Friday, September 11, 2009

Dinged Up, But Not Done In! by Sharlene MacLaren

It's Fortifying Friday and today we welcome guest author, Sharlen MacLaren. Sit back . . . enjoy . . . and soak in her words of encouragment.

Dinged Up, But Not Done In!

I like to think of myself as a collectable teacup, once a perfect, brand new design, but now chipped and a bit dinged up in places, but still quite functional – and really, not that bad looking – from afar, that is. Get too close and you’re bound to see a number of spots and imperfections that even a boatload of the most expensive makeup won’t cover! I am God’s creation and no matter my age or stage, He still has plans for me. I may be full of flaws, but God sees straight through them to the willing vessel that I am and somehow sees fit to use me. And the same rings true for all of you, my precious readers.

At 52, I was beginning to think of myself as a rather worthless teacup. Unsettling things had come along to interrupt my easy-flowing life, putting chips and cracks in my once appealing, practical, nifty, nearly flawless teacup. Children leaving the nest, my lifelong career as a teacher ending, my beloved mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, the loss of an adored family pet, unwarranted, and irrational fears leading to an emotional and physical breakdown all played major roles in damaging my teacup—almost to the point of rendering it useless.

Until I opened my ears and heart to hear the gentlest, stillest, softest whisper: “I am in the mending business, and if you will give Me your broken, chipped, and flawed life, (that nearly shattered teacup), I will put it back together and use you for My glory.”

Did you know God’s Word speaks volumes when you read it with a fully surrendered heart? Like a famished child I began to consume it, allowing it to wash over me like a cleansing, soothing fountain. About that same time, the Lord started speaking to me about trying my hand at writing fiction. What? I hadn’t dabbled in fiction writing since filling up spiral notebooks with silly teenage romances way back in high school! How could a 50s something woman begin a brand new career in writing? Well, I am here to tell you that where God is concerned age has NO borders, NO bearing, and NO boundary. The only thing that matters to Him is that in response to His invitation to follow His lead, you take His hand and say, “I’m coming, Lord.”

Your imperfections don’t matter to Him; he can mold you into the person He wants you to be. Your inabilities are insignificant to Him; He can equip you with all that you need to fulfill His mission. Your lack of confidence is inconsequential; He will supply you with His confidence and His knowledge.

Stay the course, my precious friends. If you feel like a cracked, chipped, worthless teacup, you’re in a good place. Truly! Remember, God is in the repairing business and is always up for a challenge!

Biography for Sharlene MacLaren

After 31 years of teaching second and fourth grades, Shar decided to say, "Bye-bye, Students!" and "Hello, Writing World!" and it's been an interesting, exciting, challenging, and inspiring adventure. One thing she knows for certain—God dropped a seed of passion for writing in her heart back in the summer of 2000, and He's been growing it ever since. She signed on with Whitaker House in early 2006 and in January of ‘07 released Through Every Storm, a general fiction title that finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book-of-the-Year. On the wings of that came her beloved, bestselling Little Hickman Creek Series and more recently The Daughters of Jacob Kane, another 3-book, historical set. Shar won the “Road to Romance” Reviewers’ Choice Award and earned a third place standing in the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest in 2008 and 2009. Shar has done numerous countrywide book-signings, television and radio appearances, and countless interviews. She has been married to the love of her life for almost 34 years, has two wonderful daughters and two handsome sons-in-law. The joys of her life, however, are her adorable grandchildren. Besides her involvement in music at Spring Lake Wesleyan Church, Shar has been a speaker for the local MOPS organization, is involved in KIDS’ HOPE, USA, a mentoring program for at-risk children, counsels young women in the international APPLES OF GOLD program, and attends two bi-weekly Bible studies. She and her darling husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan with Dakota, their loveable collie, and Mocha, their lazy fat cat.


  1. Wonderful post for a Friday! Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder that God is there for us no matter what our "teacup" looks like.

  2. Shar,

    Thanks for your encouraging words!

    As someone who is also over 50, it's awesome to be reminded that God can open doors and use our passions, gifts, and talents - no matter how old we are - or how old we become. ;-)

  3. Thanks so much, Cindy and Dawn. You ladies are so sweet. Love you both!


  4. Indeed God can use cracked pots or chipped cups. Thank you for the reminder that it is not over until God determines it is.


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