A Gift from the One Who Sees Me

In elementary school, the teacher would sit us all in a circle, criss-cross applesauce, for an ice-breaker activity.

“Think of a word to describe yourself that begins with the first letter of your first name.”

Ooh, how I loved these circle times. Exciting, excellent, enthusiastic! I even liked when the challenge varied a little bit. Favorite animal? Elephant! Place you want to visit? Europe!

“E” words were special to me from a young age. They felt like mine.

I spoke at my first conference this weekend – two sessions on finding freedom in healthy living at the Refresh My Heart conference – and loved every single minute. Lelia, the founder of the conference, put together an amazing weekend of Jesus and brave, inspiring women. I was so honored to be a part of it and found myself renewed as I left.

Over and over again, my fellow speakers shared stories of our God who sees and knows us better than anyone else has or ever will. Stories of God showing up and showing off His great love for us in ways only He can. The way He uses clouds and running and notebooks to say, “I see you. I love you.”

And then He showed up and showed off for me, right there in the middle of a general session.

A Gift from the One Who Sees Me

Michelle, Lelia’s sister, had been praying about a way to bless each of the ladies attending Refresh My Heart and this is what happened next… {in Lelia’s words}

She ordered wooden hearts and bought a wood burning kit. Michelle and our mom burned the edges of each heart. Then my sister found 60 words and was going to use each word twice, but my daughter Alyssa insisted that they find a word for each woman.

They found the words and Michelle began to engrave a word on each heart. Then she turned the hearts over and prayed about them for weeks about what name to put on what heart. She never flipped the hearts over to see what word was going with what name, not even on her own heart. She engraved a name on each heart then she placed it in a little box and they tied a ribbon around it.

She had no idea what I would be talking about and how well this went with my message, about how God sees us and how we need to believe what He thinks of us. 

After my message, I told everyone to open their boxes and see what God thinks about them…

One woman shouted, “No way!” Some smiled. Some laughed. Some cried. It was absolutely beautiful. Only God could do something like that. Something to let us know, “I see you.”

What a God!  

What a gift of time and love from Michelle and Alyssa to each of us women. I was moved even before I opened my box.  And then I did…

Gift From God

…and flipped over my heart…


Exquisite. An “e” word. Just for me. Because only He could know. My breath was taken away for a moment. And I was that little girl in elementary school again, treasuring a word that seemed to be just for me.

The Hubby would later tell me “exquisite” has always been one of his favorite words.

A sweet friend I met at the conference learned of my word and texted me the definition:

exquisite: of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence

He sees me. He thinks I’m exquisite. He knows just what I need right when I need it.

I may be turning 33 today, but inside, I am His little girl treasuring the “e” word He picked just for me.

What a God. What a gift.


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  1. This is so beautiful! Lelia and Michelle are such amazing ladies. I had the priviledge of being their roommate at the Compel Conference and really wanted to be there for this conference. I love this story…it is a God story. I’m continually in awe of how good He is. Thank you for sharing your story. (stopping in from Lelia’s post on FB…nice to meet you.)
    I think I will need to share this on Friday when I do a post recapping some of my favorite reads of the week. 🙂

  2. Love it!

  3. Wow God!!! Thank you for sharing this Exquisite Erin! 🙂

  4. Christine says:

    I literally have tears running down my face; about how Good He is and about treasuring the exquisiteness of you. There is no one like you Erin, exquisite indeed.

  5. Love. Just love. And you are exquisite, dear Erin. I’m grateful to call you friend. Happiest of birthdays!
    Much love,

  6. So beautiful. Thank you for touching my heart with your words this morning. And thank you for the reminder that yes, God sees me 🙂

  7. The perfect word for you, my friend. Congrats on the speaking engagement – you are becoming exactly who God has intended you to be. Happy birthday!

  8. Erin I love this story! You most definitely exquisite!

  9. So, so great.

  10. Happy Birthday!

  11. This was such a great post! God is so good! He did something very similar at our women’s retreat in the fall involving chalkboard hearts with our names on them. Very similar reactions to names that only God could orchestrate. http://chairsfromthecurb.blogspot.com/2013/10/written-on-my-heart.html

    • Jackie Roth says:

      You’re awesome Erin!! Wish I could’ve been at the conference!! Happy Birthday:) I got a package of doves for my b day and I always think of you:)

  12. That is awesome! Such a sweet, sweet idea! I would love to see details as to how they were made! 🙂