Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Much to Learn

For eight years I was in a constant flux, and it was a joyous adventure.  Truth be told, there were times of darkest night…but all it would take would be to look out a window to receive peace and light.  Ironically, change was something I could always count on.  It was a feeling, a freedom that would rise my soul and my heart would take flight.  I am too much like someone else, who is dear to my heart, in this way.  I made a choice long ago not to ever settle again, and in many ways I have maintained that promise to myself.  I long for a new adventure.  Selfishly I long.  I have become too tied down to worldly goods to have the freedom to leave.  It’s a burden that is so heavy, that I can easily lose myself in it. 

I grew up accepting a way of life that is uncommon to man.  Others do not understand it, and are passionately against such talk.  I find those lives stifling, just thinking about them leaves me gasping for clear and clean air.  I thought settling down was the American Dream that I wanted, but it has not been a real heart’s desire, at least not here.  Is my love for Beauty to vast to be contained in one location?  Is this God moving my desires, or myself wanting to escape current living?  Prayer and Scriptures are the only answer to that specific question, a Knowledge that is only given by One…how Merciful and Gracious He is to be such a Giver.

I also have a heart of a rebellious nature.  Once I’ve been told and confined by a man’s word, my first reaction is sinful and haughty.  How dare you try to control me and tell me what I can and cannot do, you are not my God nor my husband, you are a sinful being…prideful, just like me.  I will not follow you.  I will not obey your selfish demands.  Honor is not the same as Obedience, and we are no longer children.  I have sinned against you in anger, bitterness, distaste, and even hatred at times…and I am sorry.  I know that our sins do not outweigh each other’s.  I continue to pray for your brokenness and humility, as well as for my eyes to see you as Christ sees you. 

Husband is…a better man than I ever thought or imagined.  He remains to keep me in line and continues to show me how to be not just a better person, but a better daughter of Christ.  He has changed for the greater Good.  I have much to learn from him.  It is easy for me to respect him, and my love for him is unrelenting and it increases with every day that passes. 

I have much to learn.

Whatever happens dear Jesus, let me always follow you.  Let Your Will be done in my life, I beg You.

Below are my notes from one of my favorite teachers: Darrin Patrick
Teaching on Ephesians 6:1-4

Definition of Family:  “A family is a covenant community where worship and learning happens in the context of unconditional love.”

Family is a covenant community established by God, and should have God has its center, so if children leave, or parents leave…God is still the root.

But as a parent the goal as the parent toward the child is not interdependence or codependence, its literally to prepare the child to live without you, you are training the child to not need you.  You are literally grooming, teaching and instructing that child to one day live without you and live outside of your care.  And parents are to create a culture of unconditional love where the child grows up and says, “I’ve got my theology straight because of Mom and Dad, I figured out how to navigate life, I know how to love people more than myself, I’m ready, I’m going out.”  The biblical view of family is radically different than the old school view of families.  The old views where was ownership, control, and power, Dad was king, dad was dictator, and could do whatever he wanted to do.  The new school parenting freedom, expression, exploration…set them up to find their own way.  Scripture challenges both of these views.  Dad’s don’t’ provoke, exasperate them, and don’t push them away.  Parents need to bring them up, raising them up, discipline, progressively, instruction, teaching them something…why because there is a LORD.  Dad, Mom…it is your responsibility to pastor you children.  The purpose then as we love our kids, as we teach and instruct them, not in a legality way, not in a condemning way, atmosphere of unconditional love…the purpose is then the child can grow up and can be a very godly adult, not just a good adult, but an adult that follows Jesus.  You want your child to be wise, you want your child to live without you. 

Children is a word for little child, under your parents care.  While you are under your parents care you obey them.  The idea for a little child, while they are paying for you, you obey them.  However once you transition out of that dependence you honor them.  That’s why in the 10 commandments it just says ‘honor’ not obey.  That’s the main function that we see in the scripture, of adult children not to obey but to honor.  Doesn’t not command affection. Doesn’t say confided in, it doesn’t say trust?  It says honor, why does it say that?  Because the relationship between an adult child and parents is very complicated.  Very difficult.  Very hard.  The bible is wise, because God is wise.  The main way you relate to your parents is not obedience as an adult child, it is honor.  Obedience is not the constant, dependence is not the constant, and honor is.  Why does the bible say this, some parents are just evil, they are messed up.  Honor them, not admire them, not obey them, and not trust them.  The bible says, no matter what they have or have not done, you honor them.  The bible gives us a foundation for honor that is really the only way to do it, it’s the only foundation you can build from.  Your parents represent authority to you, the authority is a big deal in the bible, we hate authority, and we don’t get the bible.  Other cultures get it.  We learn about God when we understand authority.  Authority:  When God uses fallible people to discipline, protect, and teach us.  The foundation of honor is accepting that our parents were are first authority to learn. 

What does it mean to honor your parents? 
Take them seriously.  Honor – weight, substance, sometimes glory.  If you are under their care, obey them completely unless they tell you to do something that clearly compromises your faith in Christ, and then you may disobey. 
Adult child, take them seriously, but you don’t obey them, you honor them.
Find common ground with them. Do it because you want to connect.  What do you parents like?  What are they into, what are their hobbies?
Ask them for advice.  Sometimes you know before you ask that it’s not going to be that helpful, ask anyway.  Sometimes God can speak through them. You do not have to obey them.
Listen to your parents struggle.  Don’t give them advice, just listen.
Share your joys with them

You have to forgive them.  You forgive because you have been forgiven.  Its impossible without God.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Ink Will Rise

There is a feeling that comes when life is about to change.  It is deeper than a feeling really, more like a movement of your soul, and that comes first.  I believe that God starts the initial stirring of our souls.  Sometimes you can miss it, and then when reality of the change appears in your life you aren’t quite prepared, you are caught off guard, and the transition to understanding what is happening is a bit rough.  For 8 years I knew this movement of the soul very well.  It almost shocked me, how precise I could know what may happen next.  Since my life has settled, and life has become routine…I grew calloused, content, blind. 

And to quote a line from one of my favorite movies (Father of the Bride) “…when the storm broke”.  I was caught up in life and its many distractions.  I was content, but I did feel like something was missing.  A sort of questionable quiet longing for something that you feel pulled to, but you can’t see what or who is on the other side of the rope.  To tell you the truth, in my life this movement is rather wonderful.  It means that God is ready for a new step in your life, a new stage, a new adventure.  Change is something that I use to love.  Change was a person that I looked forward to greet, and I haven’t seen or heard from Change in quite a long while. 

I remember writing this 6 years ago (here) when life was so much different than my life is now… "I wonder what I am to do in life. What my meaning is. The truth is....I want to do nothing. I don't know if it's my laziness, or an actual calling of sort. Does everyone feel this way? I don't want a job. I'm not completely sure that I want a career. I want to do whatever I want... (Possibly a bit selfish, but with good intention). Which is to be exact...to write...to study...to travel...to learn...to journal...to relax...to explore...to meet new people...to pray all day...to be consumed with God's Beauty...to feel the wind rush around me and the rain wash my skin...and to look into your eyes and know.  Back to my current state of life. Alone. Poor. Clueless. Hopeful. Ready.”  I love that God made me passionate about writing down what emotions I have, because you never know when God will show you that they were always there for a reason.  My love for God explodes in this moment.  The love I have for Him overwhelms me when I begin to realize how truly Wise He is, how truly Perfect He is, how completely Sovereign He is.  I love this about Him.  I depend on Him, and I find pure peace and hope in result of it.

The ink will rise on the pages as we get to them, but as for now I look forward to greeting Change with a strong embrace.

Back to my current state of life.  Deeply Loved. Poor. Clueless. Hopeful. Ready.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

“The heart of man plans his ways, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Peace is mine.

Monday, January 13, 2014

For the Beauty of the Earth

There is such beauty in the unknown, there is such a pure silence in the moments that just come as they may.  I have lost sight of this adventurous beauty, and have replaced it with worry and anxiety that blinds.  With all New Year’s, of course we look to how we can become a better person than the previous.  We set goals, aspirations, tasks at hand…it’s in our culture, it’s in our minds, it’s part of being an American…even if you choose to set them or not.  Husband does not ‘partake’ in these resolutions, but I always at least though of what I may want to accomplish with the year that has been given.  I have been thinking on what would be a sufficient task for me to succeed in, I wrote down many…then I realized that none of them really had any impact on others around me…just myself.  I thought, “Having another year of outrageous selfishness…check!”  How sinful and deceiving our hearts can be.  I decided to continue to think on what would be a true help to my life, and also the lives of the people I share it with.  For a couple weeks I set before me to read my Bible every day and to journal every day.  That would have a huge impact on myself and others around me, then I realized that this is something that I SHOULD be doing every day, not a task I should set…it has to be a part of my daily life.  I prayed, “Dear Lord, help me be more aware of what needs to change in my mindset, heartpounds, and soul’s longings.”  Then the fog lifted and I saw a clear aspiration…to just be Aware.  I tend to survive in a dense clouded life.  I cannot see through the trees most days, and with that how can I see myself clearly, how can I see to help others? 

Not only to open my eyes, but to live according to what I’ve been awaken to…to act on what needs to be done.  To be open to living life in a way that demands my attention on myself, and the souls around me, then selflessly acting to change, or to just help.  The difference in this lifestyle then the one I’ve been so easily entangled is by no means a small step…it more like a running dash into a forced muscled leap.  To which I may add that I am not athletic to anyone’s standards.

 “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

This past Sunday one of our elders spoke about finding your identity in the good news of Jesus, which leads to our calling, then to live that out missionally.  I could’ve been the only person in the room, how amazing that the Creator of everything, our Covenant God speaks to us right into the depth of our struggle, into the core of who we are.

Praise explodes in this truth, and this song (as well as the verse in Joshua) is my heartpounds to the True Beauty, He Who Saves, our Immanuel. 

For the Beauty of the Earth
by Folliott S. Pierpoint

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies.  For the beauty of each hour of the day of the night, hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light.  For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight, for the mystic harmony, linking sense to sound and sight.  For the joy of human love, brother, sister parent, child, friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild.  For thy church, that evermore lifteth holy hands above, offering up on every shore her pure sacrifice of love.  For thyself, best Gift Devine, to the world so freely given, for that great, great love of thine, peace of earth, and joy in heaven.  Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

 I quietly whisper my praises, as incense rises to heaven…thank you Lord, thank you LORD.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Let's Begin At The Beginning

I believe we are in the last 3 days of our last hot weather before cool sets in for good, and cold is just a stroll down the block.  These next three days will seem like an eternity to me.  I have forgotten how to dress for warm weather, my mind tries to remember what I've been wearing for the past 5 months, but it comes up with nothing.  My thoughts are rooted in leggings, boots, and long sleeves.  I can think of nothing else in my closet that is less worthy.

There are a few projects that Husband has done that I haven't posted.  There is just one of mind.  BUT!  With that said, I am getting my act together. So, let me begin with the beginning...(Quiet Man reference, seriously watch it)...I've been getting up before the sunrise, and getting in some fun exercise before those golden beams hit our blades of brown grass.  I've lost 2 lbs, and its only been a week.  Our house has stayed pretty clean, the bed has been made everyday, and laundry isn't piling up.  God has helped me do this, I know I can not do it on my own...I've got the past to prove it.

I will show you my one DIY that I've accomplished...there is still one that has been on the books for too long, maybe this weekend (maybe not)...someday it will get done. Husband got me a journal that says "Things I Was Supposed to do Yesterday That I Will Do Tomorrow"...how fitting of me.  I laughed and smiled when he showed it to me.  I have yet to use it...surprise surprise.

Anyway!  My amazing brother in law and sister in law got me this amazing vintage owl cookie jar for Christmas last year.  I LOVED it!  It was perfect, classy, artistic but not too modern, with a glaze of mostly white with wisps of tan.  I put my coffee beans in it, so I used it everyday.  Of course, with using something breakable everyday it ups your chances of actually breaking it...which happened.  My elbow hit the owl head lid and it went flying to the floor.  I stood there in shock, Husband saw the whole thing.  I tried to salvage it, but I couldn't.  It was a sad day in my household.  The good news is that I had another Owl Cookie Jar that Husband had got for me at an antique place our first year of marriage.  It is a very cute owl, its holding a book, and has some round Harry Potter-looking glasses on.  Its olive green, orange, yellow, and brown.  I'm guessing it was made in the 70s.  I have a good friend who loves this design era, but I'm not a huge fan.  I love a lot of light, and pale colors, with some pops of bright.  So this Owl needed to be upgraded to my design.  So...I spray painted it white. And it came out better than I imagined!

Before.  Cute but not my fav colors (don't mind the tp, its an old pic) haa!

After.  Still cute and more my style!

Bring on the cable-knit leggings!  Yeah!! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Living Life

I'm always saying to myself that if I forget to live, life may pass me by.  That is a fear of mine, that I focus to much on what should be done that I dismiss what God has already completed.  The balance between keeping house and keeping a home is something I always struggle with.  I do not know how my sister does it.  I do not envy her, I adore her.  She simply is just a wonderful woman.  She sees beauty in things that others are blind to.  She sees potential in objects that others tear down.  She is an artist in her own merit, although sometimes I think she doesn't see the beauty, potential, and artistry in herself...and she is all those things and more.  I'm sure you also have people in your life that inspire you to become more of who God created you to be.  She is one of those people in my life.  Husband is another.  My brother is one more.  These people are so different, but they have drive...and it gives me strength in my wings when my life's dreams feel too heavy.

I love this blog, and I have not been acting like it.  I've let life get in the way, I've let myself get in the way...as well as excuses, self pity, lack of commitment, laziness, and pure frustration have all had their part in the past months.  

The good news is that I'm writing today, and I have a hope in my heart that I will write again sooner than later.  

This is a simple picture.  Its a picture of my kitchen window sill.  All of these glasses cost me only 50 cents...total.  And I've only taken a picture of half of them.  God is good.  I've thought about filling a lot of these, and some of them are...but I can't get past the beauty of their simplicity.  

Life has been frustrating.  I could go into detail, but I will not.  Husband has been my anchor.  He has been my helper.  My sanity.  My reality.  My ...everything I needed in every moment.  All husbands have a tall order: to love their wives as Christ loves His church...and I want to say that in these days after days of raw frustration on my end...Husband has done just that.  Loved me like Christ.  It humbles me, it keeps me going, it changes me to become more like Christ myself.  

...And that is what a 'living' life is all about.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bluegrass in the Background

My parents were in town.  I hadn't seen them for almost a year.  Everyday was wonderful, and it felt like sunshine and blackberry jam.  My parents love Husband...you have no idea how much my heart grows each time I hear them say how thankful they are for him.  I dreamed of such things...and they are now my reality.  God still blesses his prodigal children...I am living proof.

Life has been really good.  Busy, yet calm, beautiful weather and fantastic weekends.  I pray that God leads me to blog more when life is sweet tea and bluegrass playing in the background.  So much of my words were sad and lonely, and now that God has healed me and showered His mercy and grace...I need to praise Him in these days of bright floral patterns and old farmer sinks.  He deserves my prayers with tears and my praise with laughter.  He deserves all of my words, for He recreated the soul that they flow from.

Currently, Husband and I are in our newly painted dining room.  He is playing his acoustic guitar, and Tuggb is laying at his feet, while Soren is asleep on a pillow in the next room.  I have no idea were Scout is...she gets a little crazy around this time of night.  I'm just taking it all in.  Summer is almost here.  With its pink lemonade and the smell of miracle grow in the breeze.  I'll tell y'all right now...if you miss the small things in life...you will not understand any big thing this world has to offer.

I'm still dreaming of that someday country life.  With more chickens, children running through tall grass, and my favorite pair of cowgirl boots at the back door.  All the while, these days with Husband...living in the city with loud city noises and not so sweet air at times...I will not wish them away for anything.  Because they were gifted to us, by the Almighty God.  

I want to send out a huge thanks to my parents.  Poppie and Ma Mere, you have once again shown more love and support that leaves me with an ache in my heart, for you are once again 11 hours away.  I love that you love our home.  It brings me such joy to see you comfortable here.  It brings me such pure happiness that you love our style.  Poppie, I love that you love Soren and talk about him more than me sometimes.  Ma Mere, I love that I can still smell your "sweet mom smell" here in our house.  Thank you for all that you did for Husband and I.  Thank you for spending time with our family.  Thank you for loving us so deeply.

Thank you for these perfect antique egg baskets. I love them more every day.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Remember and Revive

Today is a wonderful day.  It’s not because the sun is out, or because our coop is finished and beautiful.  It’s not because Husband and I got so many projects started and almost completed this past weekend.  It’s not because I was able to purchase trim for a fantastic DIY to come, or that Husband and I got to take some time to just chill out, hang out, and watch movies together.  It’s because God gave me another day.  It’s because He arranged these wonderful people and things in my life.  He provided us a beautiful home.  He gifted us with the ability to love home improvements.  God has overflowed my life with blessings. 

I’m an emotional woman.  I am also a woman who finds connections with just about everything, and with that I become that much more attached or enchanted.  This can sometimes be to a fault, and there is a balance that has to be kept.  I’ve got a big heart for Beauty, but it’s not earthly beauty that moves me to my core.  It’s the Beauty that is sometimes hidden in the dark moments in our lives.  It’s the Beauty that has been new, and is now old.  Beauty that comes from God our Creator; and He lets me see, and I become connected and He gives me a heart to admire and I hide its treasure in my eyes. 

I am blessed because my God is The Great I AM.  He is Able, and He never stopped pursuing me when I continued to run from Him.  In my pain and in my suffering…His Beauty comforted me.  He never left me.  When I could not feel His Joy in my heart, I could see His Love through the sun-lit leaves and feel His Presence in the wind. When I felt like I had no tears left to cry, I felt His heartache in the rain.  

He never left me.  He taught me to Trust again, and at times I have forgotten how…He lets me remember. 

Photo Credit: Willow Lane Photography

"We praise Thee, Oh God!  For Thy Spirit of light, who hath shown us our Savior, And scattered our night.  Hallelujah!  Thine the glory.  Hallelujah! Amen.  Hallelujah!  Thine the glory.  Revive us again.  All glory and praise, To the God of all grace, Who hast brought us, and sought us, And guided our ways.  Hallelujah!  Thine the glory.  Hallelujah!  Amen.  Hallelujah!  Thine the glory.  Revive us again."