… scrabbling…

I’ve learned a new word…

I didn’t even know there was a meaning for this word, except for the game of SCRABBLE.  It’s like panning for gold, but more desperate… a frantic grasp for something more.  

“Each of us is the artist of his (her) own life”  jumped off the page one morning this week,  causing me to ponder if I had drawn a famous painting. Elizabeth O’Conner continued the thought: “The materials we are given to work with, the conditions we work under and what happens to us, are part of the drama of what we shall do with our lives.” Journey Inward, Journey Outward.

William Ernest Henley penned a somewhat different sentiment, though similar, in his 1875 poem, Invictus. “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.  Henley’s left leg was amputated below the knee while a teenager, due to complications of tuberculosis. The central idea in these lines is the confident belief one can overcome despair and life’s trials.

When teaching young adults throughout our ministry, I often suggested the game of Scrabble as a parallel in life.  We each draw a different set of letters. We moan when we draw a J or K; what about the X or Z? Or a Q without a U? Too many vowels? Not enough vowels… we complain.

So how have I scrabbled? It’s not that I minded the J or the Z—after all those letters count much more in the board game, especially when you play those on the Triple square. I wanted the more important letters in just the right combination to win the game!

In my younger life, I envied Martha Stewart… she could do everything right… in the kitchen, in the house, in the garden. It was only when I learned I could make a pie crust from scratch in less time than she, I breathed easier.  Later, I wanted to be a Beth Moore. Surely I could do the things she was doing. Writing books, leading large Bible studies, a popular conference speaker.  What is wrong with me?

I’ve always grasped for something more—surely I might paint a masterpiece if I could take the best lessons; perhaps I could write a best seller. Why wasn’t I somebody, doing something BIG.  I have this sweet friend who personifies mercy to everyone… why can’t I be like her?

… I scrabbled…

For years, I wanted to know, to discover what I was to be when I grew up. Yes, I lived in a sweet contentment in marriage and home, delighting in a serving ministry, loving internationals… but yet, a haunting desire to be More bubbled under current.  I must have thought it complicated, or else, it would be a spectacular revelation—and poof… I would be somebody. 

You may scrabble… for More….  

O’Conner concludes her thought: “Materials and conditions and events are not, in themselves, the determining factors.” It is the fact that we—you and I—hear the whispers of our Creator Father to come to Him. “He (or she) does not have to scramble (I would say scrabble) for a place in the scheme of things. She knows there is a place which is hers and that she can live close to the One who will show it to her. Life becomes her vocation.” (italics… my change of pronouns)

 “For we— you and I—are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Once, I asked Tom to read a page in my journal; I wanted to ask him a question about my thoughts. He browsed through it, reading. Looking deep into my eyes, he gently said, ”You will only find this MORE when you get to heaven. Your search will be finished.”

Surely I have grown up… NOW… I learn it is a simple thing. I am somebody! I have been ‘becoming’ all these years. 

We can each paint a masterpiece if we brush with the colors we are given and not scrabble for more exotic colors; we can write a bestseller of our lives as we sharpen the pencils we are given.

Whispers on the Journey: A Practical Guide using the ABCs in Prayer and Praise is now available on Amazon.com  It is my journey listening to His whispers affirming me, reaffirming me time after time…  loving me through mistakes and struggle. (In my scrabble to be more, I have not excelled in computer knowledge; I do not  know how to link this to my blog).

Join me in less scrabbling and more rest…

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.” Psalm 62:1


About oct17

The little girl in me loves bird watching, butterflies, sunrises, sunsets, walks in the rain; the adult I am enjoys the same. I sense God's awesomeness in all of life--what wonder there is in slicing a leek or cutting open a pomegranate. I have many favorite things--a formation of Canadian geese flying overhead, the giggles of my grand daughters, the first ripe watermelon in summer, snowflakes on my face--these gifts from my heavenly Father delight me continually.
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5 Responses to … scrabbling…

  1. Mary Prokop says:

    So beautiful, Barb! Loved this! 💞


  2. Vinette says:

    Dearest Barb, Shedding light to these facts …. oh so applicable. Thank you for the quotes of the authors and your reflective thoughts and the reassuring scriptures. I must admit, I look forward to the receiving the ordered copies of your publication during the course of next week! 🌻


  3. Robin Dillard says:

    Dear Barb—this may be my favorite blog of yours yet! Well done. I love, “She knows there is a place which is hers and that she can live close to the One who will show it to her. Life becomes her vocation.” It’s simple, really. He shows, we rest in it. Becoming.


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