Sharing a laugh with Charlotte Waller while interviewing her for our cover story.

Teacups, cowboy boots and finding our worth


Kitchen Tune-Up

     Feeling a little like a bull in a china shop, I and my cowboy boots clomped into a beautiful room that could only be described as a parlor. It featured a full-length portrait of a former Mississippi First Lady, a piano, and probably at least one doily.


     But I’d been in this house before. Charlotte and Bill Waller and I used to go to church together, and they’ve hosted many gatherings for “young singles” over the years. I’ve stuffed candy into plastic Easter eggs in the dining room, attended an engagement party on the back patio, and now I can say I’ve drunk tea in the aforementioned parlor.


     So despite feeling like a redneck in a dollhouse, I quickly settled in, thanks to Charlotte’s hospitality and lack of pretense. The laughter in the photo on this page is real, and I needed it. 


     I’m going to be honest with y’all: There are days when I feel like a failure. Maybe I don’t get very far on my to-do list, or I speak to a friend in anger and wonder if we’re “OK” even after apologizing. Then there are days when I feel pretty important. Maybe somebody I respect pays me a big compliment, or I’m asked to do something “leader-y” and it goes to my head.


     But here’s the truth about my failures and successes, and yours too: They do not determine our worth. You know what does? The death and resurrection of the Son of God, who voluntarily paid for all our sin. He says we are worth His life. Not because of our own merits, but simply because He loves us.


     If you grew up in the Bible Belt, you probably have a hard time reading those lines with fresh eyes. You’ve heard the gospel so much, your ears have grown dull to it. I know that’s true of myself. Sometimes we need to take note of God’s small blessings — a cup of tea with a friend, a comfy pair of cowboy boots, a favorite song on the radio — and let them point us to Himself and His love. 


     Gratitude for our blessings is a huge help in remembering God’s grace, and not just around Thanksgiving. Another thing we can do? Take our eyes off ourselves altogether. That’s something I’m still learning.


     According to the Bible, the most important command God gives us is to love Him and love others. And true love requires sacrifice. But here’s the weird thing: The sacrifice is worth it. In Isaiah 53, the prophet says it “pleased” God the Father for His Son to die. Not because the Father enjoyed watching the Son suffer, but because afterward, “the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” What’s the pleasure of the Lord? Well, at least partly, a relationship with us. He decided we were worth His sacrifice.  


     Once we choose to rest in this truth and surrender our lives to the One who gave His life for us, everything changes. We can stop fixating on ourselves, because we have found our worth and value in what Jesus did for us. We can consider how our words and actions will affect others, because Jesus died for them too. We can not only attend worship, but also serve our church body and in that way serve our Savior. We can see others as God sees them — as worth the sacrifice. 


     None of this is possible in our own strength. But praise God, we have His to lean on. 


     So, do you feel like a failure because you haven’t measured up to a certain standard? Or are you subtly taking credit for the grace God has given you? In either case, remember Jesus’ sacrifice. Our worth is found in Him — if we could’ve earned it, He never would have died.  


     Let’s take God at His Word, thank Him for His love, and ask Him to help us spread it around.


     Maybe we can host tea parties like Charlotte, featured in our cover story. Maybe we can foster or adopt a child, like the couple in our feature story. Or maybe we can follow God to places we’d rather not go, like CJ Rhodes, who wrote this month’s Mission Mississippi Moments. 


     Whether you’re in a season of “success” or “failure” by whatever definition, I hope you’re able to find your worth in Jesus Christ, and hopefully some inspiration and encouragement in this month’s edition. Enjoy! 

Pro-Life Mississippi