A turtle on a fence post.

on October 5, 2008 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 21 comments by

I was eating lunch with a friend last week and explaining this weird phenomenon that has occurred here in Nashville.  Prepare yourself for this shocker: People aren’t dying to be friends with me.

I know that sounds weird, but stick with me.  I guess what I mean is that on the short list of skills that I’ve had my whole life, making friends is towards the top.  I can’t sing opera or build a car or run at high rates of speed, but by gosh I can make you like me.  And I can genuinely like you.  I LOVE having friends, being around people, and making people feel important.

That is a gift from God.  And there is nothing wrong with it.  UNTIL it becomes a place of pride.  [Not that I know anything about that….]

Ok.  Confession time. The truth is that I’ve always been a bit proud about that.  You may not want to date me, dude in coffee shop with the rad hat and super cute haircut, but I bet I can make you laugh and make you want to be my friend.

Cause I gotz the skillz.

But my own skills are letting me down here in Nashville.  I have some great friends, and things are going fine.  I seriously love the people I’m becoming friends with. But making new friends just hasn’t come as easy as it has in the past.  I stick my foot in my mouth more in one day now than I did in all of 2007.  My jokes are like lead balloons, they drop to the ground so fast it would give you whiplash.  My social skills were the ship I sailed on before now and apparently that ship sank.  I’m discovering something you may have already known.  I’m kind of a dork.

And I was telling my lunch friend that I think the Lord has allowed this on purpose.  I think I have, for quite a long time now, mistaken His gifts for my skills.  What He wanted to give me as a free gift, I wanted to claim as my hard earned reward.

Out of His loving kindness, He has brought me to this city, and stripped me of my skillz, to show me that I can’t earn anything.  Love.  Friendship.  Salvation.  I’m just not good enough to earn the gifts He wants to give.  That everything, EVERYONE, is a gift.

Our pastor this morning at Midtown talked about the turtle on the fencepost.  No one looks at the turtle and thinks the turtle put himself there.  Quite the contrary.  The turtle was placed there.  And it is WAY obvious.

What pride is there in that?

If you have friends- they are a gift.  If you have a spouse- they are a gift.  Kids?  Gift.  Job?  Gift.  Moola?  Gift.  Church family?  Gift.  Food on the table?  Gift.

I am a turtle.  Quickly frightened.  Tough on the outside- total wimp without the shell.  Easily intimidated.  Slow as Christmas.

And I think the Lord took time this morning to remind me that any post I’m on is because He sat me there.  [You’ve probably known this for a while.  But remember- I’m the turtle.  The slow factor can never be underestimated.]

I don’t know what God’s plans are for my future.  I have some ideas, but nothing for certain.  But I’ll tell you this right now.  No matter what I become in this world, you can know for sure that this image is burned on my mind.

I am a turtle on a post.  I am a receiver.  I am blessed.

You are a gift.

21 comments

  1. posted on Oct 05, 2008 at 8:37 PM  |  reply

    you’re so likable, Annie. always building people up, being vulnerable, esteeming others better than yourself, and making us laugh along the way. i want to be more like that..

  2. Laura
    posted on Oct 05, 2008 at 9:01 PM  |  reply

    It’ll happen. The first time i met you i thought you were pretty much my twin. only older. but hey, if the shirt fits. haha. twin shirt reference. so I choose to take offense when you say that people don’t want to be friends with you. i think they’re just intimidated by your beauty and grace. okay, well maybe just beauty. haha. love ya!

  3. posted on Oct 05, 2008 at 9:03 PM  |  reply

    Nashville just lost serious cool points with me.

    Well, you can always rest in knowing that *I* think you’re cool and funny and a great friend.

    You know, even though we’ve never met…

    🙂

    By the way, I blogged about your Famous post today.

  4. posted on Oct 05, 2008 at 10:16 PM  |  reply

    “I think I have, for quite a long time now, mistaken His gifts for my skills. What He wanted to give me as a free gift, I wanted to claim as my hard earned reward.”

    Wow. Honey. That’s deep. You are one deep dork.

    And you are one deep dork that God is taking to new places and unfortunately, sometimes that requires a little solitude. I know solitude is like a bad word to extroverts like us, but it’s a good way to get real close to God.

    Ever heard the Watermark song Welcome to Delaware?

    http://mp3.rhapsody.com/watermark/21418330_watermark/welcometodelaware

    You just may be in Delaware. But I think you will find, Delaware is a REALLY good place to be. Because the stuff that comes after Delaware will knock your socks off.

    Love you.

  5. posted on Oct 05, 2008 at 10:46 PM  |  reply

    i saw the title of this and just smiled..i love it 🙂

  6. Southern Gal
    posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 5:57 AM  |  reply

    This is great. Any gifts I have are all from Him. I try to remember to tell people that when they compliment my children, my home, my anything. But I know pride kicks in there…even when I acknowledge the Lord gave these things to me. Thanks for the reminder.

    And girlfriend, those Nashville folk just don’t know what they are missing right now. Give them a little more time. The Lord will bring them to you. You just wait and watch.

    Renee

  7. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 8:16 AM  |  reply

    Girl, you hang in there and keep learning what He is teaching you……the friends will come in time and until then, you just rest in spending time with your Best Friend AND know that you have thousands of blog friends who think you are the coolest, funniest, prettiest, Godliest girl in all of Nashville (including Franklin, Brentwood, AND Murphreesboro!) hahahaha

  8. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 8:21 AM  |  reply

    true true true!! i am always and FOREVER getting compliments on how well my daughter behaves and how well my son did behave when he was still here. and i always tell people, nothing but the grace of God!!! people look at me strange. “children aren’t this polite and well behaved all on there own, you are a good mother.” i simply smile and say “by the grace of God!!!”, that’s exactly it is. anything good in my life comes from Him and Him alone. you are a great person, annie, by the grace of God. you are a good friend annie, by the grace of God. we can take compliments and enjoy them!! by the grace of God. we can take those opportunitites to brag on God about how good He is and what He can do for us if we only let Him!!!

  9. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 8:35 AM  |  reply

    thanks Annie, I needed to hear that this morning. God is so gracious with His gifts. And by the way, you were a gift to me Colin and Hudson while we were in Nashville – it was so great to hang out with you while we were there! Please come visit us in Knoxville sometime!! Hudson still talks about you!

  10. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 9:46 AM  |  reply

    I wish I lived in Nashville so that we could be friends. I would totally be friends with you, social ills aside. 🙂

    Also, this is a great post. So much truth. I love reading your blog. ALL of your posts are great. 🙂

  11. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 11:08 AM  |  reply

    It’s funny what MOVING stirs up inside of us, huh? I can relate.

    But you’re so right: everything that we have is a gift. We haven’t EARNED anything – friendship, talent, natural propensity toward being Miss Congeniality (that would be you, not me 🙂 )… but man. We’ll take whatever gifts God wants to throw our way.

    I love you, Turtle on a Fence Post.

  12. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 12:49 PM  |  reply

    Annie,

    I have lived in Nashville for almost 14 years now. And it gets easier. Because eventually you get alone and get over yourself. At least I did.

    My alone time – was never truly alone – you see. It was with Him.

    And in that time I learned more about being a friend and having a friend than I had in my prevous 20 years.

    Good times. Good times.

    Melissa

  13. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 3:47 PM  |  reply

    For the record I think you are heeeeeeee larious. More than that an excellent friend.

    By the way we should iChat sometime… and victory is a doooooggy!

  14. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 4:46 PM  |  reply

    I love this. You knew God had revelations for you in Nashville, and here is one. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness.

    And thank you for sharing it, oh Funny One. We can truly all take something home from this message.

    God bless.

  15. posted on Oct 06, 2008 at 10:18 PM  |  reply

    Hey there!

    I am new to your blog. Your story reminds me of a time… a few years ago I flew into Nashville for a conference. I flew in a day earlier than all my friends so I could do some things. I decided to go to PF Chang’s. (I think it was in Franklin) Now up to that night it had never bothered me to go to a restaurant by myself, I’m a mom to three kids and sometimes I just need to be alone and eat in peace. Yet that night I felt more insecure than I ever have felt before. The lighting was low so I couldn’t get lost in a book, I was seated at a table in the middle of the restaurant surrounded by other tables of beautiful and handsome people having a great time. I wanted to stand up and yell, “See me? See my ring on my finger? I am married and I have kids. I am not a loser!” God and I really had to work it out together in that crazy restaurant and it took me getting over my pride and realizing I am completely ok simply because I am a child of the king, wherever I may be.

    Take care,
    Julie

  16. posted on Oct 07, 2008 at 2:54 PM  |  reply

    LOVE this post. I really really identify with it in more ways that I would care to confess in a blog comment. Just know this: two peas in a pod

  17. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 8:24 PM  |  reply

    Hi Annie,

    This is a post after my heart. A post with a turtle…I am a turtle girl. Turtle Tuesday’s you can find a picture of one of my turtles and their stories on my blog. What a great reminder that everything is from the Lord. Look at it this way…the view is pretty good on the fence post, most turtles can’t see what you can. Take in the view and when you come down off the post, remember what you saw and learned from a higher view point. This lesson will take you far.

  18. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 9:08 PM  |  reply

    Oh that was great!

    I like you……

    and your cute blog!

  19. posted on Oct 18, 2008 at 1:31 AM  |  reply

    Annie,
    I love this post and the sharing of your heart.

    I too am waiting on Papa God to bring me friends.
    I moved to this little town in Georgia almost 2 years ago. Sometimes I think He just wants us all to Himself. I have truly found a kindred heart in Him during this time.

    I found you at Lysa’s blog. It’s nice to meet you.

    Julie

  20. Barbara
    posted on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:16 AM  |  reply

    Your blog inspired mine this Turtle Tuesday. I linked to your turtle post 🙂
    B

  21. posted on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:08 PM  |  reply

    I came here from Barbara’s Turtle Tuesday. I loved your “Turtle Post” (pun intended). Seriously, God is using this little guy to teach us all something. I hope you don’t mind that I used him also. Have a great day!

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