Happy Daughter’s Day!

18719307319_f328a5ff7a_o

What’s an apple got to do with anything, much less Father’s Day?  It has everything to do with it.  And I do mean every thing.

God wrote this post on the tablet of my heart back in April, right about where I left off on the blog.  But I saved it for June.  I’ll cover May later, so in the meantime, can you walk backwards with me to April and beyond?  We won’t trip, I promise, as long as we’re both holding onto each other—and to Him.

I just recently shared with a group of ladies about my first Women’s Bible study I attended at my church over a decade ago.  I was a newlywed, married to the sweetest man on Earth (and the first kid I met when I moved to my hometown the summer after fifth grade).

I was clinging to the end of my 20’s, had been a Christian since the age of seven, but I was still broken.  By the end of the study, my leader gave me a porcelain apple that God told her to give to me, along with His words—that I was the apple of my Father’s eyes.

She had no way of knowing that I’d come from a broken home and still carried issues because of it.  But He did.  And yet—He called me daughter.  It’s just a small slice of what all God has done, but He used His Word and His women to be a healing place for a hurting girl.

We’ve been planted in that House ever since, over in neighboring Baton Rouge. But it’s growing about as fast as my girls outgrow shoes, so we’re planting a campus in our hometown of Denham Springs.

Fast forward to Easter weekend, when our church held its first service here at a local park.  A park that was this former Miss Denham Springs’ prior stomping ground and playground. My childhood home was to the left and across from the park, and the trailer we had to move to at the end of my senior year was just to the right of the park.

So on Easter Eve, early on Saturday morning before I went there to pray, I drove by both, with Jesus riding along.

And over twenty years later, I drove down Eden Church Road, turned onto Eve Street, passed up Genesis Street and Garden Street, and then stared at my old street sign.  I’d never thought about the name, yet there it was.  Apple Street. And that first Women’s Bible study came flooding back.

What a picture of God placing His church and His cross smack dab in the middle of our difficulties, and surrounding us with a Father’s unfailing love. 

And talk about timing. Just that week I’d been asked to lead the future Women’s Ministry.  So sitting there at the intersection of the past and the present, I could hear my stammering words flung up to God, “Are you suuure? I mean, if I were you, I’d pick the flawless, shiny one, without all the bruises and the mealy parts.  You know, the perfect one.”

But I knew the rebuttal.   He already picked The Perfect One, and when we trust in the tree of the cross, we don’t have to be.

“OK.  I get it.  Finally.  But what do I say?  What do I tell them, the women you lead me to lead?”

Then I looked up to Him and to the “sign” that He gave, and pictured the smile of a Father, and heard the soft whisper to my own apple cheeks, “You tell them everything.  Everything I’ve been to you.  Everything I am to you.  You just tell them about me.  Everything I am.  And Who I AM to them: a Father.  And who they are to me: daughters—who ARE EVERYTHING to me.”

So what’s an apple have to do with Father’s Day?  Absolutely EVERYTHING!

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8. 

Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Matt. 9:22 

And how I love being with fellow daughters and women—at the well.

For more Father’s Day/Daughter’s Day reading, check out last year’s post here: http://christiehughesatthewell.com/2014/06/16/hes-your-daddy/

I wrote it then, but I finally get it now. Happy Daughter’s Day!

Thank you for joining me here.  It would sure bless me if you’d subscribe to my blog, and I hope to bless you right back with a GIFT–a free printable. (Just scroll to the bottom or hop over to the sidebar to subscribe.  The free printable for a Sonshine Box will be in the confirmation email.)

READ THE INSPIRATION FOR THE SUNSHINE BOX HERE:

http://christiehughesatthewell.com/2014/08/

How to Make a Sonshine Box

How to Make a Sonshine Box

Squeezing Tinker bell

Run, Tink run!

Run, Tink run!

SQUEEZING TINKER BELL WITH HER LIGHT UP SHOES

“Mama! Where arrrre you? I can’t seeee you!”  Those were my little Tinker bell’s parting words as we bobbed and weaved our way through the close of her Disney World birthday celebration.  I squeezed her hands to remind her that I was still there–even when she couldn’t quite see me.

For days, we gently squeezed and comforted her on the “dark and scaaary rides” (for a 3-year-old, even the first-time ride through “It’s a small world”  is a little scary and not so small after all).

And we gripped her hands along the winding sidewalks filled with cattle herds of people rushing in all around.  This sassy Tinker bell’s never been so obedient to hold my hand, and I’ve never been so thankful for her light-up shoes.

The nights were filled with the crackle and pop of fireworks as she draped her blanket over her face, threw her hands over her ears, and then burrowed her head and her fears deep into her daddy’s neck as he ducked for cover.

“I want to go home!” she said repeatedly on our trip.  I completely understood. At home, she’s a bull in the china cabinet, but there, she’s a timid little calf still trying to find her legs– and her mama.  She prefers the familiar and likes her cozy, easy chair over the glitz and glam of a princess castle.  Just like her mama.

“Baby girl,” I assured her on the long ride home, “We’ll be home soon, I promise.”  We distracted each other with the Itsy Bitsy Spider song belted out about a hundred times.  And I had to squeeze her hand a few more times over hundreds of miles, until our tires finally crunched down our street. Until we finally made it home.

I can only give her simple, reassuring words now, along with smiles and tender squeezes. But the years will come when I’ll tell my little Tinker bell the words she’ll need to hear to find her wings.  And I’ll fully explain God’s Words that will give wind to those wings.  Then I’ll stand back to watch her take her flight of faith.

Along the way, I’ll tell her:

1.  When you can’t see in front of you, know that your Heavenly Daddy is always right beside you- squeezing your hand to remind you of His vast love for you.  It’s an abiding love that remains even when you can’t feel His presence or understand His purpose.

2.  And when you feel like you’re walking through a fog of faith, know that He’s shed light on the pages of His Word to put light to your feet of faith.

3.  During the darkest of days or the unexpected fireworks of life, know that you’re never too old to burrow your face and your fears in your Heavenly Daddy’s neck. He’s your greatest protector and faithful defender.

4.  Know that there will be a day when the Son will come out and dry up all the rain, and all of your tears, and there will never be dark again.

5.  And until we all make it home, we’ll keep walking– and flying along the course of faith He’s custom made for each of us.  So fly on Tinker bell!  Fly on!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19

Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. Isaiah 60:20

Haven Tinkerbell

FIND YOUR WINGS BY MARK HARRIS ON YOUTUBE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPQ9WvSZnF0

Tuesday Link-up at Cornerstones Confessions:

http://cornerstoneconfessions.com/2014/03/titus-2-tuesday-linkup-94.html