Monday, February 21, 2011


My friend, Debbie, issued a challenge to me last week.

(At least that’s how I interpreted it – because I’ve always considered her challenging…ahem).

The whole fiasco started because she evidently thinks I’m "stylish" – (there’s just no accounting for taste!)

She asked me to share seven random things about myself. That didn’t sound too challenging, I thought. Seven interesting random things? OK, that’s a bit harder. But here’s the real "gauntlet" throw-down:

"Sharon would somehow manage to turn it into a devotional."

Ooooo, I just love it when she gets sassy.

So, here we go…

I’m going to share seven – yes, count ‘em – seven random things about me. And since Debbie is a teacher, I’m going to make them all school-related.
Fun? FUN!

1. When I was in kindergarten, one day at recess there was this pesky fly that wouldn’t stop landing and crawling around my forehead. I kept swatting at it. My horrified friends persisted in telling me to stop, because (they said) it was a bee. I didn’t believe them. Consequently, I "smacked" a bee sting right into the middle of my forehead.

Lesson: Be careful to listen to the still, small voice. And when He tells you to avoid something, you’d better believe Him. He’s probably trying to protect you from something that’s going to hurt you.

"He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him." (Proverbs 2:8)

2. When I was in 2nd grade, my teacher put me in the remedial reading group because she didn’t think I was a good reader. My parents promptly set her straight. Evidently, I was just shy and didn’t like to read out loud. When she discovered my actual reading level, she wanted to "skip" me ahead to 3rd grade (my parents said, "No").

Lesson: Don’t worry about what others think of you. Know that God sees you as you really are – and He loves you. With His power, you are capable, and strong, and well able to accomplish His good purposes.

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (Philippians 2:13)

3. When I was in 4th grade, I was in a spelling bee. My whole class voted for me to represent us, because I was an "ace" speller. I remember getting up in front of ALL the upper grades to await my word. "DELICIOUS." That was the word - my word. I smiled to myself, because I KNEW how to spell it. I said it slowly, out loud – with a smug, satisfied smirk. I waited for the applause of my class. I only heard groans. Yup, in my cockiness, I had been careless, and spelled – "D-E-L-I-C-O-U-S." The irony of it all? The one letter I left out in my moment of pride? "I."

Lesson: Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Don’t think you’ve got it covered alone. Don’t lean on your own understanding or your own wisdom. It is often when we think we "know it all" that we make the dumbest mistakes.

"Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
(Proverbs 11:2)

4. When I was in 5th grade, I starred in a school play. My role? A clumsy cousin from out of town. My first moment on stage? I was to walk on from the wings, say hello to my relatives, trip over a table, knock over a lamp, and fling dishes and magazines everywhere (on purpose!) Everyone gasped when it happened, until they realized that it was part of the act. I was very quiet in 5th grade, but I LOVED playing this boisterous, comical role. Evidently, the "ham" in me was just waiting to be born.

Lesson: The Holy Spirit has given each one of us special gifts. We need to discover them, and ask God for the courage and wisdom to use them. Others might not see our gifts – sometimes we get slotted into other peoples’ perception of us. But, fear not, God has a stage for you, a role for you to play. Get out there – don’t be content to "stay in the wings."

"A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other…Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part…and God has put each part just where he wants it." (1 Corinthians 12:7, 14, 18b)

5. I was on the drill team in junior high and high school – back when it was actually a "drill" team – as in marching routines – not fancy little dance numbers. I logged many, many miles marching behind the school band in crazy little outfits. In junior high I was a Spartan (complete with golden slippers and a laurel wreath) – and a Highlander, after we moved (complete with tartan skirt and a fancy little Scottish tam). In high school, I was an Apache (complete with feathers, fringe, and tomahawk). Not to mention moccasins – can you imagine marching for 2-5 miles in moccasins?! I had calves of steel.

Lesson: It is important to learn how to follow – how to obey the rules and regulations of God. It’s important to stay in line, and march in formation. It’s important to practice and be disciplined. And most of all, it’s crucial to keep on going, even when you’re exhausted and feel like quitting. There are awards to be won at the end!

"But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." (James 1:25)

6. In junior college, I once got an "F" in volleyball for ditching class so many times - (a boyfriend – long, sordid story). I panicked. My mom somehow finagled a medical excuse for me (said boyfriend had mono – she got our doctor to agree that I had been exposed to it - awkward – and he wrote a note excusing me.) Though I don’t agree that this was the most "upstanding" thing to do, I was grateful I didn’t have to suffer the consequences of this one.

Lesson: Oh, isn’t this one so obvious? Because of our dear Jesus, we don’t have to accept the consequences of our many sins. He gave His life for us, to "excuse" us from all unrighteousness. He wrote over the big, fat "F" of our lives with His blood. We were freed from the "blot" of sin on our report cards.

"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." (1 John 1:9)

7. I graduated from Westmont College with a B.A. degree in English Literature. Finally. After four years of "messing around" in junior college – (including an ill-advised year trying out the dental assistant program…another story, another day). So, six years after high school, I finally had that diploma, and my parents finally got do the family "WOO HOO" from the stands.

Lesson: Persistence pays off – even if you mess up along the way. God teaches us many things when we meander – yes, that’s true. But oh, if we just follow the right path in the first place, we’ll save ourselves a LOT of time!

"Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." (Hebrews 10:36)

That’s about it – phew, hope it wasn’t too long-winded.

Oh, and for the record…

…be careful what you ask for, Debbie!!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. This deserves a hoodie hoo!!!

    I couldn't wait, and it hurdled right OVER my highest expectations! And yet again, I nodded all the way through one of your posts.

    Yet again, I found ways that we were alike. I wasn't diagnosed as remedial, but I was sent to the school psychologist in the first grade because... get this... I wouldn't TALK.

    Apparently, the woman was very good at her job.

    As I read through them, I kept changing my mind as to my favorite one. Then, kind of like how it is when you buy a wedding dress, you end up picking the first one you tried on.

    Meaning that the thought of you slapping a bee sting into your forehead is getting the crown.
    (It'll be a laurel crown just so it can march behind the others looking utterly ridiculous.)

    I loved every single way that you tied it to a truth from God's word. THAT gift of yours is my second favorite thing about you.

    My first favorite is that you have good taste in friends...

  2. Spelling errors, clumsy cousin, slapping yourself in the head, skipping class...who knew? God did and look at the end product. Absolutely amazing. I've been looking forward to this post and you passed with flying colors. Just sayin'...

  3. Hi Sharon -

    Thank you for sharing you in growth - interesting...

    I particularly liked your #2 and this that you expressed, "My parents promptly set her straight."

    "Lesson: Don’t worry about what others think of you. Know that God sees you as you really are – and He loves you. With His power, you are capable, and strong, and well able to accomplish His good purposes."

    I had an "episode" this morning, Sharon, where I allowed what someone else expressed to adversely affect me. Our Lord countered that with assurances from His Word as I read it this a.m. And then, He sent me here and you have the "Lesson" under your #2. Thank you, Sharon. I needed that precise lesson to reinforce what our Lord shared with me this a.m. from His Word. It is so wonderful how He so cares for us!!!

    On my blog on February 17, 2011, in response to one of your comments, I added this, "P.S. I may do a post on this subject matter - the people issue."

    That subject post is planned for tomorrow.

  4. Fantastic!!! I enjoyed reading your childhood accounts, could relate to a few of them! But especially was blessed with your spiritual comparision and encouragement. Loved that part the best, it fit each one perfectly. Thanks for sharing and blessing!

  5. This needs to be in a book! You have an amazing talent, not just in writing, but in lining things up with the word of God. Amazing!

  6. This was just wonderful! WOW! Debbie had it right... and you really did nail the devotional in such a perfect way. Each memory, and the scripture to go with it... just a very special post Sharon!! Loved it! GO WARRIORS!!! :)

  7. Hi Sharon -

    Me again -

    Our Lord had me to do that referenced post today.

  8. Wow, Sharon you have quite a memory. Awesome job on making it a devotional style. I think you definitely met the challenge.

  9. Debbie - My word. Did that woman receive an award for opening the floodgates of Yak River? And hey, watch it - did I say anywhere that I looked "ridiculous" as a Spartan - or did you see the pictures?? The bee sting is your favorite? You're a cruel taskmaster... There's always a way to find God's truth. It's everywhere, you just have to look for it!! And yes, I have great taste in friends - I like Denise - (OK - you too, baby sister!)

    Denise - Thanks my friend. God knew that somewhere in that muddled mess was "me!" You gave me flying colors?! Hoodie Hoo - (and I would have said it on the front steps with you - just sayin')

    Sandra - Oh, how sorry I am that you had this "episode." I just hate when that happens in my life. Just when I think I've toughened up a bit, someone says or does something that just upsets me so. I read your post - wow! It was really great. Full of wisdom, just like you. Keep playing to the Audience of One, my friend.

    Joyce - I'm so glad you enjoyed this. So, you related to some of my memories, huh? Which ones, I wonder. Hopefully, not the "F" in volleyball one - not a star moment on my chart, I'm afraid. But yes, there are spiritual lessons to be learned by our mistakes. And God is gracious and patient to teach us.

    Debby - Wow! Thanks for your very kind comment. Hmmm...a book? Really? I try to see God in everything - and He seems to be there. I think He likes teaching!!

    Sonja - Oh, I'm so glad you liked this. I really had fun writing it. Can't wait to see what else Debbie challenges me with! The very fun thing is how much God blesses me when I write stories from my past. It seems like He always has something new for me to learn. WOO HOO, Warriors!

    Wanda - Thank you. I like meeting a challenge - and I'm glad you thought I was successful (had a lot of help - ie, Holy Spirit!!). My memory is an odd thing these days - I can remember so much from my childhood, but I'm always losing my glasses or my keys!!

    Well, Debbie - what other challenges do you have for me? Breaking a Guinness World Record for the longest post?

    Seriously, thanks for stopping by, everyone - glad you enjoyed this. And think about some of your memories, too. You just might be surprised at what God wants to teach you!!


  10. Oh my goodness - you had some wild experiences there my friend. You sewed some wild oats and God was there with you teaching you lessons. sandie

  11. This is just awesome! I can't find the right words to tell you how much I love this post. I had no idea how you were going to turn it into a devotional and apparently spent way more time wondering about *that* than coming up with a way to meet my own challenge. Shoot... ;)

    I have a spelling bee story too...but I still maintain I was robbed. I'm not bitter still AT ALL...20-some years later. LOL

    My favorite, favorite, favorite one was #4 - about finding and using our gift(s). I love the example of you happily playing the clumsy cousin! I am still trying to figure out what my gifts are and how to best use them! Wouldn't it be so much easier if God appeared to us and just *told* us like he used to. (There I go again...looking for the easy way out.)

    Anyway, love it love it love it! Fabulous job, as always. I have read it a couple of times and smile just as big each time.

    Hope you're having a great week!

  12. Sandie - Yup, I was a bit of a rebel in my own little way. You think I'm all short and sweet - there is a past, but yes indeedy, God taught me many lessons through it all.

    Jennie - I just had to call Debbie's bluff! Glad you liked this. It was a lot of fun doing it. I'm laughing at your spelling bee reaction - oh, could you sometime blog about that? I just know it would be hysterical. So, #4 was your favorite, huh? I really did have fun doing that play - I think it was the beginning of staking my claim to my sense of humor. Jennie, I just have to smile - you have so many talents - and God will reveal them to you. That's the easier part of it - the harder part is figuring out what to do with them. God showing up and just saying it would be good - but I think I'd be terrified, wouldn't you? And then I'd probably just run in the opposite direction...

    Anita - Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed this! It was a hoot writing it! God always has something to say - the challenge is listening to Him, and then obeying Him (at least for me!!)


  13. ohhh my goodness ... unbelievable challenge and YOU Sharon passed with flying colors... a PURE delight to see you choose 7 random, highly interesting parts of your school related life and not only have a LESSON in each one but a Word of God... (I'm not too sure what Hoodie Hoo does for you or even woo hoo or ya hoo)but this is an absolute fantastic Masterpiece and quite the HOOT!

    YOU SURPASSED this one and I agree that this is book worthy... can you collect an entire book's worth of random life experiences and do this?
    Let's say one a day for a month makes 31 chapters of devotions... Bible verse... Lesson and expanded, vivid story. So that's 7 out of 31! (of course you need to expand each story into living, vivid color like the "film making" one) and you like to be challenged, huh?

    I certainly learned alot! Lessons from Kindergarten to College and Scriptures to apply to each one. Honest, practical stories. I'm so glad that you are so gifted in hearing and listening to God and applying His Word. Each one was a favorite, I would not be able to single one out. However, I love the walk in mocassins you little drill team marcher... calves of steel, huh? Does this make you able to rope calves or steal them, you true grit, nature loving cow girl? God is blessing you through each one of these and sharing them helps us look at our lives' messes in a new light, how would God use this? If He can use you and your SMACKED bee sting, advance reading not remedial, speller with pride, comedian dramatic, disciplined drill team, ditching class, BA in English Lit than HE certainly can use me and my messes for His glory as YOU shine for His as you write each blog! A true gift of spiritual wisdom and write(or rite)

    You are the QUEEN of Random! Hail! Hail! Hats off for the queen... yippee... yahoo...

    Thanks for such fun and wit!
    Peace and JOY... and a super HUG,

  14. Oh Peggy - Your sweet comment had me laughing! And yes, I am highly excited by Hoodie Hoo, and Woo Hoo, and Ya Hoo! So, thank you for that! Yes, my calves of steel can also rope calves (not really - but I loved the image!!) - but cattle rustling? Nope, wouldn't be keeping to the Code of the West!

    Thanks for your kind comment - a book, huh? How sweet of you to think that that is a possibility. Would you please pray about this for me - because some things are percolating in my mind - but I really want to do what God wants.

    Glad you had fun, and I'm always so happy to make others smile (and if a chuckle or guffaw erupts? That's good, too!)

    YIPPEE, Peggy - and a giant YEE HAW!!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)