Friday, January 31, 2014

Going Forth

My heart is hurting and I’m sad because I’ve spent and used up all of my resources trying to do things on my own, trying to do or accomplish something using the wrong method, the “self” method, rather than trusting and praying and waiting on God. So, I’m letting go of my own plan and trusting God now to use the painful experiences to teach me, grow me and draw me nearer to Himself. As tears stream down my face from heartache and disappointment, the Spirit (who surely is pleading for me with groans words cannot express) reminded me:

Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. – Psalm 126:5-6

Though I go forth with tears, I can rest assured that I will once again be renewed to a greater joy and experience of God’s blessings. I’m thankful for a Father God who wipes my tears and stoops to cup my face in His hands, filling me with His peace and presence.

I do not know what the next minute, hour, day or week holds, but I am the child of an amazing God who holds each moment. I look around and see situations of uncertainty and am unsure of what next step to take, but He knows.

When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. – Proverbs 4:12

With Him who holds my tomorrows, all things are possible…strength to heal, wisdom to discern, compassion to restore, repair and remain or let go and move on…I trust that my merciful Father will lead and guide my mind and heart, opening my eyes to see as I walk with Him, not fighting Him, but rather trusting Him and accepting what He gives. I am believing the word of God that tells me there are good things for me here on earth and that He has a plan prosper me and give me hope and a future.

As I go out, sowing the seeds that you give, Lord, I am weeping forward in full hope of what you have planned. Though I cannot see it, Lord, I know my future is as if it has already happened and you see the fullness. Please renew my mind, heart, soul and strength for this day and for this wintry season of waiting. Lord, I trust you to water and nurture the seeds that are sown and I trust you for the day when those seeds begin to sprout and grow and blossom. Thank you Jesus for the comfort You bring to my soul and the calming of fears with your Word of Truth.

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. – Psalm 138:8

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Losing My Lunch

One evening last week I carefully prepared a simple meal of sweet potatoes, broccoli, onions and mushrooms seasoned with fresh ginger and curry powder. I took time to wash and chop the vegetables, finely grate the ginger and set the stove at the proper heat adding each ingredient in a timely fashion so that the medley came together in perfect harmony. A fragrant aroma filled the house as I awaited my meal. When it was ready to be eaten, I placed just enough for dinner in a bowl and had a good portion remaining for the following day's lunch. I spooned the lunch portion into a glass bowl with a pretty red lid. As I tasted and enjoyed my dinner that night I was delighted that I would get to enjoy this simply delicious and nutritious meal once again the next day.

The following day, as I got out of my car at work in the literally freezing temperatures, I had my bowl in hand. Before I knew it, the bowl slipped from my hands and all I could do was watch is horror as it went crashing to the ground, shattering into what felt like a million pieces. My much anticipated lunch lay in a heap on the cold pavement with chunks and slivers of glass mixed in. Not only that, but pieces of glass spread between and underneath my car and my coworker's car parked next to me. Disappointed does not even begin to describe how I felt. It was cold, slightly rainy, I had tasted and seen that the food was good, looked forward to enjoying it later that day and in an instant it was gone. Once the bowl was in motion there was nothing I could do except watch in dread as it soared to the ground. The bowl was gone, my lunch was gone. My heart sank and my stomach turned. The only thing left to do was get a trash bag and try to pick up the broken pieces.

As I stooped to pick up the mess (did I already mention it was freezing cold?), trying to be very careful to avoid any cuts, a very tiny yet very sharp piece of glass pierced into my finger and quickly drew blood. I generally try to look for a lesson to be learned in all things, especially disappointing things like losing my lunch, so my thoughts quickly turned to asking God how I could apply this incident to life. What came to me was that there are things much more important in life than a lost lunch. Things that God allows in our lives like relationships, whether parent/child, siblings, friendships, dating or marriage relationships. Those are things we crave because we are made for community. We desire and anticipate them much more than I anticipated and desired my lunch because they are the stuff of life and there is much care and protection that is essential to guarding and preserving those things we hold most near and dear.

Although I looked forward to my lunch and knew it was going to be good and was greatly disappointed at losing it, I could have put my bowl in a bag to protect it and help me hold on to it better, but I didn't take the extra care. How quickly and easily it slipped through my hands when I could have easily done something before it was in motion to prevent the mess it left. And so it is with these more important things of life, the people and the relationships that truly are important, if we aren't careful, they can just as quickly and easily slip through our hands only to leave a broken mess. But what if we took greater precautions to protect the people that we care about most? What if we prayed for them daily, hourly if need be and put down our phones and iPads and gave them real "face time" and what if we delighted in spending time, making memories and simply walking through life with them, feeling their hurts and their sorrows, rejoicing in their joys and happinesses? I sometimes find that busyness, distractions, fears and insecurities keep me from doing these things. Yet, all the more as the day draws near, we should fight to protect and preserve the blessings God allows in our lives. And remember, when we mess up that He sees and knows our heartaches and disappointments, restores our joy and hope until one day we see that He is making all things new.

Do not be afraid. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes. - Nehemiah 4:14

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

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Fun Design Project

It's been a while since my last post, what can I say…life's been busy! I've been working on a design project, and thought, "what better way to break the silence on my blog than with some photos?" It turned out just as I hoped it would, maybe even better. I have a mixture of old and new items that just came together so wonderfully and I couldn't be more pleased. As I went shopping for new items, I was astounded and amazed at how with every store entered and every aisle turned, I would look up and see something that was just perfect for the space. All I had to do was simply walk through with my eyes wide open and the just right pieces seemed to be waiting for me.

One great find was this cute little lamp. However, the shade was far too plain...

I took fabric from an old pillow case, some spare ribbon and fabric tape and in a short amount of time had dressed it up a bit. It was the perfect solution for a customized look.

In the room, all of the wood pieces of furniture came from the local unfinished wood store. I was able to really make each piece my own by choosing the height, depth, width, doors, shelves and finishes and paint colors. I had so much fun making the decisions and finally seeing it all come together. 

For the TV stand, I bought mercury glass knobs to replace the standard wood knobs. This helped dress it up and give it an even more personalized look. 

I first saw the donkey footstool at my aunt's house. Then was able to find one of my own during an After Christmas Sale online. He has been a big hit with my nephew and nieces. 

My table is a little unfinished as it is missing a centerpiece, but I'm confident the just right centerpiece will eventually be found. 

Since this post didn't include a recipe or any talk of food, I thought I'd throw in a picture of my very small, but well-stocked with nutritious items pantry. 

I couldn't be more happy to have started the new year with wrapping up this fun design project, seeing everything come together and enjoying the new space. Feeling truly blessed.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. - Ecclesiastes 3:11