Oh dear, I am embarrassed to even show this photo!! This is the little table in my Kitchen. Yes, there is a table under there. It is prone to catching all the clutter in our house. Ok, so does my dining room table. But I am not showing you that.
And so I show you this uttering a squeak of "Help!!!" I confess my trouble with remaining consistently organized. I am a creative soul, and tend to be a bit scatterbrained at times, which is reflected in this table.
As the new year rolls in, I am striving to conquer these clutter zones! Help me friends! Now that I have shown you this terrible mess (Ok, so the dirty bowl does not camp there...my son just finished breakfast. Now I feel worse! My son ate breakfast at that mess!) I ask you to share with me some organizing love and help me work through the clutter this new year.
Looking forward to your insight!
(P.S. It is killing me to leave this photo up....I will have to post something beautiful or striking tomorrow to erase this image from your minds...)
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I love my son.
He is wonderful, smart, funny, cute...the list goes on and on.
But sometimes? Sometimes he drives me absolutely i.n.s.a.n.e.
Currently, he is in bed, NOT napping. He is singing, yodeling, bouncing, and being a miniature wild-man.
But no matter what he does, I will always, ALWAYS love him. Deeply. Truly. Madly.
Even if you don't believe, take a moment to contemplate that. Wouldn't you love to be loved like that? And even if you don't believe, I tell you this- you ARE.
Just sayin. ;)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies NEVER come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in Him."
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
to the soul who seeks Him.
Lamentations 3:22-25 NIV
May His steadfast love envelop you today,
Labels: dear son
Monday, December 28, 2009
I don't think I've ever been this wiped out after Christmas! I am the one who keeps the Christmas music pumping for at least 2 weeks afterwards...I keep the Christmas movies going all year long...
But I need a day off.
Just one day though. I think. ;)
I got sick two days before Christmas, and spent Christmas Eve morning crying because I felt so awful and overwhelmed. But, the day rebounded, and a much improved me continued on with the festivities.
We had a wonderful joy-filled Christmas. (Pictures below...) Oddly enough, I don't feel sad now that Christmas day has come and gone, but I anticipate the new year and all of it's new promises!
I look forward to blogging frequently once again, now that I am in full health. (Praise the Lord!) I am also preparing to open a new Etsy shop, one that I was preparing for last year before I got sick, and am now able to follow through on. This will be smaller items that I am excited to share with you. Glimpses of that are soon to follow!
New images will be appearing here as I step out further into photography and digital art. I am very excited about this.
I am also working on a blog makeover. Hopefully this will be accomplished soon!
And so my dear friends, I wish you all a very Happy New Year!! Celebrate, and welcome in the New Year with hope.
I pray that " The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope." (Colossians 1:5, The Message)
Blessings to you!!
(P.S. Giveaway coming SOON!!!!)
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God.
The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love - so you can't know him if you don't love.
This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about - not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us - perfect love!
This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God.
We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day - our standing in the world is identical with Christ's.
There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life - fear of death, fear of judgment - is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love - love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both. (1 John 4:7-21)
True love...what comes to your mind when you think of this phrase? Disney Princes and Princesses, riding off into the sunset? A backlit image of a couple walking hand in hand on a beach? Blissful, contented images, that evoke emotions of fullness and peace.
True love, though, is a little more gritty than that. God in His Word (The Bible) calls us to love one another- deeply, unceasingly, incessantly, without reserve, and over the top.
The type of love that the Word calls us to is one that we are incapable of strumming up on our own. It is only by the power of God that we are able to be filled with and pour out this love. The love that He gives us is the exact love that He holds in His own heart.
The classic scripture of 1 Corinthians 13 "The Love Chapter" is read in many wedding vows, hung on many a wall, and has been heard by most people at one time or anther. Please look upon it with new eyes as I present it to you from The Message-
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
This is some intense love. It never gives up- even when the one it is loving never ever loves it back- it is unrelenting. It isn't prideful, thinking "Look how much I can love!" It doesn't fly off the handle- this love is patient with people. Doesn't keep score of the sins of others- God casts our sins so far from Himself when we ask forgiveness that He never EVER will bring them back up to us, holding forth a tally of "Look-what-you-did's" Love puts up with anything, and keeps going to the end.
You are loved in this very way by God. And in the way that He loves you, He calls you to love other people. He wants us to reflect His heart of love.
If you have told God that you want a relationship with Him, and that you believe in His Son Jesus, you can have this love. He will fully equip you with it. God gave us His Spirit, and the Spirit lives inside of you, giving you power to do things you can't in your own human nature. If you ask God to fill you with His True Love, He will. Tell Him that you need His love, and can't do it on your own. Ask Him to make you aware of any areas in your life that you might hold on to bitterness in, and tell Him you don't want that in your life anymore. This is called surrendering to God. Surrender those areas, and ask Him to change you, to give you a heart that loves like He does. And then ask to be made aware of the times you are NOT acting in True Love. When you find yourself acting in a way that is not loving, ask His forgiveness right away, and ask for His love instead.
God wants us to live lives of Love. All out, forgiving, gentle, kind, passionate, relentless love.
Do you love like this? Or do you find yourself living in selfish love? Perhaps you have trouble with the area of love that is forgiving towards others. Ask God to change you, to make you able to let go of those things that you just can't seem to forget, and make a conscious effort to put aside those thoughts of unforgiveness when they pop into your mind.
This Christmas season, let us live in Love. The ultimate gift of Love was given to us in the birth of Jesus Christ. Show that love to the world this season! Ask God to show you ways you can live in True Love, and ask Him to change you in the areas where you struggle. You will never be the same again, and your heart will rejoice within you as you are filled with His love.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I went to Costco today to pick up our Christmas photo cards...towing the little 22 month old and 4 year old by hand.
I thought, NO, I don't need a cart. I'm just picking up pictures!
I was wrong.
Wrong. Wrong. WRONG.
Warning: Always get a cart at Costco if you have little people with you. In fact, it's COSTCO. So just get a cart. Period.
We were doing okay after the photo pick up, so we ventured over to the movies. Then we got an idea for Daddy's Christmas gift, so we took our 2 movies we picked out, and went to another area (which must remain a secret). By this time, things were starting to get a little, uh, difficult.
Barely making it to check out, a kid in each hand, a video in each kids hand, and a secret present under my arm, we are slowly crumbling. Kid drops movie. Mommy picks up movie. Other kid drops movie. Mommy picks up movie. Youngest kid drops self onto floor. Mommy pulls up youngest. Repeat.
At the checkout, the youngest decides to completely collapse on the floor. The lovely box lady offers to put her in the spare cart that happens to be there. YES PLEASE! Youngest starts screaming head off now that she is picked up to stranger.
Apology from me to nice lady stranger. Telling youngest under my breath "See, if you throw a fit, I'll let a stranger pick you up." Of course, she has no idea what I'm saying.
We proceeded to the checkout with youngest screaming her head off, stiff as a board, as I force her into the cart seat and buckle her. My son is trying to ride on the bottom shelf of the cart.
I swore to myself I'd never let my child scream in a store. So much for that resolution! She's under 2...not much I can do there.
I'm sure we made a lovely Holiday scene. ;)
Both children are napping now, and I am going to regain my sanity! Thank you for joining me in my little moment of insanity. May your day be truly merry and bright!
Enjoying the silence,
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I couldn't stop thanking God for you - every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks.But I do more than thank. I ask - ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory - to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him - endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. Ephesians 1:17-21
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I was having a conversation with a good friend the other day about the difference between what I believe as a Christian, and what other religions believe. I honestly can't debate the differences because I don't know all that there is to know about what others believe. But I know what I believe.
What I believe is not a religion, a list of do's and don'ts, or narrow minded. What I live brings real results, real fulfilment, and is the real truth. I share it with you not to earn any points or gain any gift or promise. It doesn't work that way. I only share it with you that you might also believe. Your belief or unbelief does not get me a greater spot in heaven, nor points among my peers.
Hear my heart.
I only share with you this Good News, because I love you, my God loves you, and we want every good thing for you.
And so, here it is, the simple truth.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth (believes the truth) comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. (John 3:16-21)
God did not send His son Jesus into this world to condemn you. He was not a self righteous man who came to impose His own self righteous ideals on others. Jesus, was God, in a fleshly human body. He came to this earth, as a real man, to teach people the truth, and lead them to God. He came, He was killed, and God made Him alive again, fo YOU.
Why would He give His life to lead you to God? Let me put it this way- "Why Not??". God created you. Why would he want to lose you? He doesn't! He wants to be WITH YOU! If you are a parent, or want to be a parent, would you decide to have children only to lose them to death, never having the opportunity to know them, to see their first steps, to watch them sleep, to hold them close? No! If you chose to bring life into this world it is because you want to LOVE that life! God gave you life because He wanted there to be a YOU, and to love you!
We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. (Romans 3:22-24)
All have sinned...do you struggle with this because you have never done something as drastic as murder? Let me share with you what the Biblical definition of sin is, based on the Greek Word used in the Bible-
to miss the mark
to err, be mistaken
to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong
to wander from the law of God, violate God's law, sin
I've certainly missed the mark many times in my life. I have been mistaken. I have done wrong. I have sinned.
God is without sin, and when we sin, we separate ourselves from relationship with Him. But because He loves us, He provides a way back into relationship with Him. And here is the simple truth. If you choose to believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God, and tell God that you have missed the mark in life and you are sorry, He will make you right and bring you into relationship with Himself.
This is where it really gets good my friend.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people. I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:18-20 NLV)
God has an inheritance for you here on this earth, and in heaven. A glorious inheritance! And power! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead. He wants to be a part of your daily life. He wants to lift your burdens, walk with you through your struggles. As a human, you will still struggle with missing the mark, but you are made right through your belief in Jesus.
Gods Word, the Bible, is truth. It is the only truth. Other religions add to it and take away from it. Or use pieces of it, while changing parts to say what they want them to say. But it is clearly stated in the Bible: "Every word of God is true. He guards those who come to him for safety. Do not add to his words, or he will correct you and prove you are a liar." (Proverbs 30:5-6) And- "I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone removes any of the words of this prophetic book, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book." (Revelation 22:18-19)
I challenge you to read the Bible, God's Word, and learn the simple truth. When you accept Jesus, you are guaranteed entrance into heaven, along with many blessings here on earth. You are not told to achieve any sort of points by things you do or don't do. You don't have to do any sort of ritual to maintain your salvation. You are accepted, redeemed from sin, and brought into an eternal relationship with God.
And that my friend, is the simple truth.
Labels: Bible Study
Friday, November 6, 2009
He is our help and our shield.
In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
Marriam-Webster's definition of WAIT:
1 : to stay in place in expectation of : await
2 : to delay serving (a meal)
3 : to serve as waiter for
1 a : to remain stationary in readiness or expectation
2 a : to look forward expectantly
3 a: to serve at meals
4 a : to be ready and available
We seem to spend the majority of our lives waiting. Waiting to move from one position in life to another. It seems to be a constant state of being.
This brings up an important question- HOW do we wait? Do we wait with an attitude that reflects number 4b in the Dictionary definition above? "to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized". Do our attitudes reflect one of hopelessness regarding what is neglected or unrealized in our lives? Do we wait passively, or in pessimism?
Psalm 33:20 says to "Wait in HOPE". This is an active form of waiting. Look at how this reads if you apply the dictionary definitions from above:
Remain in a place of expectation in hope.
Remain in a place of readiness in hope.
Look forward expectantly in hope.
Hold back expectantly in hope.
Be ready and available in hope.
Expectant, ready, available-to-respond hope!
The key to this attitude of hope in waiting is in the next words: "We wait in HOPE for THE LORD" and the "why's" follows that: "He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His Holy Name."
Are you without hope in your life, or in a particular situation in life? The first question to ask is- "What is my hope?" Is your hope in yourself, in your own ability to be strong and handle a situation, or what you or someone else can do for you? That hope is not lasting. We all will fail ourselves, and no one else can consistently sustain you or provide for you through all time.
There is a hope that lasts, and that hope is found when you find a line of communication with God. What is exciting is that God has given you two main lines of communication! First through prayer- talking to God just like you would another person. The second is through reading the Bible. God has chosen to give us the Bible for our direction and encouragement. Amazingly, the Bible is the primary way that God speaks to us. I encourage you, no challenge you, to start reading it actively, with persistence. You will find that when you ask God questions, or need Him to speak to you, He will. When something you have read from the Bible comes to mind in response to a situation, this is God speaking to you. God will speak to you in other ways also, but if you have never heard, or feel like you are having trouble hearing God, you might be missing a key ingredient- reading His Word.
If you actively read His word, and seek Him out through prayer, but are still entrenched in a pessimistic and hopeless time of waiting, ask yourself, "Where is my trust?". What do you trust in? Do you TRUST God? If you find yourself shaking your head 'no', you need to reevaluate why. Is there a root of distrust in your life that has entwined itself around your heart, ideals, and concept of who God is? If you distrust God, and God is the provider of hope, you will be separating yourself from the hope you need.
The Hebrew word for Trust, used in this passage of Scripture is defined as:
1.to trust, trust in
2.to have confidence, be confident
3.to be bold
4.to be secure
1.to cause to trust, make secure
2.(TWOT) to feel safe, be careless
Insert this into the Scripture we are looking at:
"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we ARE SECURE in His Holy Name"
"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we ARE BOLDLY CONFIDENT in His Holy Name"
"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we FEEL SAFE in His Holy Name"
God is a God of safety and security, who we can speak to with boldness and confidence. In His care, we are safe.
If you don't feel safe, is there something you are holding back from Him or holding against Him? If there is, take the time to tell Him. Go before God in a quiet place where you can be alone, and tell Him about your lack of trust and why. He will not look down upon you for what you are about to tell Him, and He is a big God, who is not intimidated by your questions or doubts. I encourage you not to feel ashamed of your humanity. He understands where you are coming from. You need be open before Him to give Him and opportunity to respond to you. If you don't provide an opportunity, you may very well be missing a chance for Him to communicate with you.
Finally, to move from a place of waiting in hopeLESSness, to one of hopeFULness, use the powerful weapon of speaking His word out loud. If you don't know of a verse of Scripture to apply, ask the Lord to provide one for you, and spend time reading your Bible. You can also search a particular subject on Bible Study Tools.com . In the search field enter a word, and it will provide you with verses that have that word in it. Do you need hope? Enter in "hope" and search the New Testament: (go here). Then make sure you take the next step to write down the scriptures that speak to your heart, and read them out loud throughout the day and whenever you start feeling hopeless again. This allows the Word to enter your heart, soul, and being, inviting it to be alive and active in changing and encouraging you.
I encourage you to evaluate today what your attitude of waiting might be. If you have grown discouraged, may the Lord renew your hope, so that you may wait in a place of expectant hope once again!
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
(do you have questions or want to know more? email me at megphilp at live dot com, and we can talk!)
Monday, November 2, 2009
In the Name of Jesus,
This man whom you see and know, was made strong.
It is JESUS name
And the Faith that comes through Him
That has given this COMPLETE HEALING to him,
AS YOU CAN SEE!
I have something burning in my very soul that I need to share with you. And I pray that it changes your life!
Last night I was out walking my two dogs, enjoying the cool crisp fall evening. And O the Joy I am filled with as I soak in Autumn! As I walked I prayed, and contemplated God's work in my life.
First, let me confess to you my humanity. I know that God healed me, and I can see that God healed me, but I still have moments when I wonder "Will this last?" It is then that I stand on a verse He gave me: "I know that everything God does will ENDURE FOREVER...nothing can be taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him." Ecclesiastes 3:12-14 (abbreviated)
I cannot help but believe that the many whom Jesus healed while he was on this earth had the same struggles with their humanity. Did the lame man wake up every morning wondering if his legs would stand strong once again? Did the blind man's heart skip for a second before he opened his eyes from the dark of sleep, hoping that his eyes would continue to see?
I think that, in their humanity, some of them struggled with the same thing.
FAITH. It is by faith that we experience the fullness of God. My husband and I are learning so much about faith. We are but infants in the grand scheme of faith, but I thank God for where we are, and for what is to come.
Look at Peter's experience with faith in the New Testament-
About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. But Jesus spoke to them at once. "It's all right," he said. "I am here! Don't be afraid."
Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water."
"All right, come," Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink.
"Save me, Lord!" he shouted. Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. "You don't have much faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?"
And when they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. "You really are the Son of God!" they exclaimed (Matthew 14:25-33)
Oftentimes we focus on Peters failure in this passage. It is what sticks in one's mind after reading it, wouldn't you say? But look with me at the whole of it.
Peter asked Jesus to command him to walk on water, and Jesus did so. Peter knew that if Jesus spoke it, it could be done. Then came the faith walk. Peter heard Jesus say "Come" and he went. Can you imagine?
There is Jesus, standing out in the middle of some pretty wild surf. Since I live near Seattle, I picture the waves of Lake Washington on a stormy day. To go into Seattle, you drive on a bridge that spans the water. On wild and woolly days, that water gets choppy and rambunctious. One time, when I was a child, we were driving across that bridge, and it was so stormy that a wave crashed up over the edge of the bridge and over the top of our mini-van, engulfing us in water. Definitely not the type of weather and water for a nice little stroll.
I'm wondering if the disciples (Jesus followers) thought they were loosing their minds? Maybe the fear was making them imagine that Jesus was walking towards them?
So Peter takes his first step of faith. "If it is really YOU Jesus, tell me to come to you!" I don't want to take liberties with the Bible, but lets pretend for a moment that he was bluffing. Surely this was a hallucination, but just in case, Peter didn't want to miss out on THIS opportunity. I mean, imagine the story he would have to tell! "You caught an awesome wave? That's pretty cool. I WALKED on them." I don't know. I can only imagine the motivation one would have to ask Jesus to walk on water. I do know that it required faith to even voice the idea, in fact, it required faith to even HAVE that idea! I don't think I would have come up with it on my own.
Jesus saw Peter's faith, and so he called out to him "Come."
Now came Peter's second step of faith. Looking out upon those crashing waves, with the wind whistling around him, he stepped out of the (relative) safety of the boat, and placed his foot on those rebellious waves.
That first step must have felt shocking. His foot hit the water and it was cold and wet...and somehow his foot did not sink. I bet that his mind had a hard time connecting with what was physically happening. One foot was out of the boat now, holding part of his weight. Would he trust the words of his Lord and put both feet on the water, in complete faith?
It seems like that first step of faith was a two step process. Are there times where I only step out partially in faith, without allowing God to fulfill His word and complete His work?
And so, Peter did his part, he stepped out on the deep blue, and when he placed both of his feet on the water, he walked. He moved his feet and walked in faith out over the depths of that lake, and that faith-walk was recorded in the history of God's word as an example for us all of what stepping out in faith looks like.
Now we get to the part where fear invaded Peter's faith, and caused him to start sinking in the reality that surrounded him. He took his eyes off Jesus, and looked instead at the physical circumstance he was in. He stood amidst crashing waves, far from the safety of the boat. His world was rocking, the waves beat at his confidence as they shook his body. And he allowed fear to enter in as he began to look at himself.
We mentally chide Peter as we read this. "Oh Peter, how could you? I mean, come on! You can SEE Jesus! You have seen him heal people from horrible diseases right before your eyes! You have seen him multiply a few pieces of bread and fish to feed a thousand people! You have sat at his feet and learned about the Kingdom of God! Peter! Get ahold of yourself!"
It is here that we are again given a visual of what it is like for us to walk in faith. Once we step out in faith, we in our humanity feel exposed, because the only thing carrying us is God. We live in earthly bodies in a physical world, and sometimes when we are surrounded by our waves, we can't see Jesus anymore. We see those waves crashing, ready to overtake us. We see our physical ailments and symptoms. We see our emotional distress that is too much to handle on our own. We see life circumstances of complete impossibility financially and economically. And it is too much to bear. You see, we are now looking around us, not at Christ. When we decide we are stepping out in faith, we have to focus on God: Who He is, What He can do, and What He has promised to us in His Word- the Bible. Our success depends on wearing blinders to the things that entangle us.
"We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish." Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
From start to finish. We keep our eyes on Jesus from that first step, that decision TO step, and we keep our eyes on Jesus as we walk. And then we remain with our eyes on Jesus.
How do we do this? Do we just think really hard about God and Jesus? What does it mean to keep my eyes on Jesus? The most foundational and important part of faith is found here. We have to read His Word. We have to read the Bible.
We pray, yes. Pray fervently! Pray desperately! Pray joyfully!
But my friends, we can only form faith and grow in faith through reading God's Word. This sounds so elementary I know, but its the plainly laid out truth. God uses His word to speak to us. If we aren't reading it, we are shortchanging God on opportunities to speak. When you read the Word, it makes its way into your very soul. And as life happens, God will bring what you have read to mind, and that my friends, is God speaking to you. What is wonderful, is that when He speaks His Word to you, it is TRUTH. That truth never fails. It is THE truth.
Here is something mind blowing- Gods truth is greater than your reality. He is beyond our reality, not trapped in an earthly realm with physical laws that box us in. When we unite ourselves with God, He picks us up out of our reality and places us in his realm of all-possibility.
Reflect with me on Peter's slip of faith. He shouted "Save me Lord!" INSTANTLY Jesus reached out and helped him stand again. Thank you Lord for Peter's sheer humanity. Thank you for letting us know that when we stumble in our faith you are there. When we cry out, you are INSTANTLY there. You set our feet on solid ground again.
The men who followed Jesus- His disciples- the ones who walked with Jesus daily, walked in faith yes, but also humanity. We learn from them that God uses doubters, people who fail, human people. God saves and heals doubters and sinners. Thank you God!
I learned through my healing what it means to step out in faith. We felt God telling us something, and if I hadn't ACTED, I wouldn't have received that gift of healing. I had to reach out and walk on water. Jesus said "Come." If I hadn't listened and taken that opportunity, I would still be sick. How heart wrenching that is for me to say! How many times do we miss out on something God has for us because we second-guess what He has said, and fail to Walk?
Once you step out in faith it is a continual process. I read and re-read Scriptures from His Word daily, even hourly, that hold promises for me and my situations in my life. I cling to them. I have moments of doubt. Days of doubt even. But Praise the Lord for his mercy! I cry out and he is instantly there for me, forgiving my doubt, and setting my feet on truth once again. This process will continue for the rest of my earthly life. Stepping out in faith can be very scary. It will defy your earthly sensibilities. It will DEFY YOUR REALITY, and place you into GOD'S ABSOLUTE OVERCOMING TRUTH.
I pray that you will begin that glorious faith-walk in the areas of your life where God is saying "Come."
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Please forgive me for my 6 month absence from my blog. I have been through a lot, and I would like to share it with you. Many of you have probably forgotten who I am, or that you even subscribe to my blog! But that's ok. ;-) I'll forgive you if you'll forgive me. :-)
We all walk through trials of many kinds, and I want to offer hope to all of you. Each situation is different, but God's Truth remains.
I have been struggling with stomach issues for quite some time now, and finally went to the Doctor in July. After running some tests, I was declared gluten-intolerant, possibly having Celiacs disease. I had anti-bodies to gluten detected in my blood. Slightly overwhelmed, but striving to take this in stride, I set out into my new gluten-free lifestyle. Gluten is in wheat, barley, rye, oats, and every packaged and baked good. It is also added to many many things that you wouldn’t imagine it being in.
I was daunted, but we were doing ok. But after a time I started to get sick again when eating. I cut out milk, and moved to soy. I then began reacting to the soy. I cut out soy. I did better and then got worse. I went to a gastroenterologist and IBS was suggested, but several tests were recommended and we could not afford them with our current health insurance.
I tried with everything in my own power to overcome, to discover the root of this, and to get well. Nothing worked. We then went to a Naturopath, and she started me on some treatments that began to help. We ran an allergy panel to see if I had other food intolerance allergies. Ironically, they got the test results in just after I got home from an appt with them. So I had to wait 24 hours for another available appointment to talk to them. Apparently there was “too much” to discuss it over the phone. Unnerved at what “too much” could be in the world of allergies (especially after being tested for 94 different foods) I waited anxiously.
At this point, I had begun to turn to God and seek Him out with a new determination for healing and hope. And really, just strength to get through each day, because I was a mess. (Oh that I had realized the importance of this sooner!!!)
I was praying before my appt, and I heard the Lord say in my mind “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
And boy was He right. As I looked at my allergy test, I think I nearly went into shock. It was stunning. I was allergic to nearly everything I had been eating. Beef, turkey, all vegetables except cauliflower, all nuts, all potatoes, all milk and milk proteins, and every single grain including rice and corn and wheat type grains. even sugar and COFFEE. This left me with a diet of pork, chicken, fruit, and a few types of beans. I want you to take a moment to imagine living this way. I was facing at least a year of treatment and recovery to eat normal again. I was overwhelmed.
I began to spend time praying and reading my Bible like never before. Every morning I called out to God for healing and strength. Through this time, I began to know my Lord in a very different and intimate way. If any of you are confused by that statement, message me, and I would love to explain it to you.
On Saturday night the Family clan was headed to Red Robin to eat. I was considering going home because I was tired, kids were tired, and I didn’t really feel like sitting there smelling RR food and watching everyone else eat it. If I were to eat it I would end up very sick for the next several days. Dalen offered to take me home. He then asked if I could just go for the French fries. I replied “No, I can’t” and IMMEDIATELY heard a response in my mind- “YES, you CAN”. We felt uncertain as to if this was God speaking or just hopeful thoughts, so we took time to pray about it. We decided after several Bible verses came to mind, that we were going to step out in faith and have the French fries.
And so I ate…
And I did not get sick.
The next morning as I was praying, I read a Psalm that spoke of eating and feasting and praising God. It ended with the the phrase “for He has done it.” This echoed in my mind all morning long, and I repeated it out loud. After church Dalen and I were joking around and he laughingly said we should go out for Mexican food. (My FAVORITE). As we drove away from church, I looked at him and said “Should we?”. We prayed and again were reminded of certain Scriptures. So, nervously, but again stepping out in faith, we went out for Mexican. I ordered a Tostado Salad with all the fixens’ - a HUGE no no for my diet. The giant FLOUR tortilla shell, the sour cream, everything. Plus the glorious basket of chips.
And I did not get sick.
The night before, when I had heard God speak “Yes you CAN” to me, I had this following conversation with Him in my head-
God: “Your time of healing has come.”
Me: “But is it really that simple?”
God: “Yes it is, if it is that easy for me to forgive you (with just one word) then it is that easy and simple for me to HEAL you.”
I am ashamed to admit that I discounted this at the time, thinking I was just thinking thoughts to myself.
But God spoke the truth.
I am healed. There is no sickness in my body! I have eaten brownies, latte’s, oatmeal, milk, everything. If I were still sick, I would be curled up on my bed, so sick. But instead, I am healed, I can eat, and I feel so well!
My God is a God of healing. He is a God of power. I testify to His work in my life. He healed me quietly, simply, and beautifully.
“I know there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his toil- this is the gift of God. I know everything that God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him” Ecclesiastes 3:12-14
For He has done it!!!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Sometimes life needs re-focusing. For a time, the excess, the things that crowd the mind, must be let go. Hands must gently release the tight hold on such things, and re-purpose themselves to shaping the core of ones life.
I have been absent from my blog life for a time, because I have been striving to re-shape some areas of my life, and it seems it has taken my full concentration to do so.
I have been trying to keep a cleaner house, and this has involved putting all the scrapbooking and crafting items in an upstairs closet to #1) Free up some space in our dining room, and, #2) Stop strewing crafting supplies all over the house. I haven't had time to do much crafting, nor the energy. Don't allow yourself to sniffle and sob after that last sentence, all that craftyness is still there, it's just waiting for a more appropriate time to emerge! I think that if I had a ROOM to craft in, my own room, I would be more apt to keep it out and do a little every day. I don't have that luxury though, and for the moment I have a little 15 month old's hands that grasp and pull ANYTHING and EVERYTHING off the table, shelf, wall, ext.
Another change that I am thrilled to report, is that I have lost 20-25 pounds! (Since January) ((Audible gasp!!)) I accomplished this by counting calories. For the biggest part of my loss, I was counting calories and cutting carbs. I cut out sugary snacks and breads. Oh the torture! But it was worth it! Now, to stay sane, I continued to have my Starbucks, but I got non-fat lattes and sweetened them with NuStevia. The other day I decided to try iced americano and measured in 2 ounces of whole milk (appx 38 calories) and NuStevia. Now I can drink a fabulous coffee drink with only 38 calories!!! Which means I can drink it a) more often, and b) eat something yummy with it. I am thrilled with where I am now, but I am starting to exercise because I would like to make those last few pounds go away, or at least see a firmer more sculpted physique! Whew, I hope that wasn't boring for you all to read.
Finally, I have been striving to be a better mother, be more present with my children and husband, and really LIVE, without being so distracted by other things. I forget sometimes that these are the years I will miss oh-so-much. I want to be fully immersed in my life and my family, so I don't regret any missed time.
Besides those changes, we have also been sick. SICK SICK SICK. Seriously, this cold and flu season has been TERRIBLE!!! It is one thing after another. We have been well for a few days here or there, and then BAM, sick again. I am kicking myself repeatedly for not getting flu shots. Next year, we are all getting them! I am still thinking about getting them, but we have probably gotten everything we possible could have. As I type that I think, no, the universe will prove me wrong, and we will get a new one next week. When the kids get well from the sickness they have NOW. Yes, we are sick right now. And yes, I think it is driving me slowly insane. Kind of like that water torture where the water just constantly drips, drips, drips, on to the victims forehead. Yes, I feel a bit like that.
So here I am, a re-purposed me, still striving to do my best in the life God has blessed me with! I cannot make promises of daily posts, but there will be more posts, more of life to share, and love to pour out.
Aren't you glad you visited me today? =)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
My son got to use my Mom's camera the other day to take some pictures on his own. Here is the world through his eyes-
Quite fitting, mostly pictures of his hotwheels. Hehe. And a shot of his sisters leg. My mom is worried that she may have created a photographer monster, he really enjoyed himself!!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
She's PINK. Need I say more??
Labels: random ramblings
Monday, March 9, 2009
I am feeling revived after what unintentionally turned into a week long blogging break. I feel the creativity seeping back into my heart and soul, and am glad to return with a sense of renewal!
I don't think we realize how much we affect those we encounter throughout the days, weeks, and years of our lives. Most days many of us go about running out errands, trying to get the kids here or there, and trying to get back home, without taking much time to consider those who surround us. We don't know who they are or where they are going, we just encounter them in our "here 'n there's" and that's that.
Today, our family went to the Aquarium. We had a splendid time looking at all the fish, seals, and (my favorite) the sea otters. As we were walking down the hallway to another exhibit, my son wanted to stop at a felt board, where you could move felt ocean cut outs around. There was another little girl playing there, with her grandma. Her grandma smiled at us and started chatting away. Gushing even! She saw LaLa and started to tell us how beautiful she is. This wonderful lady went on and on about our beautiful child. She was full of kind words that she poured over me, and it felt like a blessing flowing from her lips. She asked how many kids we wanted, and if we wanted to have more. When I answered that we do want more, she beamed and told me that she grew up with 5 brothers and 2 sisters, and how it was the best thing in the world to be all together in their home growing up. When she saw our Dear Son, she told me how incredibly handsome he is (EVERY mom LOVES to hear this! We all think our kids are spectacular, but to have someone else rave over them? Divine.) and what a great job we did with them. (I am not sharing this to brag or strut! I actually shied away from getting too descriptive about our chat, but I felt the content would help illustrate my point.)
Of course her lavish praise over how lovely she thought our kids were was wonderful. But what really stirred me was that this lady took the time to really talk with me, and to speak words of kindness to a stranger. Without knowing it, she was investing in my life and the lives of my children. She was lifting my spirits. She gave me a blessing.
I want to do that! I want to invest into the lives of those whom I encounter, leaving them with gifts of words that they can ponder and be uplifted by. I always try to ask my checker at the store how they are doing, and try to have conversations with others to let them know I care. After this experience, I want to do more. This isn't the first time in my lifetime that I have been reminded of this, and I'm sure it wont be the last.
I want my eyes to be opened to those who surround me. I also want to take the time to consider what they might be going through if they have been rude or short with me. So often those ones are the people who need our understanding the most. They might be sick, losing their home, or even a family member. Or maybe its just been one of "those" days or weeks. Maybe my asking them how they are will encourage them.
Speaking blessings to others will also bless us. If we take the time to encourage and bless others, it will lift our own spirits. It can help us to get out of a funk, and re-focus on what is really important. We open our hearts and let the Lord work in our lives.
You might never see or hear the impact your words have on others. But words of blessing will always seep into even the hardest of souls, and make an impact in their lives.
Go forth, and bless!
Labels: deep thoughts
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
There were even some glittery shamrocks!
Hmmm...did she check out my blog? Or is she a mind reader? 'Cause coffee? You all know its my THING.
And here is the gift as a whole. I have always loved displaying my gifts out in the open for all to see. When I was a kid I left my loot from my birthday on the dining room table for a day or two, just enjoying the site of it...See the little clover sticker in there? Almost forgot to mention them!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
It's been one of those evenings...
One that makes you throw up your hands and say "What's a girl to do??"
My answer? A warm shower, and then I'm getting a tan.
No, I'm not in Hawaii, or some country where the sun is still up. And even if the sun WAS up, I'd get not a hint of color here!
I sure hope it works, and that I don't end up with any weird streaks. Or looking like I just put on war-paint.
'Cause that just wouldn't be cute.
(But it could possibly be highly amusing to those who had the opportunity to OBSERVE.)
Speaking of amusing!!!! I just had a funny moment play through my mind. Remember Ross on Friends??? And his spray tan adventure? That had my husband and I ROLLING.
(I did the spray on twice. I couldn't bring myself to go back because it freaked me out so badly each time!!!)
Feeling better now...
Friday, February 27, 2009
Next we have this Adorable headband. It's only $6, and I think I would rather buy it than make it. Sometimes you just want to treat yourself, know what I mean? This one is an adults headband, and they make little girl's ones too!
This Charm is striking! All you would have to do is string it on a chain, and you have a one-of-a-kind necklace. No additional embellishments needed. I love it.
And then there are these simple and stylish earrings. They are made by an etsy-er in Hawaii, and my mind has been hooked on summer an summer dreams lately.
What Fabulous Finds do you have to share with us?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Our oh-so-tangled past began when I was around the tender and impressionable age of 12 or 13. I went to the art store with my mom, on one of her frequent trips there. As a child I became very familiar with the art store. My mom is an Artist. A real one, with a capitol A. She paints watercolors, oils, acrylics, and oozes talent from every pore. ( You can meet her HERE)
We were strolling through the isles. I always enjoyed parts of these forays, when bored there was always the pen section- where you could test almost any of the markers or pens on the pad of paper supplied. We entered the glue isle, and it is here that the how and why's become a little blurry. I think I told my mom I would carry the Modge Podge for her. It was quite a large jar too- Super Sized Mod Podge. I trailed behind her, white goop in hand, when I guess I decided to toss it and catch it and walk at the same time. Except, I never got to the catching part.
I tossed the Mod Podge up into the air...and instead of landing in my outstretched hands, it landed on the carpeted floor. And exploded. White globby goo everywhere, seeping into a giant circle in the middle of the aisle. Soaking into the stores carpet.
I died. Right then and there. I was mortified. I, the child who wouldn't order my own food at a restaurant for fear of drawing attention to myself. I just made mixed-media-art out of that stores carpet.
I looked at my mom in horror. I think she must have seen the fear/humiliation/agony on my face, and the tears pooling in my eyes, because after we told the store clerk, she allowed me to wait in the car while she finished up in the store.
To this day, I still can not go in there. I don't know if it was a dream, or if I really did go in once, but in the back of my mind I can see a cloudy stain on the floor, the messy remains of my first Mod Podge encounter.
Only now, as a mom myself, do I realize how embarrassed my mom must have been. And I wonder, did she have to pay for my mess too?
Tonight I had flashbacks to that day. I was creating, and in the creating-zone, when I bumped my jar of Modge Podge and nearly sent it flying onto the floor. Thankfully, it only splattered the floor, and most of it got on my sons booster seat strapped to one of our chairs. My husband came over and helped me clean it up. He always says to let him do it, so that if the carpet gets ruined, he only has himself to blame. Did you know that hot water and shaving cream will clean almost anything off the carpet? And leaves it smelling good too. How? Don't ask. It is my husbands cure-all for any mess on the carpet. Dog threw up again? Shaving cream, of course. It kindof reminds me of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and the fathers obession with Windex. Whatever works, right?
This week I'm lovin' the music that Jimmy Needham makes. He has a great sound, and uplifting lyrics. His hit song "Forgiven and Loved" has been playing on the radio, and after hearing it, I had to download his album! Right now it is playing on my ipod through my stereo, and my 3 year old is dancing around the room to the tunes. I couldn't get "Forgiven and Loved" onto my playlist, so be sure to pop on over to his MySpace page, and you can listen to the whole album- for free! You don't need a myspace page to access it, just listen away.
Thank you all for entering the Fru-Fru Headband and Clippy Giveaway (and tutorial)! I hope you all make tons of these yourself. Did you see the comment from Heather? She said that you can find those clips that I REALLY wanted to use at Sally's Beauty- a large quantity for a low price! I don't know if it is a West Coast only store, but it is a discount hair supply product store. Maybe I will stick some Fru-Fru's in my shop soon? What do you all think? Imagine all the places you can clip these, besides baby headbands! How about your own hair? Go ahead, make a statement! And Amanda- I got the teeny tiny clippies at Target! (I love target...) Also, thank you to all of you who decided to jump up and down and lick your elbow for additional entries, I am highly amused imagining you all doing this.
Now what you have been waiting for.....
Drum roll please...
The winner is- Amanda @ Imperfectly Beautiful!! Congratulations!! And by the way, I peeked at your blog and see it is your Birthday, so double congratulations!!
Thank you for all your kind comments for me and my sick family! I had no voice this morning, but am improving as the day goes on. I am looking forward to wamer weather and well bodies! We are going on vacation to Hawaii in May, and I have been getting myself through this BLAH by dreaming of that. A girl has gotta have something to get her through, right?
I hope you all enjoy the music of Jimmy Needham this week!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Little germ Aliens...
They have taken over my body and my house! We all got sick this week, hence the silence over here in blogworld. Alas! No Fabulous Finds or creative posts! Can you ever forgive me?
Today I tucked my son in for his nap. He said to me "I got the germ. It came in my mouth and went down my throat..down here by my cheek, and went to the middle, and then this side, and then up into my mouth, and my teeth..." Now is where he really started to ramble. Because he mentioned his teeth. This got him thinking. "And my teeth got bigger, cause the dentist painted them..." We had floride painted on them a few months ago at his first dental visit. A fasination to be sure. His little mind continued spinning, and his rambling went on for a moment, until I said goodnight. Silly boy! Oh to be inside that mind and hear all the things he thinks! He makes me laugh. Right now I am listening to him in the tub, and he is singing a song with the rubber duckeys he is playing with.
I will return next week with much more energy, and hopefully some fun to share with you all!
Fighting Germ Warfare...
Labels: random ramblings
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Seperate all the layers of the flowers
There is more plastic hiding inside. Remove this also.
Bake a chicken ceaser pizza while crafting. Make sure to eat it later when you blog.
And because I love all my bloggy readers. I am giving this set away! (Headband not included, 'cause I am out of those.) You will get the giant fru-fru flower minus headband, and the set of little clippies shown here. I haven't ever made any for my shop because I am a little nervous about the liability issues. So, if you enter, please know you are taking responsibility for your child's safety. Always check items to make sure they are secure, and don't leave your baby alone with them. Deal? =)
Leave me a comment to enter! And if you can jump up and down while licking your elbow, I will give you another entry! Hehe. Giveaway ends Sunday night. Open to US and Canada shipping addresses.
I have to go pick the hot glue off my fingers now,