MORNING GLORY 22

Friends — Good morning and happy September! I’m excited to start a new season of Morning Glory today. It’s been a minute since our last coffee/tea talk. Time has been out the window! First of all — How are you today? I would love to hear what’s new with you...This summer I got engaged, we started building a house, and I launched 4 new products here at Winnefred Austin! Through these new experiences, the Lord has been teaching me in new ways — I am pressing in with hopes to share pieces with you as I continue learning. 
     
Since I’m getting married in March — I’ve been thinking a lot about names lately, and especially how our names can change. Perhaps without even realizing it, I believe we put a lot more identity in our names than we think. Our name is the very basic identification we’ve had since forever. The first time we meet someone, we give them our name in exchange for theirs in return. We’re organized alphabetically from the day we start school. It’s the very beginning label learn in life — a tag we carry with us. 
     
Names matter to us, but they matter to God more. He gives us a different name, one He calls us all: beloved child. Even if our name changes, our identity in Him remains. Our inner being is rooted in who God says we are. We are His.
      
I love looking through generations before mine and uncovering stories woven through a web of names. People ask all the time about Winnefred Austin. What’s behind the name anyways? It’s a story I love telling — one found along the lines of tracing back generations of old. 
     
Winnefred Austin was my baker's dozen great grand-mum. If you go back 13 generations along my Nana's line, you won’t see a photo (or painting for that matter) of Winnefred, but her name is there. She was born in St. Margaret, Westminster, UK in 1634. She was a London lady turned American pioneer when her family came  to Virginia. Her pioneer spirit and my study abroad trip to London sparked inspiration to make Winnefred Austin the namesake of my company in 2017…almost 400 years after her lifetime! (And did you know…Austin is her married name?!)
     
There are many dots connecting together where we’ve been. Where we’re going. A long list of names is just one of them. One day our names will be seen by future generations with wrinkled noses and wide eyes discovering snippets of our stories. Access to a list of past ancestors is not the point, though. For some of us, there is no concrete list. We may not know where we come from, and that’s okay. God meets us with grace in the unknown. There, we can wonder at His creation because many unseen lines came together bringing us to where we are today. And that, my friend, is nothing short of a miracle. 
     
There are different faces, decades, centuries, countries, but the same God. There are many lines, but one body of Christ united in His common thread of faithfulness through every generation. His same Word stands true today. We are all made imago dei — made in His image. Just as we read in the opening words of Scripture, "So God created human beings in His own image." (Genesis 1:27 NLT)
Say it with me! We are all made imago dei [ih-mah-goh day]— in God's image. 
I believe we’re made imago dei for such a time as this. This phrase from Esther 4:14 is our anthem here at Winnefred Austin. I believe we're all here for this exact time. God has purpose for you and me at this very moment. Stop and think about it. What an opportunity we have on this side of heaven. You might not see it today, or even tomorrow. Somedays I’m right there too. But when we catch this imago dei vision, perspectives change. Light begins to shine into whatever we might be facing. We’re reminded we are created for purpose, even in hard times. Especially in joyful ones. And more than anything: we reflect His image into the world because we are His beloved children.
     

Will you catch this vision with me today? How can you reflect God’s image where you are, right now?

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