Hello! I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the cooling days of August. Here in Missouri we have been blessed with cooling rain—such a relief from our rising temperatures! At this moment I am resting in my room; I had a very pleasant day spending my time with Momma and tending to a few things here and there. And here I am, late at night, pondering a few things. Lately, I have been battling a few insecurities. Insecurities wearing the name tags: “I’m not pretty enough,” “I’m such a dork” and the likes. Insecurities which render me useless in being the person Christ has called me to be. You see, I have been spending so much time trying to patch up my weaknesses, to hide my imperfections, that I have been hindering God’s work in me. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Isn’t God so good to love us even when we’re imperfect? Please do not mistake me; I am not promoting the false thought which says, “Oh, well, everyone sins and well, it just can’t be helped . . . thank you Lord for loving me just as I am.” It is true; God has loved us perfectly in that He loved us while we were yet sinners. However, His holy and righteous nature demands that we allow Him to come in our lives and deal with our sinfulness. He will not let us sweep sin under the rug. What I am talking about is the silly, embarrassing weaknesses we all have (or think we have): our insecurities over our weight, complexion or ability—or lack thereof–to sing. You see, I spend so much time thinking about what others think of me (notice the pure selfishness in that statement). I feel I can read their thoughts and any wrong move on their part may signal that I have done something wrong or that I’ve offended them. Yes, I know, quite pathetic. What a waste of time and energy . . . how foolish! I’m twenty-one and still going through issues I thought I had resolved years ago. It is this drama that brings me to my title. I am learning to be thankful for my weaknesses, my imperfections. Thank you Lord for giving me my nose—fashioned according to your plan and taste. Thank you Lord for how you built my body; may it serve your purpose. Lord, use my shy nature to bring you glory and thank you for using my temperament according to your will. Lord, the eczema on my hands, use it according to Your will. You see, when I learn to accept the things I may find unpleasant and thank God for them, it totally changes my perspective. Thank you Lord for my love for tea cups, my joy in flowers and my lack of ability to sew. May you use my talents, or lack thereof, for your purpose and glory; may your strength be seen in me. I am so thankful to be me—being me, or being you, is the best billboard anyone could request. Allowing Christ to shine through you and your personal quirks can be one of the most radiate (and beautiful) characteristics a down-trodden, lost soul may need to see. Let’s not be cookie-cutters. You may like sweets while I like a good meatloaf; you can dress in your elegant ball gown and I in my pioneer dress. I think even the angels have different characters and talents and it is pleasing to our Abba Father. With love from your mudboot lovin’, chipped toothed, soprano-only sister in Christ, Frannie P.S. Mr. Norman Rockwell’s “Spring Flowers” can be found at rockwellsite.com. I just love is paintings!