Monday, October 10, 2011

The Gift of Words: A Giveaway!

I grabbed my keys and called up the stairs. "Selah! It's time."

Down she came in excited thuds, dressed in her Sunday best.

A smile took over my face as I hugged her close: "you look nice! But are you sure that's what you want to wear? We're only going to the library."

She nodded an definite yes, and was trying to come across as cool and collected. But she was smiling that smile you can't help but wear when you've tried to keep from it. It had taken over her entire body and squeezed past her "big girl" voice.

"Yes. I wanted to look big-girlish. And I think I do. Because black is big-girlish, don't you think? And this is very important, big-girl day."

The laughter chokes in my throat as we walk hand in hand to the car and she straps herself quickly in her booster seat still required for children of her height and age. "Yes. You look beautiful. Very appropriate. Very big-girlish."

She talks non-stop the short five minute drive, always consciously checking her words, making sure they sound "mature" enough.

She slips her hand in mine again as I pull the heavy entrance door open and quiet washes over us with the chilly air conditioning. She leans a little closer, eyes wide watching it all, grins up into my face.

We walk to a little table, I fill out the required form, other than letting her write her name. The pen strains under her concentration as she neatly forms the curves and straights, nine letters she usually whips out taking many long moments to complete.

When she hands the request to the librarian, her glow turns even the sweet, distracted woman from the computer screen, suddenly aware of the significance of this moment.

She smiles wide and gentle, begins typing in the information, and asks for the obvious cause of this joy. "Is this your first library card?"

Big Girl dressed in her grown-up black keeps her eyes glued to the fingers tapping, holding her breath for the appearance of it. "It's my first everything card."

"Oh." Sweet Lady stifles laughter too. "Then this really is an important day."

"Yes." Selah wants to say more. The anticipation keeps her from forming any more sounds, but I see her mind racing, all the half-formed sentences.

I watch her face and grin wonder "what is it that makes this so exciting for her?"

"Here you are!" the librarian sets the card face down on the counter, extends a pen. "Please just sign your name on the back."

Selah looks wonder at me and I shine all approval "Yes. You sign it because it is yours. Go ahead!"

Several laborous moments later Selah scoots the pen back, clutches the card close and tentatively turns to walk away. "Thank you!!" She heart-whispers as loudly as she dares.

We walk among the rows and she doesn't try to contain it, joy shooting down her body like shock waves. It is all she can do to not squeal.

"Take a picture, Mom!"

No sooner have I captured this than her grin starts to give away to the serious task of choosing.

Ownership encourages her to place extra care in the words she chooses. What should she borrow? What will be under her name in her account? What words will she be responsible for taking proper care of, returning in due time so they can be passed on to others? 

And I think of this watching her walk long rows, fingers tracing what she could take home.

When did I forget that words are a gift? 

They are an extension of the Word Himself. A critical part of His character, so much so that He named Himself this, wrapped Himself in flesh and bone and beating heart so that we might more clearly hear His.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
~John 1:1

"The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14

I feel a wave of joy surge deep, and I smile like the child who understands. I have access to not only countless rows of words... but also to the infinite, living, active, eternal, embracing Word. 

And like she did, I look around too, into all the distracted faces... can I just tell someone how exciting this is??

It is precious to me, to own the words written by the Author of my life and faith and the only real joy. My name inscribed in gold leaf on leather covering words that lead me to understand that my name is engraved on His nail-scarred hands. 

"... I will not forget you! See? I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..."
Isaiah 49:15-16

I wish everyone to clutch this gift close to their heart, whisper thank You for the endless sea of treasures of wisdom and knowledge, the mystery of Christ that pours through these words from the Living Water, never returning void back to Him from which they flow, always quenching the lowest and the driest and the deepest and the loneliest.

If you have also found life and joy through the gift of God's word... would you join me in sharing our Treasure? 

Simply leave a comment sharing a scripture God has used in a powerful way in your life before Wednesday, October 12th, 9 p.m. After that time a comment will be selected at random and a gift of the written Word will be made in your name, for His Name's sake, to one who might never have had access to it otherwise. 

You can also share the Word by going to and clicking on the Donate link, then selecting the Bibles link. Or simply follow the links I've added here! 

Let's share the Word together! 

Giving thanks today in meager words for the Word who can't stop speaking His love... endlessly giving Himself...


*the ability to read

*that the word belongs to me, and I belong to Him

*the blessing, the Life, that words share with me, make me aware of

*the smile that can't keep itself off her face

*fevers, gone quickly

*toddler turning two, indescribable gift of these 730 days with her in our lives

*mom patiently encouraging me... tirelessly helping me with a project


*being stretched

*hours and hours of much needed rain, the beauty of it all falling in sheets

*using words in praise... the gift of singing

*using words in prayer... the gift of open access to the throne of Grace



Jace said...

Elise, as a librarian, your post made my eyes water...but I think it's more than that. I think it transported me back to that little county library, walking up the stairs to meet the face of Miss Libby, our local librarian, to sign my first library card. What a memory! Thank you for sharing!

So many verses...where to start? "Be still and know that I am God." Psalms 46:10.

Elise said...

Jace, what a blessing you are to so many!

And I love that verse! So hard for me to be still... but so necessary to know Him as God.

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

Aww... she is so sweet!! Love, love, love it. The smile that can't keep itself off her face. That is such a beautiful gift. Such a wonderful list of gifts!

Rachel said...

I love you and your daughter so much! I thank God that y'all are a part of my life. I miss y'all. Selah is so grown up and yet still a child, I love that about her. She teaches me so much!

"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." -John 17:3

A Diamond in the Rough said...

This is such a precious story! Oh, and the photos! Too cute! Too.cute. I love your list and the joy that comes through in the story- little girl and big girl joy!

Amy said...

I think of how you wrote about *ownership*...and I think of the responsibility of owning our faith. He gives it to us, and yet we have responsibility. Hmm...really gets me thinking. The early excitement as a new reader (new believer) and how maturity keeps us consistent. Your story has me thinking today...totally different direction, but so good for me.

Rich blessings in your learning from your own.

Anonymous said...

That is a precious story! :) Thanks for sharing your list. Psalm 46:1 is a verse that I have held close for a long time now: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble."

Dallas L Holmes, Jr said...

Selah is growing up so fast, and you are taking the time needed to teach her responsibility, communications, commitment, care, courage, and exploration, and others with this trip to the library. I wish I would have taken the time to get Jenny a library card when she was little... but, I left it to her school teachers to do... regrets. You and Selah are good examples to others.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch for your comments the other day! I decided to just reply back here so it would be sure to go to you. :) Don't worry, I've definitely done things like that and later realized that I was logged in as my roommate or brother before!

I love that verse! In 1 peter 1 where I am memorizing it also talks about being shielded by God's power through faith. Really awesome image! Thanks again for coming by :) ~Frances

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