Monday, February 28, 2011

Fresh Popcorn, Old Pizza, and a Tablecloth

Last week, I had the privilege of having my friend/ social worker over to the house. It was our first home-study meeting and my goal was to impress. But of course things didn’t work out as I planned.

Spaghetti sauce dripped and popped over the edge of the skillet and onto the floor. My three girls began a hair-pulling match. A toilet magically stopped itself up. The dog decided to yank left over pizza out of the garbage, which became a gassy gift that kept on giving. Suddenly, the question ringing through my mind wasn’t “How can I impress?” but “How can I survive?”

With five minutes to spare, I frantically wiped down the squeaky ol’ kitchen table smudged with crayon and stained with permanent marker. I tossed on a white table cloth, threw down a couple of candles, and we were ready for a meeting.

After I bribed the kids with popcorn and flipped on Barbie’s, “The Diamond Castle,” we sat down at the table and began our meeting. The social worker asked about our lives, families, jobs, and why we would be good adoptive parents.

I answered questions about my previous marriage and divorce. I described in detail the physical abuse I endured for years. It’s not my favorite conversational piece. However, as soon as the words and phrases rolled off my tongue, I realized God chiseled away those chains a long time ago.

I no longer felt shame.

I no longer cared what anyone thought.

I no longer felt judged by my peers.

I knew what Satan meant for evil, God intended for good, (see Genesis 50:20).

I knew I was lavishly loved by God. Period.

The words from Joel 2:25 quickly came to mind.

“The LORD says, I will give you back what you have lost.”

In that moment, God’s words of Truth came alive in a way they never had before. Yes, Lord you have restored me. Yes indeed, you have given me back what I lost.

I lost my significance but you reminded me it could only be found in you.

I lost my purpose but you created me to be your princess with more purpose than I could ever imagine for myself.

I lost my courage but you restored me to guardian girl status.

I lost divine intimacy but you showed me how to bathe myself in prayer and return to you.

I immediately felt like that old table lurking underneath the stark white tablecloth. I am just like this table stained with unwanted 3 year old murals and dried food that’s never coming off. I too may be a little creaky, extremely uneven, and slightly wobbly but the moment I said “yes,” my King covered me with his stark white robe of righteousness, forever.

But do you know what the greatest news is? He not only covered up the stain of my sin, but he healed it too.

Dear Lord, thank you for restoring me. Even though I’m not the woman I want to be, I’m better than the woman I used to be. Thank you for your love that endures forever. Amen.


  1. God has restored you and given you a fresh, new purpose. How incredible! Praying for you on this adoption journey. So exciting! :)

  2. WOW! What an amazing testimony of what God has done in your life, I know the social worker was there for seeing about the adoption but I also believe that you planted a seed with the social worker. God truly does give us beauty in our Ashes of live. And that is what He has given you. I pray God's Divine Will be done with the Adoption for you and your family...

  3. Oh, I LOVE this post. "I immediately felt like that old table lurking underneath the stark white tablecloth." Great analogy.
    I'm sure the meeting went well; she wasn't there to notice the dog's intestinal "issues" or the spaghetti sauce mess, and could probably sympathize with the hair-pulling match between the girls. Blessings to you and your family as you journey toward sharing your love with a very fortunate little one :)

  4. We are all like that old table. I'm so thankful for God's covering. He takes our worn our lives and makes something beautiful. So thankful I'm not the woman I used to be. :)

  5. Beautiful, beautiful post! God makes us new...but we are works in progress. It's just such a relief that we don't have to measure up to perfection. He loves us and our stinky dogs too ;)

  6. Thank you for choosing to be authentic for us and allowing us to know that genuine confidence is found in Christ!

  7. I've been through the homestudy process and there is so much pressure to portray this perfect picture of yourself and your family. I laughed out loud through those first few comments (SO been there) :) But howa amazing is our God that He sees beyond all of our dirt and dust to the beauty that He has created within us. He is our white sheet and I am so thankful :)

  8. Funny Kelli, that chaos sounds like my house! ;-)

    "Yes, Lord you have restored me. Yes indeed, you have given me back what I lost."

    What a wonderful realization to have during such an important and stressful moment!

    I pray that your adoption process goes smoothly, and that He continues to reveal His Gifts and Glory to you and your family.

    Have a Blessed Day!

  9. Restoration is a wonderful thing. Something only possible through Him! Didn't know you were going down the adoption road...we traveled that road six years ago!

  10. I love the comparison to the old table! I also love that He restores all that we have lost... and not just restored, but renewed in ways we never thought possible. Praise Him!