Monthly Archives: August 2011

Masterpiece

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Ann Marie 's Christening - Aug., 1989


For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

In January, 1989 the Carson family was part of starting a church in our neighborhood when Robert Emmitt, then Pastor of Thousand Oaks Baptist, challenged our congregation to go out and start new ministry to reach out into the community. Three months after the beginning of Encino Park Baptist Church, our daughter, Ann Marie, was the first baby born to a family in our small close-knit congregation. Four months later, on the 20th of August, 1989, we had a Baby Dedication for Ann Marie. She wore the hand-made christening gown that was made by me, my mother and my grandmother. We did every stitch by hand because when John was going to be christened I was telling my mother I wished we had an heirloom family christening gown. She suggested we make one ourselves. So we picked out a pattern and divided up the sewing between the three of us and did every stitch by hand. I had no idea that my dear mother would be gone less than 3 years later. Never-the-LESS, all three of my children were christened wearing this christening gown, stitched with love, that connected each of them with their grandmother, Mary Ann. Sadly, Chris and Ann Marie would never get to know her. My sweet Granny Collins, now the great-grandmother, was there representing the legacy of that special 1983 sewing project as we vowed to raise Ann Marie to know and love Jesus.

When we were christening Ann Marie, John Warren was 6 1/2 and Christopher Damon was 2 1/2. Watching them with their baby sister I knew our family was complete. I had heard Sandi Patty sing ‘Masterpiece’. This song described so beautifully the wonder and gratitude I felt about the birth of each of my three children. After the dedication ceremony by our Pastor Pete Bauerlein, Carl & I sang ‘Masterpiece’ to honor the occasion. To make it even more memorable, John Warren decided he wanted to go forward and tell everyone that he had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior that same day. I remember he kept asking me over and over if it was time for him to go forward yet. My heart was so full of joy!

John Warren Carson


Although as I write about this 22 years later our family has gone through the heartbreak of divorce and all three of my kids are grown, I still cherish those happy memories that were part of the joy in raising a family. Those moments are mine forevermore and I am even more grateful for the ‘masterpiece’ that God gave me when He gave me John, Chris and Ann Marie. I am honored that He chose me to be their mother.
Click to Hear Sandi Patty sing Masterpiece


Masterpiece Lyrics:
Before you had a name or opened up your eyes
Or anyone could recognize your face.
You were being formed so delicate in size
Secluded in God’s safe and hidden place.

With your little tiny hands and little tiny feet
And little eyes that shimmer like a pearl
He breathed in you a song and to make it all complete
He brought the masterpiece into the world.

You are a masterpiece
A new creation He has formed
And you’re as soft and fresh as a snowy winter morn.
And I’m so glad that God has given you to me
Little Lamb of God, you are a masterpiece.
And now you’re growing up your life’s a miracle
Everytime I look at you I stand in awe
Because I see in you a reflection of me
And you’ll always be my little lamb from God

And as your life goes on each day
How I pray that you will see
Just how much your life has meant to me.

And I’m so proud of you
What else is there to say?
Just be the masterpiece He created you to be.

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To Have Succeded

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To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first time I saw this verse was the day I graduated from high school. It was on a graduation card from a special friend accompanied by a bottle of Chantilly perfume. It moved me so much and that night I kissed him for the first time! As the years have gone by, the verse has come to mean so much more to me. It’s become my philosophy of life! Amazing how many of the things mentioned in the verse have happened in my life.

I have been going through a crisis of confidence sitting in my room experiencing the increasing limitations of Multiple Sclerosis. I keep telling myself that I have MS, MS does not have me! I know that God has a unique and special plan for my life. I know He called me to teach. I know He called me to be the mother of my three wonderful kids. However, MS has robbed me of my teaching job and now my kids are left taking care of me! This blog is my place to share what the Lord is teaching me, the one place I can record what is happening so my children and the people I love in my life will have it in writing if I don’t have an opportunity to communicate these things.

I came across my favorite part of the verse yesterday, the part that moved me so much the first time I saw it 37 years ago, and posted it on Facebook. ‘To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.’ It moved many people then which is what it’s all about. I want to inspire, enlighten, encourage and uplift. Coming across Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words last night revived me. Thank You, Jesus for sending words and people to me just when I need them.

No matter what happens, this is what I want my life to be all about.

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson