Complaining and being gracious is like bending over and standing up at the same time. It is impossible.
- Author and inspirational speaker Shannon Perry
I recently returned home from the Florida Christian Writers Conference, where I was privileged to serve on faculty again this year.
Eva Marie Everson, President of the FCWC, and her wonderful team always make everyone feel so welcomed, as well as bathing every detail of the conference in prayer.
I’ve come to expect excellence from this conference team. My handouts are always copied, collated and stapled upon arrival. The team has water, snacks and even presents for every faculty member. (This year, we received a fuzzy, warm hunter green blanket with the FCWC logo on it.) And we’re given every audio/visual piece of equipment, white board, flip chart or other special request we might make in order to lead the best class for the conferees. But this year, the conference team went above and beyond where I was concerned.
As I searched through the conference booklet for the number of my classroom, one of the team members said, “Oh, you’ll know your room. You don’t need to know the number.”
“Really?” I asked, thinking that was a strange thing to say. “Why’s that?”
“Because your room door is covered in leopard print.”
And sure enough, it was! Not only that, the podium in my room was also covered in leopard print paper. That totally made my day! Anyone who knows me knows that I love animal print. I have leopard print blazers, leopard print scarves, leopard print purses, leopard print jewelry and leopard print slippers. I even have leopard print business cards!
I’m sure the person who covered my door and podium in leopard paper probably didn’t know what a big impact that would make on me, but it did. It’s not just that I love leopard print; it’s that they knew I loved leopard print.
See, Eva Marie knows me. We’ve served on writers' conference faculties side-by-side for many years. We were there for each other when both of our mothers went to heaven. She was there for me when I needed advice at a pinnacle moment in my career. And we’ve shared beauty tips, blingy jewelry and late-night pizza parties. She knows me–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and she still loves me.
There aren’t too many people in my life who fit into that category. I bet you’re the same. But isn’t it nice when somebody really knows you and has taken the time to know the things you love? And isn’t it wonderful when someone knows the real you and still loves you?
Even if no one else in your life who really knows you and loves you unconditionally, God does. Psalm 139:1-6 says, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” (NLT)
You can rejoice today because your Heavenly Father knows you–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and he still loves you. He knows what you love, and he knows your secret dreams because he put them in your heart. He cares about every aspect of your life. Knowing that truth tickles me from the top of my head all the way down to my leopard print slippers. I hope it does the same for you.
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, with more than 60 books and 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines to her name. She was won several SELAH Awards (best children’s book and book of the year for God Knows You in 2014 and best children’s book for My Big Book of Prayers in 2012), and her book Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood was named a Family Christian Bookstores Premiere Pick in 2006. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a small petting zoo. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys cheering on the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies and the LA Kings. Find out more about Michelle at her website.