Praising God for… ME!

“I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders – I know this very well.” Psalm 139:14 (CJB)

Today, March 4th, 2014, is my 46th birthday. As I settled in this morning with my cat, my tea, and my prayer materials, I was quite caught off guard by a sudden need to praise God. Now before you wonder why praising God caught me off guard, let me clarify. I praise God continually – for my children, my life, the manners in which I see Him working in my midst, for the beautiful sunshine, a smile from my grandson, the redemption of my broken life, loving and devoted friends, opportunities to serve Jesus, and the list goes on. Yet, there is something, or rather someone, I rarely, if ever, praise Him for…

Me. Tress.

I was caught off guard this morning because I had a well of praise bubbling up and out in a need to praise Creator God – for creating – ME!

Like far too many women, sinners, and just humankind in general, I tend to spend time praying for myself in a manner that goes something like this: “Forgive me for not doing (fill in blank), Forgive me for doing (more blanks), I am sorry I have disappointed You again, Fill me with more of Your Spirit and less of me” and the list of all I am NOT goes on. Then there is the critical eyes and voice that I cast upon myself “UGH, more cellulite, If only I could do this (yep, more blanks to fill in) better, I’m getting old and my warranty is wearing out”, etc…  It would seem by those prayers that I do not "know this very well" that I am wonderfully made.

Much to my surprise, none of those words and prayers came this morning. My 46th birthday present that the Holy Spirit has graced me with is a fresh and new prayer of praise that the Creator and Lover of my soul made Me. He made me unique, gifted, and in the image of the Trinity. AMAZING!!

The result of this gift was my  prayer that began with the “fearfully and wonderfully made” scripture. Although, I love the CJB version of that verse, which I have listed above. The next words I wrote were “I need to thank you Lord that you made Me. I don’t know that I have ever thanked you for making me who I am. It’s a hard thing to take an honest, humble look at myself and see Your Image, Your Handiwork. I pause to see your craftsmanship – not shoddy duct-tape work – but true craftsmanship. You, Lord, began your work in Linda’s womb and it continues until I am ‘made new’ in heaven.”

I then prayed for spiritual eyes, the eyes of the Craftsman God, to look at myself and note the gifts, talents, and uniqueness He crafted in my being: student and quick learner, feeler of the pain of others, big green eyes, wordsmith and speaker, chef, peacemaker, creative and adventurous, gigantic smile that takes up half my face, planner and detail queen.

Honestly, it was a little weird to me making that list but when I was finished, I smiled. Yep, that’s me!” In all my broken, messy glory! I can easily slip into pouting over who I am not but today I thought of the talents and abilities that I was not granted with and I decided that it is quite alright with me because that just is not who God made me to be.

So, today I lift up praise and thanksgiving because God truly made me wonderfully, fearfully, and awesomely! This is a lesson – a birthday gift – from the Lord today. The same eyes that I see the wonder of His creation all around me in people, nature, and life; these are the same eyes I will learn to see the wonder of His creation WITHIN me as well.

I’d like to say I will never be pouty again over grey hairs and a slipping memory… but I can’t make any promises on that. I will, however, strive to do that less and to hold God to His Word given through the prophet Isaiah “Even to your old age and gray hairs I Am He, I Am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Is 46:4 NIV)

The gray hairs are here (though camouflaged well) and my God is sustaining me, His creation.

Can you pause for a moment today, as a birthday gift to me, to give a truthful and heartfelt praise for who God created you to be? Let’s celebrate that craftsmanship together!