Friday, May 2, 2008

Pieces of Blessings

What a week this has been.

When we got home from our 2nd hospital stay in one week...first Gene in Omaha having back surgery, then our grandbaby Amiyah's birth...our church family stepped in and provided meals for our family. Tacos, meat loaf, chicken alfredo, chocolate cake, fruit, sausage was such a blessing to me as it gave me time to love on my new little granddaughter instead of spending time in the kitchen.

Well, last Sunday after the church service, I pulled the car to the front of the church so I could take in the box of dishes I needed to return to everyone. I lifted the box full of casserole dishes out of the trunk and there I was. Standing in the house of God's parking lot about to cuss up a storm, but thankfully, I was too shocked too speak. The side and bottom of the box had come apart and the dishes had fallen onto the rock drive.

Shattered pieces lay at my feet as I stood in unbelief. I was so thankful pre-Jesus Lelia didn't show up and say any 4 letter words as I cleaned up my mess, because a lovely elderly couple were quickly by my side helping me.

Almost in tears, I made my way into the church trying to hold together the box. Gene smiled at me, but could tell something was wrong. I sat the box down on a table and let him see for himself. "What happened?" he asked. I just looked at him and felt like saying, "Oh, I don't know honey I decided to show my gratitude by smashing every one's dishes."
But instead I said, "The box broke."

I wanted to go wait in the car and leave Gene alone to face the owners of the broken dishes, but I stood by my man. That's when our close friend, David, made his way over to us. Seeing what happened he began to hold up broken pieces asking, "Church, does anyone recognize this?" I did end up crying, but it was because I was laughing so hard when David called over the man who brought us tacos. David had covered the box with a towel and held up the corner of it asking if Jim could identify any of the dishes. Turned out that both of the broken dishes belonged to Jim and his wife.
Oh my.
David went on to say that in the future the church would advise providing meals in Tupperware containers when blessing the Chealey's.

Isn't it cool though that with Jesus He wants us just the way we are. Some of us have some really shattered pasts. A history that you carry around in a box because you think that God would never want anything to do with the likes of you. Because of your past you mark yourself as unusable and unworthy.
When Jim saw the broken pieces in the box and realized that they were both of his dishes, after much laughter, he threw them in the garbage. He didn't want them. He didn't take them home and fix them or use them the way they were.

But dear friends, that is not how God works. He takes our box of brokenness and when we allow Him to, He begins to use our PAST in our PRESENT. He takes our shattered past and makes into something usable to enhance His Kingdom. Fortunate for us, God doesn't see our past the same way we do and that is why He is able to use if for His glory.

We see shame, He sees redemption.
We see pain, He sees healing.
We see sorrow, He sees joy.
We see a mess, He sees a vessel.
We see regret, He sees promise.

Whatever shattered pieces are in your box, don't throw yourself away.
Instead, go to the King and let Him put you back together piece by piece.
Let Him use you just the way you are.
Life is amazing when your past is glorifying your Savior instead of haunting you.

Okay, now for the contest!
We loved reading all of the responses!
So, I asked the kids...
Alivia loved Lolly and Pop which was submitted by my uncle Chris and aunt Brenda in Birmingham & cousin Rhiannon. But she quickly found herself torn between "Lolly" and "Yo-Mama" submitted by Sita from Canada. Not sure if I trust her decision making skills at this point. Kind of hard to imagine being in public and Amiyah saying "Yo-Mama, can I have some candy?"

Aaron just looked at me as to say, "You want me to pick a name out for you to be called by someone who can't even talk for 2 years and I can't even figure out which girl I like this week?" Instead, he just shrugged his I'm too cool to cast a vote teenage shoulders and off to Alyssa I went.

Alyssa loved Ya Ya from Liz the best, but thought Lolly was cute too. Then she flipped on me and while laughing she said, "She's callin' you Grandma so get used to it!"

So off to Gene I went...

He loved MeMa from Rebecca and also could see us being called Lolly & Pop.

I personally loved Emily's suggestion of HOT GRANNY!

I am so humbled by all of the sweet compliments thrown my way and I have put all of them on 3x5 cards to make memorizing them easier for Gene!
You all are too sweet~thank you!
And no worries sweet Joy, I am completely cherishing being Amiyah's Grandma. I just don't want her to call me that, but rest assured if she does, I'll be the puddle on the floor because I've melted from the sound of her sweet voice.
OKAY...ready for the winner?
Congratulations Sandra!
When I wake Amiyah up this morning the first words she'll hear will be...
"Good morning Precious, your NONNIE loves you!"
What is really cool is so many of you talked of names that you called a favorite woman in your life...your Grandma. Growing up I remember my Dad always talking so fondly of his Grandma which he called Nonnie. She died when I was a kid, so I personally don't have any memories of her. He really loved her and she was a writer, which is a love of mine, so being called Nonnie will be an honor.
Sandra~e-mail me your address. I've got your book ready to go!
Thank you so much for your help. This was really tough, but lots of fun. And Uncle Chris & Aunt Brenda, tell Rhiannon that we loved Lolly & Pop and I have a feeling that Miss Alivia will be calling me Lolly since that was her first vote.
~Many Blessings~


Joyful said...

Nonnie it is! I have a friend with a "Nonnie". Sounds like you had fun going though all the comments - many wanted to share in your excitement of becoming a grandmother...oops...I mean, Nonnie!

Your thoughts on the 'shattered pieces' are beautiful. (Your story illustration is one reason I deliver anything to others in disposable containers - not so much that I worry about them being broken, but just so that the recipient doesn't have to concern themselves with returning the item later.)

God does accept us with all our brokenness and He gently shapes our lives into precious vessels for His glory. Cracked pots, but through the cracks His beauty shines forth.

Have a wonderful day, Nonnie!

Amy L Brooke said...

Very cool Nonnie!

Laura said...

Congrats to you, Nonnie! I'm sorry I missed the contest, but I don't think I could top that!
thank you for this beautiful post. I love the way you take every day life, lelia, and show us examples of God's love. You are such a blessing.

tiggerdaisy said...

Grandma Nonnie, you are too funny! :) hehehehe Seriously, Lelia, this is a great post. A really great post. You write your heart out, Nonnie, you hot granny, you! :)

Prayers and Blessings!


SweetPea said...

I love this story, Nonnie. hehe

Seriously, how precious that because of Jesus' transformation in you, you reacted differently than pre-Jesus. It is also comforting to know that other solid Christian women are still tempted to react unlike Christ...cussing and smart remart to hubby.

Thanks for the post!

nothingcanseparateme said...

I LOVE IT--NONNIE, very nice choice, definitely young and hip!!

Your story of the broken dishes was great and so very true. It is great how you use "everyday" incidents to learn from and to teach us.

God bless,
Kim from PA

HisPrincess said...

I'm a broken dish. I'm learning to trust and love the Lord, but I still struggle with my brokeness and unworthiness. Thanks so much for your post, helps me keep perspective.

PS, Nonnie is cute! Considering you are younger than me I agree wholeheartedly that you are waaaay too young to be called Grandma!

Jenny said...

Nonnie, I like that! I especially like how you have a story to tell with that name.

Thanks for the broken dishes reminder! Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to toss them in the trash, but God never said easy. In fact he says, useful, when he puts us back together we become useful!

Have a great weekend!

Rhonda said...

Nonnie sounds beautiful. I think it's a lovely fit.

That was so much fun!


Sita Henderson said...

Hey Nonnie,
What a discerning daughter you have to even consider
Yo-Mama! I really had a hoot about that. And I'm still chuckling cuz I'm way too tired--just came back from Bible Quizzing final meet with hundreds of youth--and I have not slept in 2 nights and at my age it ain't take care, Love, Sita
(great post, by the way)

Emily said...

Have a good week......NONNIE. :)

Sandra said...

Wow! I never win anything :-). And I almost bought the book on Friday! I'm so glad that the name is not only cute but holds such a special meaning as well.

Blessings to you, Nonnie.

Yolanda said...

I loved this!

We see shame, He sees redemption.
We see pain, He sees healing.
We see sorrow, He sees joy.
We see a mess, He sees a vessel.
We see regret, He sees promise.

All about a new attitude to bring ALTITUDE!

Genesis 50:20 "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

How, do I do this, you ask? allowing His righteousness into your heart. And then others see, and lives are changed. A hunger!


MaryLu said...

Sweet Nonnie,
We too have had a broken week, literally. My daughter's birthday doll shelf fell off the wall and 7 of her 10 dolls lay in pieces on the dresser and the floor.
You have inspired me, Jesus does take our broken pieces and makes them whole again.
THanks for the vivid word picture.

Just me~ Bobbie Jo said...

Nonnie sounds cute! I love it!

BTW Thanks for stopping by my blog!
I am still so new at it that it always takes me by surprise when someone reads it! lol

Thanks about my kids-I am pretty darn proud of them.

Hawai'i is a nice place to live but I am ready to be back on the mainland somewhat. I think! I just have to pray about it!

Anywho, thanks again!

Have a great day!

MrsJoeB said...

Lelia-I loved your thoughts on "Shattered Pieces" and how true it is to life. We tend to hang on to those broken pieces when all we need to do is throw them away as God does. Even better we can take those broken peices and make something beautiful out of them-like artwork.
Love your grandma name too!! Blessings~Pamela

kmom3 said...

Nonnie! That is so precious! How blessed little Amiyah is to have you as her Nonnie! :)

And I love this post. "We see a mess. He sees a vessel." Thanks, Lelia! I needed that!