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Holy Spirit Smudge

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

“Nicole! Do you pray?” I heard the warehouse manager yell while I was deep in the stacks. “Yes,” I yelled back, out of sight. Several minutes of silence passed. When I emerged near his work table he turned toward me, lifted his arms high above his head and asked, “Do you worship God like this?” “Sometimes,” I braced myself for him to make fun of me but instead he looked away and continued working. Still looking at his computer he explained, “I used to wake up in the middle of the night to my mom praying over me. I knew you prayed; you have what she had.” I was so touched that someone I didn’t interact with much could see that I loved Jesus.

Do you know those larger-than-life people who have energy buzzing all around them? They can’t help but smudge their positivity on your shoulder as they whisk by. (Our Able Moms founders are those types of women!) I hope to do this too simply by loving well. Much of my time is spent in theaters or on productions, and unfortunately this world is notoriously Godless. My aim is to smudge the Holy Spirit on every heart I come in contact with; to leave people with a little bit of light in the darkness. I want them to feel seen and loved. I have had people describe me as a “breath of fresh air” and “so nice.” These people may not experience the love of God often, and it is hard for them to verbalize. They want to be around it but don’t really know why. It isn’t me that resonates with them; it’s the Spirit. Once a director changed my nasty character to be loving and careful because I was “too warm” to play someone mean. What a blessing to have that kind of impact! Because, people will always remember how you make them feel.

Is it always like that? Nope! Just ask my children, or the clerk who didn’t know how to help me, or the customer service representative who picked up after I was on hold for over an hour. I fail all the time, and I hate it. I hate that the people I love the most often get my worst. I hate that it is easier for me to love strangers with exuberance than it is for me to be patient and tolerant with those I interact with daily. My deepest desire is that the Spirit of God will pour out of me and leave a mark like a fragrance that lingers from burnt incense or like charcoal that remains on the fingertips of an artist.

Lord, please let our children look back and remember how very much we love them and not the mean mommy moments. Forgive us for the moments we did not show Your love to others.

I know we’ve all heard this lesson a million times, but let this encourage you to lead with love. Nothing that robs us from making the most out of every opportunity truly matters this side of heaven. Exchanging stress, worry, or frustration for love in those moments could have an eternal impact. Leave a mark, mama! Give that Holy Spirit smudge in your homes, on the phone, at the grocery store…you are loved deeply; so go love others!

Your fellow Able Mom,

Nicole Astra

Our gracious Father, your love is our refuge and remedy. Help us shine so others may feel its transformative power.

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