Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Creation

I have a bookshelf filled with books. To an outsider, it may look like I really enjoy reading. Maybe well-versed in classic literature? Or the student of a particular study?

Last week I cleaned the bookshelves. Cleared them of books I hadn’t touched in years. The dust was thick. The nature of the pile of books I had tossed onto the floor was startling - even to me. A glimpse into my previous life. The one before Christ.

Diet and self-help books. Dozens of them.

You see, I spent the first 35 years of my life feeling inadequate and broken; as if something, possibly everything, was wrong with me. And while I longed to be fixed - to be whole - I was searching in all the wrong places.

I heard Priscilla Shirer speak this weekend and she spoke a truth to me that resonated:

“You are not the same person you used to be so you have no business going where you used to go.”

This truth is applicable in many parts of my life. But how does it relate to the piles of books? Those books represent idols in my life - something that took my focus off of God. My particular idols were the number on the scale and baggage from my past. Those things are now bagged up and thrown out.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;
the old things passed away; behold new things have come.
  2Corinthians 5:17

I am not the size clothes I wear or the type of car I drive. I am not my messy house or what other people think me to be. I am not the sins I have committed.

I am a new creation in Christ.
  I am no longer a slave to things of this world.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Inspiration...

Today the weather finally feels Fall-ish.  And my spirit is finally feeling relieved.  The heaviness of the seemingly unending heat and drought is lifting.  In the coolness of the morning, I'm feeling inspired ~ to bake, paint, sew and write.  To create.  BUT with this new season comes the consequences of the weighty summer...a messy, unorganized kitchen and office/studio that I don't even want to be in.  A too-hot summer of not wanting to do anything has caught up with me.   sigh.

Then I came across this bit of inspiration:

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris

It is my jumping off point to create the freedom to do the things I love.  I found the quote here.  Jules takes on '31 Days of William Morris'.  Hmmm...

What a great idea!  I'm thinking about all I could get done in the 31 days of October.  And I'm also wondering if I could get past days 14 or 15.  Ha!


Well...here goes!  I'm jumping in.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Deep-Watering

Texas is in a severe drought. The worst in over a century. The word ‘epic’ has been used.

With no water, the grass has become crispy brown and plants are dying. High tree branches are falling to the ground due to lack of water. On a larger scale, crops and livestock are being affected. The consequences of the drought are dire. It rained here a little a few days ago, but the land is so parched it will take much more rain and a very long time to come out of this drought. A little rain is nice, and we are thankful for it. But what the ground needs is a good soak. Slow, steady, deep-watering will bring life back into the land.

Here at home, we are deep-watering our yard and the foundation of our home. Lightly watering will get us by, but it’s not the most beneficial way to nourish the grass, plants and trees and to prevent damage to the foundation.






Each Friday, Jim and I get to spend most of the day together. Even though it’s usually spent grocery shopping and running errands, we enjoy being together. After a long week of work, school and day-to-day stuff, we NEED the time together. Fridays are spent lightly watering our marriage.

He and I just returned from Cozumel; a long overdue vacation together. Our days were mostly spent lazily laying on the beach, swimming in the ocean and enjoying all of our meals together. There were no to-do lists. No phone calls to return or stacks of paperwork to sort. No laundry or dishes to wash.

On our agenda ~ Be together. And we were. Fully.

Four days spent deep-watering our marriage.

Nourishing.



Monday, August 1, 2011

Strawberries and Smiles

I just enjoyed a visit with my beloved Grandmomma. The nursing home she’s in is very nice. The nurses are gentle and kind. The residents are happy and have everything they need and want. It’s an amazing place.

When I arrived, she was a little uncomfortable in the bed so I helped her get situated and straightened out the sheets. I moved the fan closer to her face and brought her a cool rag.

We snacked on fresh strawberries. She didn’t talk much, but she smiled at me. That sweet smile that I’ve missed so much…right there, and just for me.

It was a wonderful visit and I hated to leave.



God gave me a gift; being able to share strawberries and smiles with my sweet Grandmomma. You see…she has been gone for over 10 years, but through my dream He allowed me to be with her again.

The pain of losing her is fresh this morning, but I am forever thankful for our little visit.

Friday, June 17, 2011

National Day of Prayer for Law Enforcement

Today was the first ever National Day of Prayer for Law Enforcement.  I can't even remember how I came to know about the event, but I knew right away that I wanted to participate.






It was somewhere around 100 degrees, but we braved the heat and stood near the flagpoles at the Hurst Police Department to pray for law enforcement officers; our own and those around the world.

Thanks to everyone who came out to pray!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Life Changed



I have been trying to figure out how to best convey my thoughts and feelings about my experience in Guatemala. Much to say with dozens of little stories to tell.

But first, a summary.  And a video.

I had a few goals while in Guatemala.

“To see God glorified.”
And boy did I! Through moving rocks, singing silly songs about frogs, icing cakes and painting, God was glorified. While teaching girls to make blankets and crochet, He was lifted up. His amazing grace was seen as stories of His redeeming love were shared. Simple acts of compassion, like sweet smiles and gentle touches, all communicated God’s love. Oh…and I can’t even begin to explain the awe of His majesty revealed in the beautiful landscape of Guatemala.

“To live in the moment and savor each smile and giggle.”
I witnessed so many smiles and giggles throughout this entire trip, with the children and between the team. Treasures I will remember for a very long time. God gave me a very special gift in Guatemala; Armando shared his joy with me. I have been truly blessed by his smiles and giggles. God allowed me to really experience this mission trip. From the pain of seeing the poverty and knowing the stories of the heartaches endured by some of these children all the way to the tears shed from laughing so hard, I felt it all. Really felt it all.

“If in one hug, or one song, or sharing a cupcake, or even a simple smile or gentle touch, I can help them forget the bad things that have happened to them and help them see that they have HOPE in Jesus, then my mission will be complete.”
Mission complete.



Some of the situations I saw and the stories I heard could have me questioning, “Where is God in this?” But my peace is explained in the lyrics of this song.





video






In places forgotten by the world, with discarded and rejected people…HE IS THERE.


I saw Him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Bonus Blessing Day!

It’s bonus day today.


Friday of the mission trip in Guatemala, I gave the devotional.  God had placed on my heart the concept of the 'ripple effect'.  How everything we do has an effect on others, so let's do good things.  I handed out these rippled-looking tchotchkes as reminders.





Today, while I was sorting through photos and thoughts of Guatemala, there was a knock at the door. I don’t open the door to strangers when I am home alone. I didn’t recognize the vehicle or even the face until I had fully opened the door. I was shocked at myself for opening the door, but even more shocked that he was standing there.

In invited him in and over the course of about 45 minutes, apologies were made for 20 years of hurts, bitterness and anger, and hearts were healed.

God has been working in his life and he stepped out in obedience today, even though he was nervous. Ripples created by others had touched him.

Thank you, God, for this bonus blessing today.





If you are feeling nudged to apologize to someone, please step out in obedience. I have had an issue on my heart for several weeks now, and because this one person followed through today, I realize that I need to do the same.

Ripples.