Challenge 24: Switch the Spotlight

Spotlight

Some of you know I spiritually mentor seven women who I meet with individually monthly and as a group monthly. Each March, my birthday month, the ladies get a special dinner for me, a cake and a wonderful gift, usually to a spa. While I always LOVE what they do for me, I decided this year I would investigate what was going on around the city and plan an outing for us to attend. In prayer on another matter, I sensed the Lord tell me to cook dinner and have them over my house. He didn’t just stop with that group, though. He had me add women I mentor who are not in my monthly group and my sister clergy from my church. Twenty-three in all came. And we sang and laughed and ate and prayed and cried and testified and rejoiced and hugged and loved one another so fully, God spilling His blessings out on each one of us as I prayed for every. single. woman. I am still spiritually spinning and physically spent but rejoice that God would call me to love women like this on MY birthday.

I served healthy treats: kale salad, broccoli salad, pinto beans w/out meat, greens w/out meat, cabbage w/out meat, spicy lentils, yellow split peas (not pictured) and lentils and rice topped with caramelized onions.

I served healthy treats: kale salad, broccoli salad, pinto beans w/out meat, greens w/out meat, cabbage w/out meat, spicy lentils, yellow split peas (not pictured) and lentils and rice topped with caramelized onions.

I served two meats: curry and baked chicken.

I served two meats: curry and baked chicken.

We had these chocolate velvet brownies with a cream cheese icing and a non-baked (raw) lemon pudding with a pistachio crust (Read about that on my Soul Delights Facebook page).

We had these chocolate velvet brownies with a cream cheese icing and a non-baked (raw) lemon pudding with a pistachio crust (Read about that on my Soul Delights Facebook page).

Serving as such on my birthday may seem odd to some, but a few years ago, as I was lamenting a bit over the normal activities I had to do on my birthday—taking care of the children and having ministry meetings, I sensed this so clear in my spirit: “You must engage in the things that show forth why I had you to be born.” Ouch! So that has become the mindset for my birthday. I engage in activities that exemplify my life calling, why God put me on earth. Instead of expecting a celebration of me, I look for opportunities to celebrate God’s calling on my life, a celebration of God. For my 40th, I had a dinner party where I gave all the guests an award and presented them with a poem I wrote and in other years I have mothered and mentored and ministered in other ways, all of which show forth my calling and give God, not me, glory. This was a new paradigm for me but something I am committed to and think others should consider as we seek to perform radical acts of love.

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Along with these Calla Lillies, guests bought me a silver bracelet, a two-day stay at a bed and breakfast, a designer dress, a silver bangle and money, all totally a surprise and such a blessing!

Along with these Calla Lillies, guests bought me a silver bangle, a two-day stay at a bed and breakfast, a designer dress, and money, all totally a surprise and such a blessing!

Another ‘love another’ link for your consideration.

Take a Risk Challenge: This week love someone else when you believe you deserve to be showered instead. Maybe buy coffee for that co-worker whose turn it is to buy your coffee or allow someone else to speak up in a meeting when you have the answer you know will make you shine in front of the boss. Just do something that takes the spotlight off you and places it on someone else. Yes, that’s a radical act of love.

My One Thousand Gifts List

Note: Though I reached 1,000 gifts last week, I’m continuing to list gifts through when I stopped writing them in my journal, when my thanksgiving became “thanksliving,’ as Ann Voskamp says.

#1001-1010
Chatting with Tabitha and Kamil
Eating Middle Eastern food with Joshua
Visiting with and helping Renee—talking, looking at pictures from her first Paris trip, hearing her nephew be thrilled playing with Joshua, arranging furniture
Cuddling with Nate on the floor and his nestling in my chest and continually turning his face for me to kiss him
Completing my second Kingdom First column, which was one of the hardest articles I’ve ever had to write
Seeing the boys follow one another to make sounds into the fan, each younger one thrilled to mimic the older one right ahead of him
Two Robin birds doing a fleeting dance
Smelling pine cones in the spring
The nutty smell of basmati rice
Perfume coming in through the windows