Jun 5, 2013

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Judges 7:1-23

Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls!

We have a very special guest post today. I am so excited for you to read the words straight from a young girl's heart.

As I woke up yesterday morning, still bleary-eyed, I noticed I had a text on my phone from 1:43 a.m. My heart skipped a beat or two when I saw it was from my young, sweet, friend Taylor.

She said God had laid upon her heart a post to write for SHINE girls. {Be still my heart}

Taylor told me in the text that she had emailed me the post, but I didn't have to use it. She told me that maybe I could just save it and send it to someone that may need to hear it. She said she just felt led by the Lord to write it. {is she precious or what?}

A little back story--Taylor has been our babysitter for several years. Well, she is so much more than a babysitter. More like part of our family. {which tends to happen when you babysit our kids--whether you want to be or not} ;-)

I love this girl. My children love this girl. She radiates Jesus' love. Seriously, she does.

Lem and I always say that we hope our kids are as grounded and as in love with Jesus as Taylor Shultz is. For real, this girl is a treasure.

After reading Taylor's email, my eyes were filled with tears. Her heart is all over this post, right along with the hand of God guiding her sweet words.

Be blessed, friends. Please consider forwarding Taylor's post to some girls in your life. Some that may need to hear these words straight from the Father.

by: Taylor Shultz

Taylor and her sister, Bailey

I have known Mrs. Jill for what seems like forever now. I met her when I was probably a freshman or sophomore in high school, and I can remember thinking “This woman is so beautiful.” As I spent more time with her, babysitting her darlings and at church, and got to know her, I realized her beauty was something far deeper than looks. Her love for Christ was like a light or aura that got to you a minute before she did. Before the days of Shine Girls and Twitter (can you imagine?), Mrs. Jill’s posts on Facebook brought blessing to my life. It is only by God’s grace and ladies’, like Mrs. Jill, instruction and guidance that I am able to write this.


I love clouds.

I love the way they look. The different textures. The different colors. The shapes. The consistency.

The dark storm clouds, oh the personality they possess. The clouds meant for shade, white and fluffy. The clouds that look like they are a cotton ball pulled apart. Long and thin. The ones right after a big rain, with the sun shining through that one little hole. The pink clouds at sunset, my personal favorite.

Everything about a cloud is fascinating to me. I often find myself in the wrong lane while driving because I stare at the clouds. I have said that if I were an artist, I would paint clouds. All daylong. You can look on the numerous cameras I have and see multiple pictures of clouds.

Clouds are cool.

I have many friends who struggle with self-worth and self-image. Some struggle with cutting, anorexia and depression. It hurts my heart. It is a day-to-day battle for them. Of course these girls have nothing to fret over. This is just the grip that pesky devil has on their life.

Today, while I was driving (imagine that), I was thinking about clouds. My God spent time painting those clouds. For nothing but my pleasure. He knows that Taylor Shultz loves clouds. He spent time picking out the colors today. He carefully considered each stroke. I began to thank Him for that, for laying it upon my heart to notice the beauty He lays out for me each day and night.

Then I was thinking about my friends. Not just the ones who struggle with self-image. All of my girl friends. It struck me, if my Savior spends that much time on clouds, something so common and mundane, how much more time is He spending on us?

 Clouds are not created in the Father’s image; WE are. (Genesis 1:27)

Clouds are not fearfully and wonderfully made; WE are. (Psalm 139:14)

Clouds are not clothed in strength and dignity; WE are. (Proverbs 31:25)
            My favorite verse.

Clouds are not chosen and blameless; WE are. (Ephesians 1:4)

Clouds are not delighted in; WE are. (Isaiah 42:1)

It is my prayer that girls with grey hair, girls with young kids and a schedule full of ball games, working girls, athletic girls, girls in college, girls in high school, girls in middle school, girls in elementary school, and girls to come will know that if the Lord can spend so much time and pack so much beauty into a thing that will fade away, the possibilities with us are endless. Our Father looks at us with a heart full of love and sees a beautiful creation. While it hurts my heart to see women and girls struggle with their beauty, it breaks God’s heart. I pray that when doubt creeps into our hearts and minds, we will remember clouds.

Lord, thank You for the clouds. Thank You for the daily reminder that You create beautiful things. Father, it is my prayer that I will not doubt your masterpiece. I will not question Your reasoning and skill. Thank You for creating me in Your image. Help me, Lord, to live as a reflection of You. I love You and praise You for all that You have done. Amen.

Thanking God for the clouds,

Taylor J

Silly sisters and yummy milkshakes!

The Shultz sisters

 I love this family!
The whole Shultz gang

Taylor and her sweet Daddy

Sister love fest

Shultz Kiddos

Taylor with her beautiful momma and sisters
{i LOVE this picture!}


Living Life said...

Such wisdom beyond her years, loved reading how God impressed this upon her heart. Wow, what a blessing!

Anonymous said...

Taylor girl! I'm so proud of you! I have watched you grow so much in your walk with The Lord over the last couple of years! I'm so glad that you felt The Lord telling you to post this beautiful message! I'll never look at the sky again without remembering your words. And oh, how I needed these words! �� I'm so blessed to have you in my life, and to be able to call you my friend! The Lord is clearly doing something amazing in you! Keep listening to Him, keep looking for Him in the small things, and keep writing!!! I love you so stinking much! - Kristy Griffin

Anonymous said...

What a GREAT post! Taylor, you are such a grounded in your faith girl. Very proud of you, and I KNOW God has big plans for your future. Keep watching those clouds.....

Anonymous said...


Women Who Pray said...

I have not been on here in awhile...very busy with trips with kids, grandkids and hubby...prayer ministry on conference line, facebook, and by skype...and preparing to go to India.......

Today, this writing got my attention and for really and wow!!!

No wonder, Jill, you felt a must to post this!! Woo Hooo!!!!!

I've always referred to myself as a "sky watcher"....so I love your marvel at the clouds.

I love reading them...I taught science...so that and my natural impulse to look up...and that knowledge of science...my antenna goes up so to speak...you know...noticing the sky...and sensing/feeling the air around me...

I speak of smelling the rain that is coming...like my Mama did...

I love looking up through the trees...and I love seeing from one horizon to the otehr...

The night skies are also invigorating to me...I watch for sunsets...and sunrises...and I all but shout, saying, "There You go again, LORD! Showing off for me!!!"

I'm not sure of your age, but I'm so pleased that you are writing this while you are young...

I'm not sure when I began to realize that the hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth" ...is exactly what it is!! The person who wrote it died in 1917, but the praise of the glory of God's majesty is written for us to sing!!

I've sat at the ocean and marveled much the same way! I've said many times that the massiveness of the ocean...gentle and powerful...so like our Maker!

I love seeing through your eyes, Taylor! I lift up with you the women you have mentioned here...and I add to the young women...the older women who are depressed...even drugged on much anti-depressant medication...and I lift up the young and old men...have had 2 men I know commit suicide...one more than a year ago...and one in the last couple of weeks.

Filling on the Word of God about who He says we are is the key to life!!! We must believe that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do...but in addition to that...We must believe that we are who He says we are, and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Thank you Beth Moore for these words.)

If the Joy of the LORD is our strength...then, Joy is not a feeling! Joy is an action of Praise and rejoicing! Recently, I read again, what the LORD said to the 70 He sent out...
"Do not rejoice in the authority you have over the demons...but rejoice in the fact that your Name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life!!!

Once we know that we are saved...and that had we been the only one on earth...Jesus would still have died for us and saved us!!! Jesus is on respecter of persons! We are all special to Him!!

Once we see ourselves through His eyes...then, we see others through His eyes...and we get it!!!

Revelations says we were created for His pleasure...that He is the only one Worthy!!!!

WOW!!!! Gets me up and shouting even at this moment!!! And I could go on and on about His counting every hair!!! and my being wonderfully made...and Him knowing me before I was in my Mama's womb!!!

Glorify His wonderful Name!!!

If only we, Shinegirls, could get this picture in our minds, Taylor!!!

We'd see the mountains fall...the obstacles move!!!!

Miracles upon miracles galore!!!

It is not about me! It is about Him!!! And He loves me...and He has plans for me that are not evil but are good...all the time...to give me a future and a hope!!!

I don't have to understand to just say SO BE IT!!! That's what amen means!!!

LORD!!! Just SO BE IT!!!!! SO BE IT!!!!!! Wooooo Hooooooo!!!!!!!

Tammy Downs said...

My grandfather passed about three weeks ago. From the moment I received the phone call, "Here I am, Lord" began playing in my mind. I heard it for days. It wasn't a hymn with prior specific meaning to him or even me. I knew the song but didn't even know all of the words to be honest. When I was at the funeral, I noticed the first song listed to be sung was that one. I knew then I was being told to pay attention to it and keep it close to my heart. I immediately thought of it again when I read this beautiful post, Taylor, and wanted to share the first part:

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

Thank you for being His light! This world could use many more young girls like you!

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable your post is right on to what I was thinking about the last few days. I, too love the clouds and could look at them constantly. They speak to me and I know that voice is God's communication directed for just me. I too struggled with my self image, still do and believe me when I say I am old enough to not struggle (but I do) So thank you for this beautiful expression of your appreciation for the beauty of God's world. You are an angel.

Anonymous said...

Just absolutely precious - that's all I got - I am smiling ear to ear!