Monday, March 17, 2014

art journaling

I began keeping a journal as a little girl. Keeping my thoughts on paper was a coping skill my therapist had me using at a young age. But, as is the theme with everything in my life, I don't keep with things well. With that being said, journaling is one of the ways my writing flourished, just simply putting my thoughts down and realizing that God gave me a gift with words; but I still never kept with it regularly. 

Recently I felt God laying a new desire on my heart, a desire for art. An insastiable appetitie for art. I long to look at pictures online, I scour magazines for inspiration, and simply sit with my sketch book and learn. 

I feel like a giddy child most evenings when I sit down with my tools, uninterrupted, and create. 

I've started keeping an art journal, and wow has it truly brought so much creativity back into my life. When I first had Jaxson, I was really big into scrapbooking. I would sit for hours and scrap pictures of him the first year of his life. Then we adopted Jordon, had Hayley, and before I knew it 6 years wizzed by and I haven't scrapboooked since. So, I've had all of this stuff just sitting around, waiitng to be used and appreciated. I kept all of it, or most of it, with the idea that we'd be able to use most of it in school, and we have for the most part, but there were thing like stamps and inks that we just weren't using. 

Oh my happy little creative heart rejoiced the moment that I realized I could bring all of my supplies out of retirement! I've been a stamping, inking, painting, drawing, all things art kind of gal for the past 2 weeks and it's been glorious!

What's been so glorious you may ask?

It's glorious watching Him instill things within our hearts. It's glorious to watch as He shapes our hearts to His, our minds to His, our bodies to His. It's a glorious journey we are in, and for the first time I feel free enough to live my life! 

Free from the bondage this world used to hold me in and free to live in the glorious manner in which He envisioned. 

What is art?

It's expressing human creative skill and imagination in various forms, and that can do glorious things to our way of living, and our emotional health. 

I didn't grow up around anyone that enjoyed anythign artsy. I had no idea that there was so much beauty simply waiting to be explored....and I am fueled and ready to explore. 

Here are a few of my journal pictures as well as the kids:

 I encourage you to grab onto something God is doing in your life, and simply enjoy all of the glorious moments

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


At the beginning of the year I prayed about whether I wanted to make New Years Resolutions for myself or not. The more I prayed and thought about it, the more I felt led to choose a word/words to meditate on and a Scripture to reflect on. The word came to me very quickly, but the Scripture took longer. Tomorrow I turn 30, and I now have both a word and Scripture verse to reflect on and I have to tell you, I am super excited about the direction that God is leading my family in, but without question eager to see what He has in store for me personally. 

I thought I would be anxious, nervous to turn 30, but I have this peace that surpasses all of my understanding. I feel strongly that it is because of this word and this Scripture verse that He led me to--genuine and "You are fearfully and wonderfully made" Psalm 139:14. 

RIght now, in this season of life, these 2 daily reminders are what continue to remind me of my need and love for Jesus.

I have wanted to sit and write this blog for some time, but decided to wait until this very special time, my 30th birthday, to release all of the thoughts He has had spinning in my head. I do apologize if it comes out like a jumbled up mess, hopefully though it is a source of encouragement to you my sweet reader and friend. 

What does it mean to be genuine? What does it mean to understand and live in the knowledge that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? 

I think it means something a little different for each person, but the overall concept is pretty easy to understand and should be widely accepted. 

Okay, so here's where I have to jump around a bit on you and I pray you can keep up and I can pull it all together well, but let me jump back to the beginning. 

6 years ago I gave my life completely over to Jesus. I was saved as a young girl, and I understood that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I understood that Jesus died for my individual sins, and that I needed to accept Him and His redemptive life. While at the same time, I had gone through so much, and continued to go through so much, I simply could not wrap my head around all of it. It didn't make any sense to me that this good and wonderful God could allow the things I had been through. I couldn't wrap my head around why I continued to face serious struggles, if I had been saved. I began to question whether I was saved, and at that moment I think the real lies began in my life. The lies I didn't truly notice until very recently, and the lies that shaped the beginning of my new relationship with Christ. 

The lie was that I was unworthy of God's love. The lie was that I was dirty, unclean, not good enough in my dark times for God. The lie was that I had to clean up before I could come before God. The lie that I continued to believe, and was told by a Pastor, was that I was not saved as a child, because I continued to live seperately from Him for years following. The lie that spiraled from that and one that I was fed by another Pastor was that once I did "truly repent of my old dirty ways" I could not talk about my past openly with the youth or others in the congregation because it wasn't a life that parents want their children knowing about. I was encouraged to continue walking with Christ, I was encouraged to read Scripture and grow with fellow Christians but I was never accepted as a person. I was never accepted as an equal. And this life reality, continued to feed the lie that was brewing deep within my soul. I began seeing a seperation in the church, in my life, in the people around me. I began living a completely superficial life and saw/see the same around me. 

What is this superficial life? It's the one that hears about the struggles of someone, and the immediate thought of, "oh poor so and so, I wonder why God is putting them through such a fire, He must want them to learn something about that sin I saw in their life", yes I mean that thought. Or this one, "Oh bless her heart, she's going through such a hard time, I'll pray for her." If you have to ask yourself why either of these 2 questions is wrong, then I suggest you stop reading this blog because you will not agree with the majority of what I will say next. 

It's thoughts like those that are tainting our world, tainting our hearts, and one that stopped me and stops everyone from living a genuine life and knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. How you may ask yourself? That's easy--the moment we start elevating our life, our relationship with God, our relationships with others, to this standard that we're above others--we need to check our hearts. The heart is where it's all at. And it's within that chest cavity that the real work is done. The heart holds everything. And no matter how many good things you do for someone, no matter how many "prayers" you utter for someone, if your heart pities them in the sense that they are somehow beneath you, your heart is where a problem lies just as much as in the life of that other person. 

We are EACH OF US SINNERS in need of JESUS CHRIST. That is the truth. 

Some people find Christ, and yes they get a deeper understanding that they should want to use to encourage those around them, but never because  they are better. NEVER. But because they should truly understand their own need for Christ, their own sins, their own limitations, and because they are constantly seeking reproof from God, they can walk beside others that are aiming to do the same. 

That's our commission--LOVE ONE ANOTHER

How can you truly love someone that you are constantly piting and feeling sorry for? You feel bad for them, you may want to help me a little, but do you truly love them? Love them despite their circumstances, love them despite the sin they may be trapped within? Or do you pity them and just "know" God is pusnishing them for that "sin they are trapped in"? 

6 years ago when I came to the understanding that I had to give my whole life over to Him because I couldn't shandle anything on my own, at that moment I began listening and being fed a completely new lie. This lie shaped my walk as a Christian, as a believer, as a follower of Christ. This one was fed to me by other believers, other Christians and is rampant I believe everywhere that people claim to be "Christian". This lie is that some are better than others. This lie is constantly backed by Scripture. I will never use Scripture in that manner. I will not use Scripture to make a point. I will only ever tell anyone about my personal relationship with Jesus in my everyday life. The things I feel, the things I learn, the things I hear, and if I have read something profound, I will share it, but never in an accusatory way. I have done this in the past. I have had this done to me in the past. And I think this is what the Pharisees tried to do to Jesus over and over again. I think the lesson to learn always, is how did Jesus treat people? 

ALL people.

The ones that we think are unworthy. The ones that we shun, ridicule, look down upon, put in jail, execute? He accepted them. He accepted them in their rawest form, their most genuine form, their most wretched form. Right down to the sinner on the cross next to Jesus, one who had done someting wrong and was being executed by a "court of law", He accepted, forgave and loved. 



That's all He ever did. Love. 

He loved each of the people in the stories of the Bible in their purest, most sinful states. He encouraged them, loved them, led them, and never pitied. He loved their genuine spirit, their pure soul. He had fearfully and wonderfully made them, US, but sin corrupted us. Sin entered us. He knows this more than ANYONE! 


Because He was the one who had to pay the penalty--the penalty for the little sins and the big sins. Sin is sin is sin is sin. There are no degrees of sin.

But there are degrees that God sees us in--that is saved and unsaved. He sees us through the robe of of Jesus, through His scope. But, it's only He who sees. 

Not us. 

Never us. 

We are called to love, despite whether we deem someone worthy. And I'm so tired of hearing "Christians" use Scripture to justify why they are anti this or anti that. Why this sin is wrong and why that sin is wrong. I'm so tired of "Christians" pointing the sins out in the lives of those around them, and never willing to look at the huge log in their own eye. I say Christian, despite the fact that whether you consider yourself Christian or not, everyone falls victim of this, but it's Christians that use God as their reason for pointing accusatory fingers at others. It's Christians that use things like "morally corrupt" or "bless her sinful heart" to describe people. 

I assure you friend, I've truly met morally corupt people. I've truly met the ones the Bible is referring to as the harshest of the harsh; I've laid eyes on them, held conversations with them, been affected by them. The rapists, the child molestors, the wife beaters, the cheaters, the murderers, the adulterers, the drug abusers, the alcoholics, and I can tell you without question, there is still something in each of them that God loves. But we each come up against some kind of repulsive sin every day, the question should be how we deal with it and how we grow closer to Him. Not whether someone in our life is living such a horrid life that we have to step in and tell them all of the horrible things we think about them and how those things are why God is putting them through the fire He is putting them through. 

If we were all genuine, walked in the knowledge that we are broken and sinful and need very much to have the Spirit of Jesus within us to handle this tainted world, we would be more capable of accepting each other right where we are and allowing God to do the changing. We'd see more change, because we would have stepped out of the way and let Jesus do the work. We are in the way right now. 

We as Christians are in the way of God changing hearts because we are hardening them towards Him. 

Our actions.

Our accusatory fingers. 

We are stopping people from being genuine, from accepting that they are fearfully and wonderfully made because we are constatnly telling each other about all of the things we don't like. 

We dont accept people for who they are. We dont accept people as the unique, beautiful, one of a kind creation that they are. We constantly want people to change into this image that WE make up, and we use the Bible and God as our reason for it. 

Here's the truth, those sins continue to point us to Him. Without them, we do things without Him. They are growing experiences. Ones that we will continue to be tested with, continue to experience and continue to come up against. And we should welcome them. We should welcome the moments when we are able to fall at the foot of the cross and worship a Savior who accepts us despite our sins. 

Does He want us to change?


But, if we all died today, we are good enough. We have accepted Jesus. That is all that matters. After death, what happens afterwards, that's for God to deal with. What judgements come, He has to handle all of that. It's too much for us. 

What are we to do? 




Be genuine

Know that you are feafully and wonderfully made by a perfect and amazing GOD. 

These truths have changed my life. 

These truths have revolutionized my relationship with Him, and those around me. 

These truths I share with you today because I feel very strongly that we are all being fed a lot of lies!!! 

Don't accept them. 

Be you.

Know, that you need Jesus, and that He loves you JUST AS YOU ARE.