Wednesday, March 25

Scholarships, Walls, and Tampons- A Very Charlie Message

All right, dear readers, we are going to take a little departure from the dieting escapade and get serious for a moment. But you all know that serious with me is still fun, so stick with this, OK?
There is a contest going on for a free scholarship to attend the SheSpeaks conference this summer, provided by Proverbs 31 Ministry. This is a great organization, and if you have never checked them out, you are missing out on some serious faith building. They are committed (in more ways than one, I think! ;) to helping women draw closer to God, and as I have mentioned before on OSCBB, I am a preacher in training, so they are a part of my daily routine with their devotionals. It is also confirmed that they have checked out our hidden gem of a blog, and enjoyed it (see the comments after the previous post- Why Gas Hurts the Local Economy). This scholarship is worth over $500, and that is a lot of moola! The terms of the scholarship found at
and I figured I might have a go at it. I am already planning on attending, but the cost is pretty steep when I tack on the air fare (plus all the extras I am signing up for). And the benefits of this conference would be immeasurable for me, as you will read below. This conference gives information on the nitty gritty of what I want to do, and how to do it well. I’ll even get a chance to meet with a publisher! I really don’t expect to win, but God does amazing things, so we will just wait and see what happens!
Finally, as you read this post, I will advise you that we are going to talk a little about my faith in Jesus Christ. I KNOW many of you readers are not necessarily Christian, or affiliated with any faith in general. But if you could, just for me, JUST THIS ONCE, keep reading. You all know about my hips, my boobs, my car, my diet, and my family. It’s high time that I introduced you to my main squeeze and Savior, Jesus. Our relationship is just as nutty as the rest of my life, so I promise that this will be interesting!!!
OK, hold on to your hats- cause you are in for a ride!

My Faith is a Tampon
(C’mon now, did you ever doubt my ability to make this fun?)
I have purchased over 5,000 tampons in my life. I just did the math. 17 years, a box a month, it all adds up. I have probably passed 40 or 50 under the walls of a public bathroom stall, and have had to accept just as many over the years. I even had to use one as my “something borrowed” an hour before my wedding ceremony when Matt and I got hitched! And it got me to thinking as I crunched the numbers.
Is my faith as accessible to others as my tampons are?
I keep extra tampons in my purse at all times, just in case someone needs them. There is no shame in asking a complete stranger for something so intimate and personal to a woman. In fact, this rite of passage unites us in a strange way. I still remember the first time I heard that all too familiar question from a stall 3 doors down from me. “Does anyone have a tampon?” I sure did, and I passed that to the woman next to me, who passed it to the woman next to her, who gave it to our unseen stranded friend.
But when it comes down to it, my faith gets hidden a lot. I keep it tucked away in my purse of my heart. I tend to qualify who receives the message God has placed on my heart, making sure they are ready to hear it, giving lots of disclaimers about it (“I don’t mean to offend you, but…”), and tiptoeing around feelings. I’m pretty sure that this is not what God intended when He gave the call to teach, preach, and make disciples in every nation. His Word was meant to be out in the open, for all to see, and available to all.
Part of my secretiveness is due to the utter disaster zone I have made of my life. Folks, there is not a person in the world who could have sinned more than me! And some of you know this first hand because you were right there with me! I look at the mess my life has been and think that my witness to share the gospel has been destroyed. Maybe to some of you it has, and for that- I am so sorry that you had to see me at my worst, and I am horrified that I made a mockery of the name of Christ. My most sincerest apologies cannot ever cover the scope of my sorrow over how I may have led you astray.
Another reason I am so guarded with my faith is that I am still growing and learning myself. My faith has been a lot like the diet. Loss, then a gain, then a loss, then a gain…it isn’t fair that I have to put you through that up and down.
Or is it?
Over the last year, God has been doing some pretty amazing things in my life. I am SO FAR from where I want to be with Him, but yet I can’t contain my excitement for what He is doing right now!!! There is a story in the Bible that describes exactly where I am, and it is found in Joshua 6, verses 4 through 20. I am not going to make you read it all, but I will give you the highlights. Joshua had been told by God that he needed to enter into the city of Jericho with the Israelite nation. There was a catch, though, just like there’s always a catch in my life. There was a wall around the city of Jericho. It was over a foot thick, and anywhere from 35-40 feet tall. They had to get over that huge wall, somehow. Lucky for them, God had a plan. They had to march around the city, blowing trumpets and praising God. Let’s take a quick peek at verses 12 through 14.
12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. And the armed men were walking before them, and the rear guard was walking after the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets blew continually. 14 And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days.
Did you see how long they had to march? 6 days without any progress that the human eye could see! I wonder how they felt as they gathered up their horns and the ark of the covenant on the morning of day 6, only to determine that nothing was really happening? I bet they felt discouraged and frustrated. Maybe even a little stupid as they had to make noise and draw attention to themselves. People are people, and people are nosy. I look out the window when I hear a siren that is maybe miles away, wondering if I will catch a glimpse of the current event. So I can imagine the scuttlebutt going on inside the walls of Jericho, talking about those crazy Israelites who were marching around the city for no reason at all. I bet they were lined up on top of the wall to see what in the world these children of God were doing!
The good news is the story ends well. On the 7th day, Joshua 6:20 tells us that the walls of the city fell down flat and the Israelites were able to overtake the city, just as God promised.
SO- what does the wall of Jericho have to do with me, my faith and tampons? Ladies and gentlemen- (those of you men brave enough to stick around after my talking about tampons, that is…) I am marching around the place that God has planned for me. Right now, I am circling it, it’s so close I can reach out and touch it, but it isn’t mine yet. Honestly, it feels like I am on day 6 of the marching. I’ve been going round and round for a while, just waiting for the walls to fall down so I can go in. I might not have the biggest faith everyday, which is the up and down of this life, but doggone it, I am still marching! And I may not have a trumpet, but my kazoo is blasting out as loud as I can get it. These walls are going to fall down!
And where, exactly, do I think God is leading me? What is it that I am marching around that is calling me day in and day out? I know, you are all on the edge of your seats!
My job is to hand out the tampons (my faith) so that everyone is prepared. I need to throw them out so women can catch them, with enough to pass out in their own bathroom stalls (their homes, workplaces, and among their friends). My goal is to help women become more confident about sharing their own faith and have fun along the way! You all know that I am a gifted writer (and thanks for all the kudos, by the way), a songwriter and singer, and now I am going to pass on the big secret. I LOVE TO TALK. Big surprise, yeah? I could stand in front of a thousand women and make them laugh, cry, and learn to love Jesus and themselves a litter deeper than they ever thought possible. It’s not because of my own talent, but because God has decided to use me, Charlie: sinner extraordinaire, with big mouth and a big butt, and a whole lot of spunk. God asked me to step up to the plate and be real and honest with women about my struggles; my past riddled with physical abuse from my dad and my ex husband, my need to be accepted at any cost and how that has really messed me up, and my redemption- spending time broken at the foot of the cross because no other place wanted me. Even about my fight with weight loss, and how that has turned out to be the hardest task yet! No wonder life has been such a journey for me- I was just getting stamps in my passport of life so I could prove I have been around the block!
So my faith really is a tampon. It’s not pretty, it’s rather embarrassing to get for the first time, it’s important to share, AND IT IS NECESSARY.
I have to share this story with you. When Tim was 2, I found him on my bathroom floor, surrounded by a box of open tampons. They were all over the place, opened and had been, um, how shall I put this? Ah, yes. SPRUNG.
I asked him what he was doing, and he took the last unopened tampon from the box, ripped it open and hit the bottom of the tampon on his palm, popping the tampon out of its applicator. He grinned and said, “Look Mama! ROCKETS!!!”
People, it’s about time that I let my faith take off like a rocket. I’ve got places to go, and I pray that you will come with me.
Ten…nine…eight…


If anyone would like more information about the conference, please check out this link.
http://www.shespeaksconference.com/

9 comments:

Julia said...

Charlie,
I don't think anyone else but you could successfully compare their faith to a tampon! :) I got goosebumps reading about the conference! It is SO YOU!!! Thanks for passing me the tampon today! Love you!
~Julia

Kristy K said...

This was such a great post! I saw your link on the Lysa's blog and I'm going to keep reading!

Charlie's Mom said...

Great job once again! Never thought anyone could connect these topics together like you did. It all actually makes sense. :) A blog with strings attached...who would have guessed!
Love ya!
Mom

Charlie said...

Julia won the bet- she was the first person to mention my ability to spiritualize a tampon! Guess what you win? A BOX OF TAMPONS!!! And Kristy- thanks for stopping by. I'm glad to hear you wanted to stick around for a while! This blog has been far too much fun for me, and it's amazing how accepting people are of my special brand of zany. You are welcome anytime!!!

the pretend cousin in law said...

LOVE IT! Took a bit to get past the comparison between faith and tampons, but you did it! I LOVE IT!

My funny tampon story..... when Ben was 2 or 3, I found him in the bathroom with an open box of tampons. He had one unwrapped. He was slightly bent at the knees, bent over, head kind of down......... he had tampon in hand, trying to 'insert' it. When he saw me he said soemthing like, "I'm putting these in my hiney (?sp) just like you, Mommy!". Hhhhhhhmmmmmm..................
Thankfully, it never made it in!
LOVE YA

Phyllis@Aimless Conversation said...

Popped over from Lysa's blog. I really enjoyed this post. Although we are competing for the same scholarship, I'll just tell you straight up that this was a great read and you would win if your only competition was me.

I need to type faster so that I can be as chatty as you on my blog. Long entries take me a LOOONNGG time. =)

Karen said...

Wow. I wasn't sure where you were going with your faith/tampon thing...but I have to say I giggled, because in Isaiah 64:6a, it says that our righteousness is as filthy rags - which in Hebrew means "menstrual rags". Just had to share that with you. :)

Best wishes. :)

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

Oh my goodness- what a great analogy! I admire your wit :-)

Praying for your ministry and for your dream to attend the conference! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Loved all the entries for May! You are doing great work-keep it up! I hope you go with the strapless dress. I will be looking forward to your June 6th post!!!

 
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