Wednesday, July 29, 2015

ND & Oxford Shoes


Joel 2:23  (NIV)

23 Be glad, people of Zion,
    rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
    because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
    both autumn and spring rains, as before.


Every year about this time my mind & heart starts to jump ahead a season.  I have a feeling that it is not just me.  This morning my husband said, “I’m ready for Notre Dame.”  My eyes brightened, and my smile grew big.  I replied with haste, “Oh!  Me too!” 

I am a University of Notre Dame fan.  We R ND!  Hee Hee.  Before I married the most handsome man I’ve seen, I always wanted to be a Notre Dame fan but I had no reason to be…only that I thought the school was beautiful and the colors of the school were super classic.  It was after I fell in love with my husband that I realized God was preparing my heart for just a time as this.  God is a detailed God, and so I believe He works in every detail.  The first time I went to ND, I was just in awe.  You want to see beauty?  Go visit University of Notre Dame on a game day.  Sure, you will also see humanities need for a Savior, but you can also see that in your own house…at least I see it in myself every morning, noon, and night.  Autumn in our household has Notre Dame Football weaved into the season, if we aren’t at the game we are watching it with family. 

Something else that just puts autumn charm in every step is a Spotify playlist that I named: Oxford Shoes.  It’s a mix of Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Steve Tyrell, and Peggy Lee.  I wonder why older jazz just sounds like autumn...I haven’t figured that out yet. 

Autumn is my favorite season in the Midwest.  Not only do you have certain flowers in bloom, but the trees also put on a show.  So many parts of things I like seem to line up together in autumn.  Blankets, Scarves, Boots, Raincoats, Sweaters, Football, Crisp Air, Fire Pits, Falling Colored Leaves, Bouquet of Sharpened Pencils, Thanksgiving, Wedding Anniversary, Plaid Shirts, Harry Potter, Tights, Hot Soups, and well…basically everything else. 


University of Notre Dame Library


  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bond Everlasting

Photo credit: Willow Lane Photography
I'd like to give a heart felt hug to the person or persons who invented blogging, and the tools to accomplish it.  I just love blogging.  I like to write, create, and share...thus I blog.

I know what I want to blog about today, but I can't.  You see, my husband and I went to our favorite breakfast place a couple weeks back and I brought my lovely camera.  I got a couple of good shots and I really want to post them.  The task being, the data is still on my camera and not on a computer or cloud...so until that is completed, I discuss other things...like how its my sister's birthday today.

First, she is my sister-in-law.  Lets be real...we look a like, and have similar style.  She came with me to one of my wedding showers my childhood church had for me...some of the ladies confused us.  Ha!  I got a kick out of that one.  When we go shopping together people ask us if we are twins, and when we say 'no', then they automatically say..."well, you are sisters, you have to be!" To which we smile, and reply..."no".  I then say..."I married her amazingly handsome brother."  Then we continue to smile as they stand in shock that we do not have the same DNA.  I count her as my sister.  We are just too much alike not to have that weird sister bond.  She inspires me to be better, she is part of the drive I crave.  Even though we love each other a crazy ton, we still have that funny-doesn't-mean-anything-really-but-it-does-competitiveness.  I like that.  I love it actually.  I was the little girl who had an older brother but was always interested in sisterly love and bond.  God blessed me greatly with not just Ash, but my other amazing sister-in-law as well.  My cup overflows.

Ash also loves blogging.  You can find hers here:  http://ashlaleidesigns.blogspot.com/

Ash designs, and she does it very well.  I mean, very well...like get her a TV show already...very well.  It is a love of hers, a passion, a 6th sense...and I love it about her.

I am so very thankful for her.  We help each other out.  She inspires me, I inspire her.  I have a bad anxious day, and she is a short text away from knowing my struggle and sending me Life Giving Scripture to heal my wounds.  She is a blessing, in so many ways.  She knows my kind of crazy and can encourage me not to give in to darkness, but to give God glory in the tough moments, and trust in His Will when feelings do not feel good...because I will tell her the same.

Not only is she my sister, but more importantly she is my Sister-In-Christ and that bond is everlasting.  

Bless the LORD O my soul.

Happy Birthday Ash.  Love you a crazy ton.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Simplicity in Saying

Monday was a big day.  Monday was a good day.  When an appointment goes better than what you had hoped, I breathed deeper...resting in God's Goodness and thanking Him for...well, for more.  I came home and had many dancing before the Lord moments.  I ate 5 chocolate chip cookies.  I just sat and meditated on my life, while simply talking to God in my thoughts.  I rested in Him, and felt no guilt.  The fact is, if the news was bad...Grace can still be whispered, and thankfulness can still be present.  I am learning this hard balance.   I have a lot left to learn. 

So, in celebration I'd like to share something that makes my heart pound in glad beauty!  

I think floppy hats are just the cutest and classic thing next to mixing black and brown.  

Here are some of my favorite pins right now.





I'm meeting with a friend, and reading a book together.  This Tuesday we met and I asked her to lead our conversations...it was one of those days that I was just a mess.  I think I spilled coffee on my skirt at least 10 times.  And no, I'm not exaggerating.  It could have been 24 times, I stopped counting when it got into double digits.  If dripping coffee on my dark skirt is all I have to worry about, then life is still really really good.  :)  Anyway, she read a line in the book we are going through.  Its was so captivating.  The idea behind the sentence was that in every moment, if you see something that makes your heart pound, and you don't praise God for it you will still be praising something.  Praising the designers, the idea, the color, the shape, the feeling.  Why not see God through those moments and gifts that He alone controls and blessed you with and simply thank Him?  That is another lesson I am learning.  The simplicity of just saying "Thank You God" from big moments, to small seconds. Thank You God for style and creativity.  Thank You God for floppy hats.  Silly?  My heart smiles with a 'maybe', but a deeper happiness is in my heart.  I'll take the silly any day for a deeper, truer happy.  I am pretty sure they call that Joy, and its only rooted in One.  

Happy Wednesday.  Its a beautiful day.  Give thanks for it.   

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


For more of my style pins, feel free to take a look on my Pintrest Board:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Assurance in the Darkness


It’s been really dark lately.  You know those times, just dark.  Your heart is heavy, your will is midnight and shadow, and your imagination can’t stop storming.  You pray for peace and light and yet something inside you is keeping your eyes closed that you cannot see, and you are praying as hard as you can, but still feeling like your ‘hard’ is frail and brittle.  I am weak, exhausted, and lonely. 

Welcome to my blog!  Debbie Downer here…let’s talk about struggle and hardship! ;) 

Let me tell you something…it is okay.  Darkness is a part of this world, and just like this world…it will not last forever.  Breathe.

My faith has been at the lowest point, I think, in my entire life.  I am just almost faithless.  Almost.  Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6a)…but that is only the first half of the verse.  “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” My heart is telling me that I have little faith, and that may be true…but I continue to pray, to beg, to plea, to read scripture, to ask for help, to listen…I continue to seek because I know that God exists.  Sometimes all I know is my fear of life without Him, and that points to His Truth. 

I read something else this morning.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

Assurance.  That is an important word in my life right now.  Hope is also a word I long for.  In my darkness of life right now, when I can’t ‘see’…this verse brings me Assurance and Hope.  This verse brings me to more faith.

Knowing that I am His when I do not feel it, when I do not see it, when darkness is swirling and I cannot find my feet on His Solid Foundation which is Jesus Christ.  Faith is the only thing I can grab onto, it’s the only compass that will direct me through the heavy shadows.  It’s the only thing I can grasp because God Himself has given it to me.  Knowing that I am loved, when I cannot feel it, but living out in His love nonetheless.  Trusting Him when my heart, will, and imagination say ‘no’…by faith you scream to those false testimonies… “YES IN JESUS!” 

Am I a child of God?  YES!  How do I know?  I sin, and I know I sin, and I hate that I sin against God.  I know that Jesus is my only salvation, He is my only Hope, and I want Him to rule over me, take the Leadership, Tell me what to do, Guide me in all things, I want to die and I want Him to live through me.  I asked Him to forgive me of my sin against Him.  I asked Him to sit on the throne of my heart, will, and imagination.  I gave Him my life.  I also constantly give Him my life.  I am in a constant dance with me wanting to rule and sin, and then acknowledge that I am not god, and handing my life back over to the Rightful Ruler King Jesus.  I am learning so much about true salvation and what our lives are after salvation.  I am a child of God because I desire Him and His Will and His Way.  I know I am assured because I am still going to Jesus for forgiveness, and wanting Him to rule over me, tell me what to do and where to go.  I have assurance in the fact that Jesus Christ dying on the cross and being resurrected by the Power of God, has paid IN FULL my past, present, and future sin.  I am guiltless because I believe in Christ Jesus.  I am righteous because I believe in Christ Jesus, and Jesus is Righteous because He lived a sinless life.  Jesus Christ knows my name.  Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, constantly saying…Rae is mine.  You gave her to me.  I died for her, she has no more guilt, no more wrath.  I stand in her place.  Rae is mine.  You gave her to me.  “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”  Hebrews 7:25

I am loved by God, and during the current stormy darkness…I choose not to live in that truth, and hail started to rain down, and I was bruised and beaten by it. 

Have you ever read Lamentations?  I just read chapter 3.  You probably have heard a verse that is taken from chapter 3… "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope; 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.”  Lamentations 3:21-24 

These are some other verses that resonated with me.

“The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.  It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” 3:25-26

“For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” 3:31-33

“Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?  It is not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?  Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?  Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!  Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:” 3:37-41

“I call on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit; you heard my please, ‘Do not close your ear to my cry for help!’ You came near when I called on you’ you said, ‘Do not fear!’ 3:55-57

But there are also verses like this...

"I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long."
3:1-3

"he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago." 3:6

"my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, "My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD." 3:17-18

Listen to this next part!!! (my emphasis added)

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  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." 3:21-24

AMEN!  I love that God has given us His Word, Praise His Name!  Our part in darkness is to call to mind the truths of God, and to believe them, to have faith in them...because they are True, Right, and Powerful.

I am weak.  Jesus is strong.  Christ has given (to those who put faith in Him) the Holy Spirit…so in our weakness we can be strong.  In my darkness I was just focused on my weakness, I cannot do this, I cannot get past this, I cannot see, I am too weak… I was not putting active faith into motion.  I can do this because I have Christ in me.  I am strong because Christ is strong and He is in me.  I am Trusting Jesus.  I am putting my faith in the Almighty Creator God. 

I love my husband, and he loves me.  It is hard to love someone who is swirling through darkness.  It is literally a selfless love because you are not receiving love back.  You put out love and you may receive empty eyes and tears...but yet you keep on loving.  Not because you were loved, but because you love.  That is what my husband has been giving me.  Not perfectly mind you, but displaying parts of this truth "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her," Ephesians 5:25

All of this…this is Grace.  And it is sweet and bright and beautiful. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Think & Practice These Things



“4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:4-9

The following is taken from the Reformation Study Bible  
(my own italics, and I have put in bold the words that hit me deep)

Phil 4:4
4:4 Rejoice. The theme of joy is prominent in Philippians. The command to rejoice can always be obeyed, even in the midst of conflict, adversity, and deprivation, because joy rests not on favorable circumstances, but “in the Lord.” Paul uses repetition to emphasize this truth.
Phil 4:5
4:5 reasonableness. The Greek word denotes the generous spirit that rises above offenses, or a forbearing spirit, of which Jesus provides the supreme example (2 Cor. 10:1). Such a person does not insist on his rights (2:1–4). Only such persons learn the secret of joy.
The Lord is at hand. This may be understood temporally, looking to Christ’s coming as a future event (3:20, 21), and taking hope from this. Or Paul may also be speaking of Christ’s abiding presence with those united to Him (1:1).
Phil 4:6
4:6 do not be anxious about anything. Although the same word is used in 2:20 of a loving concern for others, here it denotes an anxiety that is incompatible with trust in God.
in everything. Paul’s language is deliberately all-inclusive; there are no restrictions on applying it.
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving . . . requests. The four terms used here make up two couplets. Paul is not defining separate types of prayers. Rather, the cluster of words shows what importance he attaches to the practice of prayer. Presenting requests in prayer provides an outlet for anxiety (1 Pet. 5:7). Doing so “with thanksgiving” is itself an antidote to worry.
Phil 4:7
4:7 peace of God. This is the direct answer to the prayer of anxiety. Things that cannot be fully comprehended can nonetheless be peacefully experienced by those who are “in Christ” (1:1; cf. Eph. 3:18, 19).
Phil 4:8
4:8 Concluding these exhortations, Paul calls his readers to a life of obedience, the right response to the peace of God. The virtues listed are not exhaustive but representative, and they come to expression in countless ways (note the repeated “whatever”). Thinking on such things is not an end in itself, but preparation for purposeful action (v. 9).
true. See Eph. 4:24, 25.
honorable. The Greek word means “worthy of respect.”
just. See Titus 1:8.
pure. See 1 Tim. 5:22.
lovely . . . commendable. Terms used only here in the New Testament.
Phil 4:9
4:9 The Philippians are to be guided both by Paul’s teaching and by his example, especially his love for the Philippians (v. 1; 1:3–8; 2:12).
the God of peace. An even richer promise than “the peace of God” (v. 7). Its fulfillment depends on obedience.

This year has been a year of anxiety in my life.  I’ve had worries before, seasons and circumstances that have weighed my heart down…but not like this, not this much, and not this often.  The strange thing about anxiety is that sometimes it is so far away that you couldn’t believe you actually had problems with it in the past, then a week goes by and you are right back in the fear and trembling and wonder what it felt like when peace ruled and reigned in your mind and heart.  It’s strange that I’ve learned amazing truths about how to ‘deal’ or ‘combat’ anxiety, worry, depression and how EASILY I forget all that God has showed me.  I know Philippians 4:6 well, and recite it to myself, recite it to my heart so very often.  Since I’ve been looking closer at the word ‘thanksgiving’, and what it really means to live it out…I realized that I never gave it much thought in this verse.  I would just think: ‘don’t be anxious, pray –make requests to God, then the peace will come’.  I never really put thanksgiving to practice, and it’s clearly stated in this verse. 

When you struggle with anxiety, you take a look at these verses, study them, and pray to apply them….and it seems impossible.  On our own, we cannot do this.  I am learning also that when I deeply fret, I am wanting control over something I cannot control, and really deep down don’t want the control but I try and take it anyway.  My hope is in God, my hope is in the Lord, and I can only obey Him through the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.  Rejoicing over the Lord and not our circumstances in the first step, lining myself back up with the Gospel, handing over control and trusting God with everything I have and don’t have.  I do not insist on my own rights when it comes to giving everything over the Lord, because without Christ I have nothing, no righteousness, no good, no obedience, and no beauty…just sin.  This does not mean that I cannot ask for things I desire, it means that before things I request, above all I want His will above all else.  I do not request because I have done good things, I request because Christ did everything good for my life. 

I struggle with daily accepting God’s Grace.  My husband on the other hand, Praise you Jesus, this is my husband’s strength in Christ.  When I waiver on God’s Grace, I have trouble accepting His coming Kingdom.  Cue the anxiety.  Our hope is not found in this world, but our future Home with God.  When I lose sight of this overwhelming, life changing, and essential Truth…my bones shake.  Our lives here are not the end.  Our souls were made for forever.  Why is death so hard?  Because our souls were designed for something so different.  Why did Christ come and live and die for all the sins of the world?  So we could have life with Him forever for those who believe in His Gospel. 

Here is a big one…anxiety is incompatible with trusting God. Incompatible: Unable to exist in harmony together, cannot coexist together, or be conjoined, unable to be true simultaneously.  Yikes, Rae!  This throws me to the floor, crying out in repentance.  Father God, let me live out a life of faith and trust in You, Your Ways, Your Will, and Your Word! We are not to be anxious about anything.  Anything.  Big. Small. Life.  Death.  Food.  Sunscreen.  Clothes.  Careers.  Paint Colors.  Cancer.  We are called not to be anxious.  Period. 

The importance of prayer, I have seen this being broadcast in my life time and time again.  Prayer is so much more than just something we ‘can’ do, and ‘should’ do.  It’s so much deeper than I will ever acknowledge or understand.  When I fret and worry over something, my mind is constantly running, playing out worse case scenarios…like a constant sad movie that never gets any better.  This happened to me last night in fact.  I was painting the kitchen, and I let my mind go to dark places…and then I realized I was just thinking.  I started praying, out loud.  I started talking to God.  Some of my words were spoken verbally, other sentences were spoken mentally.  I calmed down.  I then started thanking Him for things that I had thought of that day.
1) Printed leather bound copy of Scripture I own
2) Small heater under my desk at work
3) Simple white coffee cup
4) Free coffee, cream, and sugar at work
5) Windows that I can see the trees swaying and the open sky
6) Colorful pens
7) Wednesday Chapels
8) My In-Laws
9) My parents coming to town this weekend
10) Raindrops of Roses Spotify playlist
11) Wooden pencils
12) My job
13) My town that I live in
14) The way God designed me
15) The caring people I work with
16) My husband telling me Gospel truths
17) Red nail polish
18) Holidays
19) How the weather may affect your mood, or reflect your mood
20) The Psalms
21) The way my husband passionately sings along with his favorite songs on the radio
22) Cool & Crisp Mornings
23) Cardigans
24) A washer and dryer
25) Our pets
26) Who my husband is, and the fact that he is my husband


The answer to our anxiety is the peace of God in who we are “in Christ”.  These things that I am thankful for are not the end, I look through them and see Christ.  I thank God for them, because He gave them.  I heard it said that doubt is not the opposite of faith, disobedience is.  I am required to obey through the peace that I receive.  I am required to think about certain things.  I am required to think about anything worthy of praise.  That means, my thoughts of worse case scenarios do not make the mental-movie cut.  Those dark thoughts are not lovely, they are not true, they are not pure…they are not coming from Christ.  I let myself listen to sin, to evil.  

Don’t these things echo thanksgiving?  Even in the mix of trouble (that we will have in this life), we can always find things that we are thankful for, even if we can’t make a list of things in this world…we should Rejoice in the Lord.  These ‘things’ always point back to Jesus, these ‘things’ always point back to the Good News that is the Gospel.  That we were separated in sin from God, and that he made a way to rejoin Him through sacrificing His Son, Jesus Christ to live a perfect life and die horribly for all the sins of the world, to be raised from the dead with the Power of God, seated next to God, always interceding for those who are in Himself.  That is something to ALWAYS rejoice in.  Grace.  Cross.  Kingdom.  These truths, these prayers, these thanksgivings, this peace of God that is in Christ…it will guard our hearts and minds, the places in myself that anxiety takes up so much room.  My heart and my mind.  Oh God, I need You.  Great is Thy faithfulness.  Your Steadfast Love is better than life. 

“Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9b
the God of peace. An even richer promise than “the peace of God” (v. 7). Its fulfillment depends on obedience.


Oh God of Peace, so be it.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Current State

Currently, I am reading a book about Thanksgiving.  Currently, we are completing our biggest home renovation to date.  Currently, I have days when anxieties and fears flood my mind, and my heart pounds with a lack of trust in God’s Beautiful plan and His Good Character.  I am in desperate need of His Grace, and little sights of hope that lead me to thanksgiving that bring about joy.  I believe that God is in the details, so I pray that I see bits of Him in small things. 

I shared some coffee with one of my friends this morning.  I was able to purchase a coffee, and it was very delicious.   I love coffee, and I thank God for it often.   I was able to hear, speak, laugh, learn, affirm, direct, and talk just a bit too much to a woman who I am so thankful for and that God has placed her in my life.  I was encouraged by her.  I have a friend in her. 

After work today, I plan on painting my kitchen.  Sea Salt is the name of the paint color.  Even though I love the current color on my kitchen (Woodland Charm), this new color will let other new features shine a bit brighter.  After work today I plan on cooking dinner for my husband, and enjoying his company until he takes a break from home-reno, and works on a motor-bike with some friends.  Today is a friend kind of day, and I am thankful for these days.

Currently in my town there are several old buildings that are being torn down.  Part of me aches, since there was one building in particular I use to dream about doing something with…the rubble pile lets me know that wasn’t my path.  At first, when I would drive by and see another building being torn down, another lot filled with debris, another boarded up building with bulldozers in the parking lot…a part of me just didn’t want to let go.  My mind remembers what an old friend told me, “Some things need to be completely torn down before they can be built back up”.  I think about our home renovations, I think about these buildings, I think about my fearful heart and my lack of trust in a Good God.  I am in constant need of a Savior, I am in constant need of Jesus’ Grace.

Currently my house is a wreck, there was a time when it was pretty, put together, and clean.  That time has passed, but there will be a time in the future when all is set right.  When electrical lines are safe, walls are painted, shelves are hung, counter-tops are built, seating is added, and design is done.  I am thankful for the process of rubble to rightness.  The beauty about home renovations and design is that you think you are completed, and another idea comes for improvement.  For example: this is our third kitchen remodel.  First it was just painting the cabinets, then it was the floor, cabinets, sink, and counter-tops…now it is just a bit more, and I am so excited for the finish.  Our hope is set in the finish, our current state cannot be where we set our hope…it will not satisfy. 

I find grace in the current state, thanksgiving among the current state, and joy through the current pointing to the time to come.

I just opened by bible, and it smells like coffee-shop.  I breathe it in deep.  Thank you Lord God.


“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Our last kitchen renovation (2nd)

This 'was' the wall that separates the dinning & kitchen


More to come later. Stay Tuned. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Created to be Creative

Even as I write this, I’m rolling my eyes at myself.  Sharing something that I don’t have a full grasp on always makes me want to save it for later, save it until I really know what I’m talking about, save it until it’s safe, save it until its ready…save it until I’m ready.  That’s probably why I do not write every day, and why I have so many dreams and have put so little into action.  Let me be completely honest, that IS why I drag my feet on just about everything in my life.  My drive…I can hear my husband lovingly saying ‘What drive?’…it is in a constant state of being in park.  A fear of failure causes me to slam on the breaks as soon as I get any kind of momentum going.  

For a long time I even struggled with not creating at all, not being able to decide on the wrong and right purposes of it.  I saw creativity in light of adding to an already fattened world of materialism.  I saw style through the lens of attaining worldly goods.  I saw design as not being content with what I already have.  Let me first say that these are still possible…and I will always be tempted to stray into these self-centered areas if I lose sight of one truth…God is Supreme Maker.  He created us in His image, and therefore because He created us, we in turn…create.  Our creativity gets out of line, whenever it stops before flowing to the rightful praise and honor of Creator God.  When we desire style and design for our own selfish pleasure, to puff up our own ego, to shove our talents/gifts/wealth at our neighbors in a heart of arrogance…creativity has become foolishly dark and empty.  I am just beginning to set this truth in my heart and mind.  Like I said before, I was being poisoned in lies for a long time.  I am just beginning to see that it’s okay to create, and to look at pretty things…only if I can look through the beauty to The One Who Is Beauty.  When in wisdom, to purchase or make my home for the enjoyment, function, design, style, or benefit for guests turning continual thanks to God the Giver of all things.  I check my heart attitude, and ask myself who will be receiving the final praise (my praise or God’s praise, my glory or God’s glory).   If both do not line up to Gospel centered living, then I go no further, ask for forgiveness, and rest in grace. 

It’s amazing to me that God delights in our creativity.  Someone may need to hear this…God delights in your creativity.  I need to hear that God delights in my creativity.  In Exodus, the LORD filled certain men with the Spirit of God to have the ability, intelligence, knowledge, and all craftsmanship to devise artistic designs of the Tabernacle.  (Exodus 31:1-11)  Have you tried to read the details of the Tabernacle?  It is extraordinary!  God is the First and Greatest Artist (Genesis 1:1) 


The next step in this blessed journey is for me to find out what Jesus has designed for me to design, what He has called me to create.  In the meantime, I search for Who He Is through His Word, and see glimpses of His Beauty in the creative things He has given.

Snip-its of my style