encouragement

Why winning at Scrabble made a big difference in my life.

I had quite a weekend. We were invited over to the home of a couple in our small church group. I have been drawn to them them from the beginning and after Friday night, even more so.

Have you ever met someone who is totally genuine? Someone who has no pretenses? Someone who is just who they are?

You feel totally at ease with them. They have no “agenda”.

Well, this couple is like that. And the really funny part?

They are highly educated, have lived all over the world, and their four children all have ivy league educations.

They are both retired from the military, her as a nurse, him as some sort of manager for the top brass.

He has worked with the highest echelon of people from the military to General Motors. He led management classes for an oil company for three years in Saudia Arabia.

So, you might be asking, if they are so humble, how do I know all this?

I asked and they shared but only in bits and pieces and nothing more. I love learning about people. It’s like unwrapping a gift and I find it fascinating. Like Forest Gump said about the chocolates, “You never know what you’re gonna’ get.”

Never once did they volunteer any of this. We were playing Scrabble and just conversing. Now, here’s the funny part, if I’d known how intelligent they were, especially “John”, I would never have played Scrabble with them.

But here’s the even funnier part.

I beat everyone two out of three games. John said it’s the first time he’d ever seen someone played all their letters in one turn. And three times in two games. He was in awe of ME! I kept trying to explain I was just lucky but he’s convinced now that I’m brilliant. Talk about pressure the next time we play!

Here’s the thing. I seldom play Scrabble. Sometimes I play Words with Friends with my husband but I seldom beat him. He plays all the time though. John and his wife play Scrabble almost every night as well.

It was strictly luck on my part.

Or was it?

This past year, I’ve been dealing with something called SIBO. It’s a chronic, difficult to treat condition. My doctor said she’s never seen numbers as high as mine on both my breathing tests. (You can read about SIBO here.) I’m usually fine between episodes but the episodes have been weekly and they last at least two or three days. I’m pretty miserable those days.

But because of this condition, I think I’ve cast aside some fears. And I have many of them. They’re kind of like hard-wired.

This past December I conquered a fear of entertaining (even though I’ve done a lot of it in the the past. Go figure.) Afterward, I thought, “What in the world was the big deal?”

Most who read this post will find my connection a stretch. I get that. But it is consistent with how God works in my life. So I wonder if God gave me thatmodesty victory as a kind of “See, I told you, you didn’t have to be afraid.”

That’s just me because I know I was just lucky that night.

But back to these people. Their goodness and good works put me to shame. I’ve never known two more giving and generous people. They live very modestly and they certainly don’t have to. They take no pride in their accomplishments and they certainly could.

Since then, the strangest thing has happened.

I feel empowered. I know. Strange, huh?

Did winning do that? If so, can you see why I might make what most people would consider a loose connection between that night and subesequent events?

God works uniquely in each of our lives. We all fit under God’s umbrella but our umbrellas are different colors. God so often uses times like this to spark something totally different in me. I can’t explain it but it happens so often, I no longer doubt it.

I think part of it might have been that because they had accomplished all that they had without apology and yet I saw them as humble, that maybe I felt it was OK for me to go for it as well.

That it isn’t self-indulgent or prideful to pursue something that others might question as self-indulgent, or think “Who do they think they are?”

Since last Friday I’ve written my first e-book (just eight pages) that I will publish on this blog and it will be free to everyone. (I’m close to finishing a larger book but it will be published through Amazon.)

Guess what the e-book s about?

Pursuing our passions.

The e-book is currently being edited by my daughter who, guess what is an editor. How great is that?

Will I play Scrabble again with this couple?

Yep. And I’ll probably lose but I will win in so many other ways.

God bless and have a great day.

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