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(no subject)  Stephanie McIver
 Aug 26, 2003 08:57 PDT 

Steph's Stuff
08-25-03

The joke went something like this:

A woman was praying one day and she asked the Lord, "How much longer is
my life going to be?" And the Lord answered her, "You are going to live
a long, full life-at least another 40 years."

So the woman decided if she was going to be around that long, she'd
better look good. She had a facelift and other 'nip and tuck' type
operations so her body was perfect. She went to an expensive
hairdresser and had a makeover. An 'extreme' makeover. And as she
hurried home to show her family and friends her new look, she stepped
off the curb, was run over by a bus, and died.

As soon as she got to Heaven, she approached the Lord.   "Father! Why
didn?t you stop that accident? You said I had another 40 years!" And
the Lord said, "Oh! I didn?t recognize you!"

And while I chuckled over this silly story, the first thought that came
to mind was that it would take more than a few cosmetic procedures for
the Maker of the Universe, who knew us before we were knit together in
our mother's womb to mistake us for someone else.

How often we take for granted that unconditional love! The love that
endures when we are in our most ugly moments. The love that can see
beyond that to the noble purposes for which we were created.

The world says we need to be attractive, charming, 'cool'. And when you
are young, it is easy to fall into that trap. But the more years
reflected on your driver's license, the more difficult to attain. But
thankfully for most of us, the less we care. With age comes wisdom,
sometimes. Not always. It is sad to see someone trying to be what
they're not. Still subscribing to the latest fads, like tattoos or
piercings--and these fads are a lot more permanent than the silly things
we did in MY youth. Yes, I ironed my hair, but it grew and got cut off
eventually. The calluses from a life of bare feet have gone down (I
still like to be barefoot as much as possible!). The desire to have the
perfect wardrobe, not just of clothes, but of friends, acquaintances and
activities has been replaced with an appreciation of those things that
have survived the capriciousness of my young and shallow value system.

The man I married is NEVER going to look like Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp
or Brad Pitt. Thank you, Lord! I like him just the way he is--and even
now, he's changed and grown into someone I cherish, warts and all--as I
have to him. What a blessed relief.

As one day follows another, let's look for ways to rejoice in what is
tangible and real, His love for us, His unfailing goodness, the joy that
comes from knowing we are here to learn and grow, but it's just the tip
of the iceberg. The life ahead is what I want to focus on--to become
obsessed with--instead of the fleeting momentary TEMPORARY concerns that
plague my everyday life. So if you're moaning over lemons, remember
that it's not all that hard to make lemonade. And if you're thinking of
voting for Arnie for governor, look beyond the razzle-dazzle and take a
good hard look at the issues. Things could be worse--I could be Maria!
(Oops, sorry. That just slipped out...)

On that day which is coming, when every knee shall bow and every tongue
confess--will you be recognized? And even better, will He be proud to
claim you because you are living the life He created you for? I'm gonna
give it my best effort. I hope you will too.

Fondly,

Stephanie
	
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