About this time 58 years ago, I was born.  I hear it was an easy birth.  My mother reminds me that I was an easy child.  No wonder my theme song is “I’m Easy,” by the Commodores. You could take that wrong.  But don’t.

So, while my dearest husband on the planet has a prolonged snooze this morning – I’ve been reflecting on the year.  It’s been wild and crazy.  Yet beautiful and glorious.  I’ve had to pause a few times during my “writing the Lord” and write a few humans just to say thank you.

I wrote my old boss, Ric, who hired me 23 years ago.  I wanted to tell him how much of a God-instrument he has been in my life.  You see, he “ordered” me to take care of two international women – one that came a few years back – and to this day – we are still beautiful friends.  The other came this past spring.  She came from Indonesia – and I  think my former vocation lasted just long enough to bring her into my life.  Both of these women are coming over tonight to help me celebrate 58 —  bringing dinner and a chick flick.

I wrote three friends thanking them for last night.  I enjoyed last night.  I’ll back up a bit:   I had the desire to preach on “holiness” as being God’s will for the life of his daughters.  And my new ministry leader gladly accepted my offer to lead the evening mom’s group.   Now, I thought my birth date was a secret to this new group I’m a part of and I was  prepared to preach my heart out – with the help of God and his prayer warriors.  But then my G’town BFF – being part of the plan – delayed my walk over to the ‘birdhouse’ – where we found it pitch dark.  That should have given it away – but I can be dense.  This new group, that I have grown awfully fond of,  surprised me with singing and cake and silliness.  Our group leader – a former youth director – is filled with silliness.  I turned into my Aunt Vic (I noticed this after I saw the video of my reaction) and was delighted by their thoughtfulness.

But can I just tell you about this group?  They have filled me with joy in the presence of God.  It has provided me with some true intimacy among women this year and has allowed me to be fulfilled in one of the overall desires of my heart – which is to be used in ministry by Jesus.  I’ve written all their names down in my God-letter this day.

Then there’s my church!  Often we humans can focus on how un-Christ-like “the church” can be.  But not my church.  In this season of transition – I can’t begin to tell you how gracious and loving they have been.  To me.  And, to my husband – who still claims “staff status.”  All the pastoral and parishioner visits have brought joy into our home.

Then there is this saint who was in my life back in our St. Louis days. I haven’t written her yet, but I will.  I can’t even write this without tears flooding my face.  She has been to me an instrument in the Redeemers Hands this year.  She stepped in to a tragedy and turned it into a cup of gladness.  She was the one who personified “who can make trouble when You send me peace.”   She showed me that the God I serve is a God who sees and takes notice – and longs to be lavish with his children.

And then there is my studio.  I get to sit at a wheel for several hours every day if I desire – and discover what it means to be a potter.  This week, the Lord showed me one of the biggest requirements/attributes that is needed for a potter.  And it is ‘gentleness.’  I am not gentle.  I ding my bowls with my carelessness  – it happens too often and too quickly.  But it has made me ponder this week just how gentle God is – and has been all year with me.  He has turned my sorrow (over losing a vocation that I loved) into rejoicing.  He has brought me to higher ground.  He has given me a ministry where I am made to feel loved and valued.  He has put a new song in my mouth – that I get to sing and dance to daily in my studio or in my morning sanctuary (which is my living  room).  He has rejoiced over me with such goodness and mercy – and I rejoice in him with thanksgiving and worship.