Friday, January 7, 2022
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Does God speak to you through images? Sometimes when I'm listening to a sermon or Bible teaching, an image comes to my mind. I have notes in many random places describing these images for later illustration. But then, once the illustration is done, it's hard to put it back into words; it's more of a feeling.
Today I will try to put this one into words, just for you. Just in case it can be an encouragement to you as the words that inspired it encouraged me.
First of all, is it titled "Set Apart" or "Thy Kingdom Come"? Perhaps both?
I've been thinking a lot about being "set apart." For years, "do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2) has been my theme. I want my thoughts to be in agreement with Jesus, "the author and perfecter of our faith," and not my own version of wisdom (Hebrews 12:2).
When my life felt crushing because loved ones were upset with me, I clung to Jesus. We are promised trials, tribulations, and even that the world will hate us because we are not of it anymore (John 16:33, John 15:19). So being "set apart" held a lot of hope for me. Even if people despise me, God "chose [me] out of the world" (John 15:19). He chose me. He created me in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Even more, God himself began that good work and promises to bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6)! So I can trust in His Holy Spirit to guide me in righteousness, and trust that His love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). He does not want me "weighed down with [...] the cares of this life," but living in compassion and forgiveness, like Jesus (Luke 21:34, Colossians 3:12-13).
But that's not the whole of it.
"I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world." (John 17:15-18)
The kingdom of God--righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit--is within us, when we invite Jesus to be our Savior and dwell in our hearts (Romans 14:17, Luke 17:21, Ephesians 3:17). Jesus Himself taught us to pray: "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). So I envision the mission of believers to be a bridge between Heaven and earth, shining His truth and love to those around us. We're hanging out in the in-between, set apart to bring the kingdom of God into this broken world.
"Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house." (Matthew 5:15)
And there it is, the title staring me in the face all along: "In Between."
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Monday, March 1, 2021
Monday, March 23, 2020
Are you looking for easy breakfast ideas that go beyond dry cereal? Look no further. In our house, we like to have muffins on hand in the freezer. When the kids wake up, they can grab one and microwave it a bit, and voila! Breakfast is served, and Mom can focus on making her coffee. Or packing school lunches, except the kids aren't going to school these days ... but I digress.
Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal Cups
2 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare 16 standard muffin cups.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and stir well.
3. Spoon into muffin tins (I like to use an ice cream scoop), and bake for 25 minutes. Edges should be golden brown.
4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Allow to cool completely, place in gallon bag, and freeze. We like to place one in a bowl and microwave for 30-60 seconds to thaw. They are delicious, but a little crumbly! My favorite way to enjoy them is warm, crumbled up, with a little milk in the bowl.
This recipe is very flexible. I've used almond milk with no problems, and I'm sure you could substitute the peanut butter for a different nut or seed butter, if necessary. You also could use one type of oats, but I like the variety of texture.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Two and a half years. My blog hiatus is significant. Significantly long, sure, but also because it signifies a shift in my personal focus to full-time motherhood. We added a little boy to our family not long after my last blog post, and three kids filled my plate in its own very good way.
As our kids grow in independence, margin is sneaking back into my life. I'm feeling that call to practice creativity in art-filled ways, rather than creatively parenting/cooking/child-crafting. My latest piece was done after the kids were in bed and is being used as a background for some new products in my Zazzle shop.
Previous to that was a pastel drawing of a puzzled, maybe even a little sad, Boxer dog in preparation for a Christmas gift for my Boxer-loving in-laws. You can get that drawing on an iPhone case, or a mug, also through the Zazzle shop. I would share a photo of the painting I did of their beloved dog, but unfortunately I was too excited to gift it and didn't save a picture first.
My first priority remains my children, soaking up this time with them as I know the days are fleeting. But I'm excited to get back into interests that have been simmering far back on the stove and see how changes in life affect changes in handiwork.
Thanks for stopping by!
Saturday, December 3, 2016
It’s been a tough year, but a good year. In March, my grandma passed away and W was born. He’s been a blessing to our family, very content, and the girls dote on him.
About a month later, my great aunt passed away, and nine days after that, W had a little health scare. God was faithful in keeping us in His peace during that time (and multiple times after) and it’s all over now (we pray).
We filled our summer with visits to and from our family and friends, and other milestone events: C’s first movie, her first haircut, and our home’s first deck.
Life took another hit in October as we returned from a trip to NYC celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary, when we heard my husband’s grandpa and my grandpa were hospitalized. We prayed and asked others to join us on their behalf, and God answered. My husband’s grandpa improved and is no longer in a medical facility, while my grandpa made the decision to stop treatment, and passed away last night.
As I began to pray for these men, God was faithful to give me the impression that sometimes people don’t want to be healed, which is hard for those of us left behind, but a blessing to him who lived 93 years and was too tired to fight for more.
Soon we will gather for a funeral, the first our little family has been able to attend, and in a few weeks, we’ll gather again to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
Life and death and road trips. That’s been our 2016.