Confession time. And it’s “juicy”.
The summer after second grade, I read the book, Freckle Juice, by Judy Blume and suddenly became convinced that my life would be perfect if I just had freckles.
I know – I’m totally aging myself here and some of you won’t even know what I’m talking about with that book title or maybe even the name Judy Bloom.
PEOPLE. JUDY BLOOM IS LIFE.
Well, she’s LIFE for those of us girls who grew up in the 70s and early 80s. And if you take Judy Bloom books and follow them up with John Hughes movies? Now THAT is honestly LIFE.
But I digress. Back to Freckle Juice. I’ll have to admit, prior to reading it, I never gave freckles a second thought. But after reading this book, I was obsessed with having freckles because I thought they would make me special. The thing was, I was NOT willing to drink the concoction (I totally thought it was real, BTW):
“Sharon’s Secret Recipe for Freckle Juice: Mix up all these things together – stir well and drink fast: grape juice, vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, juice from one lemon, pepper and salt, ketchup, olive oil, and a speck of onion. One glass makes an average amount of freckles.” (from Freckle Juice, by Judy Bloom)
SO instead of drinking that gross juice, I decided to try sun-tanning, permanent marker, and prayer. But no matter what I did or how many prayers I prayed, I never got freckles.
You ready for a sage truth I’ve learned that summer? Here it is:
If you don’t have freckles, YOU WEREN’T MEANT TO HAVE THEM.
Feel free to insert anything you’ve coveted and yearned for over the years. There are times we look at the attributes we admire in others and wonder why we weren’t gifted and blessed in those ways. We spend too much time looking outside of ourselves and feeling neglected and left out because of what we don’t have. But the truth of the matter is that you weren’t made for those things; you were made for different (and dare I say BETTER) things. Things that suit you. Things that allow you to do YOU.
This summer, I’ll be encouraging all of us to start thinking about the following three questions:
• Who am I? (How have I been created? What am I good at? What are the attributes God uniquely ascribed to me?)
• What do I care about? (What are the things that make me tick? What moves me to tears – both good and bad? What do I want out of life?)
• How can I live my life so that it reflects God’s purpose for me? (How can I marry up who I am to what I care about in order to make a difference in meaningful ways?)
Why are we doing this? Because it matters deeply that you connect and cultivate the gifts, talents, and attributes that God bestowed upon you. These things are uniquely yours and have significance beyond anything your sweet little head can imagine.
Our job is to take everything good and sacred and holy that God has placed within us and, as we nurture and cultivate and grow them, pour them right back out into the lives of those He places around us.
This world, YOUR world, needs you to be YOU. Not “a version” of you, not the you that has Sharpie freckles tattooed onto your precious face because you think that is what makes you special. WE need you to actually be YOU. Because THAT you is the special you.
Here’s what I want you to do this week.
• If you don’t already have one, get yourself a copy of Melanie Shankle’s new 100-day devotional, Everyday Holy: Finding a Big God in the Little Moments. Start it NOW!
There are 100 days from Memorial Day up to Labor Day! I can’t think of a more FUN and meaningful book to keep us in God’s word this summer!
• Start noticing the things that make you uniquely you. What are you good at? What do people tend to bring up about you that they admire? What role(s) do you personally gravitate to in your family/job/friend group (i.e. the one who gets things done, the big idea girl, the creative one, the teacher, the FUN one, the peacemaker, the calming influence, the math mind, etc.)?
• Grab a journal and start writing these things down! Keep track of things as they pop into your head.
• Meditate (or even memorize!) this verse: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10, NLT
• Make this your motto this week:
It’s going to be a great summer, sister friends!
Enjoy your week!
Peace, love and JOY!