Let's Talk Turkey

All week long my feathers were ruffled. Or maybe I was just in a foul mood. 

I overreacted when a colleague told my boss something I’d said to her privately. 

I introduced myself to someone who said she’d met me several times while I stared at her blankly thinking I’d never seen her before in my life. I couldn't think of a thing to say, except an inelegant, "Really?" that inferred she must not have made much of an impression for me not to remember her. I felt impossibly rude.

I covered up feeling awkward with brusque and ungracious words when I stumbled into the middle of a conversation between my sister and a friend of hers.

I felt terrible about the way I reacted in all of these situations. 

{Maybe you can relate?}

In much calmer moments, I realized what I’d told my work colleague wasn’t even remotely confidential and it didn't matter if she told my boss. 

I learned the woman I couldn’t remember meeting was sporting a new hairstyle so I wasn’t completely crazy for not recognizing her, but that didn't excuse my lack of warmth.

My sister told me she’d inadvertently given her friend wrong information so she wasn’t surprised I was confused at what they were discussing.

Then I got an email from Compassion International telling me the little girl I was sponsoring in Sri Lanka had been removed from their program by her family so my sponsorship would end. 

Her picture hung on my refrigerator. I was praying for her. I’d received a few letters from her. Although I’d only been sponsoring her for a year, I felt bereft.

So I got a little upset with God.

A tiny thorn of comparison was pricking me, bleeding resentful doubts that maybe God gives everyone else what they want quickly and easily, while my progress to change stalls. Maybe it's my own fault when difficulties arise and I make a muddling mess of the opportunities I could have used to turn things around.

Then I heard the news about Paris and everything in my week suddenly seemed so trivial.

Every so often I get a glimpse of things from God’s perspective. 

That bird’s eye view that allows me to see the greater saga. 

That our lives are just a page in the enormous tome that holds the stories of those who’ve gone before us, those who walk beside us, and those who will come after us.

Thinking my indignant words might have irrevocably damaged the fellowship between me and God, he reminds me that it just isn’t so as he invites me back into his presence. 

Still filled with remorse over my outbursts, I'm the hesitant one, not him. I feel sheepish but grateful.
I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. Ps. 31:7

Sometimes there is a long silence after God whispers a word to our hearts. There are more obstacles than we thought there would be, and we don’t realize that the fight is against the efforts to make us doubt God’s goodness.

But when I have the choice to doubt or have faith, I choose faith. 

The doubts are the catalyst that make me more sure that only God can pull off the impossible. Only God can breathe life into what’s dead in my life. 

And only God can move the obstacles that loom as big as mountains. It’s not up to me.

All these thoughts were still fresh as I watched the musical “Cinderella,” for the second time this year. My niece and I saw it in the spring, staged by her school but last weekend I saw the much more elaborate Broadway production. 

When the cast started to sing “Impossible/It’s Possible,” Devon’s eyes lit up and she leaned over and said, “Auntie, do you remember this song from the last time we saw it?”

My doubts of the past week were suddenly erased. 

I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be. 

Imprinting memories on the hearts of my niece and nephew, that years from now they will remember threaded through the fabric of their childhood.

I'm still sifting through cards from Compassion International of other children to consider sponsoring. 

I haven't decided yet but I'm leaning toward a little girl named Ana from Mexico. I'm going to think about it over Thanksgiving.

I don't think I'll ever have the personality to take things in stride like water off a duck's back, but I know every irritation and annoyance just offers me a new opportunity to change my reactions and responses. I'm eager to practice.

So I'm pretty sure by the time it's time to carve the turkey, I'll be in a fine feather.

I'm joining my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart


  1. Such wit and wisdom ♥ This ol' bird is right there with you... it doesn't take much to get me ruffled either! But what a great way to look at those trivial things (and they are indeed trivial in the light of greater catastrophes of the week) as practice in honing our reactions... :) I had LOTS of practice last week too...!!! Ouch.... But as I drank from my pretty mug this morning that shared the same sentiment that you echoed at the end.... I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be as well. ♥♥♥♥ And they say birds of a feather flock together you know : ) Happy to be in good company with you friend. xo

    1. Heather,
      Perfectly put -- we are birds of a feather! I'm planning to keep on practicing and someday I'm hopeful there will be improvement! :) But in the meantime, I'll keep on drinking coffee from our matching beautiful mugs! :)

  2. I think we all learn a mini lesson everyday, and every so often God places the biggest lessons in our path to learn. It's all to make us a better version of who we are. I try my best to learn the lesson, because who wants to be stuck in a rut you know? I just loved reading this Valerie and don't worry, we all go through it. But it's all about learning the lesson and I know you've definitely done that. Now unto the next lesson :).

    Kia / KTS

    1. Kia,
      Onto the next lesson -- I love it! Pick ourselves up and keep moving forward, right? Thanks for reading, my friend!

    2. Absolutely. Keep moving forward. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family :).

      Kia / KTS

  3. Isn't it something how we can see things so differently if we look through God's perspective? Thank you, Valerie, for this hope that God can pull off the impossible, that He can move obstacles as big as mountains. I love how honestly you tell the lessons God teaches you. It makes me feel less alone. I love this verse - "I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul." Ps. 31:7 Thanks for this reminder.

    I'm so sorry the family of the little girl you sponsored pulled her out of the program. I pray God will guide you to another one. By the way, your niece looks like a lovely little princess. :) It reminds me to remember that's how God sees us. Blessings and hugs to you!

    1. Trudy,
      Thanks for your sweet words about my niece and for your sympathies about my sponsored child. Isn't that verse beautiful telling us how God cares about what causes us trouble and anguish? We're in this together, Trudy, as God shows us how to become more like him and see through his perspective!

  4. Loved your first sentence. Oh those feelings that make our hearts bleed for our own words and actions, those of others, and even world events. I could relate to every one of your examples. We've had several sponsored children leave the program. We even had one young boy die. It was heartbreaking. Now we are blessed to sponsor his brother. I'll join you in praying that the Lord blesses your connection to the child you choose together.

    1. Deb,
      Thank you for your wise words and similar experiences with your sponsored children -- how awful that one child passed away but what a redeeming experience to sponsor his brother! Thank you so much for these encouraging words!

  5. Valerie...
    The feathers ruffled is so me too.
    I have felt that way this week too.
    Thanks for some empathy.
    I hope you have a good end of the week and bossed Thanksgiving.

    1. Hi Jenn,
      Thinking of you during this challenging time for you -- keeping you in my prayers and I hope you have a restful Thanksgiving!

  6. Valerie
    I love the candles in the first picture- :) I grew up with candles like that but we had ones that were christmasy :) Love your post and all the good thoughts -How true it is that God's perspective is so different than ours. I wish I could see it better though- so hard to understand at times- I have had thoughts like these too- and our compassion child dropped the program and went into the army- It made me very sad. Know God will be faithful to fill the spot in your heart left by this little one with even more - This part spoke to me- 'Sometimes there is a long silence after God whispers a word to our hearts. There are more obstacles than we thought there would be, and we don’t realize that the fight is against the efforts to make us doubt God’s goodness." so true that i struggle doubting his goodness when things don't go my way.Thanks for helping me to see this as the struggle - so good. Thanks so much for being real! Thankful for you tonight! xo

    1. Susie,
      Once again I think we were sisters separated at birth! Growing up we had candles like the ones in my photo but they were long gone after so many moves and I found those in a vintage shop -- I love the little feather that doubles as the wick!

      I had no idea Compassion children could leave the program, thanks to your comment and Deb's comment earlier so I'm interested to hear your similar experiences! I'm right there with you struggling to hold onto the promise that God is good to us when our dreams that we think he planted in our hearts seemed stalled or even dead. But I just know that he is good to us and he has something new to show us, if we keep seeking him! xoxo

  7. Valerie,
    I just have to say that as I see you around the "blogosphere" you are always so incredibly encouraging to everyone!! We all stumble and are awkward at times, but God sees your beautiful heart!! So thankful that God is able to pull off the impossible...especially in light of all the things going on in this world. While you are pondering over Thanksgiving...We at Redeemer Christian School in Pakistan have 25 children on a waiting list desperately waiting to be sponsored so that they too can get off the streets and into the loving refuge that is our school. In invite you to check out my MISSIONS tab at my blog...some post turkey reading, if you will :). Would love to have you as part of our family!! 100% of your sponsorship goes to the child...food for thought.
    Blessings to you this day,

    1. Hi Bev,
      Thank you for your very kind words -- I just cherish them! I will certainly check out your missions page -- what a wonderful ministry you are involved in! I so appreciate you mentioning it and I will look into -- yes -- some food for thought over the upcoming weekend! Always love having you here, Bev!

  8. Gosh, I just love my visits here with you, Valerie. I always walk away feeling refreshed, encouraged, my soul fed deep ...

    Thank you, dear friend. I am so grateful you're in my world, even from afar. For He has knit our souls close ...


    1. Hi Linda,
      I feel the same way about you! So grateful for your words, thoughts and encouragement -- always, friend! xo

  9. God keeps pressing us, molding us gently into who He sees we can be, of course we feel the growing pains of this stretching. But I like to think about how He is making something beautiful out of me. And despite me, He loves me.
    It's always good to stop in over here and read how God is working in your life. I seem to always glean insight for my own life.
    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Alecia,
      (Love your new gravatar!) Oh yes he is making something beautiful out of our lives -- and I love how you say -- perhaps in spite of us?! So glad I have met you on this blogging journey!

  10. You're always a fine feather in my book! :)

  11. Valerie,

    Lovely photo of your niece and this is wisdom: "I know every irritation and annoyance just offers me a new opportunity to change my reactions and responses. I'm eager to practice." God is so gracious, is He not? Yes, so hard sometimes but by God's grace, all is possible, my friend :-) Happy Thanksgiving, my friend :-) And I relate to your comment about how hard it is to just let things roll off our backs sometimes...such a process, which makes me call out to God even more for help :-)

    1. Dolly,
      Thank you so much! I'm so glad that when we call out to God, he is always there to hear us!


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