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I learned to type on a typewriter—the old-fashioned kind with ribbon that required white-out if you made a mistake, which I used regularly. When word processors/computers came along I could really appreciate backspace and delete. And the copy and paste feature…well, that was just magical!

Copy and paste is wonderful when writing, researching, and many other similar tasks. But recently, my grandson used it in a way I’d never thought of before. He used it in reference to some kids at school who follow the trends, who wear the same things, buy the latest “must have” and, in some ways, seem to be clones of one another. He referred to them as “Copy and Paste.” Hmm…that got me to thinking.

Teens want to belong. They’re exploring and finding out who they really are. I was there once, and did my share of finding an image to “copy and paste” so that I blended in. But now, I don’t want to be a replica of anyone. Now, I want to be uniquely myself as God made me to be. I began to ask: am I guilty of “copy and paste” sometimes? Are there things I do without really thinking about it because it’s the “thing to do?” Does my home tend to be a replica of the current trends instead of a reflection of who I am, whether or not it’s in fashion? My clothes, the words I use, even my garden…

Just the other day, I found myself looking at my garden critically.

ENCOURAGEMENT - june 2024 - firmly planted.JPG

You have too many plants. You should have mass plantings, fewer plants that repeat and an area of grass or something to rest the eyes.


Then there was the headline on my news feed: Seven Things Experts Won’t Have in Their Gardens. Chimes was one of them. Definitely won’t copy and paste that one. (You know how I feel about chimes from previous stories!) Is it even possible to have too many plants!? Well, even I think it is, but too many plants for whom?  I want the right number of plants for me. God’s creation is mind-blowingly amazing. The variety and uniqueness of each precious botanical wonder inspires more and more awe and appreciation for the Creator. I do try to rein it in, I do try to have at least three of everything and make an effort to have some kind of artistic order; but my garden isn’t a copy and paste version of Better Homes and Gardens or Pinterest. It might be hard to find rest for your eyes, but I would rather you find rest for your soul.

My garden, my clothes, my home…these are outward reflections of who I am, a near-70 hippie type who still wears tie dye and torn jeans sometimes. But the inward is more important than the outward, and that’s where it’s most important to me not to “copy and paste.” Jesus goes against the grain. His ways are contrary to the world’s way of thinking. Turn the other cheek, sell all you have, the first shall be last, love one another. How can I practically do this in these crazy difficult times? I can’t, but He can. As I surrender daily and ask Him, step by step He leads the way. Being careful not to be too quick to judge, to speak, to LIKE a Facebook post that could be hurtful to someone, these are small ways I can avoid a copy and paste mentality.

I love my grandson’s creative use of language! His unique perspective often helps me see things in a different way. Jesus, the Genuine Original Creative, teaches a better way that can’t be copied and pasted. It grows from the inside, only through knowing Him.

Copy and Paste
by Dina Cavazos

Then it hit me. I had been under spiritual attack and God came to my rescue! The fear had lifted. I can do this! As I thought about the night before I realized how exaggerated my fears were. I really did feel like Frodo facing Mordor. How dark and gripping were my thoughts about this small thing of stepping up to lead prayer! That’s what the enemy of our souls does, but God is greater.

I’m happy to say I led prayer and none of the things I had imagined and feared happened. Am I a fearless leader? No, but I know the One who is.

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