About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Monday, February 4, 2008


…AND ON TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL!! You might want to read my previous post about the PEARL behind the Giants Super Bowl win.
I am stopping on my life’s journey to ponder the many irritants God has allowed in my life. I want to do this to encourage you. One day, the affliction, the troubles you are experiencing at this moment will emerge a pure pearl – white, precious in His sight – a comfort for another in their time of trouble.

Your pain, sorrow, conflict or trouble – what ever it is – is a pearl in the making! God has allowed the irritant to enter your life and around it He is developing a story that will build you, strengthen you, and give you wisdom to encourage another.

Today I am going to tell you about an experience I had in the first grade. I remember my little desk and its location. I sat across the room from the windows. My mind took me many times each day on a trip out and over the heads and faces of my classmates, longing to be outside – not in the classroom where I so often felt confined. I wanted to run free and do my own thing, not have to listen to the instructions of the teacher.

On this particular day – a day in the fall, we were preparing for a party. First we had to complete our art project and then the room mothers would show up with treats and games. The teacher began, giving us step by step instructions on decorating a fall placemat where we could place our cupcakes and chocolate milk when they arrived. I did not follow her lead. Being a creative little soul, I did my own thing – listening to the muse within my soul. At the end of the class, she used my disobedience to teach a lesson! “There are consequences for a student who does not follow instructions.” She held up my project, informing me that I would not participate in the afternoon’s celebration. I could sit at the back of the room and watch. Maybe next time I would follow directions! She wadded up my pathetic piece of “art work” and threw it into the trash can! My self esteem followed the discarded placemat and there I remained – at the bottom of the heap, in a dark and lonely place for many, many years. I vowed to NEVER try anything creative. It only got me into trouble!

Little did I know that God was using this experience to develop his perfect plan for my life.

Fast forward two decades. Now I was a young mother in a Bible study at my local church. Our pastor’s topic of study – The Creation Story led us to ponder what it meant to be created in His image, in the image of God. She asked us to consider how each of us might “look” like our Father. “In other words,” she asked, “What characteristics have you inherited from your heavenly Father?”

What a concept! I knew I walked like my daddy and I knew I had my mother’s wander lust, but look like God, act like the Almighty Creator? No way! I pondered this homework assignment for a week. Then, the night before I had to answer I read, “In the beginning, God created…” I stopped in my tracks! The word “created” jumped off the page at me.

Created. God is creator. He is creative. He makes no two alike. Each sunset is an original. Each child He designs is unique. How many species of butterflies and fishes are there?

Being creative is a virtue not a vice. Creativity is a gift from God not a frivoulous past time!

My mind took me back to the classroom and the trash can of so long ago, to the place where I had laid dormant for so many years. Slowly a shell began to open. A loving hand reached out and took me, bringing me to the surface, reminding me of all the ideas and thoughts I had suppressed over the years. Oh! A light blinked in the recesses of my mind. I remember making suggestions about the homecoming float, how my classmates had implemented them and how we won that year's prize. I recall decorating my home and getting positive reviews from my husband and mother-in-law. The older women in the church had liked my table decorations and asked me to take charge of the next event. The neighborhood association chose me as the recipient for the best landscape. Who me? Yes you.

Little things that God used, one layer after another to create a pearl that would one day emerge with enough confidence to encourage others in their quest to fulfill their God-given gifts began to surface in my mind.

Let me be specific: I love mentoring young women, encouraging them to enjoy being the best wife and mom they can be. The irritants that challenged me as a mother and a spouse have emerged as lessons for others. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to teach a class of teenagers and see them succeed. You see I determined to be an encourager to my students, to be patient and find their talents even if the lessons I taught were not their fortes. I find great satisfaction in sharing ideas with friends – ideas that help them create warm and hospitable environments in their homes.

I wish I could say that I am a pearl. That I look at myself and say, “Yes, you have finally arrived to a place of complete confidence. You no longer struggle with issues of insecurity.” But, I cannot look at myself in the mirror and happily say these things. (Oh I know God sees me as a pearl. He says in Proverbs 31:10 that a virtuous woman’s worth is far more than the most precious of jewels.) On the other hand, honestly, I am not sure we are meant to reach a point where we believe God is finished with the pearl. I am afraid that, if I ever see the pearl in me, I might decide I no longer need God. I never want to reach that point in life. I want to always be aware of Him, lean on Him and turn to Him for help and guidance, Him who began a good work in me and Him who is not finished with me yet.

What about you? How is God using the irritant to develop the pearl in your life?


Shanda said...

Wow! How awesome to be able to look back and see how God has shaped you to be who you are today! My irritant is relationships, fellowship, I so know the importance of community, but it is still just in my head. I too had several experiences as a child where I ended up buying into the lie that friendships are too painful and vowed to NEVER get too close again. Here I am now trying to wrap my head around how in the world the Lord is going to use me to teach fellowship, a calling I'm sure is several years out, but always searching for lessons to be learned.
Thanks Van! You are an encouragement to me!

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing that story! My heart broke for the little girl Van I pictured in my mind as I read your words. Shame on that teacher! I am so glad that you never gave in to the lie that you should not create! The pictures you paint with your words always encourage me. You are a very special lady.

carlyn said...

God is definitely creating a pearl inside of me. I was called into ministry 13 years ago, and I am still waiting to see that call fulfilled. I have grown more in the past 3 1/2 years than ever before, and in the past 4 months, beyond comprehension. I still do not know what the future holds for me, but I do know that God is working in my life, and preparing me for something huge. I am learning to be patient and calm while I wait for His perfect timing.

Celly B said...

Oh, Van! What a hard experience for a little one to take, but what an awesome way God has turned it around for you.

One way that I see God using an irritant in my life is my self-esteem and identity. As you know, I was a teacher once upon a time and earned many accolades. Once my husband and I started a family, I decided to stay home, an opportunity for which I was really grateful. However, I found that now I no longer had the label teacher, I had no idea who I was. I went through depression and Christian counseling and have eventually learned my identity as a daughter of the King. God is working to incrementally strengthen my acceptance of that identity day by day.