Monday, June 30, 2008
Winner # 1 will win TWO pre-made designs. One for yourself and one for a friend...or give them both away!
Winner # 2 will win one of Shabby Creation's pre-mades from the gallery.
Click here to enter and here to browse the pre-made gallery. Michelle also made my badge for Tea & Traditions on the left hand side of my blog and my business cards. She was creative, thorough and professional. She was a joy to work with and I would highly recommend her for all your blogging and business needs.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Today this all broke my heart. It saddened me deeply to sing about “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe” and feel so terrible about myself. There was a moment I thought why would He do that if what I believe about myself is true? I know what the bible says about me, but there has not been a mind heart connection. I confess the word and believe I am being transformed, but I have not seen the evidence yet, so it has to be a faith thing right now.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all soul, and with all you mind and your neighbor as yourself. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." So, if I cannot love myself and believe what God says about me how well will I love others? Probably not too well.
The enemy would love for me to believe that I am source of the horrible things I think about myself and sometimes he gets me there too, but I know that he is the author of the lies that disagree with what my Daddy says about me.
In reality it does not matter who I say I am because God the Father says:
I am His child ~ John 1:12
I am a friend of Jesus Christ ~ John 15:15
I am united with Him, and I am one with Him in spirit ~ 1 Corin. 6:17
I have been bought with a price, and I belong to Him ~ 1 Corin. 6:19-20
I am complete in Christ ~ Colossians 2:9-10
I am free from condemnation ~ Romans 8:1-2
I am a citizen of Heaven ~ Philippians 3:20
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit ~ John 15:16
I am a minister of reconciliation for God ~ 2 Corin.5:17-21
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm ~ Ephesians 2:6
I am His workmanship ~ Ephesians 2:10
In Psalms 139:13, it says "For Thou didst form my inward parts, Thou didst weave me in my mother¹s womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy Book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with Thee."
What do you believe about yourself? Is it what the bible says that God says about you? If not, you are believing some lies too.
I pray for all of us who have not made the mind heart connection that by faith we begin to truly see ourselves as the Father sees us and allow it transform every ounce of our being. Father, I pray you hear the cry of every heart reading this that longs to believe YOU and agree with YOU. Change us Lord, transform us! Use us - may we bear much fruit for YOU!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
You're Anne of Green Gables!
by L.M. Montgomery
Bright, chipper, vivid, but with the emotional fortitude of cottage
cheese, you make quite an impression on everyone you meet. You're impulsive, rash,honest, and probably don't have a great relationship with your parents. People hurt your feelings constantly, but your brazen honestly doesn't exactly treat others with kid gloves. Ultimately, though, you win the hearts and minds of everyone that matters.
You spell your name with an E and you want everyone to know about it.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
How much are we like the little boy in this video? Charlie bites him and he laughs, but then he sticks his finger in Charlie’s mouth again. That next time he shows a little grimace signifying it was painful, but he still laughs and does not try to get his finger out. He begins to cry more and say, “Ow, Charlie.” And whining he says, “Charlie, that really hurt.” What does Charlie do? He laughs.
It made me think of how we relate to the enemy. The enemy bites us as give him access in some area of our life through sin or disobedience to God and we say to God, “Satan bit me.” And we may laugh a bit and think it is no big deal. Then we stick our finger in his mouth and say, “Ow, Satan” and whining (with no authority) we say, “Satan, that really hurt.” What does Satan do? He laughs.
Just like the video we are bigger and stronger (through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) than the enemy (the biter of our finger). We need to get tough with the enemy, stop being so nice to him! God tells us our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. He also gave us power to drive him out. We need to start using that power and resist him and watch him flee. (Ephesians 6:12, Mark 16:17) In all things spiritual we should have the last laugh because as I like to say, “I know the winner.”
I became an aunt when I was 12 and by the time I was 16 I had approximately 13 nieces and nephews. I also had a little brother and sister, eight and twelve years younger than me. I had a lot of experience with kids, so I thought motherhood would be a walk in the park. No one can convey to you how drastically different it is.
When my nieces and I for an impromptu dip in the ocean one night after eating dinner out, I did not worry about them getting water all over my car, not having towels to dry off or that they would get sick. I was not solely responsible for their well-being nor did I have to discipline them. We could just have fun!
Six years ago when Isabella was born I was ready, or so I thought, because of all my “experience”. It was going to be great, but it was far from great and I wonder how much of the un-greatness was due to my expectations of an aunt type relationship that is not possible with your own children. They are solely your responsibility, you are on call 24/7 and all of that is added to the responsibilities you had before they entered the world. You cannot spend a few days getting things ready for their visit and take a week to recover when they leave. You think about their character, you think about your character and a host of other things that are really important as a parent that just do not cross your mind with nieces and nephews.
It has been a relief of sorts to realize my distorted view of motherhood in relationship to aunthood. Now I can rest in that revelation. My little ones, they call me mommy, not Aunt Mari and that was by God’s design. I wish it had not taken me six years to figure that out, but something tells me this revelation is going to be very helpful in my mothering.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Sunday mornings my husband is home, so in the few hours before church I can get a lot done while he is keeping an eye on the kids. It is typically not a day of rest for me. For whatever reason that Sunday I chose what was "better" and sat in the quiet of the morning and was still. Sitting at the table I saw an eagle soar through the sky into my neighbors pine trees. The first thing that came to mind was Psalm 103:5, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Immediately I was expectant.
We got ready for church, piled in the car and took our position on the front row. Worship began and immediately I knew God was doing something. It was one of the mornings where His Spirit was thick in the room, I could feel Him all around. Everyone felt Him all around as people openly began praising Him and worshiping Him. It was one of those "moments", those "moments" you really cannot describe, but anyone who has experienced it knows exactly what I mean. I began to sob, a deep, deep sob that seemed to penetrate right to my core. I needed it. I had been burdened all week.
This is going to get really personal, so if that freaks you out stop reading NOW.
My husband and I have had a rough marriage since the beginning, we have struggled with a lot of things. Recently we both realized one of the biggest problems in our marriage is ungodly order. I think we both always knew that, but did not have a clue how to change it. We went before the Lord and repented for our roles in that. I was excited until I had to walk it out by faith.
Releasing my husband to be the head of our household meant that I had to give up a lot of my roles, responsibilities and requirements. I had to give up control. Scary does not begin to describe the emotion that I was feeling. Sheer terror and panic was more like it and that in itself is what kept the ungodly order in place. I was so afraid that if I did not take care of things everything would fall apart, so I took care of everything and that was easy for the Martha in me, but the Mary in me was dying spiritually because there was no time to spend with my Daddy, no time to crawl up in His lap and say, "hold me I am scared, lonely, exhausted." There was no time for anything, especially anything fun.
The burden I had been carrying all of that week was due to my first encounter of actually having to release my husband to lead. In my opinion he was making bad choices, choices he had made in the past that led us both down some pretty rough roads. I sensed the enemy was setting up circumstances for a repeat performance and he could not see it. So, in my new position I had to trust. Trust my husband, no? Trust God! I realized I did not trust God, the fear overcame me and the thought of having to submit to my husband freaked me out. I was a wreck. I could not trust God to protect me in spite of his bad decisions. What do you do with that? I had no clue. It also made me realize being a perfectionist comes down to not trusting God. I do not trust Him with anything, so I take things upon myself and try to make them right or perfect, never achieving, but continually striving - kind of like a hamster on a wheel. No wonder I am always worn out.
Anyway, our pastor started his sermon that morning with this:
When you bump up against something that is Holy, you have two choices:
- You can die or
- You can be changed
I had just encountered a Holy God in worship and although I may have felt like I might die, my heart really wanted to be changed. I wanted to be free from perfectionism and not trusting God or anyone. It hurt too much. It had already caused too much grief and destruction. I had been living in a constant state of fear and anxiety.
I made it through the sermon with only a few more tears, then worship began again and so did the sobbing, but this time it was accompanied by a physical pain in the pit of my belly and uncontrolled audible sobs. I was very conscious of what was happening, but determined not to stifle what God wanted to do, so I gave in and it continued. I went to one of our pastors and asked him to pray for me because:
- I just realized I do not trust God or maybe anybody for that matter
- The perfectionism that had taken over since we bought the business was too much to bear
He prayed with me and as he prayed I sobbed louder and the pain got worse. I ended up on the floor because the pain and pressure were so great. I again determined to stay there until the Lord was finished. (As I am typing this I realize that required trust - Praise God). I trusted God enough to let Him do whatever He was doing in me and wait for Him to finish. I was there a long time, about half an hour. I just let it go. I think I let a lot of things go that Sunday, a lot of pain and a lot of grief. When I stood up I felt weak, but better somehow.
There is a Mary in here that wants to take her place, but Martha has got to move aside. I cannot do that myself, so I am TRUSTING Him to complete the good work He has begun in me.
Being confident of THIS VERY THING, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ Phil 1:6
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
We were at our friend’s house swimming in the pool and there were all these cool floats and I began to think of how much fun it would be to jump off the diving board onto these assorted floats and try to assume various positions and stay on the float. It started with an innertube – interestingly enough it was an American flag float – let freedom ring (no pun intended). I climbed onto the diving board float in hand and carefully positioned it in the water, so I could make my move. When it got to just the right spot I turned around and plunged, rear first, into it. Success, I stayed on and laughed and laughed and laughed…so did everyone else. I found another float and so it went for an hour. It was FUN!
I realized Sunday night, exhausted from having all that FUN, that I have not had fun in a long time…too long. I started a bible study this summer (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World) and for our introduction question, they asked, “What do you like to do for fun?” I froze…fun? I have no time for fun. I am Martha. It made me sad. But, now I am happy to say and I will tell my bible study group tomorrow – I HAD FUN.
My husband and I talked about Sunday and how much fun we had and then we realized that all three of our kids were in floats and were occupied most of the day without whining, clinging or complaining. Because they were confined to their respective floats and the pool we did not have to be on constant duty. It was relaxing. So, do I get a third mortgage and install a pool? Make them wear their floats around the house? I do not know the answer, but there is something to this. How can my husband and I have that time together to just have fun? To be a couple? Maybe the better questions is, "How do I incorporate fun into motherhood?" I do not know…if you have the answer I am all ears…suggestions welcome too! Or, maybe this is just one of those things that me and the Lord are going to have to work out?
PLUS ICED TEA EQUALS THIS
All pictures have been staged to protect the new phone and add visual interest to this post.
A merry heart (laughing) doeth good like a medicine. Proverbs 17:22
Monday, June 16, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I read this line on a blog last week and I can’t get it out of my head. How many times has perfection robbed me of something? That is almost too much for me to think about right now. Perfectionism is not a godly characteristic and one that I thought had been dealt with for good in my early 20s, but it has reared its ugly head again.
I do not believe in attaining perfection, so why do I strive for it? Do I know that is what I am striving for or is it so ingrained in my thinking that it happens at a subconscious level (scary)? These are some thoughts that I am having, what are yours? More on perfectionism as me and the Lord work this one out! And we are going to work it “out” – it has got to GO!
To say "perfection has robbed me" changes everything, so I am going to post that where I can see it frequently to remind myself of the cost of perfectionism. The cost is not only to me, but to those closest to me (ouch)!