You’ll often hear me talk about “walking the WOLK,” walking God’s words of loving kindness. When we walk the WOLK, we get to share God’s love, joy, peace, and hope. When we walk the WOLK, we’re part of a divine regifting strategy. Yes, divine regifting.
Throughout life I’ve been blessed with God’s love, joy, peace, and hope, and today I’m celebrating the gifts of love, joy, peace, and hope that have been regifted to me. This celebration could include name after name after name, but I’m going to name four. In the midst of unexpected challenges this past year, God has blessed me with very special relationships, some newer, some older, women who exemplify God’s loving kindness in very special ways. Let me introduce you to a friend, a colleague, a friend and colleague, and a neighbor.
I start with Kathy Collard Miller. Eighteen months ago I did an internet search for Christian writing retreats. I needed some quiet time, time for reflection, time to write. The top result was a retreat hosted by the Network of Evangelical Women in Ministry (NEWIM). I signed up, not knowing who these people were. I got on a plane, not knowing where I was going. I checked in, not knowing what to expect. But there I would find myself at a beautiful retreat center with beautiful women for a beautiful time of quiet and reflection and writing. And there I met Kathy, a co-leader for the writing portion of my getaway. Into my life, into that conference room, stepped a delightful lady.
Kathy Collard Miller is a prolific writer (over 55 books, friends!). She’s a passionate advocate for Jesus, first and foremost. She’s also a passionate advocate for storytelling.
We all have a story to tell and Kathy’s the first to encourage us to tell our story. Kathy shared the gift of hope with me. At a time in my own writing life when I wasn’t sure I was “feelin’ it,” Kathy helped me find my voice.
And then there’s our dear Karen Rae. My opportunities here at Fave Lifestyles were not expected, never imagined. Our Friday “Morning WOLKs with God” started with her question to me, “Have you thought about…?” I’ve watched this dear lady walk through difficult circumstances with grace and dignity, finding ways to stand tall, to find her voice. In turn she’s found ways to help us all stand tall, to find our own voice. I’ll be the first to admit that there hasn’t been a photo that I’ve ever posted to social media that hasn’t been cropped, the color corrected. Really?, you’re thinking. Yes, really! Karen has taken us through times of great joy and disappointment without cropping the photo. Karen inspires and motivates, encourages and empowers, sharing with me a peace that often surpasses understanding.
I’ve also had the joy of meeting Barb. I don’t know Barb’s last name. We met while I was walking back from the post office. I’ve watched Barb walk every day for months. I’ve tried to catch her attention with a wave, but she’s an older lady who’s a little stooped and careful to watch the pavement in front of her. We walked only a couple blocks together. I explained that I was the woman in the window who waved at her. “You wave at me?” I showed her the window to my office, promising to watch for her. We maybe had seven minutes together, but her smile has remained with me. The twinkle in her eye captured my heart. I waved goodbye thanking God for our moment of joy.
I end with my dear friend, Claudia, who actually gave me this WOLK necklace you see each week. Claudia is a friend from PLU who shares handcrafted gifts at our annual weekend together with college roommates. On my desk is a fused glass coaster of flowers bursting into bloom. She made it. On my counter is a ceramic box. The lid has dots of glaze. The handle is a triangle topped with a ball of clay. She made it. The necklace she made goes perfectly with a favorite sweater. The ceramic pin goes perfectly on the lapel of a jacket. A bowl of boiled wool holds them both. All are small gifts of love that were part of small celebrations.
Yes, small moments with all four ladies. It’s easy to discount our impact on others. “Oh, it wasn’t that big of a deal…” We think we’re just doing what we do. But ladies, that’s what God needs us to: to “just do what we do.” God put us in relationship with Him and each other. We may never know the impact we have on those around us. Kathy was just sharing what she knows about writing. Karen was just asking a question. Barb was just out for a walk. Claudia was just sharing her creativity. Each woman shared love, joy, peace, and hope. It really was divine regifting at its finest!
You’re doing the same. You’re sharing love, joy, peace, and hope in the lives of those around you. Yes, you’re just doing what you do. And you’re having meaningful impact on those people and places that mean the most to all of us. What a blessing to us all!
Romans 15:13, a favorite verse: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Amen!
What does your regifting strategy look like? Oh, the possibilities! Oh, the places you’ll go!
Deanna Nowadnick is the author of Fruit of My Spirit and Signs in Life.
Deanna is also the host of “Morning WOLK with God” here at Fave Lifestyles.
Speaker | Writer | Author
Before my father died, he reminded me that Mom had asked me to write a book. At the time the boys were in college, and the notion of writing was unfathomable. Writers write books. By the time my boys were adults, I’d run out of excuses. I was also at that age when I could pause and reflect.
Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace was my first publishing endeavor. My second was Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God. Both are collections of stories that tell of God’s love and faithfulness. Both tell of His remarkable grace and mercy.
When not writing, I serve as the Client Service Coordinator for The Planner’s Edge, an investment advisory firm in Washington state. I’m active in my church, serving on the Leadership Team and gathering with a wonderful group of ladies to study and giggle over lattes and chocolate. On my desk is a rock with the words “Choose Joy!” etched in it. It’s my inspiration for each day. As an author, it is my hope that my own words might share that joy we find together as children of God.
With Him, it can be so.
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