Cotton Pickin’ Peace

I recently spoke at a woman’s conference and shared some very personal pain. After it was over many women expressed their thanks that I would tell such things from behind a podium.

Sadly, our churches can sometimes be a place where sharing personal failure is not a common occurrence.

The ladies also expressed surprise that I was facing such a crisis in my family and seemed so peaceful. “I read your blog every day” a few said, “and it seems like your life is perfect”.

My response was that I try to not only protect the privacy of my family and friends on my blog, but I also attempt to keep it a place that is although REAL, is encouraging and fun to visit. Honestly, I work to keep my OWN head and heart in peaceful places when I write here. It is my personal place of escape, adventure, telling fun stories and sharing ministry reports. My life is pretty much an open book—Good, Bad and Ugly. I am a very transparent person. I share my failures as easily as my success in effort to allow women to feel safe and unconditionally loved. My desire is to share the GOODNESS and FAITHFULNESS of God in every situation.

My last “Imagine Me..Redeemed, Restored, Renewed..Set Free” conference was in a small town in Georgia not far from where I grew up in Savannah. I drove up from Tampa with my dear friend and conference partner, Cheryl. A few members of our worship team, including Cheryl’s son, followed in a car behind us. Soon after slipping across the Fla/Ga line we started to see fields and fields of brilliant white.

“What is that stuff?” Cheryl asked.

“It’s fluffy Georgia cotton,” I replied as only a true Peach could.

I began to teach her everything I had learned as a child about Georgia Cotton and it’s harvesting.

She was delighted at the sight along with her son who blew his horn to let us know he wanted a Facebook photo.

Finally, on our way home from the conference, we could no longer resist. We stopped for a photo shoot and to gather some cotton to bring home. I knew mine would thrill my oldest G-Girl and be her next “Show and Tell” and Cheryl would take hers home to her youngest son who had stayed behind with Daddy.

After we got back in the car to restart our journey, Cheryl began to get spiritual truths out of the beauty of the cotton plants.

That is what happens.

When you are filled with God’s Word, surrounded by His Worship and hang out in His Presence, you begin to see everything through God’s Eyes.

That is the POINT. God WANTS us to see everything through His lenses and for His Glory.


We climbed back in the car with our fluffy goods and headed home. Cheryl sat in the passenger seat and began to spout out some things about the conference and the precious women we had been given the privilege of ministering to. She began to speak of God’s love and His creative hand on even the smallest elements of nature and life. She was enthralled with the natural beauty of the cotton balls. Pure and White, Soft and Fluffy, without bleach or chemical interference.

Her words were, “this cotton doesn’t have to TRY to be perfect or beautiful. It doesn’t have to TRY to be cotton. It just IS cotton. God created it to be beautiful with no effort of it’s own.”

Guess what sister; for all the attention God has given the Cotton plant…YOU are far more precious to Him.

You matter.

You are beautiful just like you are. God cares about your past loss, your present pain and your future passion.

Do you believe it?? Tell me!

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  1. I believe it! Reading this was a very nice way to kick off my morning after my little girls left for school. I have never wanted to see cotton growing as much as I do right now. I love how you ended your post that we are beautiful just the way God created us and we can KNOW that God CARES about our past, present, & future. It’s a HALLELUJAH morning worth singing about!

  2. Good Morning Mindi–
    I am thrilled that the blog blessed you. It is a HALLELUJAH morning isn’t it!!??
    Thank you for taking time to bless me back 🙂

  3. Very nicely put Pat he does care and he’s awakening my future passions just recently, so I understand this blog was perfect to hear this morning, with much appreciation and gratefulness, I thank-you for writing this. It’s true we are more precious to him.

    Love it!


  4. Tina,
    Glory!! New Passion awakening is like a new CROP for Christ!! You are truly precious and valuable in your ministry for Him!!

  5. Good morning sweet sister!
    I love this post! While I grew up in Carolina in an area where there was little cotton, I adore driving around this time of year in the south and seeing those cotton bolls that have popped open! If I’m alone in the car, I don’t hesitate to pull over and grab some…as long as there is no traffic coming in either direction! One year on a mission trip to northeastern NC, my daughter and I even gathered cotton bolls as a momento and decorated a miniature Christmas tree with them and just white lights. Then, over several years, they got dirty.
    For many years, that’s how I had felt…dirty. I thought I put on a good front, kept smiling and nobody would know the difference. I had “secrets” that were tucked down, many of which had been stuffed down so far that I’d even forgotten about them. Like cotton seeds, every now and then, they’d pop up. Cotton can be difficult to remove from the burrs — trust me, I’ve tried. it hurts and your hands can get severely cut. My husband grew up on a farm close to the Alabama/Tennessee state line and picking 200-250 lbs. by hand a day was expected when school got out for cotton picking…. So, while I’ve never done it, I’ve heard some stories about it first hand.

    Cotton stubbornly clings to the seed. The cotton gin took care of much of that – and the cotton industry boomed in the South. Over the last few months, I’ve discovered that my Redeemer had a deeper journey for me to go on. While, in my life, the cotton bloom had been removed from the burr, and there was an “appearance” at one level of healing, there were still seeds and pockets of seeds that needed to be exposed, repented and forgiven before He wanted me to go on. The restoration process is being done one layer at a time. The cotton gin cuts through the numbers of cotton fibers tightly binding those seeds, and transforms the cotton into beautifully white, soft fluffy fibers, usable to spin and weave into beautiful fabrics; our Redeemer is here to eliminate darkness or burden that sin left in my life. There have been times of difficulty, times of mourning, but the Light is shining through – like a sunbean coming in through a break in the clouds. His presence has guided me and taken me to places only He can do.
    On bended knee, here am I, LORD!…..
    Much love and blessings to you, Ellen

  6. My, my, my—Adorable Ellen!
    I love this. Absolutely beautiful!
    I love how God uses sweet/simple/painful/dirty/childhood/old age….
    He uses every surrendered story for HIS SWEET GLORY!!
    I’ll be saving this good stuff! I see it in a speech somewhere real soon 🙂
    I love and miss you!

  7. Carole wrote:
    “Read “Cotton Picking Peace” and thoroughly enjoyed your thoughts and Tina’s.”

    Thanks so much Carole, From one Georgia girl to another!

  8. How sweetly you captured my thoughts and words as I experienced the natural wonder of cotton! I will never forget seeing fields full of lily white fluff! It was such a “God Show”!
    I am so glad I don’t have to try and be something I’m not! If cotton looks that amazing to me, just think how beautiful we all are in His eyes!

    I miss those precious women from Eastman, Georgia!


  9. Pat,
    Thank you for your kind words. I miss you and pray for STS and all your ministries! Love you, Ellen

  10. Good stuff friend!!! I totally get seeing everything through God’s eyes!!! I am starting to do this and I AM LOVING IT!!!! 🙂 I have to confess…I actually find this post kind of ironic because I HATE cotton balls! The feel of them makes me wanna gag! It’s a texture thing (I’m the same way about styrofoam…I know, weird)! However, I TOTALLY get the concept! 😉 My favorite truth from this: we don’t have to try to be beautiful for God to love us!!!!!! THANKS for that reminder!!!!! 🙂

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