February 28, 2012

"In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instrument for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." 2Timothy 2:20-21

"made holy and useful to the Master"

That's what I want to be. 

"useful to the Master"

Use me Lord.
Cleanse me. Prepare me.

It is within each of us.
We were created by Him one at a time.
With mindful strokes and deliberate colors.
His masterpiece. 
Lying under a covering of sin. 
Waiting for the dirt and grime to be washed away so that we can be displayed in His great gallery. 
So that all can see just how wonderful He is.

You are not your own creation. 
You are not a result of anything you have done.
You were commissioned.
You were designed by purposeful and precise Hands.

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Baeur By Gustav Klimt: $135,000,000

Garcon a la Pipe By Pablo Picasso: $104,100,000

Dora with Cat by Pablo Picasso: $95,200,000

Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh: $82,500,000

Bal Au Moulin de la Gallet By Pierre-Auguste Renior: $78,000,000

Massacre of the Innocents By Peter Paul Rubens: $76,700,000

The Guinness Book of Records put the Mona Lisa with the highest insurance value for a painting throughout history. Insurance value is set at about $100 million on Dec 14, 1962. If inflation taken into account, this price will rise about US $670 million in 2006.
These are arguably the most expensive paintings in the world.
They are beautiful.
Each one very different from the next.
But they are nothing more than paper and dye.

How do you value a human life- living, breathing, complex- in comparison with a canvas and paint?
You are invaluable.
Much more so than anything one flawed human can create.
Though not perfect, 
You were made by Perfect Hands.
You are destined to accomplish your own greatness.
It's within you.
You have a purpose.
You are His.
Precisely and Intricately His.

Believe it.
Live it.
Be it.
Give it.


Stop and T.H.I.N.K

February 27, 2012
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, ad it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16


If you have kids, chances are, you've heard it all before. A commotion begins. Jabs. Yelping. Screaming. And then the ugliness is spewed out full force~ just like the girl on The Exorcist.  Time to referee. Put on the judge's cloak. Often I cannot determine the real truth. But, the facts usually boil down to one annoyed the other, one lost his patience, one deemed revenge necessary. The gloves were thrown off and the kid decided to stake his claim! They each acted from a view point of selfishness. No one thought about if he was hurting the other or not. No one took a minute to realize that the person he was about to hurt was his bestest friend in the world! Surely nobody stopped to realize that God was watching! The only thing the kids are thinking is that they were wronged and they must make it right.

Sound familiar?

This goes on in my house. I am ashamed to admit how often. I struggle to undo what the years of impatience and intolerance have taught. But, they learned it from somewhere. Maybe it's more like they did NOT learn to be patient and selfLESS. They saw examples of unbridled frustration. They saw me in my sin. And now it's a struggle to unlearn what our human nature has given us permission to do for so long, especially when the devil is constantly telling us that our sin is justified.

How often, as adults, do we act this way? We may not be as barbaric as unleashing a physical attack on our peers. But, if someone cuts you off in traffic is it still G rated in your car? If someone says something ugly to you, how do you react? When everything inside of you is screaming to let someone have it, what do you do?

I am certainly not spitting up in the air, because we all know what happens when you do that. But, I am reminded today of what I am supposed to do. I am the light of the world. I am the city on a hill. And I gotta I gotta I gotta let my light shine. {Sorry. I got a little carried away there.}

{This is also a good rule of thumb for posting on Facebook. I'm just saying.}


爱, 爱慕, 爱好; 爱

February 14, 2012

 Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.
The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards(known as "valentines").

Today is the day of LOVE! Amour! Amor! Liebe! αγαπώ, έρωμαι! לאהוב; לחבב; להיות מאוהב; לרצות מאד! любовь!  sevmek!  ליבע! No matter the language, it means the same all over the world. It's universal. It spans cultures, races, genders, & creeds. 

I was watching a very interesting documentary about life after death. One of the experts, who dedicated his life and career to researching the topic, had a near death experience himself. He delved deeply into investigating many other near death experiences and when interviewed, he disclosed that the most important thing in this life is love. It seemed to be a recurring theme among those who had died and come back to life. The experience after one's heart stopped beating was often described as "the most loving or love filled or all encompassing love" experience one could imagine. He goes on to urge everyone to love as much as you can here on earth. Enjoy your relationships. Cherish them. And make an effort, a conscious effort, to go out into the world and behave lovingly towards everyone. He said that it's really all that is truly important. LOVE. Can it be so simple? I believe so. And if you've read my blog for a time, you have read it here before.

How many of us have chased dreams with the intention of finally gaining that which will bring us true happiness? This car. That house. Getting married. Getting a promotion. Having a baby. Retirement. Travel. Chocolate covered strawberries. {Oh wait! That's just me?} Anyway. Has any of it brought you to true happiness? Yes, I enjoy toys. I love my husband, kids, family, and friends. But, they cannot fill what is empty inside of me. I believe that there is a God-shaped hole in every one of us. And until we invite Him in to fill that void, nothing will bring us true happiness. 

So, what's love got to do with it? {Sorry, I couldn't resist. I bet you're singing it in your head right now. aren't you? You're welcome!} When God fills us, He does so to overflowing. And what pours out? Yep. You guessed it. LOVE. He gives us an abundance to be shared and given. Not just when it's easy. Not just when it's deserved. Always. Imagine what would happen if the world just loved. Unselfishly. 

Happy Valentine's Day my friends. I pray that today your God-shaped hole is filled to overflowing with love {and a little chocolate wouldn't hurt either.}

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2

"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." Luke 6:27-28

"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1Corinthians 13:13


Consume HIM!

February 13, 2012

" 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?' And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' " Matthew 22:36-37

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:25-34


Thank You Notes

February 8, 2012

I hope you'll stop by Joli blog today. This post was such a wonderful inspiration to me!

"Do not withhold good form those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act." Proverbs 3:27


Growing Pains

February 7, 2012

Our little one sometimes wakes up in the night crying in pain. We rub her legs, whisper words of comfort, administer pain medication, soak in a warm bath with her. We do it to soothe her, to ease the pain, all the while knowing that this is just something that will have to run its course. Eventually, it will get better. Even though it hurts sometimes, growing will prove to be beneficial to her.

We all get them. Growing pains. Maybe not in our legs, our bones, like Aubree does. But, life is a perpetual cycle of change. People and things are purposely weaved in and out of our lives. Experiences and seasons end. Often there is discomfort and pain in the endings. But, with each end there is a new and hopeful beginning.

When things get painful for me, I tend to shut down. My instinct is to wrap a cocoon around myself to protect me from the fear and the hurt. I pray. Begging for peace. An end to the pain. I focus too much on it and not enough on where it's leading me. I grieve for what I'm losing.

It's hard to remember that I am far better off today than I have been at any point in my life thus far. I've always made forward progression. God has always been faithful in His blessings. He's been smarter than me, always knowing exactly what I need. Why do I fight Him? Surrender is hard.

It's foolish to think that until we get to Heaven, we will ever "arrive" at being all that God has called us to be. If it is my desire to serve Him wherever He chooses, then I am going to have to realize that I am going to go through change. The devil will attack me and tell me that I am not good enough. He will use other people to have me doubt myself. He will cause dissension in the very relationships that I hold most dear, especially those with other Christians.

Satan has attacked me as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend. He has beaten me down to the point where I wasn't sure if I wanted to get back up. But, God always tells me the truth. I am a beautiful soul. Flaws and all. I am lovable. I have a heart full of honorable intentions. I am a good friend. I am a good mother. I am a good wife.  I am a good daughter. He desires all of these things for me. And I will live them. It doesn't mean that I won't stumble from time to time. It doesn't mean that I won't make mistakes or have room to grow. But I have been promised and I will hold on tightly to all that is mine.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2Corinthians 12:9

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

"Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

"looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." Hebrews 12:2-3

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13



February 6, 2012

I love holidays!
I remember when my children were little babies,
I would dress them fittingly for each holiday.
For Christmas they always wore an uber dressy outfit.
Obviously, I made sure they donned their green for St. Patrick's Day.
Easter was always fun with frilly dresses and boutique rompers.
My house was always decorated for the appropriate occasion,
although sometimes not very tastefully.
But, the kids loved it!
We made themed cookies from scratch and
always included craft projects.
(Man, I wish I had the energy now that I did back then!)

{To continue reading click here. I am posting at Joli Blog today!}


One of Those Days

February 2, 2012

Some days being a parent is easier than others. Today. Well, it's one of those I'd rather give birth without pain medication kind of days. To triplets. Through the birth canal. At the same time.

Why hasn't someone figured out a distinct and clear set of instructions for raising kids and written them in stone? We've walked on the moon! We have cell phones and computers! Kids can't be more difficult to figure out. Can they? I'm just saying.


Get Ready!

February 1, 2012

I am excited to announce that I will be joining an awesome group of ladies as a writer on our women's ministry blog Joli. Our spring semester online book study kicks off today. I hope you'll hop on over to Joli and check out what's in store. You're welcome to join us~ we'd love to have you!

"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:3-5