Coffee Filters and Generic Markers by Julie Arduini

Last month I participated in our church’s women’s conference. Our keynote speaker, Dawnita Istre, was anointed and full of spunk. The worship team did an amazing job. The vendors shared their hearts for causes like A21 campaign and the Pregnancy Help Center.

Then there were the workshops.

Because I was part of the core team hosting the event, I had duties to attend to first. Our pastor’s wife encouraged us to focus on being fed ourselves, not serving every moment. That’s a hard concept for me but I decided to sneak into a workshop on dealing with difficult people. Because that’s not a “if this will happen” scenario, it’s a “when will it happen again.”

I sat with a group of ladies I know, but not as well as I’d like to. If you asked me to describe them I’d say beautiful, creative, gifted, kind.

The leader asked us to take a coffee filter and use the marker on the table to write what we knew someone had said about us that wasn’t true, but we believed the lie anyway.

I grabbed a red marker and wrote “evil.” I know it might sound crazy to you, but it was one word of many this year I’d been called. And instances like it were happening so often I started to wonder? Am I rotten? Do I really create the worst in people and enjoy it? Honestly, that one word messed with my head.

The next instruction was to dip the filter in water and watch the word disappear. Let the true Living Waters clean us and tell us who we really are. Redeemed. Valued. Beloved.

Here’s where it gets funny at our table.

We had generic markers.              markers photo: markers coloredmarkers.jpg

When we dipped the filters in the water, nothing happened.

We giggled and shared our words.

“Oh no, I’m really evil!”

But as I thought about the experiment I realized how many times I’ve taken those words to Christ for an exchange and kept taking the words back. He’d proclaimed me saved and I thought of myself lost. I was healed but I walked around wounded. I was loved but lived as if I were hated.

If that’s you, generic markers that don’t wash off or not, embrace the truth.

If you have called on Christ as your Savior, Rescue and Friend—-

You are:

  • Deeply loved and highly favored
  • Saved by the blood of Christ, declared innocent by His sacrifice and clothed in righteousness (translated: Jesus died for us, He made a way for us for eternal life, and although human and sinful, we’re not evil, thanks to Him!)
  • Entitled to His peace and authority (the same power He had on Resurrection Day is available to us everyday!)

I invite you to write those promises where you can see them, and receive them in your heart, and use permanent marker!

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About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novellas, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her other latest release, YOU’RE BRILLIANT, is for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 3 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at, where she invites readers to opt in to her content full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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2 Responses to Coffee Filters and Generic Markers by Julie Arduini

  1. theresetravis758700495 says:

    lovely, Julie. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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