Monday, February 10, 2014


Yeah, I admit it, I am a puzzle, even to myself.

Kinda like this quote from Winston Churchill:

"It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

For instance, I sorta have a *rough-and-tumble* side to me.

Though I wasn't really a tomboy growing up, I did indeed have less-than-girly moments.

I still do.

Wanna know some?

(You are saying yes, right?) 

I am terribly proud of the fact that my dad taught me the *proper* way to throw a baseball, shoot a basket, and pass a football in a perfect spiral.

My brother and I used to play *army* all the time.  I liked his G.I. Joe action figures, his Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, and his Tonka trucks.

I love that my very first car was a stick shift – a Mercury Capri.  (A four-on-the-floor variety, not three-in-a-tree).

I once drove that Mercury Capri, with the awesome stick shift, at 109 mph. Stupid, yes, but I was racing a guy, in another Capri, and wanted to prove my mettle.

I once rode on the back of a motorcycle in the desert at about 95 mph. Also stupid, but very exhilarating.

I loved driving my dad's Firebird and later, his Corvette.  I now love driving my sons' Challenger or Ford 150 truck.  Oh, and "The Hub's" Jeep Wrangler, with the stick shift.

I used to play handball and racquetball against my guy-friends…and WIN.

I really liked showing off my sports injuries – like jammed fingers.  Once, when my brother and I were playing catch, I missed the baseball and it hit me in the eye.  I was rather excited about having my first black eye – except it never materialized past a little purple shading on my eyelid that looked like eyeshadow.  Grr.

I once played football with my brother, my cousin, and a neighbor – all boys – TACKLE football – and scored, both passing and rushing.

I LOVE watching sports of all kinds, but my favorites are football and hockey. The more contact, the better.

I use men's deodorant – it smells better to me, and works better.

I have been known to wear boxer shorts because THEY. ARE. COMFORTABLE.

I have one favorite piece of lounging attire – my husband's sweatpants and a flannel shirt.

I enjoy, really enjoy, camping – in a tent – roughing it.  I am not particularly upset by dirty hair or a smelly body – (after all, that's what men's deodorant is for!)

I have my very own bag of camping gear – my own flashlight, Swiss army knife, Leatherman tool, rock pick – would love to add my own hatchet and shovel.

I also have my own hammer, screwdrivers, and measuring tape.  Don't use them much – but I like having them around.

I am intrigued by the idea of wilderness survival.

I like snakes - (the non-venomous, in-captivity, small variety).

I love off-road four-wheeling exploration.

I prefer leather furniture, dark woods, earth tones, straight and traditional lines.  I'm not real big on patterns.  Our living room looks like an old English library – and our house is an effort to replicate an old hunting lodge/cabin – just the way I like it.

I've got lots more.  But you get the idea.  However, sometimes I'm a paradox to myself.  Yeah, I have these *rugged* parts of me, but then at other times, I act like such a girl.

But isn't that what makes humans so wonderful?  We're all so different, so distinctivesuch an interesting mixture of traits and qualities, such an eclectic brew of likes and dislikes.  We're full of consistency and contradiction.

And, at the end of the day, we are exactly who God created us to be.

(Well, not the sin part – but you know what I mean).

And we are meant to be here.

Planned and loved before the creation of the earth.  Woven in the womb. Intricately and wonderfully made.


Placed on this earth by our Creator.  Purposefully placed. Intentionally placed.  Meaningfully placed.

For just such a time as this.

I'm sure you are familiar with the story of Esther.  And though the name of God isn't specifically mentioned in this Old Testament book, His Presence leaps off every page.

There can be no question of God's hand in Esther's entire life.  Her background, her experiences, her placement at just the right places at just the right times, her courage, her wisdom.

The way that God invited her to be part of His Master Plan.

It is no different with us.

We are unique to this lifetime, this decade, this year, this day.

And God intends to use each one of us – through the way He created us.  Every mixed and mysterious and multi-faceted way that He put us together.

So, let's let Him do that.

Let's embrace the uniqueness that is called ME.  The things that make sense, and the things that don't.

The consistencies and the contradictions.

And let us be continually open to the leading of God in our lives, our unique lives, just like Esther was.

For we are here, at just such a time as this.

The Camping Couple - Roughing It

"Who knows if perhaps you – YOU, just you, uniquely you, only you – were made for just such a time as this?" (My paraphrase of Esther 4:14)

"LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.

I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!" 

(From Psalm 139, NLT)

Might I encourage you to join me in this prayer:

Lord, sometimes I don't understand myself.  I'm complicated.  I am a crazy mixture of things.  A product of my background, my nature, my experiences. But, I want to embrace myself as the person that You created me to be. There's lots of work to do, yes, but You made me to be exactly that – ME. Thank You for making me in Your image, and for making me unique.  Please take all that I am, and make me useful for Your purposes.  I am no accident. I am where I am, just at this time, because You have brought me here.  You had this planned, long before I opened my eyes to the world.  Guide me, transform me, infuse me with Your Spirit.  May I ever continue to look more and more like You…

What are some unique things about your personality? 

(SIDENOTE: Might I just add another contradiction about me?  My lunch today: Slim-Fast and Cheetos.  Don't judge me...)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Hi Sharon, this is such a cute post!
    I am such a mutt when it comes to my personality...I am eclectic. I change my mind about things like how to decorate my house...I do not go so much for style as I do for the 'feelings' I get from color combinations...So I like to mix things up a bit until I get that certain feeling.
    Ask me what my favorite color is and I will answer the combination of brown orange and teal, and the combination of blue purple and white, or red white and black...In other words I have favorite color combos not a favorite color!
    I used to play with my brother's toys too...and I always hung around with boys climbing trees and building forts...But in my alone time I read and drew.
    I hate dolls...even today...they creep me out! And guess what my mother left me when she died...Part of her massive doll collection! I gave them to my sister since my three girls do not like dolls either.
    I have owned several them!
    I worked a man's job for eight years...and I helped my husband build our house...Yes, I was even on top of it laying shingles, as well as pouring foundation and putting up the walls, installing the electric etc...Yet, I enjoy being feminine when it comes to clothes and makeup...even though I am at home in flannel shirts and ball caps while trudging through the woods!
    Yes, we are multi-faceted...God is not a He made us so very unique and complex...It is too bad so many people try to push down many of their unique traits in order to adapt to a certain 'standard' that I believe does not even really exist...since everybody is trying to adapt to it.
    Wish more people liked themselves just the way God made them.

  2. I think you are awesome, just the way you are, I love you.

  3. AMEN! (joined you in this prayer along with my other prayers for you, yesterday and today ... Sharon) ... by far, should you confess yourself as a "weirdo" ... unique, different ... God's OWN ... as Denise wrote ... we love you and all those "idiosyncrasies" that you actually were bold enough to put in print publicly (lol) "to each his/her own" ... God has made you ALL the components that you need to BE for such a time as this and I LOVE YOU just as you are (without any labels).
    No judgment or criticism (not even on your lunch?)

    What are some unique things about your personality? don't get me started ... but I'll share one, I don't eat breakfast, but have made "fritos" with salt and lime topped off with my daily Dr. Pepper, my GO TO for every morning ... just saying cuz of what you shared. Can't live without my DP no matter the price it seems, cuz it keeps going up ... So up there on the mountaintop and wherever you find yourself today, may God wrap you in His Loving arms and remind you how much you are loved and appreciated for who you are ... all of you, right down to those boxer shorts (you're too funny and dear) ... love your sense of humor even though these were truths ... you have such a refined way of sharing your vulnerabilities (with no fear, I might add) ... Hope you remained you yesterday, the strong and the "girly" side ... both were needed, I'm sure ...Your dad, I'm sure is proud of ALL he taught you (sports wise and other). You are his legacy and prize trophy! Shine on! Your Heavenly Father agrees with who you are and is pleased too!

    Love and H.U.G.

  4. Well, just let me say this...I must love weirdos because I certainly love you! Maybe because I am a mixture of many things, myself. The feminine side of me loves prints....on the wall (especially when wallpaper was all the rage) and on my body, all things flowery and Victorian too...but I LOVE our log cabin and all of the rustic elements that goes with that kind of decor. I LOVE to tent camp, cook on the open fire (cooking thanks), in fact it is the ONLY way to camp in my book! I do most of the tool using in my house and last year, I actually figured out how to fix the internal bathtub stopper in which the linkage had come loose...I used dental floss with an "s" hook tied to it, fished it down the closed-off drain and hooked onto the stopper and pulled it loose and the reattached the linkage :) I am silly and goofy but when I sing praises to my God on Sunday morning from the platform, I couldn't be more serious. Isn't it wonderful how He has made us all so unique? Thank you for this fun and truthful post, sweet friend!


  5. I've been known to wear men's deodorant too because it does work better. :) Our diversity truly is a beautiful thing. All of us are pieces of God; none of us can contain Him as a whole.

  6. I'm glad God saw fit to create each of us so uniquely individual...each with our own unique destiny and personal way of reflecting His glory!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Hi Sharon, Joined you in this prayer. Sometimes I feel very unique, very odd and complicated. It is good to be reminded I am just the way God designed me to be, although He still has a lot of rough edges to knock off

  8. You are just you...unique, special, just how the Lord made you. We all have different aspects to our personalities. I think you are super special in the most special way! How's that? But, why oh why, do you like any kind of snake?! Ugh!
    Hugs & Blessings~
    Oh, and Psalm 139 is such a favorite of mine!!

  9. Okay, you lost me with the snakes....but I enjoyed hearing about what you like to do....I am pretty transparent which you can tell if you read my blog...I am competitive, especially with myself. I don't care for sports to watch much except for curling, womens beach volleyball, and ice skating. I was pretty athletic as a to dance...oh how I love to dance. It makes me smile and feel younger than my gray hair and chubby body show. I could spend 24/ 7 with my husband. I am complicated, strong yet insecure. I like to use my imagination to connect with Jesus.....That's a few .....

  10. Loved every crazy part of your make up! Thanks for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story." Esther knew she was sent to the kingdom for such a time as this, and may we each one understand that in our uniqueness, we are sent also for such a time as this.

  11. You are as mixed a bag as I am, as we all are. I do happen to see a lot of me in some of your descriptions. I am so glad that HE gets me, every quirk and especially that the desires of my heart are known even when I mess up...I especially loved the pic of you and your hubby, so cute. Oh, and the p.s....that lunch says it all!! :) I totally relate.

  12. I love your lunch, Sharon! How could I judge a lunch like that? I think it sounded delicious! (Koda likes Cheetos too :)

    I loved how you summed this all up. We are exactly where God wants us to be when he wants us to be, etc.

    Loved reading about you and what makes you Sharon!


  13. Excellent!

    I am fond of telling my class and others that God said He had called unto himself a peculiar people. Good to know because there is no one more peculiar than I am.

    I like the contrasts. I'm actually a strong woman in so many areas but a very fragile and fearful one in so many others. I'm the kind of woman who could probably teach a room of 10,000 people without an anxiety attack (well, a huge one anyway) but who becomes a paralyzed puddle of nerves if she has to simply sit at a softball game in the bleachers in an unfamiliar place. I'm afraid of ALL unfamilar places and things, in fact. Unless I'm teaching. Then, some other person enters my body and just takes over.

    I'm not sure why God gave me such pointed and specific courage, but He did.
    Odd, huh?

    Sort of kind of always wished He has just given me Esther's beauty instead, but He's God and I"m not.

  14. And when you get a chance, let me know how you are, OK?

  15. And you've encouraged me some more. Think I shall park here for the night. :)))
    LOVED that picture.

  16. Beautifully stated. How often women belittle themselves, forgetting they are "beautifully and wonderfully made." Thank you for this lovely reminder.

  17. Haha! I love learning all about you Sharon (however.....really? snakes?-yucky!) :) Amen! We all have unique personalities, and the diverse ways in which we are unique make us stand out in a crowd! Our styles and differences are so fun and entertaining to be around, and God considers us His masterpiece and has always thought of us as valuable. :)

    Love the picture!
    Blessings and bunches of hugs!!

  18. My sons didn't believe I could drive a jeep, use a stick-shift - I surprise them. So many times they think I am made up of only what they see now. My oldest was surprised I ever took ballet until I showed him a photo. They see me so one-dimensional - but God made us multi-dimensional - and you are right - He made us, equipping us with the best to handle the challenges. I don't think you are weird - I think you are blooming riotously - just like God planned!

  19. I love how beautiful unique you are but my favorite part is your heart-warming and fun-loving personality. You are a true encourager to the down trodden. I always leave your blog with a smile and my burdens definitely feel a whole lot lighter. I am a huge book lover and have read almost 1500 books in the last 3 years which is huge for me. God has blessed me with the opportunity to read them for free most of the time and to be able to bless the authors and readers by finding books with a true sense of His purpose and meaning behind them. Still waiting for His nudge to begin to write my own.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  20. You're right...boxer shorts ARE comfortable!! I wear them for night shorts as the "girl ones" are not comfortable and scrunch up, you know? Thanks for sharing this about what makes you, you! We are all unique and exactly how God made us. And, isn't that WONDERFUL!!

    Blessings, Joan

  21. I was a little bit like you re: doing boy stuff. I climbed trees, played football, and did lots of other stuff with guys. However, you're much more involved with the driving issues, and camping and snake-liking that I'm not significantly fitting in. Yes, I drive a LOT of the time, around our country when able to go, and especially when the Lord calls me to hit the road. BUT can't go beyond the speed limit, b/c it would cost too much. Anyhow, you're a treat and I'm glad you are blessed by many and appreciated. Always a good thing, no matter what we're doing or how it's in our life. Blessings...

  22. Oh Sharon, I'll have no parts of snakes. I can't even stand to look at them in pictures. Such a great message you weaved into this! And I couldn't help me laugh at that little lunch choice of yours :)

  23. Blessings, Sharon! You are livin' large out there in the wild west! I'm afraid I have nothing to my credit to compare with your many accomplishments - wish I was more rugged. If I'd lived 100 years ago or more, I'd certainly need to be high born with servants to handle all the heavy duty work. Never could hit a ball - or catch one, for that matter. But, how wonderful to have so many things in our lives that are so radically different and yet, so much that binds us together. Christ is like that and I praise Him for the gift of friends across the miles who add sparkle and amazement to my life - like YOU! Will want to hear more of your rugged adventures. It's the stuff great blog posts are made of . . . and even greater metaphorical Bible lessons.
    Joy to you!

  24. Aren't we all just a little bit weird? Loved your post!! Visiting from Winsome Wednesday!

  25. Hi Sharon! You made me giggle at the Slim Fast and Cheetos. I'm not going to judge you, I think it's hilarious! Probably because I recognize it.

    We are so beautifully and wonderfully made, aren't we? It was fun to read about your adventures, because I'd never do them. I was afraid of too much speed. I'll just be over here in the corner drinking a Slim Fast waiting for you to be done, ok?

    But it is what makes us so different and interesting, that's for sure. Your prayer says that we are complicated, and that is true. But very worth getting to know, both by ourselves and by others. I love hearing about your life, because it's so different, but still the same as mine.
    Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself today :)

  26. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  27. You and my wife would hit it off perfectly! I so appreciate when people go their own way in our society. The sheep are heading to be cut... or worse... and we've been set free. Funny how the time my wife, playing golf for the second time, comes to mind...

  28. I love this so much! As a trucker's daughter, I have many of the contradictory aspects to my personality as well. I'm all about a nice high heel but I also grew up riding dirt bikes and hanging out at truck stops and pool halls. :) I'm visiting from Rachel's Whimsical Wednesday. Have a great day!

  29. There is a theme to things I am reading yourself that way that God loves's okay. I,too, feel full of contradictions -- I'm outgoing and love people and yet have a deep need for alone time as well. There are others. I can relate to some of the fun rough & tumble aspects of you...I would love to have a jeep. I played with my brothers a lot growing up because they were doing stuff and were willing to include me. But I am a girl, too. I get this post. Visiting today from the SDG sisters.

  30. God has been showing me this truth also and it has been so precious to me. It was pointed out to me that God addressed David as saying, to your generation...meaning God had David for his generation, not mine but for his generation. I am for my generation and God put me together for His purpose also.
    Yes, I can change oil in my car...I can camp with my boys, while also enjoying dressing up to dance. I think God knew I would have five boys and so he gave me a Dad who brought me up more like a boy than a girl. God's design for me has been so right.
    Thanks for this great post!

  31. Linking up after you at Faith Barista Jam - love how you embrace the way God made you, just the way you are! Wouldn't it be boring if we were all created the same? Thanks for your words of encouragement to accept ourselves, and others - just the way God made us.

  32. Wow, great post Sharon! I get what you're saying...well, all except for the snake part. :) I was just tapping the keys on an as-of-yet unpublished post that touches on this subject in a round about way. But as a person who has always struggled with her "uniqueness" I appreciate the reminder that I am "exactly who God made me to be" for such a time as this. Thank you for the encouraging words!

  33. Well you maybe a weirdo - but I am too! Maybe that is why I like you so much! teehee Great post. I am glad you have learned to accept who you are and being satisfied with who God made you. You are wonderful just the way you are. sandie

  34. Dear Sharon
    Oh, what would you be if you were not our friend with that quirky sense of humor who never leaves me without a smile on my face! I am also very fond of the outdoors, camping and hiking, but this is now the one thing that I had to give up when this old body tent of mine lifted a lot of its tent pens with the Fm/CFS. But our Lord carries us through everything we need to go through. I love your post, dear one, and the way you are perfectly fitted for your husband.
    Blessings XX

  35. Lol, Sharon I'm definitely a weirdo too :-)
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  36. Reminds me of a quote my pastor says about being "wierd - because normal isn't working!" Love it! Pleasure to meet you!


  37. Sharon, we sound a lot alike, and a lot different! Love it! So glad I am your neighbor over at Sunday Stillness! Heart Hugs, Shelly <

  38. Hi Sharon...we'll have to play catch with a football since my brother taught me how to throw it in a perfect spinning arch. I played tackle football a few times, and always always basketball. I was good at it and a few of us girls were allowed to play with the guys. I love soccer too and have played numerous times with my kids and the young people at church (up until just a year ago)...and so forth. BUT, I am a girlie girl and it all stops there.

    Thanks for linking up with WholeHearted Wednesdays.

  39. Oh, Sharon, you are so special! My husband and I have been listening to Alistair Begg's sermons on Esther for the last couple of months and I love how you tied all this together :) and your home sounds just perfect! So glad to have found you... again (you really need to add a "follow by email" option) :)

  40. Sharon, trying to catch up on you!!Miss you and am praying for you deeply- I miss your craziness and your wit!! Hope you are well- love you and am sending you hugs and kisses!! xxxoooo


"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!

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