Monday, September 19, 2016


Or may I say “Reformed Mad Hatter” with an allusion to the book Alice in Wonderland?

I grew up in the 1930-40's when children and teen girls were expected to wear hats and gloves on more formal occasions. That included wearing them to church.

 I'm not a hat person! I truly hated hats. I didn't think I had the right kind of hair that you could squish under a hat, nor the right shape of head for a hat. Hats looked silly. I was a spoiled only child and a sullen, complaining teen, overly sensitive because I was a shy introvert. I felt that people would laugh at me. So I refused to wear a hat!

Who knew that in the many decades of my long life, in the various roles I played in life, I would wear many hats?

They would be in different styles according to my respective relationships, in the assorted positions I held in missions work and ministries, in broadcasting, in writing and publishing and public speaking of which I was privileged to be part throughout my life. I would be quite overwhelmed at times with how many hats I was obliged to wear—and usually several at the same time.

I admit to struggling against some of those hats (roles in life). Certain ones didn't seem to fit me. I was sure they belonged to someone else or that someone else could wear them more comfortably. But God handed them to me anyway, saying, “I designed them for you myself so I'm trusting you to wear them willingly and with honor.”

In prime child bearing and child raising years I complained that the wife hat and the mother hat were enough, that while I was giving my all to that appointed task, I couldn't wear any ministry hats. God shook His head, so to speak, and gently said that the blessing of serving would still be mine in tandem with holy homemaking. It was.

At times in my life I was expected to wear hats on top of hats, all at the same time although the extra hats should have been worn by several people. Why did I have to do the work of so many who should have been pulling their own load? But God smiled and assured me that His grace was sufficient for any task He would call me to. And it was.

When I was asked to wear a widow's hat, I dug in my heels and said, "I can't do it; it is too difficult an adjustment." The Lord comforted me and said that there was a special place in His heart for widows and orphans—and that He knew I was an orphan, so I had a double portion of His loving care and provision. His grace was sufficient.

When God handed me the hat of a cancer survivor, I asked Him three times, "Please take such a painful thorn out of my flesh." I couldn't understand how such a thing could be in His perfect plan. He promised me that when the burden grew heavy He would provide even more grace. Later, that I would understand the reasons for my “whys.” Eventually, I do have some answers.

When the Lord handed me a rather tattered, out-of-fashion hat, I recognized it as a symbol of the elderly. I said, "It's too soon, I'm not ready—the limitations, the weaknesses...." He said it was one of His choicest pleasures to satisfy His beloved children with long life. I held back a tear, nodded, and accepted the hat. “Thank You! I don't deserve such a precious gift.”

He immediately gave me two more head pieces that looked more like crowns than hats. He said they were “goodness and mercy” and they had always been mine, following me in the paths of righteousness all the days of my life.

Just when I finally realized that I was truly blessed and privileged to have been given so many hats by the Lord to wear on into my nonagenarian years, He surprised me by pulling out of His hat box two more hats that glistened and glittered and glowed like polished silver and gold. “These are your reward: One beautiful hat is because you are honored to be called “Grandma.Inside the hat are 10 smaller hats; and the other hat is to honor you by being called “Great-Grandma.” In it are 11 still smaller hats. All meant to 'satisfy your years with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.'” (Psalm 103:5)

That final touch of God's loving favor really melted me to shed tears of joy and gratitude for His abundant grace-shower of Hat Blessings for this original Hat Hater with a "Hattitude!"

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