July 17, 2014
"and not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope."
usually when i start painting something, i have to remind myself that it's all about the layers. the first strokes are never my favorite, in fact, that's when those pesky voices in my head start to sound off- 'this isn't going to be good'... 'you don't know what you're doing'... 'just stop now, don't waste anymore time'...
but then layer upon layer, the thing starts to take shape and the painting comes alive for me. i get into a groove and i don't want to put my brush down! by the time i'm finished, it looks completely different than when i started... and i love that.
i'll never know exactly what God's doing, ever. He'll lead me somewhere or cause me to do something that might seem crazy or impossible, but it's all contributing to the artistry He has planned for me. He'll bring situations and circumstances and people into my life that all add color and dimension. even those night seasons, the dark shadowy strokes, are needed and beautiful because they contrast and emphasize the light that's painted.
every layer is important, and that's a lovely, hopeful, praiseworthy thing indeed. :)
"take the old prophets as your mentors. they put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. what a gift life is to those who stay the course! you've heard, of course, of Job's staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. that's because God cares, cares right down to the last detail."
praying that you would stand in steadfastness today, enjoying each layer. :)
July 11, 2014
I will extol You, O Lord,
for You have lifted me up,
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
and You healed me.
O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive,
that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name [and His holiness].
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
Now in my prosperity I said,
"I shall never be moved."
Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
I cried out to You, O Lord,
and to the Lord I made supplication:
"What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!"
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord, my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Lord, i feel like as though i could've written these exact words. in exchange for my grief, You've given me joy. You've comforted me in the night season, so that I may rejoice in the morning - this new season of gladness, of life restored to a cracked and weary soul.
just as david wrote this psalm as a dedication of something new, i too want to pray this / sing this / recite this as i dedicate this new season to You. let my mind and body house nothing but Your Spirit and Your truth... so that there's no room for comparison, for jealousy, for bitterness, for discouragement or resentment...
no looking back nor looking down, but ever on and ever up.
i love You from the depths.
July 2, 2014
is there anyone out there that doesn't struggle with stress? i can't imagine too many people raising their hands right now... we all struggle with it to some degree, don't we? whether it's a pile of projects or financial stress, a messy house or screaming kids in the backseat, one way or another, i'm sure we've all had our bouts of stress, and with my recent season of anxiety + its repercussions, i've really been making practical efforts to de-stress throughout the day.... so! i wanted to share a super simple, inexpensive tonic that smells amazing, helps clear your head space + makes any desk look pretty. :)
what you'll need:
- dried chamomile
- dried peppermint
- eucalyptus essential oil
- peppermint essential oil
- glass jar with lid [i used this one at target]
what you'll do:
mix equal parts of the chamomile + peppermint in your glass jar [the amounts are really up to your preference, but i used about an ounce of each], add about 10 drops of eucalyptus oil and about 5 peppermint drops, stir.... et voila! it's ready! keep the lid on to maintain freshness.
i should also note that this is for external use only; though if you swapped out the essential oils for something that's intended to be ingested, you could make a lovely nighttime tea out of it!
inhale [through your nose, of course :)] whenever you start to feel stress throughout the day. sometimes it just takes a little refreshing, cooling aromatherapy to nudge your thoughts into whatever's true, lovely, noble, right, and praiseworthy. :)