Incorporating Creativity

I’ve recently started drawing/sketching and dabbling in painting. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but any time I tried I felt like I wasn’t any good at it. I’m learning to stop judging myself so harshly and to let go of some of my perfectionism. And you know what? I’m actually really enjoying it! I can get lost in something I’m working on, and it feels amazing.

Music also helps me get into a creative mood. When I was growing up there was usually music of some kind floating through our home. I had no idea what an impact it has on the atmosphere and my ability to feel comfortable and loosen up. I’m starting to integrate that more too.

I really want to have a creative environment, I just don’t always know how to get there. But the above are a few steps that I’m taking to make it part of my everyday life.

Is creativity a regular part of your day? What things do you find help set that creative atmosphere in your home? I’d love to hear your experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

God Uses People

We, by nature, are designed for a community of love. God can speak through a powerful wind, a burning bush, or a still small voice, but I find that most often He speaks to us through another person, another brother or sister in Him.

Have you ever felt like God met you exactly where you were at? Given you exactly what you needed at exactly the right time? Have you felt overwhelmed by His love and goodness? That’s where I am this morning.

Last night was pretty restless for me, but I got up to an email from a very dear friend, it touched my soul and I instantly felt His peace flood my heart. God uses people. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it isn’t. But God hasn’t forsaken or abandoned us. He sees us, He remembers us. and He is faithful in his loving-kindness.

God uses us. We are His vessels. This isn’t in a destructive way. God is not manipulative or abusive, but rather His love is for our gain. We can’t pour from an empty cup, no matter how badly we want to. It is God that fills us up. Then He uses us to pour even more of that goodness out to others, who in turn pour it out to still others, and often back into us. But we have to be open to it, and we have to allow it.

God uses people to bless others. If we don’t let Him, then we’re turning away from our purpose. We are vessels, we’re meant to carry great blessings and truth. If we value love and kindness, hadn’t we also turn to the one who created them? Who created us? Who fills our hearts with His love, for He Himself is love.

How sad that we could miss out on our purpose simply because we’ve been so infiltrated by the world’s standard of what it is to be used. People are inherently sinful, when people use people, it’s usually for deception and abuse, but it’s not like that with God. Everything He does is done for us. We may not understand it, but He calls us to trust Him through it.

He will give us far more than we could ask or think. He wants to bless us, but will we allow Him to place us in a community of grace and truth? Are we willing to receive His love?

Outdoor World

Blue Sky And TreesThe world has come to life. Everywhere I look I see bright green against the pure blue of a perfectly cloudless sky.

I talk about the weather a lot, nature too I suppose. I think it’s my inferior Se’s way of sneaking into my posts. But I don’t mind so much. There’s such a pure and simple joy about it. A peace you just can’t find anywhere else in our everyday lives. We can make our homes comforting, but it’s still not quite the same.

There’s so much beauty in the world around us, and it would be so easy to miss it.

When I’m outside I feel light and free. I let my thoughts drift and wander through the trees, along with the streaming of a river, or through the air with a bird in flight. I become something different, something real, something magical. How wonderful it is, if only for a small moment in time, to step into another world where anything can happen.

Who Are We Listening To?

Great thoughts this morning! ๐Ÿ™‚

Truth in Palmyra

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Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

This Psalm seems well placed in the very beginning of this great book of wisdom.ย  Here we see a clear description of the blessings to those saved by the grace of God, and the coming judgment of those not saved by the grace of God.

Even though the first part of this passage seems clearly written to those already blessed by the grace of God, it stillโ€ฆ

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I’m Not Perfect

I often stay quiet in groups, sometimes because I don’t have the right words to say, sometimes because I’d rather listen than speak. I’m afraid to be understood, yet afraid not to be.

mask-1024024_1920I’m afraid of saying too much. I’m afraid that if I start, that I just won’t stop… There’s just too much water pressing against the dam and I’m afraid that if I let it go, it’ll just flood the whole space. It’s like the Superchick song, Stand In The Rain. “She fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down.”

The trouble with this is that my life begins to look put together, then I become unrelatable. Then I don’t know what to do. My life isn’t as perfect as it may sometimes outwardly look. I don’t like the masks, but sometimes my masks aren’t to protect me, they’re to protect the ones I care about.

My Thoughts On Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day weighs heavily on my heart, this year and pretty much since becoming an adult. I know it’s supposed to be a day to honor those with children, but is this really the best way to go about it?

I have a wonderful mother, I am very thankful and grateful for her, her sacrifices, and her love. But there is so much more than just that. I shouldn’t need a day to remind me to tell my mother I love and appreciate her. And to those who grew up in abusive homes, or are still wrestling with an abusive woman that some would call “mother” this day just serves as another twisted knife in an already guilt inducing situation.

There are so many woman hurting, and all Mother’s Day does is remind them of that pain. Of loss. Be it past or future. Where is our compassion? Where is our love?

As a society, we typically see motherhood as the standard for a full and happy life. It’s changing slowly, but especially for the women who long for and desire children, yet cannot have them (whether physical or otherwise), or have lost them, this day just serves as a reminder of that empty place, and writes a label of shame across their, our, foreheads.

Not all mothers are loving. Not all mothers are living. Not all mothers are obvious, some carry the hidden scars in their hearts. What about these women? And even men. Have we forgotten our call to love the broken?

Spring Day – The Shift

Today was such a beautiful day for a walk! I love being out in the fresh spring air. Birds singing, children playing. The little peepers even came out when it started getting dark. Oh how I love that summer sound! It brings me right back to my childhood and all my days outside. I lived for being outdoors.

I’ve been distanced from that part of myself a bit after moving to the city, and now that I’m somewhere in between, I find the familiar peace and comfort once again.

It’s funny how you don’t realize how much you miss something until it’s gone and you get it back again… Or how bad a situation was until you’ve left the scalding pot then jumped back in again.

Distance can do that, give us perspective, I mean. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on what’s going on around us while we’re in the midst of it, until we step back and see it as it really may be, closer to how it probably is.

Those moments can be so filling, so satisfying. Or so completely mind bogglingly breaking. But either way it causes a shift in us; in who we were, in who we are, in who we will be. We may not always notice its effects immediately, sometimes it’s a slow and gradual change, but it’s a shift nonetheless, and it alters and changes us.ย  It defines us in a new way, sometimes in a way we don’t fully understand.

Until one day when it’s made clear. Then the things we wondered why about for so long suddenly make sense.

I can’t say why things happen the way they do, but I can say that there’s a path to healing and redemption. I’ve seen a little glimpse of it, days like this bring that to me, like the veil between the heavenly realities and our earthly one was pulled away for just a moment, and I was able to see behind the curtain.

Just Say Thank You

I really struggle with accepting compliments. I tend to brush them off, or diminish myself or what I did. But if I do that, I’m not allowing myself to receive the love that others are pouring out to me.

One of my concerns has been that I don’t want to come off as egotistical. I don’t want that at all. But what I’ve been doing is yet another way of doing that… As if I’m above the compliments of others… Or my perspective is better than theirs. If they say they like something and I put it down (criticizing myself) I’m also unknowingly criticizing them and their tastes. How could I do that? Isn’t that unkind to the person who is trying to show me kindness?

And how would you feel if you said something nice to someone you loved and it unleashed a swirl of self-deprecation? I’m sure after a while, because you love that person, you’d stop complimenting them because you’d hate to see them beat themselves up.

So just take the compliment already. You’re not doing anyone any favors by rejecting. And so what if it comes off a little egocentric, stand confidently in yourself and who God made you to be.

I’m slowly learning to just say thank you. It’s a bit uncomfortable at first, but it’s slowly becoming more natural.

Do you struggle with accepting compliments and saying thank you? I’d love to hear your experience.