The Infamous Yellow Dress

Ok, so you’ve “heard” me talk about my prissy yellow dress, right? The one I bought while a chill still ruled the air and department store mannequins wore the only signs of spring being just around the corner? The one I FINALLY wore for the very first time just the other day?

Yes! Yes! That one!

This dress makes me smile just looking at it. It’s not solely because it reminds me of why I thank God ALL OF THE TIME for creating me as a woman. I’m just giddy about the way the color shouts at me, “smile or I’ll blind you”. Lord knows I needed that colorful push the other day. If you read Wednesday’s post, you know or can imagine that lately there are days when I need LOTS of extra coaxing to turn the corners of my mouth upward and to dry the tears from my eyes. Sometimes, wearing a little sunshine aids the effort.

God is faithful to give us just what we need when we need it, and I am so glad there is just no limit to the creativity of His methods. And to be honest sometimes I just love the way He loves on me with a little something girly. I mean a few years ago I wrote this post about a pair of designer jeans. (Don’t ask, just read the post when you get a chance. :-)) Believe me, I dare not reduce the glory of the Lord’s grace, mercy, and compassion toward us down to my female infatuation for frilly fashion. Not at all. However, I do make it my business to attempt to take note of His every blessed smile upon me. Some of the smiles I just might miss if I limited myself and Him to the box myself and others tend to try to keep Him in.

Ok, so you’re probably screaming, “Monica get to the point already!!” It’s Friday, so a serious point to this post would be, well, too serious. So, no “serious” for me today. I’m simply here because I realized I’ve talked about it twice, but…

I NEVER SHOWED YOU THE DRESS! Duh!! I know at least half of you have been curious, so here it is:

The Infamous Yellow Dress

How girly is that?! This little number certainly helped lift my spirits a few days ago. Ok, so let me hear it. What is your favorite fashion find that as soon as you saw it, bought it, or received it made you start humming “Jesus loves me this I know…” in your head? See you in the comments.

Completely feeling God’s love for me in the midst of it all,

August 2, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2 NASB – There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…A time to give birth and a time to die.

Life shifts.

Sometimes the shift is so pronounced making “life as we KNOW it” suddenly and forever become “life as we KNEW it”. That moment, whatever it may be, becomes a virtual line in the sand that now separates the two worlds.

On August 2, 2011, my father passed away. Today, I’m remembering life as I knew it and trying to adjust to life as I now know it.

As a writer, the last place I want to find myself, especially at a time like this, is at a loss for words. My personal expectation is to be able to write a lofty post worthy of honoring the man I love so dearly and who loved me so unconditionally. If I’m not careful, not being able to do so could begin to  heckle me or mimic the act of pouring salt on my gaping wound. But I won’t allow it.

The other day, one of my sisters wrote an amazing post about my father, entitled The Greatest Man in the World. Her words capture, quite vividly, the essence of my daddy and the moment he left us to live forever with Christ in heaven.  Instead of lamenting over what I cannot write, I was able to blanket myself in the warm and beautiful words of one who shares my pain. I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to share her words with you, as well. I invite you to click here and take a moment to read the post she has written.

I don’t know why, but I just love this picture of my dad.

Dad at his 70th birthday party

In the midst of it all, I am thankful for and find great comfort in the never-changing, never shifting word of God and presence of His sweet spirit to comfort my family and I and to bring us peace. Until next time.

Completely. missing. daddy,

The Prayer Room, Part 2

We ended our meeting with a professional hand shake. I said my “thank you and good-bye” to the Senior Editor for a well-known Christian book publisher and exited the room, making way for her next appointment to enter. With her business card in hand, it hit me. She expressed interest in reviewing my completed book proposal AND gave me her card. To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know what to do with that. I should have been elated. Instead I was numb.

I’d had 3 meetings that day, 2 of which I was convinced I wanted to cancel. And now someone may be interested. Interesting

Through the strength of Christ, I’ve found legs to stand under layers of disappointment I’ve faced in recent years. Today, the reality that I’ve misplaced my sensitivity to the excitement and whimsical pleasure of possibility gripped me as I left the editor’s presence. At first I didn’t know where to go – back to my hotel suite or to slip quietly into the rear of the room to catch the end of the session I’d missed. The navigation system of my stylish black heels had someplace else in mind.

When I crossed the threshold of the prayer room, I almost froze. There were two women praying together, and I felt like any move I made would disrupt the precious atmosphere. I silently slipped into a chair and began to reflect. Moments later a woman from the prayer team joined me. My private nature almost told her I just wanted to be left alone in silence. Instead I shared my immediate thoughts and allowed her to pray for me.

After prayer, the sweet woman (whose name escapes me now) directed me to the tables in the back to find my name attached to a name of God. I rounded the table carefully scanning 650 names looking for my own. I was eager to find out to what name His Spirit led them to affix my name. My heart began to pound as I neared the end and had yet run across Monica Watkins.

As I turned to walk away, the enemy of my existence began his choral response in my head. He put on a grand performance, singing negative tunes insinuating I’d been forgotten, gone unnoticed, was unimportant, flown under the radar or fallen through the cracks undetected once again. He begged me to agree with him that I shouldn’t have been there, at the conference, meeting with publishers, or pitching a book.

“You haven’t arrived,” he taunted. “The epicenter o f destiny is all in your head.”

The woman who prayed for me was watching the entire time. She whispered to me, “Did you find it?” When I told her no, she immediately jumped up to help me look. She took one side of the table, and I took the other. In no time she bid me come.

There I was (last vertical slip at the top of the page):

Attached to Jehovah, the great I AM!

The words written below the name are:

 “I Am”: The one who is the self-existent One

God never changes. His promises never fail. When we are faithless, He is faithful. We need to obey Him.

Exodus 3:14, Exodus 6:2-4, Exodus 34:5-7, Psalm 102

If you’re looking for a place to spend your devotion time today, the verses above may be a nice place to start. They have been for me. Later on, I’ll share which verses stood out most and how I am finding peace in these passages.

Completely ME,

The Prayer Room, Part 1 – More Thoughts from She Speaks

Imagine the variety of experiences that may be available to you over the course of roughly 67 hours, in an environment of 650 women representing 40+ states and (I think) 4 countries. A superabundance of experiences can spring forth out of such fertile ground. This was the ground I walked on at the She Speaks Conference last weekend.

Take note – especially any writers, speakers, and/or women’s ministry leaders out there – as I continue to express the richness of this experience. It was a wealth weightier than normal networking and padded the scale more on the side of encouragement than of competition.

One of my notable experiences was my time in the She Speaks Conference Prayer Room. The Prayer Room was a place of calm in the midst of the clamor, set aside for a purpose I believe is pretty self-explanatory (given the name). It was a serene place of comfortable seating, dim lighting, soothing instrumental worship music, and oh yeah, lots of tissue boxes. After all this was a women’s event. 🙂

There were no “hours of operation” for the prayer room, at least none that I was ever aware of. If the conference was in session, the prayer room was open. Women would drop in between or even during sessions, whenever they felt the need to steal away for a sweet hour (or maybe just a few minutes) of prayer.

The most unique aspects of the prayer room, aside from the atmosphere, were the names of God on display on tables at the back of the room. Get this! Prior to the conference the Proverbs 31 Ministries team took the time to pair the name of each one of the 650 attendees to one of 19 names of God. A sampling of the names of God included names like: El – meaning: The Strong One, Jehovah Nissi – meaning: The Lord is My Banner, Immanuel – meaning: God with us, and El Shaddai – meaning: the all sufficient one; the God of the mountains; God almighty

The team prayed over all 650 women in the days leading up to the conference. Now is that a beautiful thing or what?! Indeed it is.

Join me tomorrow as I share more of my experience in the prayer room and the funny now (yet not so funny then) story of how and where I found my name.

In the meantime, is there a request you’d like me to take into my personal prayer room for you? I’d be delighted to call on the One who is the strong One, who is our banner, who is the all sufficient One – God almighty – on your behalf. Feel free to leave your prayer requests in the comments, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Completely ME,

%d bloggers like this: