I recently attended a girlfriend's wedding shower with many of my friends and colleagues.  I must tell you that short of wallpapering, showers are not a high priority on my to do list.  I love the food and socializing, but passing around the gifts has become somewhat of an intimidating experience for me.  I find myself running out of adjectives and there are only so many ways to say, "Isn't that cute," or "Isn't that nice?"  I am usually thinking pne thing: When are we going to eat?

I often find that we conduct ourselves quite differently at showers than the way we do at home.  At showers, we walk daintily with one finger in the air as we carry our punch glass.  At home, however, we take the Coke can from the refrigerator and slam the contents down our throat in one sip.  I tend to do the latter.  At this shower, I did my best dainty impression and was thrilled when the hostess announced that it was time to eat.

I marveled at the sandwiches, chips, cake and nuts on the table.  I carefully filled my plate and thought to myself, This shower either has undersized plates or over-sized food.  My plate was quickly filled so I carefully stepped toward the punchbowl.  As I reached for the ladle, I realized I had nowhere to sit my plate because the table was completely covered with food.  I began to panic.  How did they expect me to do all of this with one hand?

I looked across the table to see a lady gracefully maneuver her plate and cup in the same hand.  As she held her plate and punch glass with her left hand, she smoothly filled her cup with the ladle in her right.  I shifted my cup to my left hand and followed suit.  I was so proud of my new found coordination until I noticed there were elements in the punch bowl that had NOT been there before: chips… a cookie… a sandwich?  Just what kind of surprises did this hostess have in mind?  Then I realized those were my surprises!  As I was filling my punch glass, I had also filled the punchbowl with EVERY single item on my plate!

Had anyone seen what I had done?  Maybe I could just walk away from the table and it would be a mystery.  Many methods of escape rushed through my mind until my dear friend behind me announced to all in attendance, "Well, you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl!" 

I wanted to dive under the table!  I was no longer the dainty shower attendee I had hoped to be.  I felt more like the homecoming queen whose heel is caught in the turf of the football field as her title is announced.  I was caught!

I smiled nervously as the hostess approached me.  Her lips appeared to move in slow motion as I anticipated her response.  My pulse slowed and my face relaxed as she graciously announced, "Don't worry.  We have plenty of punch."  She picked up the bowl and proceeded to fill it with fresh punch.

I am still somewhat skeptical of showers, but I have learned my lesson.  If your hands are too full, put something down! 

There are many similarities between this shower and our lives.  When we try to hold too much in our hands, we get out of balance, and we often make a mess as a result.  The good news is that we have a Heavenly Father who treats us the same way the hostess treated me.  He graciously comes behind us, cleans up our mess, and gives us a fresh start.

When you find yourself out of balance, ask God if there is something that you need to put down.  God does not call us to do it all.  His grace, combined with the gifts and talents He has given us, will help us accomplish all that we need to do.  The next time you feel like your hands are too full, ask the Holy Spirit to refill your cup with only those things that He has planned for you.  After all, He is the perfect host of this party called "Life."

January 25, 2011

Shannon Perry is a speaker/singer whose new If The Shoe Fits women's conferences combine her teaching prowess with her musical talent.  Perry's new music CD entitled The Real Thing (produced by Lifeway writer/producer Paul Marino) features songs specifically written to fit in with the theme of the conferences.  Perry wrote the bulk of the original presentation in hospital waiting rooms while her husband was undergoing cancer treatment.  Perry earned her Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in counseling and taught in the public school system for over fourteen years before entering into full-time ministry. Shannon hosts her own radio show on BlogTalkRadio.com and is releasing her first book entitled "Grace in High Heels" in February. For more information, visit www.ShannonPerry.com