name, looked into her eyes and began calling out the demons one by one. Her faith in Him broke the demons’ death-grip on her, and they fled. When it was over, she sat in the dirt trembling and weeping. Finally, joy swept over her face like a run-away fire, and she clung to Jesus’ feet laughing even while the tears streamed down her face. She was free!
Life was never the same again. She packed up her belongings, gathered some food and began following Jesus and His disciples along with the other women like Joanna and Susanna who made sure that the little band of men was fed, clothed and cared for. It was an unconventional arrangement, and there were lots of whispers. But she didn’t care. Her love for Jesus was far beyond what she would feel for any mere man. He was her Savior. He had redeemed her life, and He had released her into freedom. His love was enough was Life to her. She and the others who followed Him knew that they could never repay Him, but they all wanted to give Him everything.
While she was serving the group, she strained to catch every word that Jesus spoke. He told stories, explained the nature of God and encouraged His followers to tell everyone about God’s great love for man. He healed the sick, caused the blind to see, fed the hungry and forgave the sins of many. He was glorious.
There was only one part of Jesus’ message that puzzled her. He kept talking about dying. He told the disciples that He would die and be resurrected in three days. One time Peter even tried to get Him to stop talking about it. None of them really understood, and she always felt afraid when He’d talk that way. She tried to remember everything He said, though, and it wasn’t long before all His words came flooding back into a terrible reality.
The capture, the trials and the beatings struck suddenly and progressed like a nightmare. Surely, she thought, is can’t be happening to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. “He’s Jeshua!” she wanted to scream. “Can’t you see who He is?” she sobbed over and over as she knelt with His mother near the foot of the cross. The soldiers eventually pushed them away so that all they could see was the outline of His body as He hung bleeding and dying on the cross. Through the darkness, Jesus’ cry rang out, “My God, my god, why have you forsaken me?” She heard his voice one more time and watched as His body slumped lifeless against the cross.
An earthquake rocked the earth under her, and the rocks around her began to break. In terror, the panicked crowd ran wild. A thunderous rip was heard from the temple and later eye-witnesses told her of how the curtain that shielded the Holy of Holies was torn in two from top to bottom. Opened tombs revealed resurrected saints and even the centurions who had mocked Jesus just moments before believed the truth.
The spectacle made her heart soar with God’s power, but it sank again later as she watched Joseph tenderly place Jesus’ linen wrapped body into the tomb. Her tears were unquenchable as the heavy boulder rolled and shuddered into place. As the sun set, she looked with dread toward the coming Passover. Had the One who saved Israel with the blood of the lamb in Egypt really forsaken them?
Sunday morning, she quietly slipped out into the dark and started down the road toward Jesus’ tomb. What was she to do now? He was her whole life. She had given up her whole life for Him, because He had given her Life that was beyond what she had ever hoped and dreamed. Her need to be near Him drove her on until she found herself staring at the gaping hole of Jesus’ tomb. In despair, she flew back to the home and pounded on the door until a sleepy Peter appeared. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” she sobbed as John and Peter grabbed their cloaks to join her.
The three followers ran to the tomb. John looked in at the linen strips lying on the floor, but Peter boldly entered the tomb, saw the empty, folded linens and returned home believing but puzzled. She still couldn’t tear herself away from the spot. In consternation, she bent over to look into the tomb again and almost fell over with surprise. Two angels perched on either end of where Jesus’ body had laid were the very picture of the mercy seat from the arc in the temple. “Woman, why are you crying?” they asked. As she explained about her missing Lord, she turned to see the gardener standing near her. He gently repeated the question, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for?” She began to explain and to inquire of him, but He interrupted her. “Mary,” he said. That’s all it took. It was just as if He was appearing in her life again that first day and uttering her name for the first time. “Rabboni!” she cried out. For it was He, her teacher, her Savior and the lover of her soul.
Suddenly she knew. Now she was really free. He had freed her from the demons at their first meeting and forgiven her sins, but now the redemption of her life was complete. He had completely paid the price. She was free from the ravages of sin and death, and free to walk hand-in-hand with her loving Father in unbroken fellowship. She worshipped Him and ran to tell the others.