Welcome to Tuesday, a day devoted to noticing the little in the midst of the big and taking a moment to celebrate it. I want to invite you to link up below to a post with a story or photo of one of your small, ordinary, extraordinary gifts. This is your last chance to link for a few weeks, as I’m taking a small break from hosting the linky. I hope you understand.

the sisters

my sister and me

It was an honor to be asked to co-lead a couple of sessions at She Speaks this year. Even though our little bloggy sessions didn’t fill conference rooms and they certainly weren’t the main attraction, I was so pleased to meet some sweet new friends and talk about a medium I have grown to love. But more on that tomorrow.

My role was small in the scheme of the entire conference, but I still found myself unable to settle-in and learn. There is something about knowing I have something to give that makes it difficult to receive. So instead of sitting in on sessions about writing, I was pacing the hallways, reviewing my notes and nervously checking the time on my phone.

renee swope

Renee Swope

On Sunday morning, my responsibilities were over and I had a chance to simply sit and receive truth from the Lord as expressed through Renee Swope’s unique personality. Know what she talked about? Receiving gifts. My favorite.

She told the story of Mary and Martha, the sisters who were hosting Jesus at their house. Martha was busy doing all the work while her sister sat still with Jesus. When Martha went over to tell him her worries, begging him to notice her and all her efforts, he simply said her name. Twice.

Gently, sweetly, reassuringly.

Martha, Martha. You are worried and distracted by so many things. But only one thing is needed. (Luke 10:41)

Then Renee scanned the audience, looked directly at me, and pointed a well-manicured finger at my face. Not really, but she may as well have, because she asked the very question I desperately needed to answer: What are your many things?

O girl. Do you have a week? Because lately? My many things list has been deep and wide. Sitting there, in the midst of a room filled with talented speakers and writers, agents and editors, publishers and bloggers, my many things list felt heavy and impossible. Until Renee started to speak my language. She spoke of the choice we have to receive the gift of rest, because we have a God who sees and cares and notices. He will not come undone. He remains un-overwhelmable.

You are worried and distracted by so many things. But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

I wanted to rush the stage and hug her. I wanted to stand up, clap and whistle. I wanted to burst into the ugly cry.  More, I wanted to give myself permission to sit down on the inside and live like I have a God who knows what He’s doing.

Her talk was on Sunday, but it is a gift I’m still unwrapping. Thank you, sweet, southern Renee…for speaking truth, for believing truth and inspiring this brown-eyed blogger at table 55.

What is the gift you are unwrapping today? For instructions on what to post or how to link up, visit the description page of Tuesdays Unwrapped.