I learned a new French word today. Lagniappe.
The definition is simpler than its pronunciation: “something given as a bonus or extra gift.” I discovered this word visiting a dear friend who used it in connection with a new love that came into her life—an unexpected bonus.
Hours later, I found the meaning of lagniappe for myself floating on top of my cappuccino. I noticed a simple, yet beautiful white heart swirled on top of the espresso—an extra gift from an artistic barista. The added detail of the heart made each sip a little warmer, a touch more satisfying, and left me with an empty cup and a smile. I felt bright and light, wanting to spring from my chair and explore the remainder of the day with eyes of possibility.
This thought got me thinking about the condition of my nest—a collection of twigs, trash, treasures, leaves, and fabrics. And as I took inventory, one question came to mind: Am I springing into flight from a position of possibility or fear?
If we attempt to balance upon a frail twig, we will remain in a state of doubt. But several twigs, when brought together, can shore up shaky knees. I have learned that sometimes our knees shake not because we are weak but because we do not know our strength.
A shaky foundation can alter our perspective, making our world much smaller than what God intended. In looking at the condition of our nest, we often discover too many “little g’s” trashing our mental space with worry, pain, disappointment, expectation, acceptance, and the like. These little gods collect and clutter our world. Eventually, despite our smartest plans, we can find ourselves in a nest of idols—temporary treasures that take up space and add little eternal value.
And then there are the leaves. How many leaves do you have in your nest—things you should leave or let go of for your mental or physical health, but you choose to keep in close company? Perhaps your leaves are the criticisms and callousness of others, a bad habit, fears of the unknown, or the negative self-talk you replay in your head. Friend, these are decaying, crumbling leaves that make for a rotting nest.
Let us not forget the fabrics—threads of generational patterns and influences that can weave themselves into the very making of us such as strands of addiction, triggers, beliefs, and biases. Not all needles thread generational yarn—some cut themselves off from negative familial characteristics while others seem to be cut from the same cloth.
In looking at our twigs, trash, treasures, leaves, and fabrics, we often find our nest is positioned barely off the ground and is hardly stable. Even still, there is hope. Our best and worst selves are held in perfect love by Christ Jesus. When we give Christ our life, His palm becomes the foundation for our nest. Our successes will not be enough to raise us higher than Christ, nor will our failures be enough to separate us from His hand.
“‘And I am giving them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them from my hand’” (John 10:28).
As Believers, when we trust that the Lord is our foundation and strength, we can soar rather than remain stagnant in fear. We are held by the Lord, not to be held back, but to fly!
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
God gladly and lovingly provides blessings (even extra blessings) when we take the time to seek Him and notice Him all around us—through His generous gifts such as providence and peace to the small lagniappes of wildflowers on the side of the road on your drive home.
May we take inventory of our nests—the things and thoughts we daily choose to fill our minds and bodies. The quality of our thoughts and actions influences our position and perspective. I pray we each find a renewed strength as we trust in Lord.
SGLY, dear reader.
(Smile, God Loves You.)
Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.