Laurel Thomas

steward Archive



July 2017



A Child’s Voice in the River

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A speech impediment plagued my five-year old self. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pronounce my name. The letter “l” was impossible, the “r” tricky. My name, Laurel, required mastery of one or the other. The sound that tumbled out of my mouth in an untidy heap was not my name.

Awkward, mumbling “Ohwell” confused anyone who asked, “What’s your name, little girl?”

How could six letters arranged to identify me be so hard to get out of my mouth? It was embarrassing, even for a little kid who shouldn’t have cared much. After all, I was loved by the people who mattered. No big deal.

Except it was a big deal. But for reasons I didn’t understand at the time.

Later, when I experienced God, I realized why. Because me with Him was the point. The whole point. Me living this life, with Him, as only I could.

It took me awhile to figure that out. And to understood I needed to be grateful for all the parts of my life. In my worst moments, I’d made flawed decisions, opted for easy instead of difficult, and stayed passive when a mess required a response.

But those parts could be summed up in a sentence or two. Unlike the incredible joy of seeing my babies for the first time. When my husband and I locked eyes and knew we were part of a miracle – together.

Or the journey of recognizing my mom’s courage. Loving and appreciating with adult eyes how she responded to dashed dreams as a good mom – loving her kids and making the hard choice to protect us.

And accepting the wonder of a dad who chose me. Actually, he chose my mom first. But by choosing her, he embraced me. On purpose. He loved that way when I recognized it and when I didn’t.

I’d had great people who helped me along the way. Most of all, my husband. But, also leaders and bosses who taught me to be wise and work hard. Even the ones who blew it showed me that my decisions for integrity, or not, were me writing my own story. The one I’d be able to share with my kids in the years to come. Or not.

Colossians 1:28 has been talking to me all summer. Talking to me? Well, it’s a big subject. Christ in me, the hope of glory.

Confidence in God showing up as God in me? What does that look like?

I struggled a long time with the largeness of that thought. I’d focus on how many ways I’d missed it. And why. Until I decided to go another direction. It started with a simple prayer.

Lord, help me see You in me. Help me identify and treasure Your uniqueness in me.

Then, help me steward Your expression in me well.

A steward doesn’t just keep order and make sure life colors within the lines. A steward administrates what doesn’t belong to her. The assignment and it’s design are unveiled as I keep moving and trusting.

Finally, help me share it in love. Because love rests over my imperfections and somehow makes my offering lovely.

This summer, in time for my birthday, I’m discovering the one thing that evaded me as a child.

I’m learning to pronounce my name.



January 2015



No Regrets in the River

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Let it go, let it go!

Little did I know when seven-year old Gracie sang with her Elsa doll in our living room…in the car…on her way to bed…that she sang a word from the Lord. One belted out in the cars and bedrooms of every little girl singing Frozen’s anthem.

Ahh, the lips of babes. They speak the word of the Lord, or rather sing it at the top of their lungs. It doesn’t matter if they have anything to let go. It just feels right to sing it loud and with abandon!

This morning I turned to my daily reading in Genesis, read two chapters and was intercepted by a word from the Lord.

Don’t regret leaving your stuff. (Genesis 45:20 One New Man Bible)

It was Pharaoh, an ancient Egyptian ruler, talking to Joseph, his co-regent. Joseph was the slave who’d been plucked from prison and positioned to administrate the riches of Egypt.

Pharaoh appreciated a man who heard from God. So he was happy when he heard Joseph’s brothers had been found and that his dad was still alive. He had a word of wisdom for the brothers of his friend and co-regent.

“Tell them, don’t regret leaving your stuff, for the goods of all the land of Egypt are yours.”

Canaan had been a land of promise. But Joseph, a son of promise, was stolen out of that land. His dad, Jacob, never expected to see him again. Neither did the brothers who sold him. They watched the promise carted away, beyond reach and never to return.

A Canaan promise is one that comes out of the early days of our faith. Those times God spoke to our hearts and we knew it was Him. His promise was beautiful and filled with such hope. Somewhere along the way of life, though, it got lost. Or stolen. Maybe we gave up waiting for it.

Here’s what I saw this morning. What was stolen ended up in a place of destiny. A promise was positioned by God in an unexpected place, looking all grown up and unlike what it did in the beginning.

Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him. But there he was, looking like what they didn’t expect, in a land they would never have visited unless famine propelled them there.

We have promises that appear lost. But they are neither lost nor dead. They’re  waiting in a place we didn’t expect, looking like what we haven’t recognized. Better yet, they are positioned by God to steward the riches of an unredeemed land.

Look around. Our lives may not look like what we planned. That doesn’t mean God’s strategy hasn’t been at work. The promise came to fullness when we weren’t looking. In an unexpected place, in an unexpected way.

So we don’t regret giving up preconceived ideas of how God was going to do it. We don’t mind leaving all the success and failures in His hands. The precious thing we thought was lost is found. And with it comes reconciliation and restoration in a way that will astound us.

After all, it was God’s promise. He remembers – even if we forget.


Laurel Thomas