February 20, 2013

Welcome back to Doodlerama, the best kept secret in church newsletter history and online! How did you get so blessed to find this? Only you know the answer to that!

And how’s that for not being a negative, whiny, half-depressed woman? I think that’s pretty good actually and it is all because of my most excellent word choice for this year. . . wait for it. . . No, it is not PATIENCE. . . No, it is not even BALANCE, which received all three of the votes entered by friends and family and tabulated by Kussinsky Kounts Inc. It is not any one of the many parts of my grand compound word from last month’s Doodle. It is instead– **POEM**!!!

Let me explain this. First of all, those many parts of my longish compound word were just too boring. I couldn’t get excited about any of them because of their pizzazzlessness. And if I’m going to be pondering one single word and what it means in the deepest part of my soul every day for a whole year, pizzazzlessness is not going to do it for me. (I could have written “pizzazz is essential” right there, but ironically, “pizzazz” doesn’t embody the pizzazz of “pizzazzlessness”. I do love a good word that’s fun to say even if the spell checker insists it’s not a word.) Anyway, I couldn’t go with anything mundane. Last year’s word, COMPOSE, was such a good, multi-layered choice, I almost went with it again, but that wouldn’t have been right either.

I agonized (I had to take ibuprofen to calm my pounding brain) and prayed and moaned and groaned over this until suddenly, the night before my birthday, which was my self-imposed deadline for deciding on the word, I realized that I was once again making myself crazy over something rather inconsequential. I mean really, people, we’re talking about choosing a word to focus on for the year, not how to save the world from imminent nuclear holocaust!! That realization led me to contemplate why I get so worked up about every little thing and why I can’t seem to prioritize the elements of my life in a better fashion. EVERYTHING is of utmost importance and urgency to me! EVERYTHING must be done efficiently! And right now! And perfectly! And while I’m at it, I might as well do MORE!

That’s when it hit me. Not only am I a Martha who gets all stressed out about the chores that must be done, I am a Martha with an inferiority complex. I’ve lived my entire life trying to prove my worth. Even though I’ve known in my head for years that the only worth worth having comes from Jesus, I still find myself in the vortex of trying to work my way to worth. It goes back a long, long way with me. I didn’t like myself for decades because of my hideous shyness. I was bullied and tormented in school. I stayed home with my daughters, instead of having a career and helping my family financially, which wasn’t a bad thing, but I felt rather inconsequential and guilty a lot. I’ve spent a lot of years feeling worthless, even as a Christian.

Here’s the good part. As I pondered all this on the eve of my birthday, Ephesians 2:10 came to me in a blaze of glory:

> For we are Christ’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

That word “workmanship”, as I learned from *The Purpose Driven Life* by Rick Warren, not only means “work of art” or “masterpiece”, but it is the Greek root word for our English word **POEM**! That was the greatest revelation God ever cracked over my head, back about ten years ago, and I had forgotten it! Well, that sealed the deal. With **POEM** purposefully before my face and on my mind every day for a year, surely this wondrous truth will finally sink in and become rooted where it can grow and guide me in filtering through the innumerable “good works” out there, to focus on the ones God prepared in advance for ME to do. I can’t do them all. I shouldn’t try to do them all. I need to do the ones God created me to do and leave the rest for others.

I’m excited to see what God is going to teach me this year, even though I know there will be plenty of obstacles and missteps along the way. One thing I know. Writing is something I’m going to be doing more of from now on. Help me, Jesus!