Boomerang Blessings

BLESSINGS

It called to me, saying “Buy me! Buy me!” I picked it up, twirled it in my hand and noticed how authentic it appeared. I stood there daydreaming of hours spent in the field behind our house playing with this unique wooden toy.  Before I knew it, the boomerang landed in my shopping bag. I exchanged a few hard earned dollars for a toy I really had no idea how to use.

I brought it home, excited to show my teenage children this truly authentic Australian boomerang. Their first response wasn’t one of excitement and anticipation. Their only response was “why mom???” As far as I could remember, their only experience with a boomerang was a cheap plastic toy that came from a birthday party goodie bag. But this one….this one was an AUTHENTIC boomerang! It said so right there on the label, so it must really work, really well!

Having nothing to lose, the three of us went to the field to play with our new wooden toy. Just like a good mother, I doled out exact instructions on how to throw a boomerang. Who were they to second guess where my boomerang wisdom came from? If a mom says how to do something, she must know what she’s talking about…or maybe not.

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We might as well have stood out in the field throwing Fido’s sticks to each other. This boomerang was NOT coming back to us. With each throw, I defined my instructions a little more clearly. “You’ve got to hold it at an angle, not too much of an angle though. Put all of your body into the throw. You’re throwing it too high, too low— you gotta get it just at the right level!”

There were a few successful throws when the boomerang came full circle back to us. We were relieved to not have to walk across the field to retrieve it. We didn’t expect it to actually EVER come back to us. When it did…what a nice surprise! More than likely the next throw wouldn’t do the same. We were encouraged by the few successes so we kept throwing and throwing until our shoulders were practically out of socket.

 

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I’ve been playing with a boomerang the past 41 days of the 365 Wow Women challenge. Much to my surprise, the boomerang unexpectedly comes back to me.

Every. Single. Time.

What comes back to me is a blessing disguised as a fail-proof boomerang. Each and every woman I’ve met has encouraged me or inspired me in some unexpected way. I throw myself out there, hoping to make a difference to at least one person each day. Sometimes I have to throw harder and sometimes I have to go out in the field to play even if I don’t feel like it. It never fails to come back to me ten-fold.

I don’t have the expectation of this boomerang blessing, but that’s what blessings usually are. Unexpected. Undeserving. Unlikely. Sometimes unknowing. The result is always the same: an UNREAL gratitude for God and His not-so-mysterious ways He shows me His love and care through the eyes and life of another Wow Woman.

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“No one has ever become poor by giving” ~Anne Frank

We are not to give with the expectation of receiving something in return. We are to give out of the goodness of our hearts.

When you do so without a self-serving agenda, there’s always a blessing in the giving of your time, talents and treasures- it just may not be YOUR blessing at that moment. Keep giving anyways and the boomerang of blessings will come back to you eventually.

SALT

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

 

Taking A Plunge For The One

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The anticipation of this challenge has ended and the journey has begun.

I spread my wings and flew…no, SOARED on Friday. It was one of my best birthdays ever.

The thoughtful presents, special treatment and the cake with ice cream loaded with a gazillion calories were all very welcomed and appreciated. My thighs and developing inner tube tummy especially welcomed the cake and ice cream. I’ve gotta break the news today and and let them know that it’s time to desert the desserts and let them go home.

None of these things compared to my very first Wow Woman of the day and year.

Many people have asked “how are you approaching these women and how do you know who you are going to talk to?”

The short answer is, I really don’t know!

I started the day on Friday the same way I plan on starting every day this year. I asked God to show me the woman I need to talk to and the woman that needs me to talk to her. He knows who it is and what the circumstances of our meeting will be, I don’t.

I look ahead to what I’m doing for the day and the places I’ll be. I’ve been out and about a lot these last three days. It hasn’t been difficult to see the possibilities of where I might have an opportunity to meet and speak to a woman. On the days I’m not out much, I’ll have to be intentional about putting myself in places where I’ll cross paths with the woman I am to meet that day.

As soon as I walked out the door Friday morning, there was a lady walking down the street. She approached my driveway as I was getting in the car. Was this the woman I was supposed to talk to? Could it really be this easy and obvious? I said “good morning” to her and asked if she lived in the neighborhood. As we made small talk, I didn’t sense that she was the one.

Before I left the house, I felt like the one I needed to talk to was at Hobby Lobby. I had to exchange some items and knew I’d be back by the sewing area so I’d planned on talking to the fabric cutting lady.

I went to Hobby Lobby later that afternoon. The fabric cutting lady was super busy with several customers waiting to have fabric cut. She obviously was NOT the person I needed to speak to that day. As I walked away from that area, I began praying in my head “Okay God, she’s not the one, but who is? Is there someone here I need to talk to?”

As I walked around (still shopping, not just stalking people) I took notice of several women shopping. Some looked like they were in a hurry, others had preschoolers at their heels. An older lady looked as if she was in really deep thought trying to calculate in her head what was needed for her craft project.

One lady perusing the clearance wall caught my attention. I passed her by, wondering if I should talk to her.  I also wondered why my heart wasn’t pounding out of my chest and why my palms weren’t cold and sweaty. I’d anticipated that this would be my body’s reaction to approaching someone the first time. I was calm and at peace in my heart, knowing that she was the one I needed to talk to. We happened to cross paths on an aisle just a few moments later.

The woman, who I refer to as “J” on the Instagram post, was a little surprised when I asked her if she could help me out with something. I totally ignored the “script” I’d given myself to use when talking to these women. The words just came naturally, even if they were a little jumbled and discombobulated.

“J” opened up to me more than I ever expected from any woman. She’d been through some very difficult times the last two years, yet she was happier than she’d ever been. Tears welled in her eyes, also in mine. She asked how I knew she was the one to talk to. I told her The One told me it was her. We parted with a hug and with a promise from me that I’d pray for her.

No other confirmation is needed. This challenge isn’t a challenge I gave myself, it’s a challenge God gave me that I must complete.

I’ve never felt more fulfilled than I have in the last three days. I’ve started each day with a purpose  and with excitement and anticipation of who I’m going to meet. What is special about this woman and how can I encourage her?

The encouragement I’ve gotten from these four women seem to far outweigh whatever inspiration or encouragement I’ve left them.

It’s tempting to call it selfishness, but I call it a blessing.

 

Four More Days

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I haven’t been this excited about my upcoming birthday in YEARS!

I’m that little blue bird up there, waiting to take the plunge into this year-long challenge. I just can’t wait to see what happens!

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Do I know what I’m getting myself into? Am I really ready to spread my wings and fly into this unknown territory? This is such a big and scary challenge. I suppose if it wasn’t big and scary, then it wouldn’t be much of a challenge.

Yes, I do know… and I’m ready!