Monday, January 28, 2013

Lance and forgiveness

My husband enjoys sports a LOT, and I personally think he likes listening to the banter of sports commentators even more.  Unfortunately hearing grown men argue over uninteresting topics like who did better in last week's game or is Tebow getting played enough...did he make a mistake moving to the NY Giants...drives me crazy.  Now for the past several weeks every conversation is either about this one player who had an online girlfriend who faked her death and he didn't know about it, OR Lance Armstrong



I have to admit the Lance talk did peak my interest a bit.  Who doesn't know Lance?  Seven time Tour de France cyclist superstar...cancer survivor...ex boyfriend of Sheryl Crow.  He's been in the headlines for awhile because it came out that he was accused of doping to give an edge in his competitions.  Why this is coming out now after 7 years is beyond me, but it did.  And for the longest time he blatantly denied it.  He took cocky pictures of himself lounging on his couch supposedly not caring what the rest of the world thought.  And I was pulling for him.  I wanted him to be telling the truth.  I wanted those officials to be wrong and for them to find out he really was that amazing.  That hard core!



Recently he just sat down with Oprah and fessed up that he did in fact lie.  He was cheating and covering it up.  I couldn't stomach the interview.  It made me squirm just thinking about it.  I'm not defending his actions at all, but can you imagine how he's felt for the last few months...years?  He's been carrying around this lie...this career busting HUGE secret around his neck for a long long time. 


He did this dishonorable thing to WIN and then he did WIN and to keep up the charade he continued to dope.  He got all those millions of dollars of endorsements, started the Livestrong foundation...was living the good life thinking no one knew the better and then WHAM!  The truth surfaces.  Then out of sheer fear he thought denying it would help him keep some amount of his dignity, maybe people would believe him.  Apparently his son had been defending him at school.  Telling everyone they were wrong, and that's what finally made him step up and admit his sins.  Now imagine wherever he goes people of course recognize him, but instead of the special recognition and pats on the back he used to receive, he gets stared at and judged...by the whole world!  Can you even imagine?




I do this weird thing of putting myself in other people's shoes, it comes easy for me.  I don't know if it helps me to have compassion or makes me less judgemental, but I'm glad I'm wired that way.  What this man did was obviously wrong.  He knew it.  Even if he's not a believer I'm sure he knew cheating and lying was a bad thing.  He's getting publicly punished...which fits the crime since he publicly deceived.  His money, his titles, his company and reputation have all been stripped.  The wages of sin... 


It's so easy to see where others have fallen short and completely screwed up.  It's so easy to sit back and say that would never happen to me, but we all have sinned and are in desperate need of a savior.  As believers the Holy Spirit convicts our hearts and helps us make good decisions, so this type of outcome doesn't happen...but only if we are obedient.  The Lord's provision on the cross doesn't give us a free pass to do what we want, it reminds us that He paid the price...our sins are covered, but I don't want to live like that anymore. 


I'm really praying someone comes along and shares Jesus with Lance.  That he can know that even though he messed up, his life isn't over.  That hopefully he can come to place where he realizes he's a sinner and can give it over and find peace in the knowledge that all things can be made whole...that forgiveness is for everyone.





Be a blessing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
971.  warmer temps this week
972.  birds flying past my window
973.  grace
974.  date night with my honey
  
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Daniel Fast results and a winner!


I'm sitting here with shaky hands.  My Daniel Fast was over as of Tuesday, and I've been reintroducing coffee.  Out of everything I cut the one thing I missed terribly was my morning coffee.  It was almost unbearable the first week because I just couldn't bring myself to drink anything cold in the morning...and then it dawned on me I could have hot water with lemon.  Duh!  That became my go to.  And as I sit here stomach a little in knots and caffeine coursing through my veins that hot water may stay my go-to.  I actually really love it.  Change can be good;)


It's weird how cautious I feel about food.  I've had 21 days to develop new habits...to clean out the garbage and rest my body.  I'm not in any big hurry to start dumping it all back in.  And as much as I missed normal food and was sick to death of eating the same thing meal after meal...I'm going to continue a lot of the same principles.  I really would like to limit dairy.  I would love to stay off bread and sugar.  I can do without these things.  I've done it and I'm amazed at how much better I feel.  I didn't have the constant cravings.  I wasn't that hungry. 



 
If I liked to cook and used the resources that were out there this fast would have been a piece of cake.  Unfortunately I'm LAZY with food prep.  I ate almost the exact same things for 21 days:/  We ate at certain restaurants and I ordered strictly.  It was hard.  This wasn't easy at all, but I did it.  And despite a few minor things...like butter flavoring on my rice crackers, and some hidden sugars that I didn't know about in my restaurant food, I didn't veer. 


I weighed this morning and I've lost between 6-7 pounds.  Which is wonderful if you consider I hardly exercised.  The lack of protein wasn't doing me any favors.  I was pretty weak and didn't have much energy.  Even though I didn't start this fast as a diet I was hoping to have it kick start my weight loss.  I've been up about 15 pounds and it just wasn't coming off.  Now if I can continue to watch what goes in and add some lean protein I think I will feel great and the rest will drop. 




Spiritually I started bible and notebook in hand.  I made a prayer box and vowed to pray over it every single day.  And I did in the beginning, but as the days went on I got lazy and "forgot" to delve in.  My prayers were more arrow like.  Just fleeting and sporadic.  I'm reminded of how weak the flesh is.  How flawed and imperfect I am, but I also know that despite my shortcomings He met with me this month.  He helped me tremendously to get through this fast.  I never had headaches.  I've fasted before and the headaches were almost unbearable.  I get headaches regularly...and this time I don't remember having them.  That was some major grace. 




He also helped me get some things in my house in order.  It's a process.  There's more to go, and I haven't really begun my "project" yet, but I'm on the path.  I'm focused.  I'm willing and wanting to be used.  My heart is lined up with Him and I'm ready to see what's next. 




***Thank you so much for sharing the things that made you happy recently.  Reading good news, grateful things does a body good!  The winner of the Chrissie Grace $25 store credit is:
 
Amy from Blissful Blooms.  Congrats Amy:)







Be a blessing.
 








966.  mashed potatoes
967.  hot water with lemon
968.  tool for my shop that makes cuff making quiet
969. completing this hard thing
970.  a God that loves me despite my shortcomings

 
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Monday, January 21, 2013

hunger and a GIVE-AWAY




This is going to sound dramatic, but who cares.  When I woke up the other morning it was with bated breath!  Bated...whatever that means.  I ran to the window.  Not to see the first snow...I've seen plenty of that, but to catch a glimpse of that big hot thing called the sun.  WEEEEEEEEE!  I'm not sure I've ever went THAT long without even a glimpse.  I was starved for it people.  Starved.



It was pretty.  All the little icicles and flakes gathered here and there.  I do kinda miss it.  Kinda...  


But what made it really cool was the light.  This shot wouldn't be interesting at all if it wasn't for that gorgeous light filtering in through the trees.


Amazing how when we are starved for something our "meal" tastes unbelievable.  The sun was my meal. 

My pastor has a saying "if you're hungry you will eat".  At least I think that's how it goes.  He's referring to keeping our hunger alive for Him.  I've thought about that alot this past month while I've been fasting.  I feel hungry for Him and I'm wondering what's changed?  He's still the same as before.  I'm still the same.  I think the difference is that when I purposely decided to draw close to Him...even if I missed the ball sometimes...He made His presence known.  I can feel Him.  I can sense that He is right here with me.  I want to know more.  Share more.  BE more for Him!  That is hunger.


I've gotten some letters recently about my last post.  I see so many of you searching.  You went to Sunday school.  You grew up in the church.  You know the bible and pray occasionally.  But you are walking through life with a dead faith.  You haven't moved beyond knowledge to a relationship




When we finally see that we are sinners in need of a savior.  When we acknowledge what He did for us on that cross and decide that we NEED Him!   When we ask Him to forgive and come into our hearts...having faith like a child...




He lives in us...dwells in our spirit.  We can come to Him and lay our burdens at His feet and when you do this time and time again your faith grows.  You see how He provides, and how He has your back...even when it doesn't always go the way you want.  You see how His hand has provided and protected and guided you every step of the way.  You start talking to Him throughout the day and feeling Him right there by your side.  That is the difference between knowledge and relationship.  He loves you and you LOVE Him!  It's real.  It's tangible.  You know that you know that He's your abba daddy. 


Praying you find hunger.  Praying you get fed.  Praying so hard that you find your place at the table.  It's a good place to be!  So good!!!



The pillow she made for me.


Speaking of life and light, my friend Chrissie Grace is offering a $25 credit to her shop to one of my readers.  Go over and see all the fun playful things she is creating.  Remember that fox pillow I have?  She made it!!! You will LOVE what this girl is doing over there.  She is all sorts of talented!!  To enter just leave me a comment about one thing that made you happy recently.  I'll announce the winner Friday.







Be a blessing.







961.  SUN 
 962.  sweet girls around my kitchen table

963.  barn lights


964.  vacation plans


965.  fast is over today!  More on that to come...



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Thursday, January 17, 2013

His space


I'm feeling very introspective this morning.  Not sure if it's the week of rain or lack of sunny days that have brought it on, or maybe it's the many days in a row without my man that has made me pause and take a look inside but nonetheless...I'm going in.

If you know me in real life you know I don't talk about God all the time.  I'm not super serious or uber religious.  I don't carry my Bible with me everywhere I go...not that that's a bad thing.  I'm just normal.  Just like you.   


I feel lately like I've got a blog identity crisis going on.  Actually I've felt like this for some time.  When I sit down to blog it's not about fluff anymore.  It's not even about me necessarily.  It's about faith and struggles and overcoming and I sit back sometimes and I read my words and I know they're not mine and I'll be honest it's a little weird.


It's very obvious to me this blog is His.  I gave it up a while ago.  I used to hold on tight.  I used to write down my stats and worry about comments.  I used to want to be liked and cared a LOT about what people thought of me.  And it just dawned on me the other day I don't do that here anymore.  I don't know how or when that shift happened, but it did.  It just kind of evaporated.  I've fought it a bit...actually talked about it with my blogging friends.  Wondering why I couldn't write a fun and playful post.  I used to.  It use to come easy, but this is where I am right now.



With that said I've felt a feeling of oppression for a few months.  It comes along with life's trials.  Sometimes we take on others trials as our own too.  It's what we do.  There was the stresses of business...lost supplies, Honey's job trials, family members struggling with sickness...aging, normal mom worries, friends with major issues...the election, the shootings and then gloomy January hit and there is the fast etc...  Just life. 


And you know whenever you consecrate yourself, when you ask God to do a big thing in your life...that it's going to bring on the enemy.   He is roaming the earth looking to devour us.  You know this right?  He is here to steal, kill and destroy us.  And I see him doing that.  It's everywhere you look.  It even sneaks into our homes.  I just happened to be in my Big Chick's room last night when she was showing me something on her iPad and the most vile repulsive images popped up onto her screen and I was in complete shock for a second.  Like how can this be happening!?!?  Thank God I was right there.  Thank God He worked it out that we could get it deleted off and have a discussion.  He had me there...to protect.


So as I sit here deep thinking, cause that's what I do, I'm reminded that we fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities.  We are in a war friends.  The world is never going to feel right.  We are never going to get what we need from it.  It will leave you empty with a giant hole and the ONLY thing that can fill that hole is Jesus!  The only thing that can protect our hearts and our lives and our future is a relationship with Him. 


I'm not going to fight giving this blog over to Him.  I'm not going worry about losing "followers".   I would hate to think anyone is following me anyway. It's Him... Him I want to lead them to.  I'm praying that will always be the mission here...in this space...His space!





Be a blessing.

 
 
 
 
 
956.  honey's home
957.  He directs my steps
958.  we have authority over the enemy...praise GOD!
959.  slumber party with my girls
960.  a day to go nowhere
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Monday, January 14, 2013

walk with me...




There hasn't been a stirring in me to write this week.  I've felt quiet on the inside.  I'm supposed to "begin" my new thing and honestly not much has happened with it.  Fear stirs.  Will the inspiration and ability come?  I've set this time aside.  The sand is falling.  The hour glass is tipped.  Why do I always put pressure on myself?
 


So I took a day and went on a mini adventure with a friend to Belle Isle.  It's kind of a creepy piece of land right off downtown Richmond.   You have to walk a suspension bridge crossing the James River to get to it.  I say creepy because it used to be a prisoner of war site.  Thousands died there.  Many factories came and went over the years...ruins remain.



 


find the old interesting.  I think about things when I walk it's acres.  I think about the history.  About how there is a beginning and an end to everything.  How nothing stays the same...except Him of course.





I wonder about the old buildings.  How at one point they used to have purpose.  




I think about the people who died there.  I think... 




And it reminds me that life is fleeting.  That people come and go.  That nothing is permanent.  



No matter how mighty it was at one time.



 I think a lot of us stay locked into the past.  We see the broken...we see the ruins...the disappointments.  There are reminders of what was, and we can't move forward.  We're stuck!


We all have a history.  There is no one that gets by in life without pain, but do we let the old things (our old ways) keep us from moving forward??  Do we let the fear of the unknown trap us?  Do we let history repeat, or do we start that new thing, setting fear aside, and bravely take those first baby steps.



Walk with me...







Be a blessing.








951.  warm weather in Jan.
952.  a full rainbow that blessed my socks off this morning.
953.  lights in my kitchen that glow
954.  grace that covers me
955.  new beginnings


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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

shadows







It seems that most everyone I know is in crisis mode right now.   Everywhere I look I see people, friends, family calling out for God to help them through a really tough spot.  There's hurting marriages, job problems, financial hiccups, kid issues, loneliness, infertility...loss.  It breaks my heart.  We all are waiting on something to fall into place.  Trusting for an answer to come.  Believing for a miracle.


And sometimes that answer just doesn't come.  We wait and watch, and wait and wait some more.  And we feel ourselves sink into the shadows.  They overtake us whether we want them to or not.  Has God forgotten us.  Why am I here?  Why did that go down the way it did?  Why am I still not hearing from you Lord?


It's so hard to be patient when we don't know the answers.  It's so hard to trust when we don't see the path clearly laid out before us.  When you want something so bad you can't see straight.



I was listening to a song in the car on the way home (appropriately titled shadows) and the singer said "teach me to let go".  Such simple words, but just what I needed to hear.  Really the only way to fight the shadows is to look for the light...and really the only way to look for the light is to shift your focus.



(example of answered prayer...my friend Tamara)

When we lay it down...give it over and just leave it.  When we deliberately walk away and put it behind us...that's when maybe, just maybe we can step into the light a little.  We can feel joy sink into our bones.  Our eyes are opened to good things...BLESSINGS.





Because trust me as soon as this hard place is resolved...as soon as this prayer is answered another will pop up into it's place.  Life is full of disappointments and trials.  There will be another one and another...




Lord help me to not miss out on anything.  Help me to see every good thing in my life for what it is...a gift.  Push me out of any shadows and bring me into the light.  






Be a blessing.








945.  progress in my studio...i will get it done TODAY.
946.  barn lights
947.  a handy honey
948.  lewis genter botanical gardens...where all the pics where taken
949.  lights that make me ooh and ahh
950.  adventures with my girls
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