Tag Archives | thoughts on faith

Chargin’ Up

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We have so many chargers in this house it is not even funny.  And not nearly enough plug-ins in this old house.  A kid is always complaining–“I have no battery!”  “Who used my device and didn’t plug it in?!” “Who unplugged my device?!”

It’s enough to drain me.

Life is a constant go, draining our energy, battery, juice–whatever you want to call it.  There are a lot of ways to relax.  TV, zone out to the internet, listen to music–all with technology–and half the time they just drain us even more, leave us feeling more empty.  We can read a book, do a hobby, cook/bake–those are a little more fulfilling–but they all require money.  We can enjoy the outdoors–which is good for our bodies and souls, mostly free–but involves bug bites and being tired and sunburned.  Just saying.

The only true way to recharge with no ill after effects is to turn to the greatest power source ever.   For me, there is nothing like praying to recharge my soul.  Turning to God, knowing that I am loved, secure, and that He will fill me up unconditionally–that charges me.  That gets me excited, yet relaxes me like nothing else.

And I don’t mean doing a bunch of service projects, or being overinvolved at church–I mean PLUGGING INTO GOD.

How about you?  Do you need a recharge?  Have you plugged into God lately?

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Respond with Faith

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Because we are imperfect, faith is always the answer.  We might come up with other answers, but they probably are not the best ones.  When we take that pause and ask how would God want me to react, we find the strong answers, the ones that may be difficult, but that will lead us to a better place in the long run.  We find the ones that will help us move forward with love and respect for ourselves and those around us.  And sometimes doing the hard this is loving.  Sometimes doing what may not seem loving actually is the most imperfect, best idea that will  bring about the answers truly needed.

When you ask a question, when someone asks you a hard question, let faith answer.

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Imperfection

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Ha!  I made this one to remind myself that I don’t have to make perfect, beautiful art every time.  I can just get some thoughts out and enjoy the process.  But it is also the perfect thing to post next because I realized Thursday this week that I double posted Monday and Wednesday.  I forgot I already had posts ready to roll, and wrote new ones.  Imperfection, unorganization, reality at its best people.

Working full time is an adjustment for me and the kids.  How I divide up my time is very different.  My energy level at night is even lower than before.  Thank goodness everything is within 5 blocks of us and I don’t have to race around as much!

We all need this reminder though don’t we?  Imperfection is okay. Only God is perfect.  And He never expects us to be at His level.  He expects us to create our own magic within the imperfection.  To allow our souls to have wiggle room to grow, to relax.  And most importantly to turn to HIM.

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Verbs: #6 Watch

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More verbs!  Everywhere we look thee is advice to follow in our world.  which do we choose to do/follow?  Where and when to we get God’s answers?  That there is the tricky part.  Listening for what GOD is saying, not some person on tv or the radio.  And the hard part is when you want an answer right now, but you have to wait months for one.  Because of course, God works in His own sweet time.  Bugger.

God totally has a sense of humor about this too–I am not kidding.   That Lauren Daigle song “Trust in You” came on every time I got in the car for the last three weeks.  I finally put in a cd because I couldn’t take it anymore.  Then…I finally handed it over and trusted, and I got an answer.  And I know it is what HE planned, because it wasn’t what I had thought would happen.  I know in my heart, it is from HIM.  I just had to watch for it.

Here is the song if you don’t know which one…Lauren Daigle “Trust”

 

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Then we see enlightened hope

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Let’s pray today:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We come to you humbly today,  knowing that our days have been filled with mistakes–things we did on purpose, things we did unintentionally.  Open our eyes to the lessons in our inadequacies.  Let us see that all your children have these same deficiencies.  We ask you to fill our minds with the hope that you give us that all is forgiven, all is understood.  May we take that confidence and knowledge and apply it to our tomorrows, to our experiences with others, and to our faith in you.  We grateful for the instruction you provide that brings us closer to you Jesus.

In your name we pray,

amen

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Shoot for the Moon

shoot for the moon

Here is another one of those future quotes–I love that it is about light…I am pretty sure that Les Brown was not talking about the light of God, but for me that is what I am focusing on.  So there you go.

As Christians we want to live up to Christ’s commands and a purer life.  We know what is right.  We know we should reach for higher standards.  Shoot for the moon per se.

But we are human…God knows it, He expects it.  So the truth is that we will never attain that PURE life.  Except when we reach heaven and our souls are made new in Christ.  We will join all the other shiny , newly clean souls –I like to visualize it as we are all little glowing stars orbiting the greatest light of all.

I plan to be one of those stars–awesome.  fabulous.  plan accomplished.  I hope you are one, too.

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Working toward that goal

not that I have obtained

Goals.  Plans.  Dreams.

All of them to be obtained in the future.

There are so many quotes about future.  So many philosophies.  Live in the now.  Plan for tomorrow.  Savor this moment.  Reach for dreams.

It can all seem confusing.  Which one do I do?  Which fits today?  tomorrow?  It can seem like a constant state of confusion and limbo.

One thing is certain…don’t linger on the past.  It’s done.

And when we know that we belong to Christ Jesus it is even easier to not linger on the past.  We can look forward…a long long long ways.  Into eternity.  So really this little moment today is infitesimal compared to the goal of heaven.  Not that it is easy to do, but it sure is a better use of our time.

 

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According to Faith

according to your faith

Good morning!  Sorry I missed a couple days…I didn’t get them scheduled before my trip and it took me a couple days to recoup.  I needed Tuesday to sleep from early flights and excitement and Wednesday was all about recovering my house and pantry–they ate everything and wore everything.  😉

I am feeling like this verse is so so true right now…my faith has deepened an incredible amount in the last five years, and especially the last two.  And God is using my willingness to surrender to Him for His good works and is blessing me accordingly.  90 women showed up Monday night and studied the Word through art with Leslie and I.  And it touched a lot of hearts–new friendships were made, connections were made, some broke out in giggles of excitement, some shed tears of restoration.  It was just what we hoped it would be.

But I also know of people going through some tough tough situations right now.  How is their faith reflected in that?  I suppose that is the age old question.  In my BSF Revelation study right now I have learned that God uses those times to bring us that much closer to Him.  And sometimes He is using His faithful followers to bring others to Him through those difficulties.  I know that as I see faithful ones responding to hard times… I am encouraged.  It helps me focus on God.  It makes me look back on my hard seasons and see the growth, see how God never left, and it does bring me closer.

Our faith does not promise we will not be persecuted by sickness, grief, financial issues, relationship woes–if anything the Bible tells us we may end up being tested by Satan that much more to pull us away from our faith in Christ.

We must remember there will be riches in joy and peace here on earth according to our faith.  But there will be far more riches of joy and peace in heaven when we can be right next to our Savior.

So I am grateful for the good things in my life now–for a wonderful event and trip, for a great partner in Leslie, a loving and supportive family, and all of YOU.   I lean on my faith in God that deepens everyday. I am thankful for the dark time that led me to faith art journaling and this ministry.  And I am ready for the storms that will come, for I know according to my faith…it will all be good.

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Way Far Ahead

wise man who built his house on the rock

You know just how far ahead of us God is?  It is like this picture–we can stand at the top of a mountain and see for miles and miles.  It seems like a long way.  But God, can see much much further.  Farther than we can ever imagine.

Sometimes we need to climb high to get God’s perspective and trust that He will guide and protect us up and down that trail.  Trusting in God’s words and practicing the good things He teaches us brings wisdom–the kind that lasts and lasts–that cannot be weathered.  The kind that is not obsolete with trends or changes in technology.  The kind that we can actually pass on to another generation after we have seen and done and learned.

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Get Back vs. Catch Up

catch up to God

This was in my devotions a couple weeks ago and I found it to be a very interesting concept.  I am all for getting into the Word, I try to do it every day.  But God is always one step ahead of us–so we must remember that as we read the Bible or pray to Him.

like this little prayer…

God let me be open to your plans and let me understand it through the words of the Bible.  Let me not linger on scripture as only something historical, but help me to see how it plays in my real time as I move through the day ahead of me.  I know that You have a plan for good, lead me to make good decisions so that I don’t mess that plan up.  Remind me to keep my eyes on you and trust what you have designed, so that I don’t get caught up in the mess of sin around me.  Let me be with you, as you are always with me.

Amen.

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Spread It Thick

spread kindness, light, love

Light and love.  Spread that stuff thick.  Like peanut butter.  That has become my mantra for this year.   And I thought I was going to focus on either “enough” or “surrender”.  God is so funny like that!

I just finished this art for this little week long series on houses.  I sketched it last fall, but then it just sat there, no color, no words.  Bleh.  So I painted it, as bright as I could.  I added all the flowers, and the birds, and the little doodad details.  And then I saw something about spread love everywhere on Pinterest–and I thought of this little drawing.  Of a village.  With variety.  A place with a lot of understanding, trust, big and little things, knowledge, treasures.  Light.  and Love.  And Kindness.  You know–knowledge, understanding, all that jazz.  🙂

This is what I want my world to look like I decided.  Happiness and love bouncing around.  Closeness.  Joy, even amongst the hills and valleys.  A place where there are similarities, but no cookie cutters.  A place where kindness, light and love are spread THICK, or at least where I can spread it thickly.

Now, in this little piece, I can kind of see Greenfield, Iowa where I was born and where my parents live again.  Hmmm.  And my aunt made a keen observation–maybe I long for a 3 story house with an art studio on the top level lined with windows so I can see out on all God’s love and light.  Hmmm.  Perhaps someday.

Learned a lot about myself this week.  Did you learn anything?

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What Has Happened

what has happened has helped

Phillipians 12:12

 When I happened across this verse (Paul writing in prison), I knew exactly how I wanted to put it into artwork.  You know I love me some stones and especially a path! His wording really stood out to me.  Even though good and bad things had happened to him, he realized how it all worked together for good.  So this time I wanted the stones to be colorful to represent all the different things that happen in a lifetime that build a path.

And for me–it is the bad things as much as the good things that got me to here today.  If it hadn’t been for that crazy bad depression in 2011 I would not have started art journaling my faith.  My artwork wouldn’t have developed into my own style, I wouldn’t have a blog or a business and I wouldn’t be using all that to spread the gospel.  Even though that depression was Baaaaad with a capital B, it brought me to here, closer to God, closer to you.

There are a lot of good things too–I have had a lot of wonderful Christians on that path.  A lot of great experiences.  They all came together to this point.  That’s why the stones are all different shapes and colors, no two are alike or have more impact–just different.

How about you?  What does your path look like?  Has it brought you to a spot you can help spread some light and love?  Or not quite yet?  Have you ever looked at your past in this distinctive perspective? Take a few minutes today and contemplate that.

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Everyone Who Honors

everyone who honors your name

My concentration is off today. Do you ever have those days?

I did the other blog posts for this week over the weekend.  Now it is Wednesday–I was very productive yesterday.  But today–not so much.  I have been wandering from thing to thing.  I go to do something, and get distracted by something else, I called someone but got voicemail, Phoebe did most of her homeschooling by herself.  So I thought, I will sit down and finish my blogging for the week.  And this is all I can come up with!

But the good news with this artpiece is–it works with my state of mind!  Know how?  I know that because I am faithful to God, He will be faithful to me.  I can trust He will help me focus again and get back on track.  I can trust that He will take care of me in the mean time and keep me safe from harm–because who knows what I might do to myself in the meantime.  Probably slide down the stairs, or at least walk into a door.  He will watch out for me that the deadlines I am encroaching on will get filled eventually.

So I am going to say a little prayer here for focus.  Thank Jesus for being faith full when I depend on Him.  And know that my world will be all right.

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White as Snow

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I love this old hymn.  I painted this one last year during the spring actually–all the pear trees were in bloom and it seemed like it was snowing out there were so many white petals on the breeze and in the new grass.

Right now there is real snow on the ground and I need this reminder of spring.  🙂  But I do love a fresh snow fall.  The fat flakes so big that you can see the intricate designs.  The tiny bits of glitter flakes that sparkle in the sun.  The wet ones that cling to the trees and make it a fairy wedding world.

And…I like how all of those visuals remind me of how Jesus forgives my every sin when I hand them over to Him.  He makes me fresh, blooming, glittering, a new bride.  Isn’t that a wonderful picture in the mind?  Imagine yourself that way.  In my head, that is what I want to look like in heaven as an angel.

Here is a version of this song.

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Be Made New

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My devotions this week included the story of Sodom and Gomorrah –which I had forgotten this was from Genesis, I was thinking it was later in the OT–but anywhoo…  In the commentary by David Preuss he made several points that fit perfectly with my theme this week on the blog that I just have to share with you.

“There has been no ‘golden age’…yet there is a great temptation to begin living in the past.”

“Nostlgia for the past is understandable.  If it becomes a hindrance to positive forward action it is destructive.  It will harden its adherents into an unmoving block of salt.”

Well said David Preuss.

We all know someone who is so bitter about the past that it colors every relationship of now because they just can’t let go. Maybe it is even our self.  I know I have been there, and when I finally realized the truth of the situation it improved those relationships dramatically.

We all know that person who still reminds everyone of their “glory days”, yet have nothing to show for a new life.

We all know that person who demands that life was so much less violent before–um, hello?  Have you studied any of the revolutions?

Maybe kids were more respectful and independent long ago–they were also orphaned as children, worked in factories (child labor), and grew up poor.  Wait…weren’t half of them refugees from European countries?  Isn’t that how most Americans originally got here?

We must remember there is always the other side of the past–the parts we hide from ourselves to make it all look better in our memory.

There is also the other half of our TODAY:  being made NEW!  We have an opportunity every single stinking day to get it right.  Especially when we call on Jesus to help us with that.  Remember our focus yesterday?  Light and love.  Love and light.  That is part of being made new.  And it can be awesome when we let ourselves enjoy a new day, a new opportunity, a new reality every day.

And if you want a little music inspiration to help:  Lincoln Brewster’s “Made New”

 

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