May 19, 2017

A True Story for Devotion and Life Enrichment Bible Study

This true story is shared with you for the purpose of Bible Study.

A Devotional and Life Enrichment Bible Study.
While you listen, try to let the story take your mind off of anything you might have on your mind.


How I Got My Smile.
Robert and I visited a new church one Sunday evening to hear a Highway Patrolman preach. The church was in Bixby, Oklahoma. The highway patrolman was known for telling about things that happened to him in the line of duty that saved lives and turned lives around.

I remember his sermon to be inspirational and encouraging.  After he preached he and the pastor at that church invited anyone that would like prayer to come to the front. I went to the front for prayer and Robert was right behind me.

The highway patrolman was praying for each person individually. He would stand in front of the person he was praying for, pray quietly and then move to the next person.

When it came time for him to pray for me I stepped in front of him and bowed my head.  He prayed for me and turned to step away. Robert describes what happened next this way:

His face energized. His face changed, flushed with joy.  With a very large, glowing grin he lit up radiant.  He turned and stepped back to stand in front of Kathleen.  Speaking directly to Kathleen with loving assurance he said:
“My child, don’t cover your smile. You are covering a gift I gave you. I gave you that smile to share. “
We returned to our seats and I began to reflect on what I had heard him say. This man did not know me and I had not said a word to him, keeping my hands to my side the complete time.  I knew this had been God speaking to me through this man. I knew the truth behind the words spoken to me.  Robert also was aware.

You see, my front teeth are big.  I have believed since childhood that I had an unattractive smile. When I smiled or talked or laughed, I covered my mouth with my hand.

With this as a turning point, I began to think of my smile as a gift from God and I worked to stop the habit of covering my smile. A few years later I became so comfortable with my smile that people started telling me, my smile was what they enjoyed the most each time they saw me.
Now all these years later, if I catch myself feeling self-conscious or afraid to be myself I remember that God had given me my smile to share and not hide from others.

I still struggle with self-confidence. At this time in my life, I had taken a back seat and was afraid to speak up. I never thought of myself as being a leader in any situation. I was seldom a contributor and became shaky and sick at my stomach when I had to speak up in a group. This experience was paramount in God showing me my individual value and self-identity.

This experience became a part of who I am, only after I let it replace doubts and fears. In my heart and in my mind I let this scripture be alive,  Jeremiah 1:5  Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.  Before you were born I set you apart. In an instant when the man shared with me I thought it really was a possibility that God knew individually and personally who I am and what I struggle with. Now I carry the scripture inside of me, alive and a part of who I am.

I may have read this scripture many times before this happened to me, but at some point, I read it and stopped and thought about what it might mean in my life and I remembered God had given me my smile and I knew my smile was to be a light in the world.  Matthew 5: 14 – 16 You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket but on the lampstand;  and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. I thought how appropriate it was for God to give me a smile to learn to show.  Many times in my life a genuine smile from someone had given me peace and quieted my fears.
I had to make real changes in myself to begin to incorporate what had been said to me.  It was undeniably so for me: The Sovereign Holy Spirit of God had spoken through a stranger to me.  I wanted more than anything to be the person God was showing me He had created me to be. It was going to require changes.

I love new art supplies, I love to experiment with new colors but somehow I seem to gravitate back to what I am most familiar. When God told me to not cover my smile, I could not help but want to break the habit I had established of covering my smile with my hand. I found out that I needed to renew my mind to break this habit. I had to stop thinking wrongly of myself, I had to put on a new self as the scripture Ephesians 4: 22-24  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

After learning that I needed to break the habit and that I needed to change the way I saw myself,  I found life in Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I learned quickly that it was not as easy as reminding myself to remove my hand from covering my mouth.  I had to begin to see, understand, and live differently.  I had to work at being comfortable sharing my Joy with laughing and smiling.

Making changes in my life required me changing the way I think.

The scriptures refer to this as the renewing of our mind. And just like learning to watercolor takes time, dedication and practice. Stopping the habit of covering my mouth with my hand could change only after time, dedication and practice.

I began the work of change and learning, of renewing my mind, to stop covering my mouth.

I realized I needed to first change the way I thought about myself.
These scriptures in Ephesians and in Romans helped me understand what I needed to practice.

Now that you have read my story, I recommend you Download and Transfer the Donkey image and begin painting and staying quiet to allow yourself to process thoughts about what you have just read and the scriptures. My hope is this will be white space in your life and you will allow the Holy Spirit to work in you as in Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

jpeg to pdf 4×6 Beast of Burden donkey draw image patterns_edited-1

To watch a video of me painting the Donkey visit my Youtube Channel 

Scripture Meditation and Watercolor Study is written for a person alone or in a group, discussion time will not always be available.


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About Kathleen McElwaine

Kathleen McElwaine Artist. Do you like what you see? You may purchase my art directly from me at or from my Esty Store Other vendors that sell my art, prints, and products with my art images include: Divine Treasures, Georgetown, TX, Sew Crazy Fabric Store, Cedar Park, TX, Sue Patrick, Austin, TX, Artisans Connect Gallery, Georgetown, TX, The Bob Bullock Museum Gift Store, Austin, TX, LBJ Library, Austin, TX, The Wildseed Farm, Fredericksburg, TX, Washington on the Brazos State Park, Washington TX, The Monument Market, Georgetown, TX, and Cowgirls and Lace, Dripping Springs, TX. - My Online Print and Products Store, - My Etsy Store for Art Supplies & Posters wholesale and retail.